At Damson Wood, we aim to ensure that all children attend school regularly and on time to enable them to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available.
Regular, punctual attendance is valued and positively encouraged for all of our pupils.
Attending school regularly and on time has a positive impact on learning, progress and therefore the best life chances for pupils. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are important factors in school success. At Damson Wood Nursery and Infant School Academy, we expect all children to achieve attendance that is at least 96%.
It is important that pupils are punctual so that they do not miss out on the beginning of each school day. Children must attend on time to be given a present mark for the session.
If a pupil arrives late to school every day, their learning begins to suffer.
Below is a graph showing how being late to school every day over a school year adds up to lost learning time.
19 Days Lost
13 Days Lost
10 Days Lost
6.5 Days Lost
3 Days Lost
5 Minutes Late
10 Minutes Late
15 Minutes Late
20 Minutes Late
30 Minutes Late
(Over one academic year)
Children arriving after the doors close at 9.00 am will be late for school and have to report to the school office.
School registration will close at 9.15am. Where a pupil arrives after the register closes this will be classed as an unauthorised absence (code U as per DFE compulsory attendance codes).
The registers monitored daily and to identify pupils who are arriving late and regular late arrival for school will be challenged as not acceptable. Pupils who have 10 or more U codes will be referred to the Education Enforcement Team for the issue of a penalty notice.
What can I do to help my child achieve good attendance?
- Ensure regular and early bedtimes.
- Have uniform and equipment prepared the night before.
- Report any academic or social concerns promptly.
- Keep open and honest communication with the school.
- Be positive about school (even if your own experience was less than positive).
- Discuss your child’s timetable/lessons with them each evening.
- Make routine medical appointments outside of school hours
- Attend meetings and parents evenings
Can I take my child out of school for a Family Holiday?
The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational, but your child will miss out on the teaching that their classmates will receive during your holiday. Attendance is vital to academic success and lost education poses a potential risk of under achievement. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.
The Head of School will not authorise an absence for a Family Holiday. The Head of School will consider requests for a leave of absence in term time in exceptional circumstance. If you wish to request a leave of absence, you must complete a Leave of Absence request form, provide any supporting evidence and return to school at least two prior to the period that leave is requested for.
Why is it important to have up-to-date phone numbers?
School may need to contact you in a range of situations and it is essential that they have up to date contact numbers. If a pupil is absent from school fails to arrive at school with no contact from parents then school staff will attempt to contact all emergency contacts to establish the whereabouts and wellbeing of the child. Where school staff have been unable to make contact further action such as home visits, safe and well checks and referrals to other agencies including the police may need to be made. Further information is available in the school attendance policy.
My child appears worries/anxious about attending school what should I do?
If your child has any concerns about attending school or is showing any reluctance to attend school then we would ask that you make contact with the school immediately. Your child’s class teacher, Miss Hughes, Mrs Fitter and the attendance and welfare officer are all available to offer support and discuss any issues impacting on attendance.
My child is too unwell to attend school today what should I do?
Whilst children can attend school with minor ailments such as ear aches, coughs and colds, there are occasions when it is not in the best interest to attend school because they are too unwell or at risk of spreading an infectious illness.
When a parent makes the judgement that their child’s is unfit for school due to illness, they must notify the school on the first day of absence, and subsequent days by 9.00am. They must give a reason for the absence and the expected date of return to school.
Medical evidence will not be requested unless there are significant concerns about attendance and parents will be advised of this in writing. When medical evidence is requested by school this doesn’t require a doctor's note and can include:
- Copies of Prescriptions
- Copy of appointment cards and letters
- Copy of hospital letters and discharge letters
- Sight of prescribed medication
To help parents with decisions around illness and attendance, we have also included a link to public health guidance on infectious diseases here.
Can my child be absent from school for medical appointments?
We would ask that all routine medical and dental appointments are arranged outside of school hours. Where children are undergoing medical or dental treatment, or are under the care of a specialist, we understand that appointments may not be possible outside of school hours so, in this case, the time for the appointment and travel will be authorised.
The minimal time for appointments should be missed from school and children are expected to attend prior to/after appointments and not be absent for a full school day.
Will legal action be taken if my child is absent from school?
School will monitor attendance closely and raise concerns with parents where necessary. School will utilise a range of interventions to try and work with families to improve attendance. However, where children accrue 10 or more unauthorised absences (there are two sessions in each school day, if a child is absent for a day they have two absent marks. 5 days absence equals 10 sessions), referrals to the Local Authority Education Enforcement for legal action will be made.