For our children to achieve the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that they attend school every day and on time. Good levels of regular daily attendance is essential to successful education. Any absence will affect your child’s education and become a barrier to their learning as well as the disrupting routines of their class and that of their peers.
Ensuring your child’s attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law which could lead to prosecution in the form of a Penalty Notice or a criminal record.
Mrs Karen Gardner, our Attendance Officer, works with children and their families to ensure that school attendance levels are good. If pupils are not in school they cannot learn – persistent and unexplained absence will result in a direct communication with home in line with our Absence Response document (linked at the top of this page).
In light of recent legislation, Bayside Academy as a rule is unable to support family holidays in school time. In exceptional circumstances, the Academy may be able to grant permission. All holiday or exceptional absence must be put in writing using the relevant form which is available from the school office or can be emailed to parents on request.
In the event of accident, injury or illness while the child is at school, the appropriate procedures will be followed and the parent/carer informed. The parent/carer may be requested to collect the child from the Academy in these circumstances. In the event of a serious accident or injury sustained by the child outside of school time, to ensure their safety, we may require that the parent/carer keep the child at home for a reasonable period before returning to school. If appropriate, a risk assessment will be completed and signed by both the school and the parent/carer.
The Role of the Local Authority
Attendance at school is a legal requirement and as a parent/carer it is your duty to ensure regular attendance at school for your child/ren. As an Academy, we work hard to support parent(s)/carer(s) but have a duty to report matters of poor school attendance to the Local Authority (School Attendance and Inclusion services) at regular intervals or where serious concerns exist as a result of persistent absence rates.
- Carry out regular attendance audits in school on a four weekly cycle.
- Notify parent(s)/carer(s) of attendance rates that are below 96%.
- Meet with pupils and parents in school (or at home where required) to discuss any attendance concerns.
- Work closely with families to understand how best to support.
- Work with other agencies and services to offer families a package of support which meets their needs.
- Implement a range of legal interventions when necessary.
Attendance at school is a legal requirement and as a parent/carer it is your duty to ensure regular attendance at school for your child/ren. As an Academy we work hard to support parents/carers but have a duty to report matters of poor school attendance to the Local Authority Education Social Worker at regular intervals.
A Penalty Notice following consistent rates of poor attendance involves a fine of £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days. This will rise to £120 per parent, per child if paid within 28 days. Should a parent/carer fail to pay the full amount of the fine within the specific time, he/she will be liable to prosecution in a Magistrates’ Court. If convicted, a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a sentence of up to three months in prison may be imposed under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act for failure to ensure regular school attendance.
Getting to school on time
8:30 am – The gate opens, classrooms open and learning commences.
8:45 am – Pupils are required to come into school through the front entrance to be marked as present.
8:55 am – The gate closes
Children will receive a late mark when the child arrives at school between 8.45am and 9.15am. Any lateness after 9.15am is marked as late after registration is closed, which is an unauthorised absence.
All parents must notify the school of their child’s absence before 9am by calling 01202 685459 (Option 1 – Absence Line) or through sending an email to [email protected]. Please include the following information:
- Your child’s name
- Their class
- The reason for absence.
If the academy is not notified, then a telephone call will be made to parents to determine a reason for the absence. If there is no reply then a safe and well visit could be carried out at the family address, in line with our Absence Response document (linked at the top of this page).
It is not usually necessary for a child to be absent from school for more than a couple of days due to illness. If your child has been prescribed a course of antibiotics by the doctor, please come to the school office to complete a consent slip and the first aider will be able to administer it for you.
Parents are to make medical and dental appointments for their children before or after school or during the school holidays whenever possible in order to limit impact on learning. If this is not possible or where the appointment is essential, then authorisation will be given, where confirmation of the appointment is received at the School Office. Children are expected to attend school prior to the appointment and return to school following the appointment whenever possible.
An authorised medical absence can only be for a maximum of half a day, if you keep your child away for a whole day, this will be unauthorised.