At Woodthorpe we are committed to ensuring that each of our children gets the best possible start to life. One way that we can do this is through ensuring regular school attendance. For our children to achieve their full potential we encourage parents and children to understand that ‘every day counts‘. We want all of our children to have excellent attendance and to arrive at school on time. As a school we strive to achieve a goal of at least 96% attendance.
There are 190 school days in a year (52%). This leaves 175 days (48%) non-school days to spend with family, to take holidays, enjoys trips and visits and to attend appointments.
We monitor and report attendance and award a certificate to the class with the highest attendance rate each week. We also award certificates for personal attendance achievements at the end of each term.
95% to 100% – best chance of success
91% to 94% – cause for concern, less chance of success
85% to 90% – serious cause for concern, persistent absence, unlikely to fulfill academic potential
If your child will not be attending school please inform the school office by telephone on 01246 472584 by 9:15am on the first morning of absence. Alternatively, you can report an absence in person directly to the office staff in school.
If no contact is made to school via telephone or at the school office to report an absence, you will be contacted by phone. If no contact is made, a home visit may be carried out in order to obtain a reason for absence. You may be asked to provide evidence for the absence.
Please note that if your child’s attendance is below 92% you may be contacted by the school office even if you have informed school about your child’s absence. Where attendance has been highlighted as a concern, a home visit may be carried out.
An authorised absence is when your child has been given permission to be absent from school. Regular reasons for authorised absence are illness, medical and dental appointments, exceptional circumstances and exceptional leave. Authorised absence is at the Headteacher’s discretion and you may be required to provide school with evidence of the absence:
- Appointment letter or card
- Letter from a GP/Doctor
- Medication or a prescription with correct name and dates
Routine medical and dental appointments should be booked at the end of the day and during school holidays where possible. We know that sometimes you cannot choose hospital appointment times, so please ensure that your child attends school before or after the appointment has taken place if this is possible. Evidence should be provided for all scheduled appointments.
An unauthorised absence is when no explanation for absence has been given to school, or if the reason provided does not meet guidelines set out by the Department for Education. Regular unauthorised absences can lead to a referral to the Derbyshire County Council School Attendance Service, and the involvement of an Education Welfare Officer (EWO).
The Department for Education states that no child is expected to be absent from school on holiday during term time. We expect that parents will take their child on holiday during the various school holidays throughout the year. There are 175 days each year when a child is on holiday from school.
If your child needs to leave the area, or country and will miss school due to exceptional circumstances during term time, you must inform the school office and complete a Leave of Absence form.
If you take your child out of school without permission, the following could happen:
- You could be referred to Derbyshire County Council School Attendance Service and may be issued with a fine on your return.
- Your child could lose their school place
If your child is granted exceptional leave, you must ensure that your child returns to school on the agreed return date. If they do not, we will have no alternative but to register your child as ‘a child missing education’. This could put your child at risk of losing their place in school.
Not only is it important to attend school every day, it is equally important to ensure that your child arrives at school on time. The school day starts at 8:55am. Children can enter classrooms from 8:45am. Children arriving after 9:00am must enter school via the main entrance, so that the Office Staff can let them into school. Children arriving after 9:00am will be marked as late in the attendance register. Children arriving after 9:15am will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session.
When children arrive late it means they are missing learning time and most probably their early morning activity. We begin our school day with Phonics in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) in Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. This is essential learning to support you child’s reading, writing and communication skills.
If your child is 5 minutes late every day for a year this will add up to over 3 days of lost learning. If your child is 15 minutes late every day for a year this will add up to 2 weeks of lost learning. The school monitors children’s punctuality on a daily basis. If your child is persistently late you will be invited to a meeting to discuss this.