Mount Pleasant Primary School

Attendance Policy

Attendance

Effective schools convey their positive attitude for regular attendance to parents, pupils and teachers. Children quickly then understand that their presence is important. The twice-daily requirement to register pupils can and should be perceived as an opportunity for the school to receive pupils formally from home, and serve as an introduction to the session.

Pupils are expected to attend school for the full 190 days of the academic year, unless there is a good reason for absence. There are two types of absence:

  • Authorised (Where the school approves pupil absence)
  • Unauthorised (Where the school will not approve absence)

If a pupil is absent, parents/careers should call the school on the day of the absence stating a reason. The school will then decide whether to authorise the absence. If authorisation were to be refused, for instance if a pupil was kept off school for a birthday, then the parents would be informed.

Completing the Register

The marking of registers can sometimes become so routine that its importance is lost. However, incomplete or inaccurate registers are unacceptable for several reasons. Registers provide the daily record of the attendance of all pupils; they are documents that may be required in a court of law, for example as evidence in prosecutions for non-attendance at school. They may also contribute to pupil's end of term reports and to records of achievement.

The schools using the SIMS system and registered are completed electronically in classrooms and checked centrally.

Family Holidays During Term Time

Parents are strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday during term time. Parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for such a holiday.  All such cases should be discussed with the Headteacher, as a child who is absent longer than 5 days after an agreed return date, can legally be removed from the school roll.

All holiday absence is unauthorised. Leave of absence forms can be obtained from the school office, and all requests should be submitted to the School Office at least two weeks before the first day of intended absence.

A pupil's absence during term time can seriously disrupt their continuity of learning. Not only do they miss the teaching provided on the days they are away, they are also less prepared for the lessons building on that after their return. There is a consequent risk of underachievement, which we, and you, must seek to avoid.

Fixed Penalty Notices linked to unauthorised absence

Following Welsh Government Legislation, Newport City Council has adopted a Code of Conduct which allows the Local Authority to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to the parents of pupils who lose five school days or ten school sessions which are unauthorised.

Protocols and procedures in relation to Fixed Penalty Notices

  • A Fixed Penalty Notice can only be issued in cases of unauthorised absence;
  • Fixed Penalty Notices will be restricted to one notice per parent of a pupil in an academic year;
  • In cases where there is more than one poorly-attending pupil in a year group Notices may be issued for more than one child;
  • There will be no restriction on the number of times a parent may receive a formal warning of a possible Fixed Penalty Notice

Fixed Penalty Notices may be considered appropriate when:

  • At least 10 sessions (5 school days) are lost due to unauthorised absence during the current term. These do not need to be consecutive;
  • Unauthorised absences of at least 10 sessions (5 school days) due to holidays in term time or delayed return from extended holidays; or
  • Persistent late arrival at school, i.e. after the register has closed, in the current term. "Persistent" means at least 10 sessions of late arrival;
  • Truancy, where the child has come to the attention of the Police or public during school hours for being absent from school, without an acceptable reason.

Fixed Penalty Notices are currently set at £60 and must be paid within 28 days.

Non-payment within this timeframe results in a total Penalty of £120. Non-payment of fines will result in prosecution.

Lateness

School begins at 9:00 a.m. and all pupils are expected to be in school for registration at this time.

Pupils who are consistently late are disrupting not only their own education but also that of others. Where persistent lateness gives cause for concern further action may be taken.

Signing In / Out Book

When a pupil is taken from school during the day then the parent / carer is required to sign the pupil out on leaving and in on return. The book is located at reception.

What can parents do to help?

  • Let the school know as soon as possible why your son/daughter is away.
  • Send a note child returns to school.
  • Try to make appointments outside school time.
  • Do not allow your child to have time off school unless it is really necessary.

If you are worried about your child's attendance at school what can you do?

  • Talk to your son/daughter; it may be something simple.
  • Talk to the class teacher or other school staff.

If it continues....

  • The school may refer to the Education Welfare Service.
  • You may contact the Education Welfare Officer, who will work with you and the school to resolve the situation. (Number available from the School Office)
  • A penalty notice may be issued

Equal Opportunities

Mount Pleasant Primary School is committed to equality, including racial equality, for all members of the school community.  The school promotes a positive and proactive approach to valuing and respecting diversity, and will not tolerate racial harassment of any kind.   Mount Pleasant is committed to providing a curriculum and environment  that challenges and extends the learning and opportunities for more able and talented pupils.

Ratified:  26th October 2006

Reviewed: November 2010

Reviewed: December 2013

Reviewed and amended: September 2014