Springfield School has a statutory duty under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Regular attendance is seen as vital to a child’s secure education and progress and Springfield School takes a positive and proactive role in the promotion of regular school attendance.
The school maintains an expectation that children should put in attendance of 100%. The Governors require the Head teacher to maintain specified attendance levels. Annual Targets are set for attendance. If a child is absent, parents are expected to contact school and give a reason.
Registers are completed twice a day. Reasons for absence are recorded in line with codes provided in each register. Each child’s attendance is monitored on a weekly basis. If no reason for absence is given then a letter is sent home by the Learning Mentor. Attendance issues are reported to the Full Governing Body.
Parents withdrawing a child during the school day are required to complete an absence pass, forming a part of the school partnership with the local police, who can require of these children and parents in town during a school day. If children are out of school without an absence pass, parents could face a Penalty Notice and a £ 50 fine.
The school Learning Mentor, Hannah Smith, monitors all children whose attendance falls below 95% whose punctuality is poor. Parents are informed by letter when their child’s attendance percentage falls below 95%. Children who fall below 95% are monitored on a daily basis and the following actions may be taken by the school if there are changes in patterns of attendance, attendance does not improve or there is not valid reason for absence.
- The family will be invited to a School Attendance Panel (SAP), held every half term. This gives parents a change to talk about the absences with the Head teacher, Chair of Governors, Learning Mentor, school Nurse and Attendance Advisor.
- The Schools Attendance Advisor will visit Families at home to discuss absence.
- The Family will be referred to the Local Authority, to the MAST (Multi Agency Support Team).
Persistent lateness will also be dealt with by:
- The family will be invited to SAP
- The school’s Attendance Advisor will visit Families at home to discusspunctuality.
- The Family will be referred to the Local Authority, to the MAST (Multi Agency Support Team)
Holiday in Term Time/Extended Leave
Springfield School recognises the important link between regular attendance at school and the educational attainment of children. For this reason, parents/carers are actively discouraged from taking their child on leave during school term time, here or abroad. Springfield School will not authorise any term time leave except in EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
Parents/Carers are legally required to request term time leave from the Head teacher at the school which their child is registered. There is no requirement that a request for leave will be granted, just because an application has been made. Each request must be considered on its own merit and the impact upon the child’s learning and wellbeing.
Parents/carers who do not request term time leave and take their child(ren) on ‘unauthorised leave’, or fail to keep the school informed of changes to leave arrangements, may receive a fine, be prosecuted and/or the child(ren) may lose their place at their current school.
All requests for term time leave must be made in writing on the school’s Request for Term Time leave application form. Term time leave requests must include specific start and end dates. Parents/carers who are intending to travel abroad should not book travel prior to securing approval from the school. Parents/carers should let the school know of the intended travel dates as soon as possible. Parents/carers will be required to confirm actual dates (departure and return) once travel arrangements have been made. Any changes between the ‘intended’ and ‘actual’ dates must be agreed with the school prior to departure.
If a child fails to return to school within 10 days of their given return date they will lose their school place.If a child is registered at a school in their home country whilst on Term Time Leave they will be dual registered.
Permanently Returning to Country of Origin/Moving Cities
If families return to their country of origin or permanently move to another city parents are asked to send a letter/email confirming:
- The last day of attendance
- Forwarding address
- Reason why the family is returning/moving
Weekly attendance is used to maintain a regular tally of the school’s percentage attendance and individual class scores. Prizes and certificates are used on a weekly, half termly, termly and annual basis to encourage 100% attendance. Rewards include extra play times for punctuality, pencils, stickers, book prizes and gift vouchers.
Explanations are requested for absence. The school will contact home on a child’s first day of absence for a reason for the absence. If no contact is made school will send a letter requesting a reason. Without a reason, an absence remains unauthorised. Absences are authorised for valid reasons (e.g. illness). The Head teacher may unauthorised an absence where there is insufficient to support an absence. Children absent for an excess of 20 consecutive school days can be removed from the school roll.
The school is not able to operate an inclusive attendance policy due to the fact that DfE legislation prevents the school from recognising 2 days absence at each Eid festival as entitlement. These DfE regulations also mean that non-Christian children cannot get 100% attendance due to their religion and this is discrimination. In a school with over 85% of the children being of a non-Christian background, the school is also being discriminated against.