ATTENDANCE We have an Attendance coordinator, Shani Williams, who works closely with WPA, an external attendance support team. Please contact Shani Williams in the Office (01323 841420) if you have a question, alternatively check the FAQs below. STEP Attendance Policy FREQUENTLY ASKED ATTENDANCE QUESTIONS Why can’t I take my child on holiday in term time? Because education is important, there has been recent changes from the Department of Education and Headteachers can no longer authorise term time holidays except in exceptional circumstances. Why do I still need to apply to the school in writing if the leave is not authorised? This is so the school can ensure all pupils are safeguarded and can be accounted for. What will happen if I still decide to take my child on holiday during term time? The Headteacher will arrange to meet with you to advise you, that the matter will be referred to the Local Authority, who have the right to fine each parent for each child taken on holiday without permission. Why does it matter if I take my child out of school for a couple of weeks? The school has to comply with Safeguarding protocol and we need to know where your child is if they are not attending school during term time, and why. The school offers a rolling curriculum to all its pupils and your child’s approach to their work will be less confident if there are gaps in learning as a direct result of their absence from school. Also, socially, it is difficult for children to form good friendships if they are not consistently attending school. You never know if there will be any future absences due to illness and absences. Why do I need to send in written confirmation for my child’s absence? The school needs to be provided with a good reason in writing, for your child being absent in order for it to be authorised. If attendance drops below 95% and absences are not authorised, it could result in court proceedings. What if my child is absent for three days or more due to illness? The school policy is that if a child is absent for three days or more, due to illness, they should be seen by a medical practitioner. Parents should get written confirmation from their GP to say why the child cannot attend. The school can provide parents with a copy of a letter for the GP to sign. What’s the point in speaking to an Attendance Coordinator? How can she help? She can explain what the attendance codes mean and how to get the correct code for the absence and inform you of the government’s legal system on attendance and the importance of following school policies and procedures. She can also advise you of ways to avoid your child being absent or late. If you are experiencing some challenging parenting issues that are impacting on your child’s attendance, she may have ways of solving these by working with you and your child, or can direct you to someone who can.