At Mountfields Lodge we believe it is important to work in partnership with parents to encourage children to attend school regularly in order for them to make the best possible progress whilst in education.
Attendance and Achievement:
There is clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement. Of pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school, only 35% achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and Maths whereas 73% of pupils who attend school for 95% of the time achieve this.
Clearly this data is from Key Stage 4 but good attendance should start at primary school. The staff and governors of Mountfields Lodge recognise that the earlier schools address attendance ‘issues’ the less likely it is that they will become a long term issue.
To contextualise absence:
1 day off per school year = 99.5% attendance
10 days off per school year = 94.7% attendance
20 days off per school year = 90% attendance
90% attendance = 4 whole weeks off school during the school year
90% attendance throughout year's 1 - 6 = half a year off school
90% attendance for a child through Primary and Secondary school means they will have missed a huge amount of their education.
Absence and Family Holidays:
One of the aspects that affects attendance is Family Holidays (absence) during Term Time.
It is recognised that pupil absence during term time can seriously disrupt a pupil’s continuity of learning. Parents are therefore asked not to book a family holiday in term time.
Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday and in law, have to apply for permission in advance. At Mountfields Lodge, holidays will only be granted in exceptional circumstances (this is in line with the all of the schools in the Loughborough Primary Academy Partnership) such circumstances could include:
However, to have a week’s winter or summer holiday in school time, because the cost is cheaper during term time, does not constitute an exceptional circumstance and permission will not be granted.
A birthday celebration (pupil or family member) does not constitute an 'exceptional circumstance' and permisison will not be granted.
Unless a request meets one of the above criteria it will not be considered for authorisation.
Should you wish to make a request for ‘absence for your child’ you need to complete an ‘Absence Application Form’ available from the School Office (or downloadable - see below), or you can e-mail in a request and the details will be transferred on to the form for you. The request will then be considered and you will be informed of the decision reached.
Taking a child on holiday without permission is regarded as an unauthorised absence and parents doing so may be issued with a Penalty Notice by Leicestershire Education Authority. Penalty Notices may also be issued for persistent absence and other forms of unauthorised absence.
The school works in partnership with the Childrens’ Attendance and Welfare Service (CAWS) who support the school in maintaining a high attendance figure. CAWS has the ‘brief’ to ensure that all children of school age, for whom they are responsible, attend school regularly and arrive on time; CAWS works within set legal guidelines.
If your child is too ill for school or is unable to attend for any other reason please telephone school on the first day of the absence. If your child has had sickness or diarrhoea they should stay away from school until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
If your child should be taken ill at school or have an accident we will contact you. If you are not available we will contact the person you have named on your `Pupil Information' form. It helps if you can tell us of any change of telephone number or address of all contacts, as soon as possible.
Attendance that causes concern
Every year there are children whose attendance is 'of concern'. Children whose attendance is below the 90% attendance level, and in the realms of being 'persistently absent' (90% and below). Of course, we recognsie that illness often plays a significant part in this but such illness is beyond just a bout of chickenpox or a case of D&V, it is significant.
We believe, as does CAWS and the LCC Attendance Team, that 'improving attendance is everyone's business'.
Successfully treating the root causes of absence and removing barriers to attendance, at home, in school or more broadly, requires schools and local partners to worlk collaboratively with, not against. parents and families.
Our School Attendance Assistant, Mrs Goddard, will contact you, as parents/carers, when your child is absent and you have not informed us of this. It is the duty of you, as parents, to let school know where your child is and why they are not in school. Attendance and Absence is monitored daily and is reported and analysed weekly. However, any unexplained or concerning absence is addressed on that day.
Senior staff will make home visits if the absence of a pupil is unexplained and unreported by a parent.
Late Clinics will be scheduled for you if your child is persisently late, whether before or after the register has closed. A 'late' after the register is closed equates to an absence for that session. CAWS run these sessions.
Evidence of absence is required for medical appointments, music exams etc; in fact for any absence of a child where it is possible to provide such evidence