By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 18) must attend a suitable full-time education. Children are expected to attend school for the full 190 days of the academic year, unless there is a good reason for absence.
Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly. At Saint Joseph’s we believe in working in partnership with families to develop a responsible attitude to school attendance.
A child should go to school regularly because:
- A good education will help give him/her the best possible start in life
- Absence from school may mean falling behind with school work
- It develops an understanding of the importance of having a good attendance record. Children quickly pick up the message that their presence is important which will hold them in good stead when they enter the world of employment.
- Employers want to be sure that people they recruit are reliable.
If a child is absent, parents/carers should telephone the school on the morning of the first day of the absence to give a reason. If the school telephone line is busy, a message should be left on the answering machine selecting option 1. The school will then decide whether to authorise the absence.
There are two types of absence:
· Authorised – where the school approves pupil absence
· Unauthorised – where the school will not approve absence
If parents/carers fail to inform the school on the first day of absence, then the school will contact the home by a phone call or text, following this with a letter after any period of unexplained absence. The school attendance officer meets regularly with the headteacher to monitor attendance and punctuality. Parents/carers may receive a letter outlining the school’s concern over either attendance or punctuality accompanied by a summary attendance/punctuality report. Parents should aim to ensure that their child has an attendance of at least 96%.
Parents/carers who are worried about their child’s absences should talk to the headteacher.
Planned absences from school (unless for a medical reason) are not permitted. Any parent/carer who wants to discuss particular family circumstances must arrange an appointment with the headteacher.
Unauthorised absences before or after term time holidays are not permitted. This means absence in the days leading up to or after Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays, as well as any half term breaks. Leave will not be authorised for travelling abroad at these times. Parents are reminded that children must be at school throughout term time and should book any holidays outside of term time. The school reserves the right to report to the Local Authority those who repeatedly take their child out of school during term time for holidays. Fines may be issued.