Attendance & Punctuality
School Attendance Information for Parents/Carers
Little Parndon takes attendance extremely seriously as we are aware of the impact low attendance can have on your child's academic and social ability both now and in the future.
School attendance is a powerful predictor of student outcomes. The correlation between attendance and standardised test results has important ramifications that go beyond the classroom. Compared to their peers, who have above expected attendance, students who are considered persistent absentees (below 90%) are more likely to live in poverty, suffer poor health, and become involved in the criminal justice system.
We keep families up-to-date with the latest attendance information through our half-termly attendance newsletter.
If you are unsure whether your child is well enough to be at school, please see the advice from the NHS below. You can also find it here.
Is my child too ill for school?
It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school when they're unwell.
There are government guidelines for schools about managing specific infectious diseases at GOV.UK. These say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't.
If you do keep your child at home, it's important to phone the school or nursery on the first day. Let them know that your child won't be in and give them the reason.
If your child is well enough to go to school but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let their teacher know.
Follow this advice:
Coughs and colds
It's fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or common cold. But if they have a fever, keep them off school until the fever goes.
Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has a high temperature, keep them off school until it goes away.
If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all the spots have crusted over.
This is usually about 5 days after the spots first appeared.
There's no need to keep your child off school if they have a cold sore.
Encourage them not to touch the blister or kiss anyone while they have the cold sore, or to share things like cups and towels.
You don't need to keep your child away from school if they have conjunctivitis.
Do get advice from your pharmacist. Encourage your child not to rub their eyes and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has an ear infection and a high temperature or severe earache, keep them off school until they're feeling better or their high temperature goes away.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease but seems well enough to go to school, there's no need to keep them off.
Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues straight away and to wash their hands regularly.
Head lice and nits
There's no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.
You can treat head lice and nits without seeing a GP.
If your child has impetigo, they'll need treatment from a GP, often with antibiotics.
Keep them off school until all the sores have crusted over and healed, or for 48 hours after they start antibiotic treatment.
Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and not to share things like towels and cups with other children at school.
If your child has ringworm, see your pharmacist unless it's on their scalp, in which case you should see a GP.
It's fine for your child to go to school once they have started treatment.
If your child has scarlet fever, they'll need treatment with antibiotics from a GP. Otherwise they'll be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks.
Your child can go back to school 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
Slapped cheek syndrome (fifth disease)
You don't need to keep your child off school if they have slapped cheek syndrome, because once the rash appears, they're no longer infectious.
If you suspect your child has slapped cheek syndrome, take them to see a GP and let their school know if they're diagnosed with it.
You can still send your child to school if they have a sore throat. But if they also have a high temperature, they should stay at home until it goes away.
A sore throat and a high temperature can be symptoms of tonsillitis.
You don't need to keep your child off school if they have threadworms.
Speak to your pharmacist, who can recommend a treatment.
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school for 2 days after their symptoms have gone.
How can you support your child’s attendance?
Attending school every day is a very important part of any child’s life. It enables them to learn, to make friends, to gain important knowledge and to develop a variety of skills which will prepare them for adult life. School and parents/carers are partners in making this a success. As parents or carers, it is your legal responsibility to make sure that your child makes the most of this opportunity by attending regularly aiming for at least 97% attendance.
So how can you help?
Please do not take your child out of school for a term time holiday.
Current guidelines mean that we are unable to authorise such an absence except in exceptional circumstances
Please do not make non-urgent medical appointments during the school day.
Telephone the school as early as possible on each day of absence or lateness. If contact has not been made before they return to school please send them with a note.
What is authorised and unauthorised absence?
An absence can only be authorised by the Headteacher of the school, they will consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request. An explanation given by a parent/carer is not always sufficient for the Headteacher to authorise an absence. According to guidelines to schools from the Department of Children, Schools and Family an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:
· “Leave” being given by the school (this usually includes, hospital appointments, and other special circumstances)
· The pupil being unable to attend due to unavoidable circumstances
· Religious observance where applicable
· Genuine illness
Absences which the school is not able to authorise include: -
· Looking after a relative, pet etc.
