Each day the school gate opens at 8.40am for children to come into the building and get settled, ready to start learning at 8.45am. Our school day finishes at 3.15pm. We rely upon you to ensure that children are in school every day and on time. It is vital that your child is in school every day to enjoy learning and be with their friends. At Samlesbury, we expect children to attend school every day, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We feel that the most important way to promote good attendance is to ensure that both pupils and parents have a positive relationship with school. Research shows that pupils who attend school regularly are more likely to do well in the future. Regular attendance helps children to develop their confidence and to make and keep lasting friendships.
What is ‘good’ attendance?
Anything less than 100% attendance means that your child is missing out on their education. For example, 90% attendance is the same as missing half a day each week, or one whole month a year off school. Punctuality is also very important. School starts at 8.45am each morning. Did you know, that being just 15 minutes late each morning means your child would miss the equivalent of 10 days from school each year?
If your child is absent
If you know your child is going to be absent from school, you should:
- Where possible, ring school at the earliest opportunity to let them know. Call Sandra, our bursar, on 01772 877200.
- Send a note to school explaining the reason for the absence (in advance if possible—for example if your child has a doctors appointment)
School will contact parents if they are in any doubt as to the whereabouts of a child. This year, our whole school attendance target is 97%.
48 Hour Sickness/Diarrhoea Rule
From time to time children are sick (vomit) either at home or at school. Unfortunately it is not possible to distinguish between the causes, and therefore it is essential that the same rule of exclusion applies in all cases of vomiting or Diarrhoea.
In the Health Protection Agency document, “Guidelines for the Control of Infection and Communicable Disease in School and Early Years Settings” can be found here: 'Guidance on Infection Control in Schools'
Diarrhoea and/or vomiting commonly affects children and staff and can be caused by a number of different germs, including viruses, parasites and bacteria. Infections can be easily spread from person to person (by unwashed hands), especially in children. In general, it is recommended that any staff member or child with diarrhoea and/or vomiting symptoms must stay away or be excluded from the school or early years setting until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours (the ‘48 hour rule’) and feel well. Personal hygiene whilst ill must be very strict.
If your child is sick at school, we will ask you or your emergency contact to take your child home. They should not return for 48 hours. We appreciate that this is inconvenient in many cases, and you may not believe your child is ill, but you will appreciate that we do this in all cases and it should reduce the risk of infection for all children in school. As an example, if your child is sick at lunchtime on a Tuesday, they should not return to school until after lunch on Thursday, provided there have not been any further episodes of vomiting.
Leave in term time
Leave in term time is not a ‘right’. Absence from school can have a serious impact on your child’s education. All requests for leave in term time must be made in advance of confirming any arrangements and may be granted at the Headteacher’s discretion dependant on the circumstances. Changes to the Regulations mean that schools can only authorise leave in term time if the circumstances surrounding the request are considered to be exceptional. Forms are available from the school office.
The next step:
If the attendance of a pupil is low, the parents will be contacted and asked to meet with school staff to see how this can be improved. Support will be offered to both parents and pupils as required. The use of a ’Parent/School Agreement’ may also be considered. If concerns remain, school may have to consider referral to external agencies, such as the Local Authority Pupil Attendance Support Team. The use of Penalty Notices may also be considered under certain circumstances, including where leave is taken without agreement. We want to work together to give your child access to their right of full time education.
We rely upon you to ensure that children are in school every day. It is vital that your child is in school every day to enjoy each day's learning.
Your child has to be in school for 8:50am. Arrival after this time will be marked as late. Once the register closes, a child is registered as having an unauthorised absence for the morning. Our children begin lessons as soon as they enter class and morning work tasks begin to settle children and seize every learning opportunity! The morning usually begins with Phonics, GPS, handwriting, Times Tables and other fun and engaging activities your child won’t want to miss!
If your child’s attendance becomes a concern, you will be invited to attend a meeting at school. During this meeting, intervention strategies will be discussed and you may be asked to sign a parent contract. If illness is a concern, we can meet with the school nurse and work with you to put other positive strategies in place. We have links with a range of agencies and you only need to ask us for help.
Failure to adhere to a parent contract and school interventions; a referral may be made to the Pupil Attendance Support Team. They can offer further interventions and support school and home. If absence persists, you may be issued with a penalty notice. These can be up to £120 per parent per child.
Holidays during term time will not be authorised and you may receive a penalty notice, should the holiday extend for five school days or more. However, shorter unauthorised leave will be monitored and further absence can reach this threshold and a penalty notice can still be issued.