It is extremely important that children attend school every day to enable them to make progress and achieve. Just one day’s absence can mean that children find it difficult to keep up with their learning for the rest of the week, or longer. Our attendance target is 97% and we work extremely hard to ensure that we meet that target.
If a child is attending for less than 90% of the time, this is classed as persistent absence. This would mean that a child is missing on average, almost one day a week of his/her education. This will have a significant impact on their ability to achieve and often leads to anxiety about catching up. We also find that children who are frequently absent from school have difficulties with friendships and forming relationships with their peers.
We work closely with families where children are persistently absent to try and support them to improve the child’s attendance. Our Education Welfare officer visits the school every week to monitor and support these families. If absences are prolonged and without medical authorisation, parents or carers may face court proceedings.
Why should children be in school?
- It is the LAW. Parents can get penalty notices if this law is broken.
- It shows they are reliable.
- They do not miss any lessons
- They increase their learning
- They will do better in exams
- They will be more likely to get a job
- They will be safe and understand the importance of commitment (just like going to work and getting a job)
- We really like your children being here!
What if my child is absent from school a lot?
- They miss lessons and important information.
- They WILL fall behind with their learning and their results will suffer.
- They will not be able to do their best in tests and exams
- The Educational Welfare Officer may be informed
- You could be fined a penalty notice, or worse, legal action could be taken.
What if my child is sick?
- Coughs and sneezes are no excuse not to come to school
- Being ill may prevent your child from going to school, but if they can get out of bed and play, or watch television they should be at school!
- Feeling tired is not an illness, they need to go to bed earlier!
Holidays during term time are against the law!
- Taking children on holiday or out of school during term time is against the law.
- We understand that holidays during term time may cost less money, but they are still against the law.
- Term time holidays are an increasingly serious issue – and the government is advising schools to take serious action where they need to in order to make sure they do not happen.
- The school is not allowed to authorise absence during term time, unless there are exceptional reasons (this does NOT include sickness of a family member).
- Taking unauthorised holidays could result in a penalty notice of £60 by the Local Authority.
Is it really serious if your child is not in school?
James has 90% attendance. Sounds good doesn’t it?
But is it?
- 90% attendance = ½ day missed every week
- 90% attendance = 4 whole weeks of lessons missed every year
- James will fall behind in his learning
Not being at school can seriously damage a child’s learning!
If you have any questions about about your child’s attendance, please speak to Kathleen Costello (Family Support Worker)