School Attendance Matters
At Wordsworth Primary school we have been working hard to improve our attendance and are pleased to say that our overall attendance to date for this academic year (2021) is 93.5% which is above national guidelines, especially taking into account our current circumstances.
All children are expected to attend school EVERYDAY throughout the academic year in order to maximise their learning opportunities. We hope that everyone will join us in attempting to improve on this year by following the guidelines below:
School Opening Times
School gates open at 8.40am until 8.50am; please ensure your child arrives in between those times. Children should be in classes ready to start their learning at 8.55am.
After 8.50am, children must enter the school via the main school office to be signed in. If your child arrives after 9.15am, they will be marked as unauthorised absence for the morning session.
We reward good attendance with certificates and trophies in celebration assemblies. Each week the class with the highest attendance receives our attendance trophy. Children with 100% attendance will be celebrated half termly at the assembly.
We have started to send WOW cards home to children, celebrating the success of their attendance and recognise their commitment to learning.
Notification of Absence
We know that illness is unavoidable and to be expected. However, it is very important to inform the school on the first day of absence with the reason either by telephone (023 8077 6397) by 9am or in person at the school office. Medicine can be given to children at school as long as a medicine form is completed and all medicines must be in their original boxes.
We expect ALL appointments, with the exception of hospital appointments, to be made outside of normal school hours.
If you wish to take your child out of school for any period of time, a leave of absence form (available from the office only) should be completed and returned to Mrs Smith, our Attendance Officer.
Please be aware that holiday requests can no longer be authorised. We will only be able to authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.
There may be occasions when a child needs to leave the premises in school time for appointments. It is helpful if the school can be advised in advance and parents are asked to come to the main office to sign their child out. Children are never released from school unaccompanied.
By law, the Governors are required to report on the number of unauthorised absences each year. It is therefore very important to keep the school informed of the reasons for all absences. Attendance is monitored by the Headteacher and the Jeffery's Education Partnership (JEP), which includes regular visits from the JEP Attendance Support Officer who monitors attendance and punctuality. Very low attendance can lead to fixed penalty notices.
Fixed Penalty Notices
Fixed Penalty notices were introduced by Southampton Local Authority in September 2005 as an alternative prosecution.
All students who have 10 sessions (i.e 5 days) of unauthorised absence may be liable to receive a fixed penalty notice which incurs a monetary penalty per parent, per child.
All of the schools within the Jeffery's Education Partnership have agreed template letters and protocols for managing attendance.
On a half-term basis or as required letters are sent out to parents of those pupils falling below certain levels. This approach is applied across the whole school regardless of the child's age. A child does not become compulsory school aged until they turn 5, however, once a child has been admitted to school they are filling a school place and are expected to attend every day possible. Ofsted place a high level of importance on school attendance and hence so do we as a school. The below protocol allows the school to ensure that they can evidence to Ofsted that we manage attendance effectively.
The schools within Jeffery's Education Partnership have two agreed threshold or distributions of letters to parents and guardians:
- Attendance falls below 95%- Letter sent that makes parents aware that their child's attendance has fallen below this level. The child's registration certificate is included with this letter. The letter clearly states that this is provided for information only. The school sends this letter out at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure that any discrepancies in the attendance data of a child can be discussed at an early juncture and rectified prior to publication of the end of year academic pupil reports.
- Attendance falls below 90%- when a child's attendance falls below 90% they are classified as a persistent absentee. At this point it becomes necessary for the school to report on the child's absence to the Attendance Support Officer at the Jeffery's Education Partnership. The school sends this template letter to parents or guardians to make them aware that this will happen. This letter also reminds parents or guardians of their legal duties regarding school attendance.
When the school has concerns of a serious nature a meeting with the Headteacher and the Attendance Officer will be arranged to discuss and to establish how we can support the family to improve attendance. If necessary the school will refer attendance concerns to the Jeffery's Education Partnership Attendance Support Officer.
A copy of our attendance policy can be found below: