Attendance and Punctuality
Attendance and Punctuality
Lateness Poor punctuality is not acceptable and can contribute to further absence. Good time-keeping is a vital life skill which will help children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world. Pupils who arrive late disrupt lessons and, if a child misses the start of the day, they can feel unsettled and embarrassed, miss vital work and important messages from their class teacher.
The times of the start and close of the school day for all pupils are:
Gates open: 8.30am
Registration closes: 8.50 am
End of the school day: 3.15 pm
Late collection at the end of the day, if you have not made alternative arrangements for the collection of your children or informed us of your lateness, may result in Thurrock Children’s Social Care or the Police.
How we manage lateness:
• The school gates open at 8:30am and the playground is supervised.
• The school day starts at 8.45am when children begin to come into school/
• Children arriving after 8.50am are required to come into school via the school office. A parent/carer they must sign them into our ‘Late Book’ and provide a reason for their lateness which is recorded. Pupils arriving independently must sign themselves in.
• Registration commences at 8.45am and your child will receive a late mark ‘L’ if they are not in by the time the registers have been competed at 8:50am.
• At 8:55am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time, they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site - ‘U’, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence.
• The school may contact parents/carers regarding lateness.
• From time to time a member of school staff will undertake a ‘Late Gate’ check, greeting late arrivals at the main entrance to the school Unauthorised lateness could result in the school referring to the Local Authority for sanctions and/or legal proceedings.
If your child has a persistent late record, you will be asked to meet with the Assistant Head Teacher, but you can approach us at any time if you are having difficulties getting your child to school on time. We expect parents and staff to encourage good punctuality by being good role models to our children and celebrate good class and individual punctuality. Children will be marked as late if they arrive after 8:50am and will be marked as receiving an unauthorised absence if arriving after 8:55am. If your child has 12 or more unauthorised absences (due to lateness) in a period of 120 school days, and you have not engaged with us in trying to improve this, both parents will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Term Time Leave of Absence
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 were amended in September 2013. All references to family holidays and extended leave have been removed. The amendments specify that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are "exceptional circumstances" and they no longer have any discretion to authorise up to ten days of absence each academic year. It is a rule of this school that a leave of absence shall not be granted in term time unless there are reasons considered to be exceptional by the Head Teacher, irrespective of the child’s overall attendance.
Only the Head Teacher or his/her designate (not the local authority) may authorise such a request and all applications for a leave of absence must be made in writing on the prescribed form provided by the school.
Where a parent removes a child when the application for leave was refused or where no application was made to the school, the issue of a penalty notice may be requested by this school in accordance with the Thurrock Code of Conduct. A Penalty Notice may be issued where there have been at least 10 consecutive sessions (a session is half a day) of unauthorised absence for the purpose of a holiday, however, due to the importance of pupils settling into school at the commencement of the school year, Penalty Notices may also be issued if there have been at least 6 consecutive sessions of unauthorised absence during the first two calendar weeks of September due to a term-time holiday.
At Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, 'exceptional circumstances' will be interpreted as: ... being of unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child which outweighs the loss of teaching time (as determined by the headteacher). The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are events that are “rare, significant, unavoidable and short”.
By 'unavoidable' we mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time, outside of school term time. We will not consider applications for leave during term time:
• at any time in September. This is very important as your child needs to settle into their new class at the start of the academic year as quickly as possible.
• during assessment and test periods in the school’s calendar affecting your child.
• when a pupil’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence or they have already been granted authorised leave within that academic year.
If leave of absence is authorised, the school will not provide work for children to do during their absence. Parents are however advised to read with their children and encourage them to write a diary while they are away.
Please see full details in our policy below how we manage absence from school and the steps we will take to ensure your child attends school every day.
Legislation and Guidance
Legislation and Guidance The DfE has produced guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools, and local authorities: Working together to improve school attendance. Our Attendance Policy reflects the key principles of that guidance. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance
This policy meets the requirements of the school attendance guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from the following legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:
• Part 6 of The Education Act 1996
• Part 3 of The Education Act 2002
• Part 7 of The Education and Inspections Act 2006
• The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (and 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016amendments)
• The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.