If your child is too ill to come to school, parents must contact school on the first day of absence. The best way to do this is to leave a message on the school absence line.
If school have not heard anything from a parent/carer office staff will call the emergency contacts for the child to obtain a reason for absence.
If we are unable to contact a parent/carer then a referral may be made to the Rotherham Early Help team, for this reason it is vital that parents/carers contact school on a child’s first day of absence.
This guide outlines the school’s policy to school attendance and explains when absences will and won’t be authorised.
Parents do have a legal duty to ensure children attend school every day wherever possible and that they are on time and remain in school for the full day to access their education. School has a statutory responsibility to uphold this expectation and to have systems in place to monitor the attendance of all pupils.
Our ambition is to achieve 100% attendance with a minimum aim for all children to have at least 96% attendance and achieve an attendance award at the end of the year. Parents and carers should be aware that the attendance percentage is not the only indicator of concerning attendance. Frequent lateness and patterns such as regular Friday absence may also highlight a problem.
School is following the Rotherham Local Authority attendance procedures which can be viewed on the school website in the attendance section. School work closely with the LA Early Help services and are able to make referrals for support where attendance is concerning. School will talk to you if they feel that an Early Help referral would be useful. Information regarding Early Help and attendance can be found on the Rotherham North Early Help Facebook site.
Every school day matters as the below illustrates:
- 98% attendance = 4 school days missed
- 95% attendance = 10 school days missed (2 weeks)
- 90% attendance = 20 school days missed (4 weeks)
- 85% attendance = 30 school days missed (6 weeks)
- 80% attendance = 38 school days missed (8 weeks)
- Five minutes late each day = 3 days missed each year
Parents and carers will find useful information regarding when children should not attend school at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/ and school will use this as a guide for determining whether absence is authorised or not. As a general rule, absence due to illness will be authorised for 2 days but medical evidence will be required beyond this such as an appointment text, prescription note, appointment card.
Below are some circumstances where absence will be authorised:
- When a child has a temperature - Absence will be authorised for 2 days with the expectation that medical advice will be sought beyond this.
- Absence due to COVID - Up to 4 days will be authorised.
- Sickness and diarrhoea related absence will be authorised for 48 hours after the symptoms ended. Please contact school each day regarding your child’s illness.
- When a child is reported as ill, the first 2 days will be authorised. Beyond this, medical evidence will be required.
Below are some circumstances where absence will be unauthorised:
- Holidays taken in term time will not be authorised other than where there are exceptional circumstances. Parents and carers should be aware that exceptional circumstances are very limited.
- Where absence due to illness continues beyond 2 days with no medical evidence provided.
- Where children arrive at school after 9.20am. This will result in an unauthorised absence unless there are exceptional circumstances discussed with school staff.
- When children are absent from school for medical conditions which they are not required to be absent for and where parents have not sought treatment from a pharmacist or G.P. There are some misconceptions regarding a requirement to keep children away from school for certain illnesses. These include conjunctivitis and head lice. School expects that where children are affected with these conditions, advice and treatment is obtained through a pharmacist and that children are treated straight away and are brought to school.
- When children are collected early from school without evidence of an appointment or exceptional circumstance meaning they need to leave early. Medical appointments should be made outside the school day wherever possible.
Parents and carers are able to keep up to date with their child’s attendance through the Arbor app. Please speak to office staff if you are not yet using this facility.
If you have any questions about the school’s policy on attendance then please get in touch.