The staff and Governors of Downland School strongly believe that all pupils benefit from regular attendance. To achieve this, we do all we can to encourage parents/carers to ensure that their child achieves maximum possible attendance and that any problems which prevent full attendance are identified quickly and acted upon promptly. It is only by attending School regularly that pupils are able to achieve their full potential.
To impress upon all pupils the benefits of good attendance and to make them aware of our expectations that they will:
- Attend School regularly
- Attend School punctually
- Discuss with their tutors/EWO any problems preventing them from attending School
We expect that parents/carers will:
- Encourage regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities.
- Ensure that their son arrives at School punctually.
- Provide a note explaining absence on the pupil's first day back at School following absence.
- Contact the School via office on 01380 724193 on the first day of absence.
- Contact the School whenever any problem occurs that may keep the child away from School.
- If a pupil is absent for more than three consecutive days we expect contact from parents.
- Make contact with the School if absence is more than three consecutive days
Procedures & Practices
Downland School will:
- Provide a welcoming atmosphere for children
- Encourage good attendance
- Keep accurate records of attendance for all pupils
- Monitor the attendance of all pupils
- Contact parents as soon as possible when a pupil fails to attend and no message has been received to explain the absence
- Decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised depending on the reason given
- Contact parents of pupils who are attending irregularly to express their concern and to clarify the expectation of the School and the LA with regard to regular School attendance
- Refer on-going irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to the Education Welfare Service
Please be aware that irregular/poor attendance may provide the basis for prosecution by the Education Welfare Service.
The importance of punctuality will be reinforced by all staff:
- Pupils late to lessons will be challenged and, if necessary, appropriate sanctions applied
- Lateness will be monitored
- Lateness may provide the basis for prosecution by the Education Welfare Service
Holidays (Leave of Absence)
We strongly advise parents/carers to book their family holidays (leave of absence) during the School holidays. In exceptional circumstances, parents/carers may request pupil absence. Any such request must be made in writing to the Headteacher at least four School weeks prior to the start of the absent period requested.
The Headteacher will decide whether or not to authorise the absence. A decision will be made using the following information:
- The child’s record of attendance
- The time of the absence ensuring that it would not prevent the child, for example, from missing any important examinations/assessments
- Examples of exceptional circumstances are shown in the Local Authority booklet
- Changing Schools
A pupil will not be removed from the School roll until the following information has been received & investigated:
- The date the pupils will be leaving this School and starting the next
- The address of the new School
- The new home address if known
The pupils school records will then be sent on to the new School as soon as possible. In the event that the Schools’ staff have not been given the above information, the family will be referred to the Education Welfare Service.
When a pupil does not attend school, we will respond in the following manner:
- If the pupil has a record of poor attendance the School will contact the parent/carer at home or at work on the first day of absence
- On the third day of absence if no note or telephone call has been received from the parent/carer the School will contact them
- If absence persists, a referral will be made to the Education Welfare Service
- Failure to comply with the expectation set by the Education Welfare Service may result in further action e.g court prosecution, Penalty Notice
The registers will be marked in accordance with Wiltshire Council Guidance.
Please see the absence request form and Leave of Absence Guidance leaflet below: