Attendance and punctuality –
One of the most important things affecting a child’s progress at school is regular attendance. For a child to gain most benefit from education, it is vital that parents work in partnership with the school to encourage good attendance and punctuality.
Good punctuality at school is essential for children to achieve their full educational potential. It is also vital for children to form good habits for later life. Therefore it is really important that your child arrives a school and on time. According to DfE guidelines, registers must be closed after a certain time in the morning. Therefore, if a child arrives after the registers close, they cannot receive a late mark but have to be marked as absent for the whole morning session. If the lateness is due to a legitimate reason e.g. a medical appointment, the absence can be authorised. Otherwise, the session is marked as an unauthorised absence. As the table below show every minute at school counts and we don’t want any child to miss out.
These frequently asked questions may help you to ensure your child has good punctuality.
Why has my child been marked as absent for the whole morning when they arrived at before lunch? As stated above, DfE guidelines state that the register must be closed after a reasonable time in the morning. Therefore a child will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session if arriving after the close of registers.
Could I receive a fine if my child is persistently late? If your child receives 10 or more unauthorised absences, you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
My child was only a couple of minutes late. It seems harsh that he/she should get a late mark. The school has to abide by the rules and expectations laid down for all schools. Lateness for school (or work) is a failure to arrive on time and will be marked as such. We would encourage families and pupils to set off in good time so that any small delay does not cause them to be late.
Our whole family overslept, and it is not my child’s fault that he/she is late. Will they receive a late mark? This cannot be taken as an acceptable reason for lateness so a late mark or unauthorised absence would be recorded, depending on the time of arrival.
Would you make any allowances for lateness if, for example, there were major traffic problems in the area perhaps because of an accident, so my car/the bus was unavoidably stuck in traffic? The school cannot make allowances for the individual problem (however genuine it may be). However, it does make allowances when there are known reported major problems that effect a large number of people; very heavy snowfall would be one such example.
What if I phone up/email to say my child is going to be late? Would they still get a late mark? Yes, they would still be marked late, but it is very helpful to know that you are aware and for us to know the expected time of arrival and reason for lateness.
If I know my child is going to be late, do I need to ring/send a text/leave a message/email ?
It is very helpful if you do this. If your child is very late, they will be marked as unauthorised absence and your communication may give an alternative acceptable reason to allow us to authorise the absence.
What if I am trying to get my child to school on time but they are refusing? Contact the school and the pastoral team/student support team may be able to work with you and your child to discover the reasons behind this and perhaps offer some support.