In order for children to achieve their full potential, it is essential that they attend school regularly. In line with the Local Authority's Attendance Strategy, we consider 97% attendance to be good attendance.
Although we appreciate that some absences due to illness are unavoidable, and that holidays cost less during term time we also see, first hand, the impact that absences have on pupils as they return to school and often require additional support to catch up with the learning that they have missed and rebuild relationships with their friends.
We have worked on our attendance policy and procedures with the other schools in the Coquet Partnership. By doing this, we will be able to ensure a greater level of consistency across schools in how we approach attendance. To support schools in achieving a consistent approach to dealing with attendance concerns we have devised 2 flowcharts and a series of letters that will be sent out when each 'trigger point' on the flow charts is reached. At the top of each letter is a box that will clearly explain why you are receiving that particular letter.
The whole process is based around securing improvement. For example, if an absence occurs early in the school year, it is likely that an initial letter will be triggered. If the child then returns to school and has consistent good attendance, their attendance percentage will increase and they would move no further through the process. Where attendance continues to be a concern, we have also built in an option for parents to access support from school (through either a school nurse or Education Early Help Worker) before we ask the Education Welfare to get involved.
Although we do not authorise absences for holiday during term time, we will now seek penalty notices for holidays taken during term time if the child's attendance is below 97% in the previous academic year OR below 97% in the 12 month period leading up to the holiday OR they would not be able to achieve 97% attendance due to the holiday being taken.
Although holiday absences are included in the overall attendance figures discussed above, we also have a separate flow chart that we will follow in the event of holidays being requested and taken during term time. This flowchart will also address the event of a holiday being taken without the school being informed.
Please support us in helping your child/ren to reach their potential by ensuring that they have good attendance at school.