· A shopping trip
· Being unable to participate in school activity, e.g. school trip, activity days.
· Meeting relatives from/taking to the airport.
Why is good attendance important?
We emphasise to pupils the need for good attendance.
· We reward good or improved attendance
· We monitor attendance carefully and contact you if your child’s attendance goes below 95%
· If attendance problems continue we will ask you to meet with our Education Welfare Officer to discuss a way forward. If your child has a number of absences which are unauthorised you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice and be given a fine
· We contact you if your child is absent and we have not heard from you. Please make sure we have up to date contact details, preferably with voicemail access.
Facts to be aware of
100% Attendance = 0 weeks of learning missed.
95% Attendance = 1 week 4 days of learning missed.
If your child is away for 1 week they would miss approximately: 5 hours of Maths, 5 hours of English or even 10 hours of RE/Music/Art/Science/Geography/History and I.T.
What is Poor Attendance?
Actual Days Attendance
Learning Hours Lost
*C for C
*Cause for Concern
What should I do if my child is absent?
As a school, it is a legal requirement to record absences and the reason given. You are therefore requested to contact the school immediately regarding your child’s absence. On their return to school you must then send a note explain the absence. The school office should be informed in writing of absences known in advance such as dental appointments.
Absence During Term Time
Know the facts before making your request for a Leave of Absence
It is strongly advised that you do not take your child out of school for any reason during term time.
Why shouldn’t I take my child away during term time?
It is important that pupils attend school regularly if they are to benefit from the learning opportunities provided. Pupils who are absent from school for an extended period, miss out on important learning. The time teachers have available to help pupils catch up after an absence is limited.
What the law says:
The current law does not give any entitlement to parents/carers to take their child on holiday during term time. Regulation 7 of the 2006 regulations has been amended to prohibit the Head of school granting leave of absence to a pupil, except where the Head of school considers there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application all holidays, unless deemed exceptional circumstances, will be unauthorised and this may result in penalty notices being issued and legal action being taken against the parent/ carer by the local authority. The Head of school has the authority to decide what constitutes an exceptional circumstance and documentary evidence may be requested in support of such an application.
What happens if the absence is not authorised? Issues parents need to be aware of:
If an absence request is not authorised and it is still taken it will remain unauthorised and will show on your child’s record as such. Any leave of absence that has not been authorised will be referred to the Education Welfare Service and may result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice or Prosecution Proceedings. A £60 penalty notice fine may be issued to each parent or carer for each child, to be paid within 21 days
If this is not paid within the 21 day period, it will increase to £120. Failure to pay will lead to prosecution with maximum penalties of up to £2,500 or a custodial sentence.
What if I take my child out of school without making an application:
As a school, it is a legal requirement for us to record pupils attendance every day, we have protocols in place that if we do not have a reason for a pupil to be in school we will, contact parents via a txt message asking you to contact the school, if we do not get a response we will call you directly, if still no response then we contact the Educational Welfare Officer to make a home visit, it is often at this point that we are made aware that families are away, and we would then take steps to advise you that we believe you are on an unauthorised holiday and you may be issued a Fixed Penalty notice. If, however, we do not have any response from you and you are away for ten days or more then it could result in your child being reported missing in education or even being taken off roll, so we advise that you make an application for leave of absence as the safeguarding of your child is our utmost priority.
I know some people phone their children in sick and then go on holiday:
As a school, we are aware that pupils become unwell, however, we do have procedures in place for when a pupil is reported as being unwell, we record the first day of illness on your child’s attendance record, you should then call in each day to keep us updated, if your child is absent for a third day, then we will require medical evidence. If you are not able to produce this evidence then it will result in your child’s attendance record being changed from illness to unauthorised absence. This could then result in your child’s attendance being monitored and intervention from the Education Welfare Officer.
School Absence Line: 01279 425600
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your child does not attend school for any reason, you must ring the absence line before 8.30 am, every day for the duration of their absence.