School education builds children’s skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will support them to become successful at secondary school and beyond into adult life. Research clearly demonstrates the link between regular attendance and educational progress and attainment. Parents/carers and the school staff should work in partnership in making education a success and in ensuring that all children have full and equal access to all that the school has to offer.
Hermitage has worked hard to achieve attendance of 96.2%- we strive to ensure that we are in line with the national average, and will work with parents to ensure that it continues to remain at or above national levels.
As a school, we will work with and support parents and carers to ensure that their child attends punctually and achieves maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent this are identified and acted on promptly.
Parents and carers have the responsibility of ensuring that their children arrive at school every day and on time and that they are picked up on time to return home safely.
We expect that all pupils will:
- attend school every day
- attend school punctually
- attend appropriately prepared for the day
We expect that all parents/carers will:
- Ensure regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities.
- Ensure that their child arrives at school punctually and prepared for the school day.
- Ensure that they contact the school daily of absence or if known in advance, whenever their child is unable to attend school.
- Contact school promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep their child away from school.
- Notify the school of any home circumstances that might affect the behaviour and learning of their child.
- Notify school immediately of any changes to contact details.
- Take holidays within school holiday dates
We expect that the school will:
- Respond promptly to any child’s or parent's concerns.
- keep regular and accurate records of AM and PM attendance and punctuality
- Monitor individual child’s attendance and punctuality.
- Contact parents on the first day that a child fails to attend and where no message has been received to explain the absence.
- Follow up all unexplained absences to obtain explanations from parents. Although parents may offer a reason, only the school can authorise the absence. In the case of long term or frequent absence due to medical conditions, verifications from a GP or other relevant body can be requested.
- encourage good attendance and punctuality through a system of rewards (100% attendance trips) and recognition (weekly Class certificates for attendance)
- regularly inform parents of the % attendance of all pupils in the newsletter
- Make initial enquiries regarding pupils who are not attending regularly.
- Meet regularly with the Attendance Welfare Officer (AWO) to monitor and support school attendance and punctuality.
- Refer irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to Attendance Welfare Officer. Failure by the family to comply with the planned support set by Education Welfare may result in further actions, e.g. a Penalty Notice, parental prosecution or an application for an Education Supervision Order.
The school does not authorise absence for the following:
- shopping /day trip / visit to a theme park;
- a birthday treat;
- oversleeping due to a late night;
- looking after other children / other family member;
- Appointments for other family members.
- Meeting family at the airport
Authorised absences include the following
- genuine illness of the pupil;
- hospital/dental/doctor’s appointment for the pupil;
- major religious observances
- visits to prospective new schools
- External exams or educational assessments.
Registers, Punctuality and Lateness
Punctuality to school is crucial. Lateness into school will cause disruption to the child's learning and to that of the other pupils in the class. It is a key skill for children to learn for success in their future life. It is essential that all pupils arrive at school on time.
The main gates are opened at 8.45. It is the parents responsibility to supervise their child until they go in to class.
Classroom doors are opened at 8.55am, and children are expected to be prepared to start learning promptly at 9am.
Registration takes place at 9am and pupils who arrive after 9am will be recorded as late to school.
Registers close at 9.15am and after this lateness is recorded as an unauthorised absence and can be subject to prosecution by the local authority.
Afternoon registration is taken at 1.15pm.
Persistent lateness by a pupil will be dealt with in partnership with the AWA and may result in a penalty notice being issued.
Pupil’s attendance and punctuality is recorded on their report and will be passed on to future schools as necessary.
Pupil Leaving During the School Day
During school hours the school staff have legal responsibility for the pupils and therefore must know where the pupils are during the school day.
- Pupils are not allowed to leave the premises without prior permission from the school.
- Whenever possible, parents should try to arrange medical and other appointments outside of school time.
- Parents are requested to confirm in writing, by letter or email, the reason for any planned absence, the time of leaving, the expected return time.
- Where a pupil is being collected from the school, parents are to report to the school office before the pupil is allowed to leave the site.
Leave of Absence
The school holiday dates are published a year in advance and INSET days are published as soon as the school have agreed these, but may occasionally be subject to change.
In line with the Government’s amendments to the 2006 regulations , holidays during term time will NOT be authorised.
Where leave of absence in term time is due to exceptional circumstances, an application form must be requested from the school office and submitted for consideration by the Head teacher on behalf of the school governors, no less than 4 weeks prior to the requested date. The Head teacher must be convinced that the exceptional circumstances are justified by requiring supporting evidence to be provided and must consider the validity of the evidence. In addition the Head teacher must consider whether the evidence necessarily warrants the child being absent in term time.
If leave is taken without prior authorisation by the school, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and Education Welfare will be notified.
In accordance with guidance from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets holidays during term time will not be authorised by the school and a Penalty Notice will be issued.
In line with the amendments made to the “ School attendance: statutory guidance and departmental advice “ (DFE 30.8.13) The Head teacher can now request that the local authority issue a Penalty Notice to parents, when pupils are taken out of school for six sessions ( three days) or more day's holiday or leave of absence without school authorisation. The amount payable on issue of a Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 when paid within 28 days. If the Penalty Notice is not paid within 28 days the local authority is then obliged to prosecute for failing to ensure regular school attendance.
Penalty notices are issued to each parent, for each child.
Penalty notices can also be issued for persistent lateness.
Failure to ensure regular school attendance
Hermitage identifies children whose attendance is a cause for concern in conjunction with the AWO. Any parent/carer whose children are identified as a cause for concern will be invited to attend a meeting at school at which strategies for supporting parents to ensure their children attend school regularly will be identified. The expectation will be that there will be a swift improvement in line with national expectations. The AWO may also issue a Penalty Notice to parent / carers who are failing to secure their childs regular school attendance and are not engaging with supportive measures to improve attendance proposed by the school or Attendance Welfare Officers. Before a Penalty notice is issued, parents will be warned of their liability to receive such a notice.
It is important that if families decide to send their child to a different school that they inform Hermitage school Office as soon as possible.
A pupil will not be removed from the school roll until the following information has been received and investigated:
- The date the pupil will be leaving the school and starting the next
- The address of the new school
- A new home address if appropriate
Leaving school at the end of the day
Parents are expected to be at school ready to pick their child up by 3.30pm. If they wish another parent to pick their child up, they need to inform the school office that morning.
If they wish an older sibling to pick up a younger brother or sister, a written request must be submitted to the Head teacher. Only children in Key stage 2 may be picked up by an older sibling.
If a child is not picked up by 3.40, they will be taken to Play centre for child care and be charged for that session of child care.
If a child is not picked up by 5.45, the parents will be charged £ 5 for the following 15 minutes of child care. A charge of £5 for every 15 minutes of child care will be made until the child is collected. The school will also consider whether social services should be notified should the late collection occur again.
The attendance policy can be found on the policies tab.