A GUIDE FOR PARENTS/CARERS
1. When does my child need to be in school?
School opens for pupils at 9.15 a.m. Your child should be ready in good time for the school transport to ensure that they arrive on time.
2. Does the school need letters explaining my child’s absence, or will a phone call do?
We would expect a parent/carer to telephone the school on the first day of absence before 9.30am and confirm in writing in the child’s home/schoolbook upon their return. If you do not phone us, we will try to contact you. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report.
3. What reasons will the school accept for absences?
- Dental/medical appointment (Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays, wherever possible)
- Day of religious observance
- Family bereavement
- Exceptional special occasions, e.g., a family wedding, where permission has been granted in advance using a Special Leave of Absence Request form
- Other exceptional circumstances, where permission has been granted in advance using a Special Leave of Absence Request form.
- Attending an interview e.g., for college
Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details. In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.
4. What is unacceptable?
The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping or birthdays.
5. Will the school contact me if my child is absent?
We would expect a parent/carer to telephone the school before 9.30am on the first day of absence. If you do not phone us, we will try to contact you. This is to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance. Failure to reach a responsible adult will result in staff from the school visiting your home for a “safe and well visit”. Should the school fail to contact you we will contact the police or social services to report your child as missing. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s Annual Review report.
If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality, we will contact you to discuss the best way forward.
6. What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?
Try to make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education.
7. My child is reluctant to come to school. What should I do?
Contact your child’s teacher and openly discuss your worries. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to resolve the problem. In some cases, you may find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your child’s difficulties with an Education Welfare Officer. The school may also refer you to an Education Welfare Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise.