At Roding Primary School, we want to ensure that we work with you, so your child regularly attends school and gets the most out of their education. Research shows that there is a strong correlation between poor attendance and poor progress at school. Ultimately, this impacts on work/life opportunities and overall educational success. As a result, the government’s aim is for all children to attend school at least 96% of the time in order to get the most out of their education.
We must inform you that, under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, it is the responsibility of the parent(s)/carer(s) to ensure that their child(ren) attend school regularly and punctually. Failure to do this may result in the Local Education Authority commencing legal proceedings against the parent(s)/carer(s). This is something we wish to avoid, so the school will work to support you.
Attendance and punctuality records are checked regularly by the school’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO), who will be asked to visit families where levels of punctuality or attendance are unacceptable. Court orders and fines are now imposed on parents/carers whose children are regularly late or absent.
Leave of absence
The Department for Education (2013) and Redbridge Local Authority state that leave of absence requests for holidays should not be granted. The school will only grant leave in term time in the most exceptional circumstances for which evidence will be requested. Time off for holidays will not be granted in term-time. Requests for leave during term time must be applied for in advance. You can obtain a Leave of Absence form from the school reception.
Leave taken without the permission of the Head Teacher will be recorded as unauthorised, and you may be liable to a Penalty Notice fine of £120 per parent, per child. The fines will be issued by Redbridge Education Welfare Service.
Section 1: The importance of school attendance
Improving attendance is everyone’s business.
The barriers to accessing education are wide and complex, both within and beyond the school gates, and are often specific to individual pupils and families. The foundation of securing good attendance is that school is a calm, orderly, safe, and supportive environment where all pupils want to be and are keen and ready to learn.
Some pupils find it harder than others to attend school and therefore, at all stages of improving attendance, schools and partners should work with pupils and parents to remove any barriers to attendance by building strong and trusting relationships and working together to put the right support in place. Securing good attendance cannot therefore be seen in isolation, and effective practices for improvement will involve close interaction with schools’ efforts on curriculum, behaviour, bullying, special educational needs support, pastoral and mental health and wellbeing, and effective use of resources, including pupil premium. It cannot solely be the preserve of a single member of staff, or organisation, it must be a concerted effort across all teaching and nonteaching staff in school, the trust or governing body, the local authority, and other local partners. The law on school attendance and the right to a full-time education
The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education either by attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school.
Where parents decide to have their child registered at school, they have an additional legal duty to ensure their child attends that school regularly. This means their child must attend every day that the school is open, except in a small number of allowable circumstances such as being too ill to attend or being given permission for an absence in advance from the school.
This is essential for pupils to get the most out of their school experience, including their attainment, wellbeing, and wider life opportunities. The pupils with the highest attainment at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 4 have higher rates of attendance over the key stage compared to those with the lowest attainment. At KS2, pupils not meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and maths had an overall absence rate of 4.7%, compared to 3.5% amongst those meeting the expected standard. Moreover, the overall absence rate of pupils not meeting the expected standard was higher than amongst those meeting the higher standard (4.7% compared to 2.7%). At KS4, pupils not achieving grades 9 to 4 in English and maths had an overall absence rate of 8.8%, compared to 5.2% amongst those achieving grade 41. The overall absence rate of pupils not achieving grade 9 to 4 was over twice as high as those achieving grade 9 to 5 (8.8% compared to 3.7%).
For the most vulnerable pupils, regular attendance is also an important protective factor and the best opportunity for needs to be identified and support provided. Research has shown associations between regular absence from school and a number of extra-familial harms. This includes crime (90% of young offenders had been persistently absent) and serious violence (83% of knife possession offenders had been persistently absent in at least 1 of the 5 years of study).