At Cedar Children’s Academy we take our job of educating students seriously, but we cannot do this if they are not in school with us. We cannot stress how important it is for your child to attend school every day. Missing lessons has a significant impact on the attainment and progress of children. In addition to this, the law is clear (section 444 of the 1996 Education Act) that parents of a child of compulsory school age are under a legal duty to ensure regular attendance and prompt punctuality, of that child at school.
It is statutory for children who are age 5 or older to attend school. This means that all the children in our Key Stage 1 and 2 classes, and the children in our Reception classes who have already had their fifth birthday, must come to school every day. The Government’s minimum standard for a primary school’s attendance is 95%, however our expectation is much higher than this as a school, and our attendance target is generally 96% or over. We also work hard to encourage all the 3 and 4 year old children who attend our Nursery and Reception classes to come to school every day.
Good attendance and punctuality is vital if children are to do their best and make good progress. Research shows that children are much more likely to meet age-related expectations if they have high levels of attendance at school, and we aim to promote this from the very start of their school career. This encourages children to form positive attitudes from a young age, which will influence their approach to work and life in later years. If children understand how important good attendance and punctuality is, they will achieve more in school and will develop good habits for the future.
Absence is recorded as authorised or unauthorised. Only the Head Teacher can authorise absence and they are not obliged to accept your explanation. Persistent unauthorised absence will result in a referral to the Advisory Attendance Practitioner and may result in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.
School doors open at 8.40am and registration begins at 8.50am. Please ensure that your child attends school every day in time for registration. Any child arriving after the register has opened, will be recorded using a L code. Any child arriving after the close of registration at 9am may be recorded as a ‘U’ which is equivalent to an absence for that session. This is unauthorised and persistent lateness may result in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.
Absence due to illness
Absence from school will be authorised if it is due to illness or medical needs, however we do still encourage children to attend school unless they are very unwell. If a child is ill and cannot attend school, parents must telephone the school before 8.50 a.m., and give the precise reason for the absence. If an absence is not reported by a parent then we are duty bound to investigate, and if no reason is given then it becomes an unauthorised absence.
Please note that for children who have frequent occasional days off due to illness, parents may be requested to provide medical evidence to explain these absences. If parents are unable to justify regular absences with medical evidence, further absences will also be recorded as unauthorised and may result in a referral to the Attendance Advisory Service.
Wherever possible, we ask parents to try to make appointments for doctors and dentists before or after school. Where this is impossible, they should inform the School Office, of such an appointment and it will be noted in the register. We will need to see proof of dental or hospital appointments.
Children cannot be allowed to leave school during the school day unless there is an emergency, in which case the child should be collected personally by the parent or named carer, and the Class teacher and School Office informed.
Children are invited to wear their own clothes on their birthday. If their birthday falls at the weekend or in the holidays, they can choose a day that is close to their birthday.
If a child needs to be absent for any reason other than illness, such as, bereavement, family illness or crisis, parents must first seek permission from the Head Teacher.
Parents do not have the legal right to take children out of school for holidays. If exceptional circumstances arise where parents decide that time away from school cannot be avoided, then permission must be sought in writing and before booking tickets.
Exceptional circumstances does not include spending time with family members who live abroad or taking advantage of cheap flights.
If exceptional leave has been granted once before, it is unlikely to be granted again.
Absences will NOT be authorised if they are due to:
- another member of the family being ill
- the family oversleeping or having a late night
- problems with uniform
- forgetting school dates
- bad weather
- vague reasons or “illness”
Holiday in School Time
Amendments to the 2006 Education Regulations means that absence for holiday’s term time cannot be granted except in the most exceptional circumstance at the discretion of the Head Teacher. Any absence for holidays will therefore be unauthorised and can result in a fixed penalty notice of £60 per child and per parent at home if paid within 28 days and increasing to £120 per pupil per parent thereafter.
It is important that if families decide to send the child/children in their care to a different school that they inform school staff as soon as possible. A pupil will not be removed from this school roll until the following information has been received and investigated:
- the date the pupil will be leaving this school and starting the next;
- the address of the new school;
- the new home address, if it is known.
The pupil’s school records will then be sent on to the new school as soon as possible. In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the Attendance Advisory Service.
Recognising and Rewarding Good Attendance
We speak regularly to the children about the importance of attendance and have set up many recognition and reward schemes for those pupils who attend well. These include:
My Stickers (online system)
Attendance Race between classes across a term
Weekly Attendance lucky dip for classes in each Key Stage with the best attendance
Other events e.g pantomine