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The Importance of Attending School
The school considers that regular school attendance is essential if children are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Irregular attendance undermines the educational process.
Individual absences are carefully investigated and unjustified absences will not be tolerated. Lateness is also considered to be not only disruptive to the child’s continuity of learning but also to that of others. Registered pupils of compulsory school age are required by law to be in school.
Explanations for all absences are required. Only the school can approve absence not parents. Schools are not obliged to accept parental notes where there is reason to doubt the validity of the explanation offered.
The school can authorise the following absences provided it is satisfied of the validity of the explanation given
School cannot accept, except in exceptional circumstances, reasons such as:
Looking after the house, brothers or sisters, shopping, birthday parties, football excursions, recreation days etc.
In most cases, absences for illness reported by following the school’s absence reporting procedures will be authorised unless there is a genuine reason to believe that the illness is not genuine. In these cases, the school reserves the right to request supporting medical evidence for the period of illness. This can be in the form of a medical appointment card or a prescription issued on the day of absence. Only in rare cases will the school request a letter from a GP.
Absences due to illness which have not been reported to the school by the Parent/Carer on the first day of absence may not be authorised and will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. The reporting of absence due to illness remains the responsibility of the Parent/Carer. If a child is absent for more than a day, parents do not need to contact the school every day but must inform the school office of the expected return date and keep the school informed at regular intervals during the period of absence.
School policy is that where a child has been sent home from school or absent due to vomiting or diarrhoea, they must not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode to reduce the risk of infection to other children and adults at the school.
Missing registration due to a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence; however, Parents/Carers should try to make appointments outside of school hours wherever possible. Where appointments during school time are unavoidable, the child should be absent for as short a period of time as possible.
All absences for medical or dental appointments must be supported by providing the school office with sight of or a copy of the appointment card or letter – only then will be absence be authorised.
A pupil arriving late can seriously disrupt their own and others’ learning. Registers are taken in the classroom at:
8.45am-8.50am for KS2.
8.55am-9.00am for Reception and KS1
Children arriving after these times will be recorded as late and must report to the School Office. Registers close completely at 9.20am for KS2 and 9.30am for Reception and KS1. Children arriving after these times will be marked in the register as having an unauthorised absence for the whole session.
The Headteacher may decide not to authorise lateness after 9am for pupils who are persistently late to school. This means that those children will be marked using the U code in the register. In such cases, the Headteacher will notify Parents/Carers of the decision and explain the possible consequences of continued unauthorised absence due to persistent lateness, including the possibility that a Penalty Notice may be requested from Bristol City Council. This may apply to all year group, including Reception.
Children who have at least 8 absences in the register due to unauthorised lateness within a 10 week period may be subject to a Penalty Notice being requested from Bristol City Council.
Procedures for reporting absence
If your child is absent from school due to illness you must telephone the school before 9.30am on the first day using the absence reporting line:
0117 903 0077 option 1.
This is important as the school needs to know why a child is not in school if they don’t arrive. A list is kept in the school office of children who walk to school on their own and if they don’t arrive, Parents/Carers are contacted. Parents who wish to add their child to this list should speak to staff in the school office.
Failure to follow the absence reporting procedure may result in the absence being recorded as unauthorised. The school will make every effort to contact Parents/Carers to ascertain reasons for absences if no contact is made but it does remain the responsibility of Parents/Carers to inform the school of the reason for any absences.
Y6 children who walk to school on their own must be on the list in the office so that their arrival can be checked. We will phone if they don’t arrive and are expected. Children who walk to school are allowed to bring a mobile phone, but these will be collected in for the school day and returned at 3.20.