Woodmanstern Primary

Attendance

Children are required to attend school for 190 days each year. We are constantly striving to provide your child with the best possible opportunities for achieving a high level of academic and personal success. Please support us and your child to achieve their maximum potential by continuing to ensure they attend school every day on time. Where possible, please arrange dental and doctors appointments out of school hours or during school holidays.

EVERY DAY COUNTS - ‘The odd day off doesn’t hurt does it?’
YES IT DOES - Attendance percentages as missed days and lessons

Attendance during one year  Equal Numbers of days absent Approximate number of weeks  Approximate number of lessons Absence during 7 years of primary education
97% 5 1 20 7 weeks - half a term
95% 10 2 40 14 weeks - a full term
90% 20 4 80 28 weeks- two full terms or two thirds of a year
80% 40 8 160

56 weeks - a year and a half of education

At Woodmansterne our target is 97% attendance for all our children and we are constantly striving to achieve this. Attendance will continue to have a very high profile and parents will be regularly reminded in newsletters and meetings about the importance of good attendance.

Top Tips 
If you are struggling with your child’s attendance, here are some tried and tested tips to ensure good school attendance for your child:

• Talk to your child about how important it is to attend school every day.
• Show an interest in what your child has learnt at school each day.
• If you think your child is trying to avoid school, try to find out why? Ask them, ask their friends, ask their teachers.
• Help your child to keep to routines, going to bed and getting up at set times, completing home learning on the day it is set.
• Unless unavoidable, please do not arrange medical or dental appointments during the school day.
• Encourage after-school extra curricular activities.
• Talk to your child’s teacher if you notice changes in behaviour.
Many parents are surprised how quickly their children accumulate 17 days absence.

Why it is important for children not to miss school
Most parents want their children to get on well in life. Nowadays, it is more important than ever to have a good education behind you if you want opportunities in adult life. Children only get one chance at school and your child’s chances of a successful future may be affected by not attending school or alternative provision regularly. If children do not attend school regularly they may:

• Struggle to keep up with school work. In a busy school day it is difficult for schools to find the extra time to help a child catch up.
• Miss out on the social side of school life. Poor attendance can affect children’s ability to make and keep friendships: a vital part of growing up.
Setting good attendance patterns from an early age will also help your child later on. Employers want to recruit people who are reliable, so children who have a poor school attendance record may have less chance of getting a good job. Being on time is also vital. Arriving late at school can be very disruptive for your child, the teacher, and the other children in the class.

What might the impact of poor attendance be on your child?
Research has shown that children who are not in school are most vulnerable and are easily drawn into crime. Those children who play truant are more likely to offend than those that do not. Research also shows that:

• Less than 40% of pupils in secondary schools with an average of 17 days or more absence get 5 good National 5 Awards (Grade A to C) compared to more than 90% in schools with an average of less than 8 days’ absence.
• Many parents are surprised how quickly their children accumulate 17 days absence.

Unauthorised absence If a child is absent from school without an acceptable reason or prior authorisation, this will be considered an ‘unauthorised absence’ and marked accordingly in the register. Unacceptable reasons for absence include: birthday treats, looking after siblings, shopping trips, oversleeping, closure of sibling’s school etc.

Exceptional leave
Time off school for holidays during term time is not a right, Parents or Carers with whom the child resides may request that a leave of absence, of up to 10 days, be granted in exceptional circumstances. Schools have discretion to allow this if they believe that the circumstances warrant it. Requests must be made on an ‘Exceptional Leave Form’, and handed in at least two weeks prior to the proposed absence where possible. The ‘exceptional circumstances’ must be clearly stated on the Exceptional Leave Form with accompanying documents of evidence.

• No authorisation will be granted after the absence has occurred.
• Holidays during term time will not be authorised.
• Authorisation may not be granted if the child had a high level of absence in the preceding 12 months, even if the reasons were unavoidable (low attendance).
• Authorisation may not be granted if the school believes the disruption to a child’s learning and progress will result in further learning difficulties.
Please think carefully before requesting term-time leave. Whilst we appreciate that holidays taken during term-time are less expensive, there is a hidden cost to your child’s education. Cheaper fares and lower costs are not considered as an ‘exceptional circumstance’

Meetings with parents
Where there is an emerging pattern to a pupil’s absence, with or without explanation, the school will write to parents and may invite them to a meeting to discuss the reasons for absences. Plans should be put into place with the parents and pupil/s to resolve any difficulties and improve attendance within a specified time limit—usually no more than 6 weeks. It will be explained to parents that any future absences will be unauthorised unless there is clear evidence of a good reason for them.

Referral to the Educational Welfare Officer
If there continues to be unauthorised absences by the end of the specific time (or sooner, if the pupil is failing to attend school at all), the matter will be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer.