The aim of Richard Cloudesley School's attendance policy is to enable the school to provide a consistent practice that encourages and facilitates the regular attendance of all pupils. Regular attendance at school is key to steady pupil progress and enjoyment of learning, and for this reason the school is dedicated to ensuring its attendance policy is adhered to as rigorously as is possible.
Richard Cloudesley School takes a whole-school approach to maintaining excellent attendance and it is the joint responsibility of parents/carers, pupils, and all staff members to ensure that children are attending school as they should be. We endeavour to work with families to make sure that any problems or circumstances which may lead or be leading to poor attendance are given the right attention and appropriate support.
Parents and carers
As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, we request that parents/carers:
Attend pupil progress meetings three times a year;
Attend pupil annual review / EHCP conversion meeting once a year;
Engage with their children’s education – support their learning and take an interest in what they have been doing at school;
Promote the value of good education and the importance of regular school attendance at home;
Encourage and support their children’s aspirations;
Follow the set school procedure for reporting the absence of their child from school and include a expected date for return (see section 4.2);
Do everything they can to prevent unnecessary school absences, such as by making medical and dental appointments outside of school hours or at the beginning or end of the day so that the child can attend part of the day;
Use the school as a support when they or their child are having difficulties, and work to form a positive relationship with the school so that there is easy communication when a problem arises;
Keep the school informed of any circumstances which may affect their child’s attendance;
Enforce a regular routine at home in terms of bedtime, etc. so that the child is used to consistency and the school day becomes part of that routine. It is vital that the child receives the same message at home as they do at school about the importance of attendance;
Do not take their children out of school during term time. If parents/carers would like to make a special request for this, they may do so to the Headteacher using the Special Leave Request Form. This form should also be used for regular, known absence;
Sign a home-school agreement;
Do everything they can to have the pupil ready at their designated pick up time (LA transport).
Family holidays and extended leave
Parents/carers should ensure that family holidays and special leave are arranged outside of school term time. Parents/carers do not have the automatic right to remove their child from school during term time for this reason. Requests for leave from school must be made in using the form above to the Headteacher 3 weeks in advance of the leave being taken. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, such as a family bereavement that requires the child to travel to another country, this will be taken into consideration.
The Parent Governor Committee (that will include the headteacher) will together consider all applications for special leave. When deciding whether to authorise absence, the committee will take the special circumstances into account. Examples of these might be:
All requests for authorised absence will be responded to in writing, and will, if appropriate, outline the details of when the child is expected to return to school.
Parents/carers should contact the school immediately if there will be a cause for delay from the stated date of return.
If permission is not granted, but the child is still absent, the absence is classed as unauthorised and parents/carers may be issued with a penalty notice.
Richard Cloudesley School recognises that there may be times where children of different faiths observe religious festivals that fall outside of school holidays and weekends, and will allow authorised absence for these times.
Parents/carers will be aware of these dates and should give the school written notification in advance.
School action: following up absences
Class registers are passed to the school office at the end of the registration period. Where there are unexplained or unauthorised absences, the school will contact the parents/carers. If a pattern of unauthorised absences emerges, the Head of Department or class teacher will contact the parent/carer to discuss possible reasons and school support systems that could help.
A full copy of the policy is available on the policies section of this website.