Attendance

At Maindee we want the best for all the children in our care and we would like to start the new year by reminding you of the importance of good attendance at school. The significance of improving attendance is evidenced through the School Development Plan where it forms a key focus for this academic year.

Good Attendance

Good attendance is above 95% and we expect this to be the minimum level for all children. Last year our whole school target was 93% and we achieved 93.9%, our target this year is 94%. As a school, we are open for 190 days a year; this leaves 175 days for holidays, rest and non-urgent appointments.

The importance of regular attendance

There are many good reasons for encouraging regular school attendance which has been well researched and documented. For pupils the benefits include:

  • Keeping up with their school work
  • Ensure they meet their expected progress
  • Develop better personal and social skills
  • Learn habits needed for adult life e.g. punctuality and time management

Combined with benefits for school, staff and the wider community regular attendance at school has far reaching advantages for all parties concerned.

Lateness

Research shows a close link between attendance at school and a child’s achievement. Being late adds up to a loss of learning. If a pupil arrives after registration has closed the absence will be recorded as unauthorised for that session.

Minutes late per day Equivalent of missing
5 Minutes 3.4 school days a year
10 Minutes 6.9 school days a year
15 Minutes 10.3 school days a year
20 Minutes 13.8 school days a year
30 Minutes 20.7 school days a year

Authorised Absences

Where a pupil is absent due to sickness and is genuinely unable to attend school, then the school, after being informed, may authorise a child’s absence. It is important to keep the school informed if your child is going to be absent at the start of the day. The school will have a clear process for you to follow. In law only a headteacher can authorise a pupil’s absence, and may require additional evidence such as a letter from your GP.

Unauthorised Absences

The law states that parent/carer(s) must ensure that their child regularly attends the school where they are registered. With this in mind, the school governors have agreed that ALL holiday absences will be unauthorised. This means that any child who is taken out of school during term time to go on holiday will receive an unauthorised absence in the register from their class teacher.

Actions due to poor attendance

Regular attendance is required by law and Wales is introducing Fixed Penalty Notice and Fines from September 2014 for parents who have children with more than 5 days of unauthorised absence. This can be issued for any absences not authorised by the school, including holidays. Newport City Council will issue these notices when concerns are raised by school or the police. The fine is £120 unless paid within 28 days when it will reduce to £60.

Fixed Penalty Notices may be considered appropriate when:

  • At least 10 sessions (5 school days) are lost due to unauthorised absence during the current term. These do not need to be consecutive;
  • Unauthorised absences of at least 10 sessions (5 school days) due to holidays in term time or delayed return from extended holidays; or
  • Persistent late arrival at school, i.e. after the register has closed, in the current term. “Persistent” means at least 10 sessions of late arrival;
  • Truancy, where the child has come to the attention of the Police or public during the school hours for being absent from school, without an acceptable reason.

Incentives

To promote good attendance in school we offer our pupils a number of incentives such as certificates for 100% attendance each term, with a cash prize for any pupils who manage to get 100% for the year. Pupils who get 100% attendance during the week get entered into a prize draw which is drawn during our Friday achievement assembly. Class rewards for best class attendance across the week include an additional ‘free time’ for the pupils or other activity and the rewards for the class with best termly attendance is a free Class trip to the cinema. We actively promote the benefits of good attendance to all pupils through circle time activities, assemblies and by staff simply talking to pupils.

New Holiday / Leave of Absence Request Form

Please think carefully about taking your child out of school during term time, however, if you require a holiday form or leave of absence form then they are available from the school office.

Education Welfare Officer

The Education Welfare Officer visits our school every fortnight to look at all our registers to monitor ALL pupil attendance. He is there in a supporting role but his job is to monitor and ensure pupils attendance is the best it can be at all times.

 

It is vital we work together to try our best to improve pupil attendance.