*The information below applies to children who are compulsory school age. Children are compulsory school age the term after they have turned 5 years old. However, please still notify us if your child is going to be absent and please endeavour to be punctual for school to avoid disruption for the other children.
Regular school attendance is vital to raising standards in education and to improving the life chances of all children. Regular attendance at school enables children to gain maximum benefit from the range of educational and wider opportunities available to them so that they achieve their full potential. Regular attendance also supports your child to develop their communication skills and social skills with both adults and children.
We carefully monitor the attendance of all of the children and we use a percentage to express their attendance. 90% in a test may be viewed as good. However, in terms of attendance this is not good attendance. At West Kirby Primary School we are aiming for 97% attendance at all times. Good attendance for a child is 97% or more.
We are required, by law, to record the attendance of every child on roll and to show who is absent or late. Figures for attendance and for authorised absence and unauthorised absence have to be sent to Wirral Borough Council (Local Authority) and the Department for Education (UK Government).
It is really important for your child to attend school regularly. However, we understand that children do become unwell and there are times when home is the best place for your child so that they can fully recover. If your child cannot attend school, please contact the school office as soon as possible on the first day of their absence. This can be through a telephone call (0151 625 5561) or our school office email address email@example.com
We can then ensure that all of our children are safe and that we know where they are. If we do not know the reasons why they are absent we are obliged to record the absence as unauthorised. If we do not hear from you, our office staff will call you to ask you where your child is as part of our Safeguarding procedures.
Punctuality : It is very important that your child arrives to school on time everyday. The school gates to the playground open at 8:30am, the whistle will be blown at 8:40am by a member of staff and the children can make their way into school. Lessons in all classes start at 8:45am. The school gates will be locked at 8:50am as classes start to use the playground for the first lesson.
If there is a reason why your child will be late for school please contact the school as soon as possible. If your child arrives late then they will need to enter through the main office and a reason for lateness will need to be recorded. If the registers have closed a late mark will be recorded.
It is very important to get children into good routines and therefore develop good habits for life. Being punctual is very important and helps the day to get off to a good start. The first 10 minutes of the day are really important and are spent meeting and greeting the children, catching up with any issues/questions from the day before, talking through the daily timetable and beginning the morning challenge. If children consistently miss this part of the day, it can be very unsettling for the children. Please support your child to be punctual for school every day as over time lost minutes make up lost learning time.
Lateness = Lost Learning
5 minutes late each day = 3 days lost over the year
10 minutes late each day = 6.5 days lost over the year
15 minutes late each day = 10 days lost over the year
20 minutes late each day = 13 days lost over the year
Leave of Absence in Term Time : As of 1st September 2013, there is no entitlement for Parents/Carers to withdraw their child for authorised eave of absence in term time. Headteachers can only grant leave of absence during term time if there are exceptional circumstances surrounding the request and parents have made an application in advance. If the Headteacher is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of leave of absence, the Headteacher will then determine the number of school days a child can be away from school.
The principles for defining exceptional rare, significant, unavoidable and short, with unavoidable meaning an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.
Taking leave of absence in term time DOES AFFECT a child's educational progress and parents & carers are strongly discouraged from withdrawing their child from school during term time. .
In each School Year (September - July) there are only a maximum of 190 statutory school days. This allows plenty of time for holidays to be arranged outside term time. Holidays taken during term time that do not meet exceptional circumstances will be categorised as an unauthorised absence.
Education Penalty Notices: The Local Authority issues Education Penalty Notices (EPN) by post. Payment of an Education Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid after this time, but within 28 days. Education Penalty notices are issued separately to each parent in respect of each child. A possible exception to this would be where parents are separated and one parent has taken a child on unauthorised leave of absence without the knowledge/consent of the other parent.
Each case is considered on an individual basis, but the circumstances in which a Penalty Notice for non-attendance may be issued by the local Authority include;
- unauthorised absence from school
- unauthorised leave of absence during term time
- unwarranted delayed return from authorised leave of absence e.g. in excess of the agreed number of day
- Persistent late arrival at school after the register closes
Non-payment of an Education penalty Notice will result in the withdrawal of the Notice and would normally trigger prosecution proceedings at Magistrates Court under section 444 education Act 1996. There is no right of appeal by Parents/Carers against an Education Penalty Notice.
Persistent Absenteeism (PA) : Children are classed as Persistently Absent if they miss 10% or more of school due to authorised and/or unauthorised absence . Therefore, an attendance of 90% or lower at any point is a concern. This equates to missing at least 19 days of their schooling across the full school year. Absence at this level is of significant concern. West Kirby Primary School has monitoring systems in place to identify children who are at risk of falling into this category and will involve Parents/Carers in formulating specific plans to prevent deterioration and to build back attendance levels.
This may include;
- Phone calls home to discuss attendance to see if we can offer any further support
- Involvement with the Local Attendance Officer
- Attendance Panel Meetings
- Individual attendance plan for your child with regular meetings
We will work to remove barriers to attendance wherever possible, but the legal responsibility for ensuing good attendance lies with the Parents/Carer.
Celebrating Good Attendance : It is important that schools recognise and celebrate good and improved attendance. At West Kirby Primary School this is done in the following ways;
- Attendance has a high profile in whole school assemblies each week
- Best class attendance is rewarded with Attendance Ted, who stays with the class for the week
- Year group attendance figures are celebrated in letters home.
- Yearly certificates are given to pupils who have 100% attendance.
- Termly attendance is monitored and celebrated.
- Improved attendance is acknowledged.
Support your child to have good attendance
- Establish a good routine in the mornings and evenings so your child is prepared for the school day ahead.
- Talk with your child about the importance of good attendance
- Reassure your child that if they do start to feel poorly in school and deteriorate in school, we will call home.
- Ensure your child arrives at school on time every day.
- Arrange dental and medical appointments outside school hours when possible.
- Inform the school if your child is absent due to illness- you must do this every day that your child is absent - not just on day 1.
- Take family holidays outside of term time.
- Discuss any problems or difficulties with the school – staff are there to help and will be supportive.
- Be fully aware of school term time dates and be aware of differences between other schools if you have children at other schools. Term Dates and inset Days do vary between schools, including other Wirral schools.
Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to support you in getting your child to school everyday.
Thank you for your continued support.