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Attendance Information for Parents

It is essential that children and young people form good habits of regular attendance at school from an early age and that good attendance is maintained throughout their school career. St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary are committed to working with parents and families to ensure that there is a consistent approach to school attendance. It is a legal requirement that all children should attend their educational provision and it is the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that their children attend school.

St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary will do the following:

• St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary will monitor the attendance of our pupils and work closely with Dorset County Council’s School Attendance Service to support children and young people whose attendance levels are causing concern.

• We monitor any attendance below 95%.

• If St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary are concerned about a child’s attendance we will write to the parent/carer to explain our concerns. The school will then monitor the child’s attendance expecting to see an improvement. The Dorset County Council (DCC) School Attendance Service will be made aware of the school’s concerns. If no improvement is made, the family will be invited to attend an Attendance Panel with a representative from the Local Authority present.

• Whilst we understand that children do become ill on occasions, children who lose a lot of time at school can suffer in the long term from significant gaps in their learning. If a child’s health continues to affect their education, schools are obliged to make a referral to School Health to ensure that appropriate medical advice and support is provided.

• If a child is ill it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure that they inform the school each day of illness before 8.30am. St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary operates a system, which means we will contact you to ask why your child is not in school and when they are expected to return, if we have not heard from you.

• If your child is not in school, you are required to report your child absent before 8.30am. If you do not do this the school will be in contact with you to enquire as to where your child is and why they are not in school.

No leave of absence will be granted during term time, except in exceptional circumstances. Should you wish to take your child out of school for any leave of absence, holidays or otherwise, requests will not be routinely granted. It is essential that any requests for leave of absence are discussed with the Head Teacher prior to the request being made, and that forms are completed to request the absence.

Any absence which has not been authorised by your child’s school will be recorded as “unauthorised” and this has the potential to impact on your child’s overall absence figure and could result in legal action. Please note that unauthorised absence of 10 or more sessions (5 days) will be liable to a Fixed Penalty Notice, in line with the Supreme Court Ruling.

Finally, it is important that pupils are in school on time. Time keeping is not only important in obtaining maximum benefit from education it is also a key skill for adult life. Lateness is monitored by the school and contributes to absence rates.

St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary is committed to ensuring that every learner has the opportunity to thrive and achieve, and recognises that good attendance is central to this.

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