At Oak View School we believe that ‘Every Lesson Counts’ and we therefore place a high value on regular attendance and encourage it in the followings ways:
- Providing a caring and welcoming learning environment that is such fun that children will not want to miss it;
- Responding promptly to a child’s or parent’s concerns about the school or other pupils; marking registers accurately and punctually during morning and afternoon registration. If pupils arrive at school after the register has closed (9.00 am) without a written explanation, a late mark will be recorded. If a child arrives late after 9.05 am it will be recorded as ‘late after register closed’ and will be counted as an unauthorised absence. All children arriving late at school should enter via the main entrance so that their name can be recorded in the late book in case of a fire drill;
- Publishing and displaying attendance statistics;
- Celebrating good and improved attendance;
- Monitoring pupils, informing parents/carers in writing of irregular attendance, arranging meetings with them if necessary and referring the family to Attendance Improvement Officer if the irregular attendance continues.
We expect that you will:
- ALWAYS encourage regular school attendance and be aware of your legal responsibilities;
- ALWAYS ensure that your child arrives at school punctually and fully prepared for the school day;
- Ensure that you contact the school whenever your child is unwell and unable to attend school;
- Contact the school by 9.30 am on the first day of the child’s absence and telephone every day thereafter unless your child has a doctors certificate.
- Contact us promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep your child away from school.
Responding to Non-Attendance
- On the first day of absence, if we have not heard from you by 9.30 am we will contact you by our text messaging service. If we do not receive a response to our message we will contact you by telephone.
- If we fail to make contact by telephone we will either make a home visit or send a letter of concern and invite you into school to discuss your child’s absence. You will be notified that if the absence persists a referral will be made to the Attendance Improvement Officer.
- Failure to comply with the expectations set by the Attendance Improvement Officer may result in further action, an application for an Education Supervision Order, or court prosecution.
Fixed Penalty Notices
From October 2013, Oak View School will be implementing the use of Fixed Penalty Notices for unauthorised absences from school to take immediate effect. This decision has been approved by the Governing Body. There is much research which demonstrates the links between regular attendance at school and academic achievement – the more a pupil attends the more they can achieve. If your child has two weeks off or odd days absence from school over a sustained period of time those days cannot be recovered, the learning is missed and your child will be in danger of falling behind. Oak View School, through the Attendance Improvement Service, will consider the issue of a Penalty Notice if requested by a Headteacher. The following criteria apply:
- At least 15 sessions (half days) of unauthorised absence by the pupil during the current and/or previous term.
- Other than in specific circumstances1, the parent will receive a formal warning of the possibility of a Penalty Notice being issued and given 15 school days to affect improvement. Within the 15 day period, further unauthorised absence will trigger the issue of a notice without warning.
- No more than two Penalty Notices will be issued per pupil within any twelve month period2.
In exceptional circumstances the Local Authority reserves the right to:
- Issue a Penalty Notice for a first offence
- Issue a Penalty Notice without warning3
Currently the tariff for the Fixed Penalty Notice is £60 (per parent) if paid within 21 days or £120 (per parent) if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of the notice.
Separate notices are issued to each parent in respect of each child.
If the notice remains unpaid after the expiry of the payment period and the Local Authority has not withdrawn the notice, the Local Authority will prosecute for the offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
All decisions to prosecute (or not) rest with the Local Authority.
- As a school, we have successfully achieved a conviction against a parent for failure to ensure their child attends school and we will not hesitate to take this course of action in the future.
- The deliberate taking of holiday in term time without/against school permission where it can clearly be demonstrated that the parent understood that permission would not have been granted and where this has created a period of unauthorised absence of at least 10 sessions in the current term.
- In circumstances where the criteria for issuing a Penalty Notice are met more frequently a prosecution will be appropriate.Exceptional circumstances will include:
- if there have been previous attendance concerns
- if the pupil is already on open referral to Education Welfare and has time off for unauthorised term-time holiday
- if there is a second unauthorised holiday absence within a 6 month period
- any holiday absence within the first three weeks of the academic year
- any holiday absence by a pupil who should be sitting public exams during the public examination period.
Holidays in Term Time
Parents/carers should not expect the school to agree to a family holiday during term time. Parents/carers do not have a legal right to take children out of school on holiday at times when they should be attending school. Schools will normally refuse to authorise holidays during term time and the Local Authority will support them in doing so. The school term dates are published at least a year in advance and we therefore do not see any reason for parents to need to take their child out of school during term time. We hope you will support us in this matter and continue to ensure your child attends school every day.
Illness during the weeks either side of a school holiday will not be authorised by the school (unless the school has been shown a doctor’s note on the surgery’s headed paper or prescription/medicine for those dates). Parents do not need to provide this evidence but if you have chosen not to then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.