It is important for your child to attend school as often as possible to ensure they receive the best possible education. Government studies have shown that children who are absent from school do not make as much progress as children who have good attendance. This can have an impact on the qualifications they achieve at the end of Secondary school and their future life chances.
The Local Authority set attendance targets for us to identify and support children who need help to improve their attendance. Our current target is 96% which can only be achieved if children attend at least 183 out of 190 days over a full school year.
The Education Act 1996 states that all children of compulsory school age must receive a full time education. As a parent you are legally responsible for ensuring your child attends school regularly. If your child does not attend school regularly you may be issued with an education penalty notice.
The biggest cause of pupil absence is general illness. Some illnesses such as sickness and diarrhoea, mean your child will have unavoidable time off school. However, it is ok for your child to attend school whilst suffering from minor illnesses such as coughs or colds. If in doubt, bring your child into school. Children often appear better once taking part in a daily routine. We will contact you if we feel your child is too unwell to stay for the full day.
If you need to keep your child at home due to illness please contact school to inform them of this for safeguarding reasons. It is important that we know that you are aware your child is not in school.
Wherever possible, medical appointments should be arranged for times when children are not at school. If this is not possible, please bring your child to school before and after the appointment so that the minimal disruption is caused to their learning. If you have some evidence of the appointment, such as a letter, appointment card or prescription, the school office staff will be able to change the absence mark to show your child attended a medical appointment.
Did you know there are 175 days a year when your child is not at school? We have changed our school holiday pattern to enable you to take advantage of discounted holiday rates during June half term, so this is a great time to get away.
If you choose to take your child out of school during term time, the absence is highly unlikely to be authorised and you may be issued a fine. The money from this fine goes to the Local Authority and is used to help improve attendance in Doncaster schools.
Some people attempt to avoid paying this fine by pretending their child/children are ill during the holiday period. It causes children great distress to maintain this lie on your behalf whilst they are in school – they are excited about their holiday and likely to tell children and staff about it. If you choose to take a holiday during term time please be honest about it and consider the fine as part of the overall cost of the holiday.
Your child does not legally have to be at school until the term after their 5th birthday. However, when you choose to accept a place in a Nursery or Reception class it is important that you start to put into place the routines which will last throughout their time at school. This includes being on time every day and attending as regularly as possible. If your child is too ill to attend school please contact the school office to let them know. Try to avoid keeping your child at home with minor illnesses as they quickly learn what type of illnesses result in a day off school.
Some children regularly arrive at school a few minutes late each morning and whilst this does not seem like it will impact on their learning, it can often lead to the child feeling anxious or uncomfortable at the start of the school day.
Lessons begin soon after registration so children who arrive 10 or 15 minutes after the bell are going to miss out on key learning time (often guided reading, handwriting or mental maths). If your child is very late this is marked on the register as U which counts as an absence.
If you have any questions about attendance, or need some support to ensure your child can attend school regularly, please contact school and ask to speak to Miss Rees.