As a school we aim to ensure that all children achieve the best they can. We recognise that attending school on time has a positive impact on learning, allows children to form better relationships with their peers and the staff and leads to better overall performance in school. Every lesson really does count and children can quickly fall behind if even a day is missed. By ensuring that attendance and punctuality are the highest they can be we are not only giving our children the best chance to achieve success, we are also preparing them for their future adult life.
At Hawthorn Community Primary School, we have set a target of 97% attendance. In line with Local Authority guidelines, we expect a minimum of 96% attendance.
Legally we are required to record all absences as either authorised or unauthorised.
Examples of authorised absence:
- Genuine illness
- Days of religious observance specified in advance
- Exceptional family circumstances, eg bereavement
- Approved sporting activity
- Medical appointments – evidence to be provided
Examples of unauthorised absence:
- Frequent absence due to minor ailments
- Shopping during school hours
- Day trips
- Arriving late for school after the close of register
Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child is not late for school, as this can also have a detrimental effect on their child’s education.
Minutes late per day
Equivalent of missing
3.4 school days a year
6.9 school days a year
10.3 school days a year
13.8 school days a year
20.7 school days a year
Absences Including Term Time Holidays
We are unable to authorise any term-time holidays and ask that you only book holidays within the school holiday dates. Department of Education attendance guidelines state that any child who takes 5 or more days for unauthorised reasons, including holidays, should be referred for a Fixed Penalty Notice and could be fined £60 per leave period, per adult, per child. We understand that it can be difficult for some families to take holidays within school holiday time, however we are required by law to follow this guidance.
At the end of every week, we monitor attendance for each child. When the trigger of 10 sessions or 5 days is hit, this will prompt the start of the graduated response to attendance, as outlined in the Attendance Policy (see below). As part of the monitoring process, medical evidence may be requested to authorise a child's absence. Following monitoring periods in step 2 and 3 of the graduated approach, if 98% isn't achieved, you will be invited to a Parent Contract Meeting (PCM), which is our step 4. After a further period of monitoring, if attendance does not improve, then we will refer your case to North Northamptonshire's Education Inclusion Partnership Team. As a last resort, legal procedures will be instigated.
We Are Here to Help
Parents should contact the school if a circumstance has arisen that will affect your child’s attendance. Our Family Support Worker, Emma Brown, is available to help if you are struggling to ensure your children attends school regularly. Talk to your child’s class teacher or call the school office and ask to speak to Mrs Brown.
In order to maintain good attendance at Hawthorn Community Primary School we request that:
Parents contact the school on each day of unavoidable absence (such as sickness). This may be done by phone – 01536 512204, by leaving a message on the school mobile number – 07807 941646, by letter, email or in person.
The NHS has produced a leaflet providing parents with further information on whether your child is too ill for school, it can be accessed at: NHS help
We have produced a guide for Parents and Carers which is available to download below along with our full Attendance Policy.