We feel here at Bushmead that a child’s attendance in school is extremely important. The following information is provided to help parents understand what attendance figures mean, why we feel children’s attendance is so important, and what we continually do in order to improve the attendance. In addition there is information about the possible consequences for a school where the children have poor attendance.
Attendance figures explained
Attendance is based on a child being at school in time for the morning register as well as the afternoon register so being marked present for 2 sessions a day. Both these sessions count towards their overall attendance figure which is simply a percentage of how many sessions your child has been present throughout the current academic year. The only reasons a child will be marked as present when they are not in school are if they are being educated at a different location, or at a school event such as residential or sporting.
There are a variety of different reasons that a child may be absent from school and the school will assign an appropriate code on the register to make staff aware of the reason. Absence from school can be authorised for the following reasons:
Illness where the school has been notified by phone or in writing
NOTE: An authorised absence is still recorded as the child not being in school and will have a negative effect on their attendance figure.
Absence from school will be unauthorised for the following reasons
Late marks, where the child has arrived after 08.45 am
Absences from school where no reason is given
Family holidays. Please see the guidance notes detailed below.
Why we feel a child’s attendance is so important
Children’s learning in school is based on a build up of skills and knowledge. This build up is continually planned by teachers on a day to day basis. Children that miss one session could miss out on a potentially important session and although every effort is made to catch children up when they return, this is usually not as effective and takes time away from the rest of the class. If children miss out on a number of sessions this can significantly affect their overall progress. Children that are away from school on a regular basis can miss out on opportunities to build strong friendships and can sometimes find it harder to build strong friendships within school.
What we do to help improve children’s attendance
We have a range of strategies in place that are aimed at improving attendance:
A class cup is awarded each week for the class with the best attendance for the proceeding week.
We work with individual families supporting them where attendance is an issue, offering for example support from our Family Support Worker.
Liaise closely with the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) involving them when attendance falls below acceptable levels.
Consequences to the school of poor overall attendance figures
As a school the effect of poor attendance is primarily seen with children not making expected progress throughout a year and not reaching their full potential. The schools attendance information has a significant bearing on the overall Ofsted judgement of a school with the inspectors looking in detail at what a school does to improve its overall figures and how it tackles issues around non attendance.