Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child receives full time education.
Parents therefore must ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time. Irregular attendance may have a serious impact on a child’s academic progress if it is allowed to continue.
Parents will be committing an offence if their child fails to attend their place of education regularly and punctually, and if the school has not given authorisation for the absences or late arrival. Parents are legally responsible for ensuring that their child has regular and punctual attendance and that this is maintained throughout the school year.
In partnership with parents, the Governors and Staff at Delves Lane Primary School are committed to maximising the full potential of every child. Consistent attendance and punctuality at school is crucial to providing each child with the best chance of success.
We expect that parents/carers will:
- ensure regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities;
- ensure that their child arrives punctually and prepared for the school day;
- ensure that they contact school daily or if known in advance, whenever their child is unable to attend school;
- discuss promptly with school, any issues or problems that may affect their child’s school attendance;
- notify school of any home circumstances that might affect the behaviour and learning of their child;
- notify school immediately of any changes to contact details; and
- ensure that wherever possible all medical or other appointments are made outside of school hours.
The school will:
- keep regular and accurate records of morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) attendance and punctuality, monitor individual children’s attendance and punctuality;
- contact parents when a child fails to attend and where no message has been received to explain the absence;
- follow up all unexplained absences to obtain explanations from parents. Although parents may offer a reason only the school can authorise the absence. In the case of a long term or frequent absence due to medical conditions, verifications from a GP or her relevant body may be requested;
- encourage good attendance and punctuality through a system of reward and recognition;
- regularly inform parents of the percentage (%) attendance of pupils;
- meet regularly with the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to monitor and support school attendance and punctuality; and
- notify EWO after 10 days unexplained absence. NB continued unexplained absence including unauthorised holidays in term time may result in further action eg Penalty Notice.
Registers, Punctuality and Lateness
Punctuality is crucial. Lateness into school causes disruption to that child’s learning and to that of the other pupils in the class. It is essential that all pupils arrive in school on time.
- By law, schools must take a morning and afternoon register and record the attendance or absence of every pupil.
- Registration takes place at 8.55 am and pupils who arrive after 9.00 am will be ecorded as late to school.
- Registers close at 9.15 am and after this lateness is recorded as an unauthorised absence and can be subject to prosecution by the Local Authority.
- Afternoon registration is taken at 1.00 pm.
- Pupils’ attendance and punctuality is recorded on their report and will be passed on to future school as necessary.
Pupils leaving during the School Day
During school hours the school staff are legally in ‘loco parentis’ and therefore must know where the pupils are during the school day.
- Pupils are not allowed to leave the premises without prior permission from the school.
- Wherever possible, parents should arrange medical and other appointments outside of school time.
- Parents are requested to confirm in writing, by letter or email, the reason for any planned absence, the time of leaving and the expected return time. In the case of a medical appointment, the appointment card or letter must be brought into the school office
- Pupils must be signed out on leaving school and be signed back in on their return.
- Parents must report to the school office first before a pupil is allowed to leave the school site.
- If a pupil leaves the school site without permission their parents will be contacted. Should the school be unable to make contact with the family it may be appropriate, in certain circumstances, to contact the Police and register the pupil as a missing person.
Leave of Absence
From September 2013 new Government regulations came into force which state that schools may not grant any leave of absence from school in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. NB family holidays are not exceptional circumstances. This means that all applications for leave of absence for the purposes of a holiday in term time will be refused unless parents can demonstrate and prove there are exceptional circumstances relating to the holiday request.
If you take your child out of school without permission this will be recorded as unauthorised absence (truancy) and noted on your child’s record. It may result in each parent being issued with a fixed penalty fine for each child taken out of school.
It is important if families decide to send their child to a different school that they inform Delves Lane Primary School as soon as possible.
A pupil will not be removed from the school roll until the following information has been received and investigated:
- If the date the pupil will be leaving the school and starting their next school;
- the address of the new school; and
- a new home address, if appropriate.
The pupil’s school records will then be sent to the new school. In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the EWO.
Revised July 2014
You can download the above information by clicking the links below. We have also added a guidance leaflet from Durham County Council.
Attendance Letter – September 2018
Attendance advice for parents – September 2014
DCC Holidays taken in term-time leaflet
Leave of Absence