Every day and every minute counts

What you need to know about your child’s attendance at school – Guidance for parents, carers and pupils

Rewards, rewards, rewards!
At our school, all the staff know how important good attendance is for children’s well-being and progress. To encourage good attendance we present an attendance cup to the class who has the best attendance each week. The first, second and third best attending class get awarded points. These will be totalled each term and the class with the best attendance each term will get a ‘treat’.

What to do when your child is absent from school
Let us know!
• Telephone the school office, phone number 01929 552517 on the first day of absence to explain the reason why your child is away from school
• If your child is absent for more than one day, please keep the school informed during your child’s absence
• When your child returns please send in a letter to explain their absence which will be kept in their file
• If your child has a medical or dental appointment please try to make them out of school hours if possible. If they are in school hours please bring in their appointment card or letter so we can put a copy in their file

When will absences not be authorised?
• The school will not authorise absence for any of the following reasons: holidays, shopping, looking after other members of the family, minding the house, birthdays or similar events.

Lateness beyond 9.00am is recorded as unauthorised absence on our records. We monitor carefully pupils who arrive late for school and work with parents and carers to improve punctuality.

Why good attendance is important
In recent years much research has been carried out on the effect that poor attendance can have on children’s progress at school and how well they achieve in life. For example, 90% attendance might sound quite good but what it really means is……….
• Your child is absent for lessons for the equivalent of one half day every week
• In one year, 4 whole weeks of lessons are missed
• If your child continues to attend for only 90% of the time, in 5 years, he, or she, will miss half of the school year.

Children who do not attend school regularly often have the following problems:
• They are not able to keep up with their work
• It is difficult, in a busy school day, for teachers to find the time to help your child catch up
• Children who arrive late miss important parts of the lesson and disrupt the learning of other children in the class

This is why Wareham St Mary Primary School is making good attendance a top priority. By improving our attendance rates, we will improve the standards that our children achieve and provide them with better chances in life. We can only do this with your full support.

How parents and carers can help:
• Work together with us
• Send your child to school every day, on time, unless they are genuinely ill
• Avoid taking your child out of school for holidays

Family holidays during term time:
• The governors do not authorise absence for family holidays during the school term
• Parents and carers who choose to take their child out of school for holidays should be aware that such absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ on the child’s record.

What will happen if my child is often absent from school?
• The school monitors the attendance of all children
• If your child’s attendance falls below an acceptable level, we will contact you to discuss the situation
• If absence continues, you will be invited to discuss the reasons for your child’s absence. The Educational Social Worker will be invited to attend.
• If necessary, a referral will be made to the Education Social Worker and Attendance Service, so that the absence can be further investigated.

What happens when my child is ill?
• There may be times when your child has to miss school because he, or she, is ill
• You should always contact the school on the first day of absence to
let the teacher know that your child is unwell

It is important to let the school know if your child has ongoing health problems so that the right support can be put in place.