We give a high priority to good attendance and punctuality. Not only are these important habits for life, regular school attendance ensures that pupils do not miss vital parts of the curriculum. Lateness is also disruptive for pupils; they miss out on the routines which are in place to ensure a good start to the day.
Parents/carers (or whichever adult the student lives or is staying with) are legally responsible for the child’s attendance at school and must ensure that students attend, regularly, on time, in correct uniform and with the correct equipment. They could be subject to criminal prosecution should their child’s attendance fall below acceptable levels.
At Bewick Bridge the doors open at 8.50am and children should be seated in class ready for registration to start at 9am. The register closes at 9.15am and any child arriving after the register has closed will be marked as unauthorized. Unauthorised absence at the beginning of the day is particularly damaging to a child’s academic and social progress and for this reason will be treated very seriously by the school and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO).
Of course, absence cannot be avoided if children are unwell. Parents are responsible for informing the school of the reason for any absence from school, ideally by telephone call on the first morning of absence.
We expect parents to:
- Telephone or email school on the first day of their child’s absence to notify of the absence.
- Provide satisfactory medical evidence when required to do so.
- Attend attendance planning meetings when requested to do so with staff from school and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) when necessary.
The School will:
- Roll call registration twice a day (am and pm)
- Contact the parent/carer by telephone on the first day of absence if no notification is received.
- Monitor attendance
- Use the 3 letter system to communicate with parents highlighting absence and requesting explanations.
- Investigate unexplained absences (if no satisfactory evidence is received within 10 days, the absence will remain recorded as unauthorised).
- Hold attendance planning meetings to discuss how school can support parents/carers to improve attendance and to set targets.
- Include attendance information on progress reports.
- Refer to the Education Welfare Officer when attendance falls below 85%.
The school will decide whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. If the school does not hear from parents on the first day of absence, then we will make every effort to contact parents. If no explanation is given for the child’s absence, then their absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
Reporting and rewarding good attendance
Certificates for 100% attendance will be awarded to children for the autumn, spring and summer term as well as the whole academic year. A letter acknowledging improved attendance will be sent to families who had been monitored with concerns.
The school sees 96% attendance as the minimum expectation for all students and strives for all students to attend more than this figure. Amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 and September 2013 make clear that headteachers may not authorize holidays (or other leave of absence) in term time unless there are very exceptional circumstances. Parents wishing to request leave must write a letter to the headteacher explaining the reasons for their request. All requests will be taken on a case-by-case basis. The school upholds the regulations and supports the use of financial penalties and court action where necessary.
The school strongly discourages holidays being taken in term time as learning is disrupted and the lost time is detrimental to the educational progress of the child. Bewick Bridge Community Primary School follows the new DfE guidelines from September 2013 that stated that requests for long-term leave can only be granted in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. No term time leave will be granted, or deemed granted without a formal request in writing and a written response will be written. The school will not authorize holidays retrospectively and may follow up any reported illness that we feel may have been a term time holiday. Full details of the absence request procedures are outlined in Appendix 2 of the school's Attendance and Punctuality Policy.
We will not under any circumstances authorise absence, other than for sickness, when your child is preparing for or taking SAT tests.