We place great importance on good attendance and punctuality here at Westwood and are extremely proud of the improvements we have seen in our attendance levels over the last few years. We know that a child’s attendance has a direct impact on their learning. Those children who are regularly absent from school and regularly late do not achieve their potential and do fall behind in class, therefore we celebrate good attendance in a wide variety of ways.
Notification of absence
The school office should be notified if your child is ill or unable to attend due to a medical appointment or other unavoidable reason. If your child is absent without notification you will be contacted by telephone and asked to provide a reason for the absence. Where possible medical appointments should be arranged outside of the school day to ensure children do not miss valuable learning time. Where this is unavoidable, we expect children to be in school before the appointment and return to school after where this is appropriate.
Keeping you informed
You will be notified annually on the school report of your child's attendance. If your child's attendance falls below 92% you will be invited to a meeting with the attendance leader to discuss this. Support will be offered in these meetings if it is required.
Rewards and incentives
We have introduced a new system of incentives to encourage good attendance. Every child with 100% attendance for a week is now entered into a draw and one child from each class receives a prize. If a child's attendance is 100% in a week they will collect a stamp on an “attendance passport” and receive an attendance band to wear each time they collect 10 stamps.
Headteachers are not permitted to authorise holidays taken during term time. If you require leave of absence for your child during term time, an absence request form should be completed and handed in to the office to notify us that your child will be absent from school. In rare and exceptional circumstances the leave may be authorised, however in all other circumstances this period of absence will be marked as ‘unauthorised’. It is important to be aware that 5 days of unauthorised absence can often be enough to trigger further action or in some circumstances a fixed penalty notice.
If a child's attendance falls 94% a letter will be sent to highlight to parents that the child's attendance is now below national average.
If a child’s attendance falls below 92% it becomes a cause for concern and will be addressed using a clear procedure:
1: A letter will be sent to you to make you aware that your child’s absence must improve within 4 weeks.
2: If, after 4 weeks, no improvement is seen, Mrs Brown will meet with you to offer support or advice. During this meeting parents will be informed that if their child has 10 unauthorised sessions (5 days) in a 12 week period a fine will be issued. At this point a penalty notice will be issued under the provisions of the Education Act 1996. Again during this period school will not authorise any absences without evidence of illness.