Why is Attendance Important?
Market Deeping Community Primary School is a successful school, and both you and your child play a vital role in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to reach out and achieve excellence.
There is a very strong link between regular school attendance and achievement and if your child is frequently absent from school they will not achieve their potential.
For your child to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly. They should be at school – on time – every day that the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
We would ask all parents to try to make any medical or dental appointments outside of school time wherever possible.
The Facts About Attendance
90% attendance equates to your child missing half a day each week of the school year.
From September 2015 the Government is moving the Persistent Absentee threshold from 85% to 90%. This means that if your child’s absence falls below 90% in any one term the school will be obliged to inform the Education Welfare Service.
80% attendance equates to your child missing a day each week of the school year.
The Importance of Arriving at School On Time
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child arrives late, they not only miss important work and instruction from the teacher, but they disrupt the lesson for other pupils. This can be very embarrassing for your child.
The school day starts at 9am, but children are allowed into their classroom from 8.50am so that they are ready to start work at 9am sharp. Gates will be closed at 9:05am, so any child arriving after that will have to enter school by the front entrance. Registers are marked by 9:10am. If your child is not in by that time they will be marked as “unauthorised absence” for the whole of the morning session.
If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the staff to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.
If your Child is Absent
Your child’s safety is very important to us.
If your child is ill, please call 01778 343654 as soon as you know they will not be in school. There is a 24-hour answerphone for you to leave a message.
If we have not heard from you before registers have closed to explain why your child is not in school we will call you shortly afterwards. If we are unable to get hold of you on any of the contact numbers you give us we will request a “Safe and Well” check to your home by Lincolnshire Police.
Please help us to avoid unnecessary additional work by keeping us informed of your child’s whereabouts.
If your Child’s Absence becomes a Concern
We monitor every child’s attendance throughout the school year. Every half term we analyse each child’s attendance. We will write to you if your child’s absence is below 90% as they will then be considered to be a Persistent Absentee.
If the following term the attendance has not improved you will be invited to meet with the Headteacher to explore the reasons for absence and to discuss how we can support you and your child in improving their attendance.
Your Parental Responsibility
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is the legal responsibility of both parents, and permitting absence from school without good reason creates an offence in law. This may result in a referral to the Educational Welfare Service and possible prosecution.
If you are experiencing problems in getting your child into school, please do come and talk to us.
The Education Welfare Service
Education Welfare is a specialist support service within Lincolnshire County Council’s Children’s Services Department. They are experienced in helping children, young people and their families where there are matters of educational concern.
The Education Welfare Officer will try to support you and your child and resolve the situation by agreement. If other ways of trying to improve your child’s attendance fails and unauthorised absences persist, Education Welfare can use sanctions such as Penalty Notices (fines) or prosecutions in the Magistrates Court.
Full details of the options open to enforce attendance at school are available from the school or Lincolnshire County Council.
Holiday in Term Time
Taking holidays in term time is not allowed and will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence. We expect parents to help us by not taking their children away in school time.
The Headteacher can only grant leave in term time in “exceptional circumstances”. All applications for leave must be made in advance by letter requesting a meeting with the Heateacher to discuss the reason for the request. All applications will be at the discretion of the Headteacher and will be considered individually. You will be notified of the Headteacher’s decision in writing.
If a request for absence is not authorised, then you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) by the Local Authority.
Please see our full Attendance Policy for further details.