Attendance and Punctuality
There is a very clear and demonstrable link between good attendance at school and good educational outcomes. Also, when a child is absent or late to school, this causes disruption to the rest of the class and causes your child to fall behind. In order to ensure that our pupils attend school every day, I am writing to you to let you know that we are working in partnership with Haringey Council, who will be issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to parents whose children are absent from school for unauthorised reasons.
It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children receive a full time education. This is stated in Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act:
“The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs he/she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”.
Regular attendance has been defined in law as meaning that a child must attend school every day. Unless your child cannot attend school due to an unavoidable cause or is too unwell to come to school, we expect your child to attend school every day, on time, on days when the school is open.
Schools can only authorise a pupil’s absence in exceptional circumstances, and being absent from school due to a family holiday will not be considered as an exceptional circumstance. We understand that family circumstances differ however, and we will consider every request for leave when the school is open on an individual basis. Please put your request in writing and address it to the Head Teacher for consideration. Further details are available from the School Office.
All head teachers must follow Department for Education guidance in relation to taking leave when schools are open, but it is the head teacher’s decision whether to accept any parental explanation for absence, and to mark an absence as authorised or unauthorised in registers. Please be aware that pupils arriving to school after the official close of registers will be marked as being ‘unauthorised absent’ unless there are legitimate reasons for your child’s late arrival.
Should your child be absent for unauthorised reasons, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by Haringey Council. This is a penalty of £120, payable for each of your children that have been absent from school for unauthorised reasons. The penalty is payable by each parent.
This means that both you and your partner will have to pay the penalty. If the penalty notice is paid within 21 days, there is a 50% discount, so the amount payable is £60 per penalty notice. Late or part payments are not accepted.
If your child has more than six unauthorised absences within a six-week period, you will receive a fine.
If your child is off school for any reason, we require evidence to support their absence.
Every day in school counts towards your child’s future, and I thank you in advance for supporting Risley Avenue Primary school in ensuring excellent school attendance.
If your child’s level of attendance is below 95% you will be asked to provide medical evidence for any further absences, without this evidence absences will be recorded as 'unauthorised'.
School starts at 8.55am, for year all year groups except for AM Nursery who start at 9.00am and PM Nursery who start at 12.15pm.
Parents of children, who are persistently late, average once a week, will be asked to attend a meeting with the Education Welfare Officer.
- School register closes at 9.30am children are classified as an 'unauthorised' unless evidence is provided for the school to authorise the lateness.
- Being late for school makes it hard for your child to learn. If they are 30 minutes late each day, they miss half a day of learning a week.
- Being late means missing out on important learning, children don’t have sufficient time to settle into class, it can be embarrassing for them and they disrupt the rest of the class.
It is very important that children attend school regularly to achieve continuity in the learning process. However, we realise there are occasions when your child may need to be absent.
There is a need to keep the school informed about your child’s absence and a decision is made whether the absence is ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’ according to the legislation and guidance set by the DCSF.
- All absences must be authorised by the Head. Any unjustified or unexplained absences will be recorded as unauthorised in the register.
- The head teacher will send a letter of enquiry regarding an absence if there does not seem to have been a message received by telephone or letter.
- The school should be notified of any infectious or contagious illness and the child should not return to school until the doctor has given consent for him/her to do so. Any absence should be explained either by telephone or a short note to the teacher on the child’s return. It is helpful to be notified of an absence likely to last more than two days at the at the beginning of the illness.
- Registers are checked regularly by the Education Welfare Offices.
- Family holidays are not permitted during term times and planned absences must be applied for in writing to the school welfare office.