At Orchard Primary School, we seek to ensure that all our pupils receive a full-time education which enables and encourages them to reach out for excellence and gives the best possible opportunities for children to realise their true potential.
In order that our children gain the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that pupils attend school regularly.
To view our 'Attendance Policy', please click the link below:
Our Aims For Promoting Good Attendance Are:
- To improve the overall percentage attendance of pupils at school
- To reduce the number of term-time holiday requests
- To make attendance and punctuality a priority for all those associated with the school including pupils, parents, teachers and governors
- To develop a framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promotes consistency in carrying out designated tasks
- To provide support, advice and guidance to parents and pupils
- To develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing attendance-related data
- To further develop positive and consistent communication between home and school
- To implement a system of rewards and sanctions
- To promote effective partnerships with other services and agencies e.g. Social Care
- To recognise the needs of the individual pupil when planning reintegration following significant periods of absence
Promoting Regular Attendance
The Department for Education expects schools and local authorities to promote good attendance, reduce absences, including persistent absence. This is because we know that missing out on lessons leaves pupils vulnerable to falling behind.
As a school, we work incredibly hard to support all pupils and their families so as to ensure that all children have good attendance.
Persistent Absence’ Thresholds
Persistent Absence (PA) data includes all pupils whose attendance is 90% or less.
Persistent Absence will be assessed on a cumulative basis so a pupil can come in and out of the category but in real terms pupils taking any time off from school at any point during the academic year could be categorised as persistently absent if their absence falls below 90%.
Please be mindful therefore that occasional days off school due to minor illnesses, such as a cough or sort throat, soon accumulate.
Leave of Absence & Holidays in Term Times
Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Parents/carers needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form (where applicable) at least two weeks before the anticipated start date as absences will not be granted retrospectively. A full explanation must be given for the request and the school will write back to you with a decision.
Where a parent takes the holiday and it has not been authorised parents may be liable to a fixed penalty Notice. If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued the penalty is £60 when the payment is made within 21 days and £120 when the payment is made after 21 days but prior to 28 days. Failure to pay within 28 days will result in a summons to appear before the Magistrates Court for non-payment of the fine.
Parents are notified of term dates and Inset days well in advance of the start of each academic year to ensure that holidays are booked outside of school term time (dates available on the schools’ websites). The Schools are in session for 38 weeks per year, leaving opportunities to take pupils on holiday during the remaining 14 weeks.
Attendance is one of the areas a school is judged on and as a good school, we are expected to have good attendance rates.
Parents are asked to support the school in helping their child to establish a good attendance record by:
- Making sure their child understands the importance of good attendance and punctuality
- Taking an interest in their child’s education, through asking them about their school work and encouraging them to get involved in school activities
- Discussing any worries that their child might have about coming to school and informing their class teacher about anything serious
- Not letting their child take time off school for very minor ailments
- Arranging appointments and outings after school hours or at weekends or school holidays
- Ensuring that family holidays are booked during school holiday time and not during term time (there are 13 weeks of the year during which the school is closed)
- Being very clear with their child regarding the school’s expectation that they arrive at school every day by 8.55am, appropriately equipped and wearing full school uniform
Children Missing Education (CME)
Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.
A child going missing from school is also a potential indicator of abuse and neglect.
Staff will monitor children that go missing from school, particularly on repeat occasions, and report them to the designated safeguarding lead – following normal safeguarding procedures.
In order to ensure accurate data is collected to allow effective safeguarding, the school will inform the LA of any pupil who is going to be deleted from the admission register where they:
- Have been taken out of school by their parents and are being educated outside the school system, e.g. home education.
- Have ceased to attend school and no longer live within a reasonable distance of the school.
- Have been certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither he/she nor his/her parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend the school after ceasing to be of compulsory school age.
- Are in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and we do not reasonably believe they will be returning to the school at the end of that period.
- Have been permanently excluded.
The local authority will be notified when a school is to delete a pupil from its register under the above circumstances. This should be done as soon as the grounds for deletion are met, but no later than deleting the pupil’s name from the register. Please check out the Orchard CME Policy by clicking on the link: https://orchardprimary.org/policy/children-missing-education-cme-policy
What to do if you suspect a case of CME
If you suspect that a child is missing education, please contact the Leicestershire Children Missing Education (CME) Team: phone 0116 3052071 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org