At Christ Church Junior School, we believe that good attendance is vital for every child to enable them to access the educational opportunities on offer to them. We work very closely with the educational Welfare Officer (EWO) to monitor attendance and to work with families to improve attendance where it dips below the Government expectation of 96.4%.
Every week in celebration assembly, we award the attendance cup to the band with the best attendance for the last week. At the end of each term, any child whose attendance is 98% or better receives a letter home to their parents to acknowledge their positive attendance and thank them for making the effort to attend every day.
If attendance starts to dip below the government expectation of 96.4%, then the headteacher and EWO will write to the families to encourage better attendance and to inform them that their child’s attendance will continue to be closely monitored to ensure it improves. Where it doesn’t improve over the next six weeks, families may be invited to meet with the EWO to discuss their child’s attendance and to try and unpick the reasons for it dropping. In many cases, the school will be able to offer support and it is a great opportunity for an open conversation as everyone wants their child to attend school and be happy. All correspondence is always addressed to the parents so children are never involved in the discussion as it is rarely ever a child's decision to not be attending school.
Term time absence
There are times that a child may need to miss school for very genuine reasons which can be authorised such as:
- Emergency medical/dental and learning support appointments (e.g dyslexia, physio, CAMH's)
- Close family funerals, weddings and major religious occasions
- Exams (e.g music, dance) or interviews
- School visits for open/transition days
Parents must complete and submit the below absence request form or should you require a paper copy, this can be found in the lobby of the school office. Please note
- The law does not give parents an automatic right to take their child out of school in term time.
- The parent who the child normally lives with must be the one to submit the absence request.
- The head teacher will consider whether there are exceptional circumstances in relation to the absence request.
- If exceptional leave is granted, it is at the heads discretion as to how many days will be authorised.
Term time holidays, family visiting from abroad and more than one day for weddings/funerals etc are not days that will be authorised but the school still need to be informed. It can be very detrimental to children to miss a chunk of school as they can miss lessons that are not taught again within that year and they start to fall behind their peers. Any child that does not return at the agreed time following an absence 'Children In Missing Education' enquiries might be made and further investigations may take place regarding a child's whereabouts.
Any absence which has not been agreed in advance by the headteacher will be marked as an unauthorised absence and may result in a penalty notice (fine) or a prosecution.
Reporting absence - please use one of the following to report absence by 9am daily.
Phone number: 01454 866516
Online form: See below
Every week is made up of ten sessions (two a day). If any one of these sessions is missed, regardless of the reason and whether it was authorised absence, the week is called a ‘broken week’. This is because lessons often build on each other, so missing a lesson can have a negative impact for a child’s confidence and their understanding of the teaching. Even if your child’s attendance percentage is high, you may be contacted by the headteacher or EWO if there are lots of broken weeks.
Our school timings are as follows:
8.45am - Playground gates and school doors open and children are dropped at the band doors.
8.55am - Register and lunch requests are taken in class. Registers close and any arrival after this time is recorded as late (L code).
9.15am - The late now becomes an unauthorised absence (U code) if a child arrives after this time.
1.00pm - Afternoon registers are taken.
3.20pm - School ends and pupils are collected from their classroom doors.
This totals 32 hours and 55 minutes per week.
Working with families
We know that parents want the best for their child and in our experience most parents are very happy to work with us to tackle any reasons behind poor attendance. We are aware this could include family break up, friendship issues or medical concerns etc.
We would always encourage you to talk to your child’s class teacher if there are any issues, however, we also have attendance support workers (Lucy Dennett, Charlotte Byrom and Laura Dixon) who can be contacted at email@example.com and are keen to help.
Appointments can also be made with Pippa Osborne (headteacher) or Alex Desmond (deputy headteacher) if there is a sensitive or complex issue you would like to discuss.
Thank you for your ongoing support to keep every child’s attendance as high as possible.