Allesley Hall Primary School promotes consistent high levels of school attendance for all of its pupils across the school. Good attendance enables academic and social development for children from Reception to Year 6.
Coventry LA have produced a FAQ document for any queries relating to attendance, late to school and holidays in term time. The link is below.
Good attendance at school is not just valuable, it's essential. Going to school is directly linked to improved exam performance which should in turn lead to further learning opportunities and better job prospects. As well as this, going to school helps to develop:
- social skills
- team values
- life skills
- cultural awareness
- future career pathways
There are many day across a school year that holidays and appointments can be undertaken (175 days). When children miss school it has a negative impact on their ability to access the learning and the school curriculum. They also miss out on developing and sustaining friendships.
AHPS approach to supporting consistent high attendance
Families are expected to phone the school office and give a reason for a child's absence before 9am each day. If school do not hear from families we will contact families to ascertain the reason for non attendance. If we cannot contact families a home visit will be undertaken.
If a child is absent due to on going ill health or medical concerns a meeting will be scheduled for the school and family to discuss the medical needs in more detail. The school nursing team and a families GP may also be asked to contribute to planning steps towards improved school attendance.
If we are concerned about low attendance we will write to families directly. If attendance does not improve we will hold a meeting where we will seek support and guidance from our Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) from the local authority and possibly support from family workers at our local family hub. An early help intervention may be needed to ensure the child's attendance improves. When attendance does improve we will seek to celebrate and acknowledge this with families.
Partnership working is key to a child's academic, social and emotional success. This is vital in our approach to attendance.
Holiday/leave of absence during term-time
Requests for holidays within term time must be put into writing to the school office. email@example.com
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 came into force in September 2013 and amended the 2006 regulations removing the reference to 'holiday' and 'extended leave' as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amended regulations state the head teacher (or authorised person) may not grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are 'exceptional circumstances' that apply to that application. The head teacher should consider each application on a case-by-case basis and on its own merits. It is at the head teacher’s discretion if the exceptional circumstances warrant the authorisation of the leave and should also determine the number of days the pupil should be absent for. Head teachers should make clear to parents the date on which the pupil will be expected to return to school. All requests for leave of absence must be made in advance and by the parent/carer with whom the child normally resides.
A penalty notice will be issued when leave of absence has been taken but the school have not received and authorised a request in advance (where it can be clearly demonstrated that the parent/carer understood that permission had not be given).
Excessive delayed return from holiday: Where leave has been granted by the head teacher, an agreed return date should be discussed and what will occur if the pupil fails to return to school on the date stated. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 also enable schools to remove from their roll pupils who have failed to attend on the agreed return date. Following this date, reasonable enquiry should occur by the school and local authority to ascertain the pupil’s whereabouts in an attempt to locate the pupil prior to removal.
When a pupil persistently arrives late, schools should investigate the reason for this and offer support where appropriate to rectify the situation. Where the arrival time is after the close of registration period (DfE guidance states the register to pupils should close up to 30 minutes after the register was taken), each school has its own policy stating when the registration will close. If you are later than the close of registration, an unauthorised absence should be recorded. The same process applies when requesting and issuing a penalty notice.
Coventry City Council will issue a monitoring period, where at least 10 sessions (5 school days) are lost due to unauthorised absences in any current 5 week period. The local authority shall consider the issue of a penalty notice if further unauthorised absence occurs and the following is in place.
Fixed Penalty Notices
The local authority will monitor and evaluate the outcomes of penalty notices in terms of improvement in school attendance, payment and any subsequent legal action.
The use of the notices will be reviewed at regular intervals and the enforcement strategy of the local authority may be amended accordingly.
Fixed penalty notices can be issued to parents or carers if the children in their care are absent from school for any of the following reasons:
- Holiday/leave of absence taken during term-time.
- Irregular attendance including persistent late arrival to school (after registration has closed) – 10 or more sessions within a current five week period.
A fine of £60 for each child is issued to each parent or carer. If the fine is not paid within 21 days, another £60 fine will be issued; both must be paid within 28 days of the date when the original fine was issued.
A Parenting Contract is a voluntary agreement between a parent and/or carer, the school and the Local Authority (LA), in order to improve the attendance of children and young people. This intervention identifies clear actions, with all parties named being accountable for their roles and responsibilities. This may be used in evidence and presented to the Magistrates Court, should it be deemed that an offence has been committed under Section 4441a of the Education Act 1996.
Section 444 – Education Act 1996
Offence: failure to secure regular attendance at school of registered pupil.
(1) If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.
1(1A) If in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) the parent knows that his child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails.... to cause him to do so, he is guilty of an offence.
At each meeting an agreement is drawn up based upon the full assessment of the situation. This agreement clearly identifies each party’s responsibilities for resolving the presenting problem. Where the parental actions agreed at the Parenting Contract Meeting are not complied with and unauthorised absence continues, legal intervention will be instigated against the parent(s)/carer(s).