As you may be aware the Government's aim is to reduce the absence of children from school.
We support this policy as it is important that children miss as little schooling as possible to ensure their best progress. As part of the government scheme, we are required to reduce the absence of children, both authorised and unauthorised. With this in mind we have adopted the guidelines issued to us by the Essex Health Protection Unit for the management of specific infectious illnesses.
We believe that a child's attendance and punctuality are of great importance to maintain consistent progress and achievement in both curriculum knowledge and understanding and personal and social skills.
We want all children to achieve the very best they can and for this they need to be in school regularly. Irregular attendance makes it harder to keep up with work, school life and events. Late arrivals disrupt the education of not only the pupil but the other children in the class. Erratic appearances at after school clubs and social events can affect their feeling of belonging, and for some children, their ability to sustain friendships. They may miss explanations of homework, letters home or information in need of a response.
Pupil's who have good attendance will become successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve. They will find school routines and school work much easier to cope with and are more likely to have an easier transfer to primary and secondary schools and go on to become confident individuals who make a positive contribution to society.
We would like to assure you that we always have your children's best interests at heart, and we truly believe that a good education is not only a right but a necessity. We have many different rewards on offer for children with excellent attendance.
If your child's attendance is giving us cause for concern, we usually adhere to the following procedure:-
You will recieve an Attendance Concerns letter, which notifies you of your child's attendance percentage, and to remind you of your responsibilities with regards to which illnesses necessitate your child being absent.
After this, if there is no significant improvement in attendance, you may be invited to attend a meeting held in school, with the School Attendance Officer, and a representative from Aquinas (School Attendance Provisions) Ltd.. This is an opportunity for all parties to agree to an action plan which could improve your child's attendance. If you choose not to arrange a meeting at this time, an action plan will be agreed in your absence.
Following this, if no improvement is demonstrated, an official attendance warning letter will be sent to you, explaining that attendance needs to improve. If sufficient improvement is not made, the school will apply to Aquinas (School Attendance Provisions) Ltd. for a Penalty Notice Fine. You will have 21 days in which to make the payment at the lower rate of £60 per parent, and after this the fine will rise to £120. If payment is not made by the required time, Essex County Council will then become involved, which could lead to a higher fine and a criminal record for the parent(s).
Each school sets its own annual target for attendance in collaboration with the School Governors and the Local Authority. Our Attendance Target this year is 95.5%. It is expected that the whole school community will work together to achieve this target.
Health Conditions - Relevant Exclusion Periods
In accordance with Public Health England guidelines or general guidance the following table provides information about how long a child, presenting with the following conditions, should refrain from school.
Headache, earache or stomach ache - No exclusion period - parents should administer paracetamol, give plenty of fluids and send into school
High temperature - No exclusion period - parents should administer paracetamol, give plenty of fluids and send into school.
Coughs and colds - No exclusion period- parents should administer paracetamol, give plenty of fluids and send into school.
Sore throat - No exclusion period - parents should administer paracetamol, give plenty of fluids and send into school.
Diarrhoea and vomiting - Should return to school 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea.
Vomiting - in general children may return to school the following day.
Head lice - No exclusion period - child must be treated to prevent further spreading.
Scabies - Children may return to school following the first treatment - others at home should also be treated.
Threadworm - Children may return once they have started treatment.
Hand, Foot and Mouth, Warts and Verrucae, Athletes Foot - No exclusion period - must ensure that feet are covered in changing areas/swimming pools, etc.
Conjunctivitis - No exclusion period - encourage children to wash their hands regularly and not to touch their eyes.
Impetigo - Children may return after they have been recieving antibiotic treatment for 48 hours.
Measles - Children should return to school four days after the onset of the rash.
Chicken Pox - Children should return to school after the last spot has crusted over.
German Measles - Children should return to school six days after the rash has started. School must be informed by parents as pregnant members of staff may be affected.
Mumps - Children should go back to school five days from the start of the swollen glands.
Whooping Cough - Children should go back to school two days after starting antibiotics. Non-infectious coughing may continue for many weeks.
Leave of Absence - Term Time Holidays
There will be No Authorisation of Term Time Holidays.
The policy of the Governing Body of Oakwood Infant and Nursery School is that term time holidays will not be authorised in all but the most exceptional circumstances. (Cheaper holidays/ other family members buying the holiday) not being one of them.
The reason for this is simple,
- We are passionate about your child's education and enabling him/her to reach their potential. We cannot achieve this if your child is not at school.
- There are thirteen weeks school holiday each year during which you can take a holiday.
- If taken, the message to your child (and others) is that you, (the parents) value a term time holiday more than you value your child's education.
Penalty Notices can be issued for any of the following:-
- There have been 10 sessions (5 days) or more unauthorised absence due to holiday taken during an academic year; or
-The holiday was taken during tests or examinations; or
-It is the second holiday taken in any one academic year
Term time Holiday Work will not be set by the school.
The school will not set work for the children to do whilst on term time holiday. The teachers are in school and available to teach the children. The planning of teaching with complex styles and strategies cannot be replicated on holiday. If parents choose to condone term time truancy by taking a holiday, the school will not support this action by setting work for the children.
Parents might like to visit the local library and take a selection of books for their child to read to try to ensure their reading capability does not fall behind during the holiday.
Impact on Pupil Progress of Term Time Holidays
Any parent choosing to withdraw their child from education for a term time holiday should not expect for their child to make the same academic progress that year as other children in their year group. It will be very disruptive to their child's education, and their child may well miss opportunities made available to other children who attend school regularly. This is something that parents must accept and the school will not discuss.
We are sorry to see more children arriving late at school. The school gate opens at 8.40am and this is the best time to come to school. Arriving at school on time is very important. Poor punctuality is not acceptable. learning starts at 8.55am. Children who arrive late, often find it difficult to settle into the class, so they lose even more learning time, and can miss the teacher's introduction to the lessons. They may also feel embarrassed having to enter the classroom late.
Persistent lateness can add up to considerable amounts of learning being lost and can be a serious disadvantage to your child.
Any child arriving late must arrive through the school office. At the office the staff will order your child's hot school meal as well as mark them in late in the register. Should you be having difficulties in getting your child into school on time please contact the school and we will talk about ways we can help you. If your child is going to arrive after 9.30am please call us as we need to order a dinner for them by then.
Every week we audit our attendance and punctuality and we look at all our children and their attendance to date. We look at all children who are 95% or under for their attendance, and children who persistently arrive late to school.
For children who arrive late regularly this does impact their learning. Lateness will be seen as a failure to attend school regularly and will be monitored, investigated and treated in the same way as persistent or unauthorised absence. If a child persistently arrives late Essex County Council can send a Fixed Penalty Notice to the parents for non-attendance.
Lateness = lost learning
Lateness each day Days lost (approx.)
5 minutes 3.7 days
10 minutes 7.4 days
15 minutes 10 days
20 minutes 14.7 days
30 minutes 22 days
Every school day counts!
Attendance School days Equivalent weeks absence
100% 190 days 0
95% 180 2
90% 171 4
85% 161 6
80% 152 More than 7 weeks
75% 143 More than 9 weeks