We expect every child to attend school every day and to arrive on time. If your child is too ill to attend, please call the school at the start of the day to let us know. We do not authorise term-time holidays except in very rare circumstances and we refer parents whose children have 8 or more sessions (4 days) of unauthorised absence to the Education Welfare Officer.
In 2015 to 2016, the overall absence rate was 3.5% (compared to the national average of 4.0%) whilst the persistent absence rate was 7.1% compared to a national average of 8.2%. Persistent absence is defined as the percentage of pupils missing 10% or more of the mornings or afternoons they could attend.
A Guide for Parents
When does my child need to be in School?
Your child should be at school in good time for registration. The morning register will be called promptly at 9 am and the afternoon register at 1 pm
What happens if my child is late?
Registration finishes at 9.00 am in the morning and 1.15 pm in the afternoon.
If you child arrives between 8.55 am and 9.00 am he/she will be marked late If your child arrives after 9.00 am he/she will be marked as absent. If your child arrives between 1 pm and 1.15 pm he/she will be marked late If your child arrives after 1.15 pm he/she will be marked absent.
Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the school office, and sign the Late Book. If a pupil is late on two or more occasions a meeting will be arranged with a member of staff to discuss reasons/difficulties for lateness.
Does the School need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?
We expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of absence. If you do not phone us, we will phone you. However, we need a written explanation on your child’s return to school. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report.
What reasons will the school accept for absences?
Emergency dental/medical appointment that cannot be arranged out of school hours. Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays.
Day of religious observance
Close family bereavement
Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details. In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.
What is unacceptable?
The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters etc.
Will the school contact me if my child is absent?
The school operates a first day response to absences: we will phone you if we have not heard from you. This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance. If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality we will contact you to discuss the best way forward.
Can we take family holidays during term time?
Family holidays will not be authorised during term time except in limited and exceptional circumstances. Circumstances where a leave of absence will be considered include:
The parent is a member of the armed forces or emergency services and his or her leave is limited for operational reasons and cannot be taken in school holidays
When an exceptional family crisis occurs and a leave of absence is requested.
Requests for holidays for the following reasons will not be authorised:
cheaper cost of holiday
availability of the desired accommodation
poor weather experienced in school holiday periods
overlap with beginning or end of term
The school will refer cases of unauthorised absence of 8 sessions (4 days) or more within a 12 week period to the Education Welfare Officer. The local authority has the power to issue penalty notices and fines to parents when a pupil's absence has not been authorised by the school.
I am thinking about sending my child on an extended absence to visit relatives overseas. What should I do?
The school recognises that such absence can be important for children to keep in touch with their extended family. Contact the headteacher as soon as possible to discuss the best time for such a visit. Where possible, you should arrange the visit for the school holidays and the school will only consider applications for extended leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances. The school would strongly recommend that such absences do not take place during your child’s SATs years (Years 2 and 6). You need to complete an application form for extended leave of absence and if the headteacher then approves the visit, the school will set work for your child to complete while away.
What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?
Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education. Your child will bring home a homework/reading diary each evening. Please ensure you look at it with your child and sign it ready for the next day.
My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?
Contact your child’s class teacher and the headteacher immediately and openly discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem. In some cases, you may find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your child's difficulties with an Education Welfare Officer.
The school may also refer you to an Education Welfare Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise. The Education Welfare Service can be contacted on 01473 265364 and further information can be found on the Suffolk County Council website: http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/education-and-careers/pupil-welfare-and-support/school-attendance/