Guidance for schools regarding attendance from September 2020:
In March, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.
Now the circumstances have changed, it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise, as far as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
- parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age
- schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
- the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
Life only provides one chance to gain a childhood education. Failure to attend school can result in missed opportunities, disruption to a child’s education and could impact his/her long-term attainment and life-chances.
At Tyldesley Primary School, we are proactive in supporting families to ensure that their child has excellent attendance.
Whilst we appreciate that most parents and carers understand the importance of punctuality and do their best to get their children to school in time for the bell, we are aware that other families may find it difficult getting their children to school ‘on time’. In these cases, our Learning Mentor (Mrs Atherton) is available to support you.
The school day starts promptly at 8.50a.m. If a child arrives at school after these times, without prior arrangements having been agreed, he/she will be deemed late. Pupils arriving at school after 8.50a.m. must report to the school office to be signed in by an adult. Register closes at 9.20a.m: arrival to school after this time, without prior approval or extenuating circumstances, will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
It is important that parents notify the school office before 9a.m. if their child will be absent from school. As a school, we have a duty of care to all of our children: if school has not been notified of a child’s absence, the school office will attempt to make contact using the telephone numbers on the child’s data collection sheet to confirm their whereabouts. If school do not get a response, a home visit will be made by a member of our Pastoral Team (Mrs Shorrock, Mrs Buck and Mrs Atherton) to ensure that the child is safe and accounted for.
These are absences where there are genuine reasons for a child being absent from school. In most cases, this will be for an illness which would mean that attending school would make that illness worse or that it would be passed on to other children.
These are absences where there is no justifiable reason as to why a child is absent.
How can parents/carers help with attendance?
- Keep requests for your child’s absence to a minimum.
- Offer a reason, or medical proof, for any period of absence, preferably before the absence or on the first day of absence.
- Ensure that your child arrives at school on time - a reason should be offered for any lateness.
- Work closely with the school and our Attendance Officer to resolve any problems that may affect a child’s attendance.
- Take family holidays during school holiday periods and be aware that requests for holidays during term time will be refused.
- Be especially vigilant with regards to attendance during important academic times.
In school, persistent and unexplained absences are followed-up by the school’s Attendance Officer who will follow a 4-stage approach to monitoring attendance:
Stage 1 (97% - 95%)
Your child’s attendance is beginning to fall below the school’s attendance target
- Our Attendance Officer (Ruth Cooper) will closely monitor your child's attendance and, where necessary, work with you and your child in order to support you to improve it.
Stage 2 (95% - 90%)
Your child’s attendance has shown a continued decline
- Our Attendance Officer (Ruth Cooper) will contact you (phone call/letter) to discuss your child's attendance record.
- Support from our Pastoral Team will be offered in order to assist you and your child.
Stage 3 (90% - 80%)
Your child’s attendance now falls in to the category of persistent absence
- A letter will be issued inviting you to meet with the Attendance Officer.
- Attendance targets and consequences will be discussed.
- The Pastoral Team will be available to offer further support.
- A Penalty Notice (or PN warning) may be issued by the Local Authority.
Stage 4 (Below 80%)
Formal intervention and referral can be actioned by the Attendance Officer and prosecution by the Local Authority may be considered.
Attendance Matters - Termly Updates
At the end of each term, parents will receive an ‘Attendance Matters’ update which will give you details of your child’s attendance. Children with attendance of 97% and above will also receive an ‘Attendance Matters’ certificate to celebrate their individual attendance.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s attendance, or are in need of any advice or support in this area, please contact school and ask to speak to any of the following:
- Mrs J Shorrock (Deputy Head Teacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead)
- Mrs J Buck (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
- Mrs M Atherton (Learning Mentor)
- Mr M Roberts (The L.A Attendance Officer)
The Attendance Service
This year the school will be working in partnership with Wigan Council Attendance Service which is a dedicated, highly skilled team of individuals that specialise in all areas of school attendance to support children and young people (aged 4-16) when absence becomes a barrier to learning. From data monitoring and preparation for Ofsted to specialised case work and statutory enforcement progression.
The Attendance Service works in partnership with schools to identify young people's needs, develop interventions and secure positive outcomes. It supports schools, families and children by giving advice, delivering practical support and ensuring that legal requirements are met. The team works tirelessly to improve the prospects and opportunities for young people of the borough.
Our key worker from the service is Mr. Mike Roberts who will be working in school on a regular basis. If you need to contact Mr Roberts then please do so via the School Office.