If your child is absent from school, please notify the school office at the earliest opportunity by one of the following methods:
To best serve the children at Norton St. Nicholas CofE (VA) Primary School the Governing and Staff Body are committed to achieving excellent levels of teaching, learning, behaviour and attendance.
• Ofsted, DfE, the Local Authority and school regard 95% as the minimum satisfactory attendance. However, for the best chance of success this rate should be higher still;
• Most children should routinely have attendance rates of 97% or more. This is the equivalent of 6 days absence a year;
• If your child is absent for 5 days each term they would have missed ¼ of a school year by the time they leave Norton St. Nicholas;
• 90% attendance is like having a day off every two weeks;
• 90% of young people with absence rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades of GCSE and around one third achieve no GCSEs at all.
Under Section 199 of the 1993 Education Act, a pupil is required to attend regularly at the school
where he/she is a registered pupil. The school is obliged by law to differentiate between
authorised and unauthorised absence. Only the school can authorise an absence. The fact that
a parent has provided a note or other explanation (telephone call or personal contact) in relation
to a particular absence does not, of itself, oblige the school to accept it if the school does not
accept the explanation offered as a valid reason for absence. If, after further investigation doubt
remains about the explanation offered - or when no explanation is forthcoming at all - the
absence should be treated as unauthorised and the parent informed.
The school will notify the Local Authority of any pupil of compulsory school age who fails to
attend school regularly. Absence will be unauthorised if no explanation is forthcoming from the
parents or if the school is dissatisfied with the explanation. Parents
/carers should expect all term time holiday to be recorded as
Procedures for following up absence
• If by 9.30am the school has not heard from a parent stating a reason why their child is absent, the school office will contact a parent for an explanation – First Day Response.
• The school office will pass on messages about absence to the class teacher who indicates on the register the reason why a child is absent.
• If a pupil returns to school after an absence without an explanation the parents will be contacted.
• If a pupil is absent for more than three consecutive days without an explanation, the Headteacher will telephone the parents.
• If a pupil is persistently absent the Headteacher will invite the parents to the school for a meeting.
• The County will provide an Attendance Improvement Officer to examine patterns in attendance and absence on a termly basis. He/she may also contact the parents, if the school’s initiated meetings or letters have had little impact.
Outcomes of unauthorised absence
At Norton St. Nicholas CofE (VA) Primary School we expect parents to work with us to address attendance problems. Therefore, when a child has recorded unauthorised absence the following will take place:
• All unauthorised absence will be monitored.
• The school will send a formal warning letter to the parent/carer of any child of compulsory school age with 10 school sessions (half day = 1 session) recorded as unauthorised absence (including unauthorised holidays).
• If unauthorised absence continues to be a problem and the pupil has at least 15 sessions (half day = 1 session) unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous term (including unauthorised holidays), the Head Teacher may ask the LA to issue a Penalty Notice. The amount payable is £60 (per parent) if paid within 21 days or £120 (per parent) if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of the notice. Separate notices are issued to each parent in respect of each child.
Registration and Lateness
The school site is open to parents to drop off children from 8.40am. A member of staff will be on the school playground from this time. Just before 8.50am a whistle is blown and children line up on the playground. Each class is met by a member of staff from their class and enter the building. This process ensures that learning starts at 8:55am.
Registers will be called as promptly as possible after 8.55am and again at 12.55pm. The registers remain open until 9.00am and 1:00pm respectively. After this time the registers return to the office and attendance after this time, unless there is a satisfactory explanation, is recorded as an unauthorised absence (late after registers close).
From 8.55am all teaching staff and children should be working in the classroom. Therefore, it is neither possible nor appropriate for teaching staff to spend time opening and closing doors. Pupils arriving after 8:55am, “after doors have closed” should make their way to the school office where the child’s lateness will be logged and the child escorted to their classroom. Children arriving after 8:55am but before 9:10am are recorded as “late”. Please ensure your child arrives at school before 8.55am.
If lateness persists, the Headteacher will contact the parents to discuss the matter.