The following information is intended to provide parents/carers with an understanding of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality, what we do as a school to continually improve attendance and to provide information about poor attendance.
At St. Thomas’ we believe that pupils need to attend school every day in order for them to take advantage of educational opportunities and achieve their full potential. Poor attendance and persistent lateness has a detrimental effect on a pupil’s education and performance. Evidence suggests that children who attend school every day make better progress and achieve greater success.
Children must be present for morning and afternoon registration; both of these sessions count towards your child’s overall attendance. This is represented as a percentage; the number of sessions your child has actually attended out of the number of possible sessions throughout the academic year.
At St. Thomas’ we understand that in certain circumstances absence from school is unavoidable, these include illness, medical appointments, and religious observances. In order for these absences to be authorised school must be informed of the reason either by phone, in person or in writing. It is asked that in the case of a medical appointment, an appointment card/ letter must be seen by a member of staff in the school office.
Please note that an authorised absence is still recorded as an absence and will have an effect on your child’s overall attendance and education. We therefore ask that wherever possible medical appointments are made outside of school hours.
An absence will be recorded as unauthorised when a child arrives to school after the registers have closed, when a child is absent from school and no reason has been given or the reason given is not genuine and for holidays taken during term time.
At St. Thomas’ parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that their children:
- Attend school every day
- Arrive at school on time
- Are absent only when the reason is genuine
- Inform the school office of the reason for absence before 9:30am on the first day of absence
- Keep school informed if absence is for an extended period of time
- Inform the school of any medical/dental appointments and provide a copy of an appointment card to the school office.
Percentages Made Easy
|100%||Zero days absence a year.|
|Above 97%||Less than 6 days absence a year.|
|95%||Less than 10 days absence a year. Although this sounds good this is equivalent to 1 day off a month!|
|90%||20 days absence a year, this is equivalent to approximately 1 month of school.|
|85%||30 days absence a year, this is equivalent to 6 weeks of school.|
|80%||This is the equivalent to missing 1 day of school every week.|
At St. Thomas’ we continually aim to improve attendance. Throughout the year we have special incentives given for excellent attendance:
- Children who have 100% attendance during the term will receive a certificate and prize. They will win a bronze certificate and a pencil for their first term with 100% attendance, a silver certificate and pen for their 2nd term with 100% attendance and a gold certificate and £10 voucher for their 3rd term with 100% attendance.
- Each week the class with the highest attendance is announced in Friday’s celebration assembly; the class receives a trophy to display in their classroom.
- When a class achieves 100% attendance for the week they receive the 100% trophy to display in their classroom.
At St. Thomas’ we report and follow up any unexpected absences. Our policy is to ring on the first day of absence if parents have not informed us of a child’s absence. We may also follow up unanswered calls with a home visit from a senior member of staff. These visits will be kept on record for the Educational Welfare Officers (EWO) inspection.
If a child is absent for an extended period of time any parent who has not kept school informed will receive a visit from a member of school staff or the EWO should school deem that circumstances make it necessary. Any child with less than 95% attendance and no medical reason for the absence will be referred to the school’s EWO and Local Authority to pursue action against the parents/carers. Both school and the EWO have the authority to refer parents/carers to the courts. This could result in a significant fine or in extreme cases imprisonment. We have no desire to take these actions but will not shrink away from our duty of care to your child/ children.