Repeated studies by the DfE have shown the impact of absence on overall performance. When your child misses school, they miss out on learning and social development. We would like to support you to ensure that your child is in school as much as possible. We hope you find the following information useful.
Our attendance policy is agreed with the Stowmarket Pyramid of schools and can be found in full on our policies page. This is page designed to give you a brief overview and some useful links.
Holidays During Term Time
It is not recommended that children are taken out of school for holiday purposes as this disrupts their education and can be very unsettling for the child. Any holidays taken during term-time will be unauthorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. The school should be notified of any holidays in writing, in advance, and a form is available from the office on request. Each notification will be assessed on its merits and the parents informed.
In the event of snow, ice or other adverse weather conditions, parents should assume that the school is open unless they hear otherwise via local radio (Radio Suffolk or Heart FM). We will also try to get an email sent to parents who are on our email list. Occasionally, weather conditions force us to close the school earlier than normal. In these circumstances we would contact you and ask that you collect your child as soon as possible. Bus contractors will be contacted and asked to send their bus as early as possible.
A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
1. When does my child need to be in School?
Your child should be at school in good time for registration. The morning register will be called promptly at 8.50 am and the afternoon register at 12.55 pm.
2. What happens if my child is late?
Registration finishes at 9.10 am in the morning and 1.20 pm in the afternoon.
If you child arrives between 9 am and 9.10 am he/she will be marked late
If your child arrives after 9.10 am he/she will be marked as absent
If your child arrives between 1 pm and 1.20 pm he/she will be marked late
If your child arrives after 1.20 pm he/she will be marked absent
Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the school office, and sign the Late Book. If a pupil is late on two or more occasions a meeting will be arranged with a member of staff to discuss reasons/ difficulties for lateness.
3. Does the School need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?
We expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of absence. If you do not phone us, we will phone you. However, we need a written explanation on your child’s return to school. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report.
4. What reasons will the school accept for absences?
Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details. In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.
5. What is unacceptable?
The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters etc.
6. Will the school contact me if my child is absent?
The school operates a first day response to absences: we will phone you if we have not heard from you. This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance.
If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality we will contact you to discuss the best way forward.
7. Can we take family holidays during term time?
Family holidays will not be authorised during term time except in limited and exceptional circumstances. Circumstances where a leave of absence will be considered include:
Requests for holidays for the following reasons will not be authorised:
The school will refer cases of unauthorised absence of 8 sessions (4 days) or more within a 12 week period to the Education Welfare Officer. The local authority has the power to issue penalty notices and fines to parents when a pupil's absence has not been authorised by the school.
8. I am thinking about sending my child on an extended absence for an overseas to visit relatives. What should I do?
The school recognises that such absence can be important for children to keep in touch with their extended family. Contact the headteacher as soon as possible to discuss the best time for such a visit.
Where possible, you should arrange the visit for the school holidays. The school would strongly recommend that such absences do not take place during your child’s SATs years (Years 2 and 6). You need to complete an application form for extended leave of absence and if the Headteacher then approves the visit, the school will set work for your child to complete while away.
9. What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?
Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education. Your child will bring home a homework/reading diary each evening. Please ensure you look at it with your child and sign it ready for the next day.
10. My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?
Contact your child’s class teacher and the headteacher immediately and openly discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem.
In some cases, you may find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your child's difficulties with an Education Welfare Officer. The school may also refer you to an Education Welfare Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise. The Education Welfare Service can be contacted on 01473 265364 and further information can be found on the Suffolk County Council website: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/pupil-attendance-and-welfare/