We are so impressed at the high levels of attendance since we resumed fully after the national lockdown. We are very much looking forward to the summer term to have a full term to cover as much ground as possible. We thought it would be a good moment, after the disruption in schooling over the past year, to remind parents that we do not expect to agree requests by parents to take their child on holiday during term time. The Department for Education makes clear that Headteachers should only authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and that leave is unlikely to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
We understand your child’s attendance may have been negatively impacted by Covid-19 or by concerns about returning to school following the lockdown period.
Our school takes a balanced approach when dealing with attendance and is mindful of the impact that COVID-19 may have had on both the pupil and the wider family. We offer a supportive and nurturing approach to children and families who are finding it difficult to return to school and work closely with the Local Authority to secure regular school attendance for all pupils in line with statutory requirements.
The links below provide information on managing and reducing anxiety and there are other links to several websites which have different tools and resources. Note the link to Suffolk Wellbeing to which you can self-refer (your GP may have already advised you of the Suffolk Wellbeing Service).
The Psychology and Therapeutic Service also has a wide range of resources available to schools and to families to support the return to school, as follows:
At Abbots Green we have high expectations of both our staff and pupils with regards to punctuality and attendance. We will work with parents to support their child’s attendance at school to ensure that they receive all the educational opportunities available to them. Please take time to read the brief guide below – full details are available in our Attendance Policy on the Policies page.
- Parents are legally required to ensure that their child attends school full time when they reach compulsory school age. A child reaches compulsory school age on the prescribed day following his or her 5th birthday (or on his/her 5th birthday if it falls on a prescribed day.) The prescribed days corresponds to school terms. They are 31st December, 31st March and 31st August. This means that a child who turns 5 in the Autumn Term must attend school full time from the following January and a child who turns 5 in the Spring Term must attend school full time in April.
- The register is taken twice a day. Please note that each school day has 2 sessions – a morning session and an afternoon session. Your child’s attendance record is updated twice a day.
- Please make sure that your child arrives on time ready for school each day at:
Reception – 8.30am
Year 1 – 8.45am
Year 2 – 8.40am
Year 3 – 8.45am
Year 4 – 8.40am
Year 5 – 8.30am
Year 6 – 8.30am
If your child arrives their allocated time please attend the school office to sign your child into school – this ensures that we have a record that your child is in school in the event of an emergency evacuation and ensures that their lunch requirements are noted. Children in Year 5 & 6 must sign themselves into school at the school office if their parent is not present on school site. The parent will then receive a text notifying them that their child arrived late at school.
- If you know your child is not going to arrive on time please telephone the school to advise of the reason for their lateness.
- If your child arrives after 9.05am they will be recorded as having an ‘unauthorised absence’ for the entire morning session unless the school is satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances for the lateness and decide to authorise the session - phoning ahead to explain any difficulties you are experiencing may support this along with any evidence of lateness such as a medical letter or appointment card.
- If your child is unwell please contact our absence line on 01284 718818 on every day of their absence or notify the school of your child's absence by using the ParentMail App.
- Please schedule any medical appointments for your child outside of the school day wherever possible. If you are unable to do this the school will require written evidence of the medical appointment from the doctor/dentist/hospital (e.g. an appointment card or letter) before the absence can be authorised.
We will contact you if:
- Your child is regularly late for school;
- Your child’s overall absence level (authorised & unauthorised) has dropped recently, is continuing to fall and is causing concern;*
- If we have any other concerns with regards to your child’s attendance or punctuality.
*If a child’s attendance rate continues to fall following our initial contact we may write to you to advise that we are unable to authorise any further absences without medical evidence being provided to the school. The Education Welfare Service may also be notified.
- All holidays should be taken when the school is closed.
- If there is a circumstance where your child needs to be absent during term time please complete a ‘Leave of Absence’ form available from the school office, or at the bottom of this page. Wherever possible, this form must be completed and submitted to the school well in advance of the intended absence. (We would request this is submitted at least two full school weeks in advance of the proposed absence.) On receipt of the completed form we will write to you as soon as possible to advise whether the absence would be treated as authorised or unauthorised. Please note that we are only able to authorise absences in term time if the school accepts that there are exceptional circumstances for the absence.
- If your child has 8 sessions (4 days) unauthorised absence from school the school is required to make a referral to the Local Authority. This will result in a Penalty Notice being issued to the parents and a fine being payable.
If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance at school please contact the school immediately to discuss your concerns to enable the school to offer any support that they can