We aim to have very good attendance for all pupils at St Michael’s. However, if pupils are unwell they should not be in school. We do not have medical facilities or a school nurse on site. Also, when the children are unwell the people they want most, naturally, are their own parents.
To enable us to complete registers accurately and carry out our safeguarding functions, it is vital that you communicate information about absence as soon as possible.
When your child is absent it is important to call the office to inform school between 8.30 and 9.30 a.m. on the first day of absence. Another call on the second day would be appreciated to inform if the absence is likely to be longer term. If your child is away for 3 or more consecutive days please write a brief note or send an email giving the reason for the absence. This can be handed in by your child to the class teacher or emailed to the office on the first day back at school. Absence for longer than a week due to illness may require a Doctor’s note.
Please do remember that your child should not return to school before 48 hours after the last bout of sickness/diarrhoea.
Late Arrivals, Unauthorised Absences & Penalty Notices
School opens to pupils at 8.40am. School start time is 8.55am. Registration is at 8.55am. If your child arrives after this time, they will be entered as ‘late’. If your child arrives after 9.05am then their attendance for the morning will be entered as ‘late after registration closes’. If your child misses a session without a substantive reason a mark of ‘un-authorised absence’ will be logged. This is a legal requirement. Family holidays will always be entered as ‘holiday not agreed’ except in exceptional circumstances as per government guidelines.
As our attendance policy states in the section titled ‘Penalty Notices’, if your child has at least 15 sessions (where one session is either a morning or afternoon) of un-authorised absence, then the headteacher may ask the local authority to issue a penalty notice. This penalty notice is £60 per child, per parent. So for a two parent family with two children, that would mean a fine of £240 which is doubled if not paid within 21 days.
The advice from our attendance officer is that we should commence issuing penalty notices. Therefore, if you are thinking about booking a holiday during term time, I would urge you to reconsider.
We understand and appreciate that children can become ill and that it is not always easy to decide whether to send them into school or keep them at home, so to help you with this decision, here is a useful reference guide:
If your child is too ill to attend school, please contact the office before 9.00am with full details of your child’s illness/symptoms. If your child has a minor complaint such as a runny nose, mild headache, cough or sore throat, then they should attend school. We know that illness is unavoidable and to be expected however, it is very important that you ring/email us every day that your child is absent from school, letting us know the reason why. You do not need to make contact every day if we know your child is going to be off for a specific amount of time e.g. after an operation or a prolonged medical reason. If we do not hear from you, as part of the school’s safeguarding procedures, we will try and contact you to find out why your child is not in school.
Children can attend school if they are taking medicines. However, we can only give children medicine if a parental consent to administer medicine in school form has been completed which is available from the office or the school website. Please do not send medicine in with your child. It must be handed in at the school office.
Please see the school’s website for NHS guidance which will help you decide if your child should attend school or not.
We request that, where possible, routine medical and dental appointments are arranged outside of school hours. These appointments will affect your child’s attendance! We do understand that some appointments, such as hospital consultations, are not always possible to arrange outside of school hours. Parents/Carers should bring in the appointment letter to the school before the day of the appointment. However, if your appointment time allows your child to come to school for registration and then leave, this will have a positive impact on their attendance figure. Likewise, if they are able to be back in school for afternoon registration.
Every School Day Counts
If your child’s attendance level falls to 90% or lower, then they are likely to fall behind with their learning. If it falls to 85% or lower it will be very difficult for children to keep up and achieve their best, which after all, is what everybody wants for your children.
Please remember: Children only attend school for 190 days out of 365. This leaves 175 days for holidays. Please book your holidays during these 175 days of weekends and school holidays.