Attendance Matters: Every Day Counts

At St Chad’s, we are committed to ensuring that each of our children gets the best possible start to life. One way that we can do this is through ensuring regular school attendance.

For our children to achieve their full potential, regular school attendance is vital. We encourage parents and children to understand that ‘Every day counts’.

We want all of our children to have excellent attendance and arrive in school on time. As a school we strive to achieve a goal of at least 96% attendance.

In our mission to make ‘Every day count’, we run a number of attendance initiatives:

  • We reward the class with the best weekly attendance every Friday on arrival in school

  • The class with the best weekly attendance is entered into a weekly raffle. There is a ‘winning prize draw’ at the end of every half term

  • The class with the best weekly attendance is awarded ‘Chad’ (the attendance bear) to proudly display in their classroom

  • Certificates for personal attendance are rewarded at the end of each term: Bronze (96-97%), Silver (98-99%) and Gold (100%)

Attendance figures will be monitored daily by the school office. Where attendance drops below our school target of 96%, the following actions will be taken:

There are 190 school days in a year (52%). This leaves 175 days (42%) non-school days to spend with family, have visits, take holidays and attend appointments. Family holidays should not be booked during school term time.

Good attendance is being at school at least 96% of the year.

Punctuality

Not only is it important to come to school every day, but it is equally important to make sure your child arrives on time. Our gates open at 8:45am and close at 9am. If you arrive after 9am, your child will be marked as late.

Being late to school means that your child is missing learning time and most probably their early morning activity. We begin our school day with phonics – this is an essential lesson to support your child’s communication, reading and writing. If your child is 5 minutes late every day for a year this will add up to over 3 days of lost learning. If your child is 15 minutes late every day for a year this will add up to 2 weeks of lost learning.

The school monitors and tracks children’s punctuality daily. If your child is persistently late you will be invited to a meeting to discuss this.

 

Absence

If your child will not be attending school, please inform the school office by telephone on 01332 345997 by 9:30am on the first morning of absence. Alternatively, report absence directly to the main reception desk. If no contact is made to school via telephone or at the school office to report an absence, you will be contacted by phone. If no contact is made, a home visit may be carried out to get a reason for absence.

Authorised Absence

An authorised absence is when your child has been given permission to be absent from school. Regular reasons for authorised absence are illness, medical and dental appointments, religious observance, exceptional circumstances and exceptional leave. Authorised absence is at the Head of School’s discretion and you may be required to provide school with evidence of the absence:

  • Appointment letter or card

  • Letter or note from GP

  • Mediation or prescription with correct name and dates

Routine doctor and dental appointments should be booked at the ned of the day and during school holidays where possible. We know that sometimes you cannot choose hospital appointments so please make sure that you return your child to school after their appointment has finished. Evidence should be provided for all scheduled appointments.

Unauthorised Absence

An unauthorised absence is when no explanation for absence has been given to school, or if the reasons provided doesn’t meet guidelines set out by the Department for Education. Regular unauthorised absences can lead to a referral to Derby City Council School Attendance Service and the involvement of an Educational Welfare Officer (EWO).

Exceptional Leave – Need to go away?

The Department for Education states that no child is expected to be absent from school on holiday during term time. We expect that parents will only take their child on holiday during the approved holiday breaks. There are 175 days each year when a child is on holiday from school.

If your child needs to leave the area or country and will miss school due to exceptional circumstances during term time, you must speak to the school office and fill out a Leave of Absence form.

If you take your child out of school without permission, the following could happen:

  • You could be referred to Derby City Council School Attendance Service and may be issued a fine on your return

  • Your child could lose their school place

If your child is granted exceptional leave, your child must return to school on the agreed return date. If they do not, we will have no alternative but to register your child as ‘a child missing education’. This could put your child at risk of losing their place in school.