Letter from Broomhill's Attendance Officer.
My name is Zoe Wiltshire and I would like to introduce myself as Broomhill Junior School’s Parent Support Advisor and Attendance Officer.
As part of my role I am able to:
- Work with you and your child to overcome barriers to learning, improve attendance, and ensure that children achieve well and lead successful lives.
- Work with you to try to make sure your child is getting the most out of school and is happy and safe.
- Provide advice, support and guidance to you in any matters concerning your child’s school attendance.
- Work in partnership with you to try and help with issues concerning your child’s school attendance
- Work closely with other professionals, where necessary, in order to direct you to other services that may be useful.
Regular and punctual school attendance is a legal requirement for children registered at a school and your child needs to attend regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. In addition, it is vitally important your child arrives on time each day so that they don’t miss out on any learning time or disturb the learning of others.
Ensuring punctual and regular attendance for a child at school is legal responsibility for parents and carers. In accordance with law regulations, absences from school, without good reason, can lead to prosecution. Although this has not been enforced previously, it is an option that we have available should we need to use it.
If you have any further queries or concerns regarding the above matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
UP TO DATE WHOLE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
Our target for attendance is 97.00%.
It is important that school has a minimum of emergency contacts for your child, this should be updated with any changes as soon as possible. If your child is absent it is important that you contact school first thing in the morning. If your child is absent for a number of days you should contact school on the morning of each day and follow up absences of more than three days with medical evidence.
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no leave has been given. This includes:
- Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily.
- Absences which have not been properly explained.
- Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark.
- Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays.
- Day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.
- Inform the school office on the first day of absence, preferably before 8.45am. You can leave a voicemail message on the absent line, send in a note, report the absence via Parent Mail or by Class Dojo ensuring you clearly indicate the reason for absence and the expected return date.
- If your child is unable to return on the expected date, parents/carers are expected to inform the school office.
- Provide copies of medical appointment letters or cards.
- Initial issues are raised by phone call from our Attendance Officer or letters to parents/carer.
- If absences persist the parent/carer will be invited in to discuss support with the Attendance Officer – Mrs Wiltshire.
- If this fails to achieve required improvements then the matter is referred to the Education Enforcement Department at Nottinghamshire County Council. This may result in a fixed term penalty being issued.
- Holidays are not permitted during term-time unless there are circumstances.
- Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a Fixed Penalty Notice.
- If you require a period of leave for your child please submit this request by completing a 'Leave of Absence' form and return to the school office as soon as possible prior to the leave.
Fixed Penalties for Poor Attendance
We have a duty to remind parents of the following:
Section 444(A) of the Education Act 1996 empowers the local authority to issue Fixed Penalty Notices in cases of unauthorised absence from school. This means that when a pupil has unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more, in any term (where no acceptable reason has been given for the absence) or if the child persistently arrives late for school after the close of registration, their parents/carers may receive a Fixed Penalty Fine of £60, which must be paid within 21 days. If payment is made after 21 days but within 28 days, the penalty increases to £120. Where a fine remains unpaid after 28 days, the matter will be referred to the Magistrates Court to instigate criminal proceedings.
For clarification of when a Fixed Term Penalty may be issued please click on the following link.
Parents may also receive a Penalty Notice without a warning letter for the offence of failing to secure regular school attendance if they go on holiday in term time. Due to changes in legislation from September 2013, The Head Teacher no longer has the discretion to authorise holidays during term time.
The Importance of Punctuality at Broomhill Junior School
Being late to school can have a considerable impact over the whole school year.
- Children that arrive late are likely to have missed the start of the lesson which makes it more difficult for them to learn as the lesson progresses.
- Late arrivals distract classmates and interrupt the teacher’s lesson.
- Children that arrive late are likely to feel unsettled and are embarrassed to walk into class once it has started.
- Children that arrive late are developing bad habits. It sets up your child for the future; whether at primary school, secondary school, college or work.
The table below shows just how much time can be missed if your child is persistently late to school.
5 minutes late everyday = 3 days of school lost over a year
10 minutes late everyday = 6.5 days of school lost over a year
15 minutes late everyday = 10 days of school lost over a year
20 minutes late everyday = 13 days of school lost over a year
30 minutes late everyday = 19 days of school lost over a year
To give your child the best possible start to their school day, please make sure they arrive on time.
Classroom doors open at 8.55am and lessons begin at 9.00am. The register is taken twice a day; once at the start of the morning session and once at the start of the afternoon session. Children will receive a late mark if they are not in class by 9.10am and minutes late will be recorded. The register officially closes at 9.30am, after which time children arriving without good reason will be marked as U which counts as a legal absence which could result in a fixed term penalty notice being issued.