At St Mary’s School we aim to achieve and maintain high standards in attendance and punctuality. The overall weekly attendance of pupils is consistently over 95%. The school aims for attendance to be 100% each year.
Any absence during term time can seriously disrupt a pupil’s continuity of learning. Not only do they miss out on the teaching provided on the day of absence, they are also less prepared for the lessons that take place when they return. Prolonged or persistent absence from school means that pupils do not make sufficient progress and ultimately do not reach their full potential.
At St Mary’s all pupils are expected to attend school for the full 190 days of the academic year unless they are unwell or there is an exceptional reason for absence which has been authorised by the Headteacher. Only by being present at school each day can pupils fully benefit from the broad range of educational experiences provided. Parents and school staff work together in partnership to ensure that every pupil has access to a full time education by attending school each day.
Emergency contact information from parents
Each September we request that parents complete an emergency contact form which allows us to contact parents if we have a concern or there is an emergency regarding their child. This could be because of illness, injury or non attendance or collection from school.
We ask for at least two telephone numbers for both mother and father, if applicable, and for the telephone number of an emergency contact we could go to if we are unable to reach the parents. This could be another relative (over 18) or a family friend or a childminder. We regularly ask parents to contact the school office if they need to tell us of any changes to this information.
Concerns about pupil absence
Where a child is deemed vulnerable and there has been no engagement from the parent /carer regarding the child’s absence the school should consider visiting the parent and child at home. If contact is still not made, the school should inform the social worker or family support worker supporting the family (if in place) or should consider requesting a police welfare check, informing the police of their concerns and asking them to raise questions about school attendance.
What is the responsibility of parents?
- Parents should support the school in its aim to improve attendance and punctuality
- Ensure that their child attends school every day
- Ensure that their child arrives on time for school every day
- If absence is unexpected, parents should contact the school before ten o’clock to report that their child is unwell and will not be attending
- Parents should contact the school on a daily basis to explain why their child cannot attend
- In some cases further evidence of a child’s illness, such as a doctor’s note may be requested
- Parents are asked to make all appointments, including medical and dental appointments, outside of the school day where possible.
- We ask that parents do not allow their children to have time off school unless it is an exceptional circumstance and has been requested in advance and authorised by the Headteacher.
- If parents have any concerns regarding their child’s absence we ask that they speak to the child’s teacher, the Inclusion Manager or the Headteacher.