The Importance of Good Attendance and Punctuality
The importance of good attendance and punctuality cannot be overemphasised. Family life is very important, but education is vital to ensure children have the chance to achieve their potential in life, for their future. Children only get one education; every day missed by choice, is missed knowing there is a potential impact on their education and future. King Edward Primary School celebrates and rewards good attendance through class and individual awards.
Parents/carers should also ensure that their children arrive on time each day. Children arriving late to school can miss important instructions and they disrupt the work of the teacher and other pupils in the class. Children who are persistently late will be reported to Mrs Berni Miller (Care, Guidance and Support Leader).
If your child is absent through illness or for any other reason, parents/carers will have to report the absence before 9.30am by leaving a message on the absence phone line (0191 2006337). Any absences not accounted for in this way must be identified as an unauthorised absence on your child’s record.
If your child is absent due to sickness and diarrhoea, please keep them off school for 48 hours from the time of their last episode. This is to prevent the spread of illness among other children and is in line with NHS guidelines. If you are unsure if it is suitable for your child to be in school during or after an infectious illness (e.g. chicken pox, slapped cheek), please call the school office (0191 2006337) who will be able to offer advice.
Holidays During the School Term
There has been a significant increase in holidays absences during term time by our families; a trend seen in a number of schools. Whilst we know holiday companies charge more for holidays taken outside of term time, we have to ensure children attend school. We have therefore reflected on our policy and have made what we feel are some measured changes.
From September 2019, we will adopt the following policy:
- We will not authorise any holiday absence during September, April, May or the Y1 phonics assessment week in June if a child is in Y1
- We will not authorise holiday absence for any child whose attendance is below 96% at any time of year
- We will not authorise holiday absence for more than five days in an academic year, even if your child’s attendance is above 96%
- We will consider authorising brief time away from school to undertake a specific event e.g. attend a highly skilled gymnastics competition or to take a one-hour music exam
Our school is unique in the decision, to consider authorising any holiday absence at all. It is a policy we will continue to review. Where a holiday absence is classed as unauthorised by school for any of the reasons listed above, parents will receive a penalty notice (fine) issued by the Local Authority. School will report any unauthorised absences to the Local Authority who now coordinate and manage fining families on behalf of all North Tyneside Schools.
The penalty notice is a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if the notice is paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period the Local Authority may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies. Each parent may be issued with a penalty notice for their child. Where there is more than one child in school, each parent will be issued with a penalty notice for each child.
We will always hope that parents/carers will be an open and honest role model to our children and report absences to us appropriately. However, if we believe a child has been on holiday or has been absent without due cause, then we will not authorise the absence and will follow the process of reporting unauthorised absences to the Local Authority as explained above. The duty and responsibility will then fall to parents/carers to provide medical or other evidence, to show that the child has not been away on holiday or has been genuinely unwell.