Promoting Good Attendance
As a whole school body we encourage good school attendance. We strongly believe that a positive attitude towards attendance is a key factor in ensuring individual progress, attainment and achievement. We expect all children on the register to attend every school day, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so.
We celebrate and reward children with good attendance in a variety of ways, from individual certificates and prizes through to whole class reward treats, where children may choose either a special visit out of school or arrange something in school such as bouncy castles or a visit from a magician or theatre group. These rewards are all funded by school. All children with 100% attendance will receive a prize at the end of the school year.
Working alongside Education Bradford, we will also make the best provision we can for those children who, for whatever reason are prevented from achieving good school attendance.
If children are unable to attend school for any reason, parents must ensure that school is informed of the reason and expected date of return, either by phone or by speaking to a member of school staff on the morning of the absence.
If no contact has been made by the child’s parent by 9.30am to explain the absence, a ‘First Response’ phone call will be made as a matter of safety, to ensure the child’s whereabouts is known.
The school opens at 8.50am each day, with the expectation of all children to be in class by 9.00am ready for registration, thought for the day, reading time, or the imparting of important information, before lessons begin. This ‘settling in’ time plays a vital part in ensuring children have the best possible start to their day.
Leave of Absence
Education Bradford guidance states that:-
‘Families do not have the right to take their children out of school for the purpose of family holidays or trips abroad.’
It is the policy of Wellington Primary School that the Headteacher is entitled to grant minimal leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.
For this reason, very rarely will the school be able to grant leave of absence for a holiday. Only for exceptional personal circumstances will leave be authorised.
Request for Leave of Absence
All requests for leave of absence from school must be made in advance. Seven days notice would be appreciated wherever possible, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. We strongly advise that leave of absence is not an assumed right, prior to being approved by the Head or the Head’s representative. A request form may be collected from the school office. Each request will be considered individually.
On receipt of each application a meeting will be arranged with either the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher, the Assistant Headteacher, the Head’s Personal Assistant or the School Attendance Officers, to allow the circumstances of each case to be looked at. After which, each request will receive a written response.
Guidance from Bradford Children’s Services ‘Holidays in Term Time Penalty Notice Procedures and Guidance August 2012’ states:-
Holidays which are taken for the following reasons should not be authorised:-
- availability of cheap holidays
- availability of accommodation
- poor weather experienced in school holidays
When deciding whether or not to authorise the absence, the following points may be considered:-
- reasons for the leave of absence
- present attendance record of the child including any leave of absence already taken during term time
- time of year for proposed date of leave of absence ( for example start of a new school year, proximity to assessment dates)
If leave is granted, a letter will be sent which will include the expected date of return and any action that may be taken if the pupil fails to return on the expected date.
Similarly if authorised leave is not granted the reasons for refusal will be clearly outlined. If leave is taken without approval, it will be classed as unauthorised.
Maintaining Good School Attendance
A large proportion of Wellington Primary School pupils regularly achieve 100% attendance each term. A very small minority would fall into what the Education Social Work Service would call the Persistent Absentee category, with less than 85% attendance.
Each pupil’s record of attendance within this category would be monitored carefully, looking for ways the school could help. Attendance Officers would work closely with parents and pupils to address the problem, along with Education Social Welfare Children’s services.
Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Holidays
In extreme cases of poor attendance Bradford Council reserves the right to issue a fixed penalty notice, which may incur a fine.