Highfields Primary School Mission Statement
To promote independent, confident, self-disciplined children with enquiring minds and the skills to maximise their full learning potential.
Good attendance by pupils and staff is part of this school’s daily life
We ensure dedicated time and resources, including the employment of additional staff as needed, e.g. home-school liaison or pastoral staff
We ensure a high quality curriculum and teaching
We ensure support is in place to meet the individual needs of every pupil
We have procedures in place that are monitored and reviewed with the input of staff, pupils and parents
We make decisions based on evidence, including through regular data analysis
We fast track attendance issues with an emphasis on early intervention and referral to external agencies when required;
We work in partnerships with the local community, businesses and parents
We are committed to working with parents and the Missing Education & Child Employment Service to maintain our excellent attendance rate of 97.1% in 2014/15, 97% in 2015/16, 97% in 2016/2017 and 97.1% in 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 and 96.5% (COVID19 Lock Down) 2019/2020. During 2014/15 0.3% unauthorised absences were recorded which was a 0.1% improvement on the previous year. 0.3% unauthorised absences were recorded in 2015/16. For 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 0.4% unauthorised absences were recorded. In 2018/2019 this figure rose to 0.5% and dropped to 0.4% in 2019/2020. 2020- 2021 97.4% whole school attendance and 0.3% unauthorised attendances recorded.
Why is Good Attendance so Important
Pupils who do not regularly attend school are more likely to fall short of achieving their full academic potential. Statistics show that 90% of persistent absentees, poor attenders or non-attenders fail to achieve five or more good grades at GCSE and approximately one third end up with no GCSEs at all. Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that their child attends school on a regular, full time basis. Schools have a duty to monitor and act early to address patterns of absence. Where parents/carers fail too meet their legal responsibilities, the local authority has powers to take legal action in the form of penalty notices or prosecution. Poor attendance at school can lead to their child's life chances being detrimentally affected. Poor attendance can lead to disaffection amongst peers (lost friendship groups, missed opportunities to take part in school events) Irregular attendance can cause difficulties for pupils to catch up with work and pastoral events and can lead to long term absence.
Absence due to Illness
On the first day of absence, parents/carers, should notify the school of their child's absence. We will will only authorise absences that are reported as being due to illness and where we are satisfied that the absences are genuine. We may request medical evidence to cover the absence, for example, an appointment card/slip, a text message confirming that an appointment has been made with the GP, a photocopy of the tear off slip retained by the parent when a prescription is issued.
To report an absence, please telephone the school, 01206 392223, and leave a message on our absence line. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of staff about the absence, please telephone the office from 8.30am.
Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment will be recorded as an authorised absence. However, we do encourage parents/carers to make appointments outside of school hours and to keep children out for the minimum time necessary for the appointment. A copy of the appointment letter/card should be provided to the school in order for the absence to be authorised.
Academic Year 2020- 2021
Year Group Attendance
|Group||Presents||AEA||Authorised Absences||Unauthorised Absences||Possible||% Attend|
Changes to Essex Penalty Notice Code of Conduct for unauthorised leave of absence- Letter to Parents
Essex County Guidance- Learning Hours Lost- Why Absence Rates are a cause for concern
Unauthorised Leave of Absence
As from 1st September 2013, the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 amended Regulation 7 to prohibit headteachers from granting leave of absence to a pupil, except where an advance application has been made by the parent with whom the pupil normally resides, and the headteacher considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.
The current law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time, however, you may apply to the school for leave of absence if you believe there are exceptional circumstances.
Requests for absence should be made on an official form available at the office. A penalty notice may be given in cases where unauthorised absence has been taken.
Absences will be recorded as unauthorised when:
- an application for leave of absence has been made to the school and the headteacher deems that there are no exceptional circumstances which warrant time off during term time.
- a parent/carer fails to notify the school that they are going away on holiday, and does not send their child to school.
- a parent/carer reports their child as being absent due to illness and the school are later informed the family went away on holiday during term time.
Where a pupil has 10 consecutive sessions (5 consecutive days) of unauthorised absence, the headteacher may apply to the Missing Education and Child Employment Service for a penalty notice to be issued. The decision to request a penalty notice remains within the discretion of the headteacher.
At the end of every half term, pupils attendance data is analysed by the schools attendance officer. The following situations will be reported to the headteacher and further investigated:
- When a pupils attendance drops below 95%.
- 8 unauthorised sessions within a four week period, which could result in a referral to Missing Education and Child Employment Service.
- More than 6 broken weeks of education.