As I am sure you appreciate, regular and punctual school attendance is essential if your son or daughter is to maximise their educational opportunities. Erratic school attendance cannot only disrupt your child’s education, but can also affect their social life within the school and the opportunities available to them upon leaving school.
It is the responsibility and intention of St. Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School to provide the best education possible. We can only do this if pupils attend regularly.
An absence of ten school days results in your child missing 40 school lessons and means the highest attendance they can achieve in that school year is 95%. Over the course of their school career, a pupil who only achieves 90% attendance will have missed a year of lessons. This will have a significant impact upon their learning and achievement.
As a parent it is your legal responsibility to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of your child at school.
By law, all schools must record and monitor pupil attendance. The Headteacher decides whether or not to authorise absences. Schools are required to address and explore reasons for poor attendance with parents. Schools must also report the names of pupils who are persistently absent. A persistent absentee is defined as any pupil whose attendance is less than 90%; this is regardless of whether absences are authorised or unauthorised.
Absences may include illness, arriving late to school after registers have closed, medical appointments, exceptional leave or failure to attend school due to bad weather, when the school is open.
I would therefore ask parents to adhere to the following suggestions:
Only keep your child off school if you believe they are genuinely too ill to attend.
Make all medical appointments out of school hours; if this is not possible, ensure that your child is only absent for the duration of the appointment and attends school either before or after the appointment. This is particularly important when pupils receive regular dental treatments. Parents should inform school of all appointments via the school office.
Take holidays only during the official school holidays.
Ensure that your child is punctual to school each morning.
Ensure that if the absence is unavoidable, your child makes every effort to catch up the work missed.
I recognise that there may be times when genuine absence is unavoidable and if this is the case, please contact school on the first day of absence and every day after, stating the reason for absence.
Where an absence is planned, in line with Government regulations, schools may only consider giving permission for a child to be absent under exceptional circumstances. Any such request must be made in writing outlining any exceptional circumstances. Requests should be made via the online Leave of Absence Form which can be printed and returned to the school office or a paper copy can be collected from the school office. All requests for a Leave of Absence will be dealt with by the Headteacher. If permission is granted, your child will be expected to complete work from the lessons missed.
I would ask you to consider these issues and support us in ensuring that your son or daughter has the maximum attendance possible for this year by aiming for 100% attendance. If you are experiencing difficulties and would like support in ensuring your child attends school regularly or arrives to school on time, please contact the school to discuss the issue further.