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Old Park School Attendance Policy


Old Park School places high importance on regular attendance by its pupils. We expect all children on roll to attend every day, on time when the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. The school aims to work in partnership with parents to ensure that maximum attendance for each child is achieved, and we do all we can to ensure pupils attend.


Old Park School will encourage good attendance for all pupils, by offering an environment in which pupils feel valued and part of the school community. We will reward those children whose attendance is very good and make the best provision we can for those pupils who are, for medical reasons, unable to attend school regularly. For a minority of pupils who are unable to attend at all, we will maintain close links with all professionals and ensure that these pupils have an educational provision appropriate to their needs.



We will:

  • Promote a culture across the school which identifies the importance of regular and punctual attendance
  • Make attendance and punctuality a priority for all those associated with the school including parents, teachers and governors.
  • Further develop positive and consistent communication between home and school
  • Set targets to improve whole school attendance levels



It is the responsibility of the pupils’ parents as far as possible to ensure that:

  • the pupils go to bed at a reasonable hour and have a good night’s sleep
  • the pupils are awake at a reasonable time in the morning, properly fed, appropriately dressed and on time to get to school
  • the pupils are in a reasonable emotional state to make the most of their school day
  • the pupils have with them any necessary equipment for school (e.g. P.E. kit, swimming equipment, lunch, etc.)
  • the pupils are at school at all times
  • to inform the school if pupils are not attending and give the reasons


It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that:

  • it implements a robust system for monitoring and responding to absences with intervention strategies in place to support poor attendance
  • there is a nominated School Attendance Leader. (The Headteacher)
  • it provides statutory attendance data to DFE, as requested
  • parents and pupils are informed of the dates that the school is open
  • the pupils are made to feel welcomed and valued at school
  • the pupils are motivated to attend school at all times
  • the pupils are rewarded appropriately for good attendance
  • attendance is monitored on a regular basis
  • appropriate agencies are informed if attendance becomes a problem.
  • support mechanisms are put into place, in conjunction with other agencies, if attendance becomes a problem



The school always tries to work in partnership with parents. If pupils are not in school it is the parents’ responsibility to inform the school on the first day of absence. If a pupil is absent, and no message has been received, the school will try to contact the parents to discover the reason as soon as possible.


If the school receives no explanation for absence when the child returns to school, either by telephone or in writing, an unauthorised absence letter will be sent to be completed by parents/ carers.


If there is a specific problem with attendance caused by factors within school, this can usually be resolved quickly and informally between parents and school. If the problem is caused by domestic circumstances the school can assist parents by engaging the support of other agencies



Teaching staff record all absences with the appropriate code between 9.00- 9.10 am and 1.15 to 1.15 pm before passing onto admin staff.

All pupils are then registered on the LA Integris Attendance Manager system at 9. 20 a.m. and 1. 15 p.m. by the school office administrative team applying the current LA/DCSF code guidelines.


Late arrivals report to the School Office and telephone messages indicating that pupils will not be attending are recorded for future reference.


Collection and Use of Data

Class teachers are responsible for monitoring the attendance of the pupils in their class. They inform the Deputy Head or the Headteacher if there is any cause for concern. These may include:


  • regular periods of unexplained non-attendance
  • patterns of non-attendance (e.g. every Monday morning)
  • anecdotal evidence from the pupil, other pupils or transport
  • absences coinciding with known domestic disruptions


The Headteacher, who is the person responsible for attendance, monitors the attendance of pupils across the school on a daily basis. Data is also used to monitor the attendance of pupils whose attendance falls below a certain level for no apparent reason.


Raw data, the overall figures for the school without identifying individual pupils, are passed on the Local Education Authority (LA) and the DfE termly for statistical analysis. Parents and pupils have access to their own attendance data.


Authorised absence

An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or carer. It can also be given when the school has give approval in advance for a pupil to be absent. Only the school may authorise an absence.


Authorised absences can include the following:

  • Illness of medical reasons
  • Dental and hospital appointments
  • Religious festivals (parents are requested to notify the school in advance)
  • Dual registration
  • Off site education
  • Exclusion


Unauthorised Absence

An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school. The absence is unauthorised if the child is away from school without good reason.


Requests for leave of absence

We believe that our pupils need to be in school for all sessions, so that they can make the most progress possible. However, we understand that there are circumstances where a parent may legitimately request leave for a child. In these special circumstances we expect the parents/ carers to contact the school at least a week in advance to request permission for authorised absence from the Headteacher.


Long-term absence

We understand that some of our pupils have long term absences due to medical reasons. If this is appropriate, in consultation with parents/ carers we will send material home for school work or request the Home and Hospital service to provide some support.


The school may consider a pupil receive outreach support from the school (see Outreach Policy setting out the criteria for registration in the outreach class)


The school will strive to do all it can to support the child at this time, and recognises that there may be a need to carefully reintegrate the child at this time following recovery.


Family holidays

From 1st September 2013 amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.


The Headteacher will not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Following up non-attendance

When concerns have been raised the school’s first course of action is to contact the parents to see if there are specific problems, either at home or in school, that can be easily remedied. If this is unsuccessful and the absences continue the Children’s or Adult Disability Team would be notified.


The attendance rate is then monitored very closely by the school. If attendance returns to normal, no further action is taken. If the problems persist then the Headteacher and social services will consider other strategies, dependent on the individual case.


The following sequence illustrates the monitoring and intervention procedures followed by the school:

  • Morning and afternoon register entries
  • Received absence messages noted on central log in office
  • Daily register check for uninformed absences
  • 1st day of absence if no message: Phone parent/carer (& leave message if no reply)
  • 2nd day of absence if no message: Phone again, & try emergency contacts if no reply; post standard absence information request letter.
  • If a message is received, enter it into log & update register code and monitor the situation.
  • If no message is received during the following days, because of the vulnerability of our pupils, we may inform child or adult social services to gain access to the home.



Attendance Targets

The school sets whole school attendance targets. The targets are challenging yet realistic and based on improving attendance figures from previous years. We also consider carefully the attendance figures for other similar schools.


In a school where many pupils have complex medical conditions we approach attendance sensitively. However we believe that every child has the right to attend school and strive to improve every child’s individual attendance by supporting and working with parents and multi- agency professionals.


Gill Cartwright

Headteacher Old Park School

July 2018