Good attendance at school is not just valuable, it’s essential. Going to school is directly linked to improved learning outcomes which should in turn lead to further opportunities and better job prospects. As well as this, going to school helps to develop:
- Social skills
- Team values
- Good mental health
- Life skills
- Cultural awareness
- Career pathways
Good attendance should begin as soon as children start school, whether this is in pre school or Nursery or in Reception classes. Good habits and high expectations start here!
Absence from school
We record details of pupils’ attendance and absence at school. We do this at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions meaning that each day your child receives two half day marks.
If your child is going to be absent from school, (e.g. for an unavoidable appointment) then you should let the school know as soon as possible by telephoning the main school office by 9.00am. If your child has been absent due to an unexpected event such as bereavement or illness then you must also let the school know on the first day of absence in line with our attendance policy.
We will then record the absence. If you fail to tell the school as to why your child has not been present, then the school may record that period of absence as being unauthorised.
The school may ask the parent to provide medical evidence, such as a prescription, appointment card, or other appropriate form of evidence. We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily. In some instances the school may ask the parent to obtain a letter from a GP, or the school may seek parental permission to contact the pupil’s GP directly. If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Where a pupil has a high level and/or frequency of absence, the school may require medical evidence of some description in order to authorise any future medical absences. If this is the case, the school will make the parent/s aware of this expectation in advance. The reporting of absence due to illness remains the responsibility of the parent. If a child is absent for more than one day, the parent should contact the school each day to provide an update on the child’s condition.
Attendance in figures
We will advise parents of a child’s attendance levels at least once a year. This will usually include a percentage attendance figure.
Achieving 90 per cent in an exam or test is a fantastic result but if your child is at school for only 90 per cent of the school year then they will have missed 19 days – almost four whole weeks of school. For primary-age children, this can mean almost 120 guided learning hours. This is a big gap for any child to make up.
The expected level of attendance for Hackney school children is at least 95%. Our school target for attendance is 96.5%.
Because attendance is so important, we check attendance each month and will let you know by text message as soon as your child’s absence falls below 95%.
Your legal responsibilities as a parent
By law, all children of school age must receive a suitable full-time education. For most parents, this means registering your child at a school or you may choose to make other arrangements to provide a suitable, full-time education.
Once your child is registered at a school, you are legally responsible for making sure they go regularly.
What YOU can do to make sure your child is successful in school, all day, every day
You can help prevent your child missing school by:
- having a routine from an early age and sticking it to it
- making sure your child understands the importance of good attendance and punctuality
- making sure they understand the possible implications for themselves and you as a parent if they don’t go to school
- taking an interest in their education – ask about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities
- discussing any problems they may have at school and letting their teacher or principal know about anything that is causing concern
- not letting them take time off school for minor ailments or holidays during term time
To avoid disrupting your child’s education, you should arrange (as far as possible), appointments and outings:
- after school hours
- at weekends
- during school holidays
Term time holidays
Term time holidays have been increasing over the last number of years. Parents should make every effort to make sure that their child does not miss school due to holiday plans. Schools are not obliged to agree to you taking your child on holiday during term time. They are entitled to record such holidays as being an unauthorised absence.
The beginning and end of the day
Being punctual is as important as good attendance
Pupils need to arrive on time from 8:55am and unless they attend clubs, be collected promptly at 3:30 pm. Any children arriving after 8:55am, or picked up after 3:30pm will be given a late warning mark. 3 late warning marks will result in parents/ carers receiving a text warning and be invited in for a punctuality meeting to issues any issues or support you may need.
Year 5 and 6 pupils may make their own way home with parental consent and agreement from the class teacher. Nursery up to Year 3 must be collected by someone aged 16 or over.
Medical & Dental appointments
Parents should try to make appointments outside of school hours wherever possible. Where appointments during school time are unavoidable, the pupil should only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment. Parents must ring and inform the school office of any appointments. It is not acceptable for a child to miss a whole day’s schooling for an appointment, unless absolutely necessary, in which case the school will need an explanation as to why this is. If a pupil must attend a medical appointment during the school day, they must be collected from the school office by the parent or another authorised adult. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school site without parental confirmation. Advance notice is required for medical or dental appointments, unless it’s an emergency appointment, and must be supported by providing the school with sight of, or a copy of, the appointment card or letter – only then will the absence be authorised.