St. Cuthbert's School

St. Cuthbert's School

St. Cuthbert's School

24th November 2017

Dear Parent/Carers

As you all know it is imperative that your child has regular attendance in school and that they are punctual at the start of the school day. Following a recent meeting with Julie Topping (Access and Inclusion Officer) I feel it is important that I remind you of the consequences of persistent absence and holidays in term time. By law, all children of compulsory school age, 5-16, must receive a suitable full time education. Once your child is registered in school you are legally responsible for making sure they attend regularly. If you fail to do so you are at risk of getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted. You also need to consider the negative impact on the following:

Their learning

Their friendships

Their self-esteem and confidence

It is very important that you contact school on the first day of absence to let us know your child is ill. If your child is regularly absent due to illness you may be asked to provide school with copies of appointment letters, prescriptions, reports from doctors, hospital, dentist etc. This will allow us to validate their absence in the school registers.

It has a negative impact on the education of your child if your child is persistently late. They are missing out on an important start to the lesson. Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year. Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year. Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year. This is a shocking statistic.

School doors open at 8.50am and close promptly at 9.00am. If you arrive after this time, report to the school office where your child will be given a late mark. Any child, arriving after the register closes at 9.15am, will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session. We work closely with our access and inclusion officer and monitor each child’s punctuality.

It is important to note that fines for taking holidays in term time are per child per parent i.e. two children who are taken on unauthorised holiday by two parents will be fined £240. Until now we have not issued any fixed penalties, however the county is currently reviewing their Absence Enforcement Policy and we are accountable to the authorities if we do not address the issues of persistent absence and holidays in term time as has been advised.

I am sure you will all support us in our efforts to ensure all of our pupils will be great attenders and not miss out on valuable time in school.

Yours sincerely

Paula Holden (Headteacher)

We are now following the R.A.G monitoring system (detailed below) which helps categorise attendance and areas of concerns.

Red, Amber, Green (RAG) Monitoring

Good attendance – in line with, or above national expected average, ideally where all children, according to the Department for Education, should aim to be.

Attendance below expected level - If your child drops below 95%, they are considered to be in amber, a warning that attendance has dropped and needs to improve.

If attendance has not improved from amber, despite intervention from school, Education Welfare will become involved, which could ultimately result in fines for persistent absence.

There are often legitimate reasons for attendance to fall, especially through illness, which is why it is vital, that as parents, you contact school on the 1st day of absence and follow it up with an absence note when your child returns to school. Try to avoid medical appointments during school time, or make them as close to the end of the school day as possible. It is important to avoid term time holidays, and please seek authorisation before booking as Headteachers are no longer allowed to authorise holidays during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. An unauthorised holiday maybe subject to a fixed term penalty from the Local Authority (LA).