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Tudor Primary School

Tudor Primary School

Ensuring Effective Attendance!

This continues to be an area of HIGH FOCUS in our school. We are VERY PROUD of the positive impact that we are having in regard to attendance. The latest school attendance policy is available below as well as further information on the use of FPNs (fixed penalty notices).

The latest attendance guidance from Herts county is available here (this includes the most recent COVID guidance)- https://thegrid.org.uk/admissions-attendance-travel-to-school/attendance/attendance-expectations-2021-2022

Please telephone the school to explain any time that your child is absent from school, so that we know that your child is safe, and then send a note on her/his return to school.

Do recognise the guidance in regard to coughs/ colds:

As the NHS website/ guidance states:

‘It's fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or common cold.’

In order to support parents with making appropriate decisions about children’s attendance at school, we are sharing the additional information.

On occasions, some parents are unsure about whether to send their children to school when they are showing certain symptoms, often related to the common cold.

There is little doubt that children will be affected by such symptoms but this is all part of growing up/ school life. The recent enforced restrictions of the school closures has meant that children have not been enabled to build up their immunity to such issues but now that schools have fully reopened it will allow children to work alongside each other again.

Parents also can report feeling a little guilty when they send their children into school with such symptoms but we hope the NHS information shared on this letter will clarify expectations. Headlice is also not a sufficient reason for keeping a child at home.

More information is available at:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/

Requesting additional medical documentation

The school may ask for families to provide additional medical documentation to ensure clear evidence for situations/ conditions. You are able to request any information in regard to your child's health records and this should be a simple process as the following screenshot from the NHS website highlights:

For more detailed information (and links) follow:

 https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/how-to-access-your-health-records/

EVERY day truly matters in school and our aim for 97+% attendance is a fair expectation. This would mean that your children get the education they deserve as well as a number of days (in reserve) if they truly are not able to attend school.

We are required to keep a detailed record of this and if we do not receive a note then the absence may be recorded as unauthorised. Due to the 2013 amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, headteachers are no longer allowed to authorise leave of absence for holidays during term time and may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Application forms, to request leave of absence for exceptional circumstances, are available from the school office.

5 year trend:

Academic Year

Attendance percentage

% of students who met absence threshold

No. of students in cohort

2016/2017

95.3

11.49

383

2017/2018

95.6

11.6

413

2018/2019

96.3

6.61

424

2019/2020 (before school closure) 96.6  

 

2020/2021 96.7   412
2021/2022 94.7*    

*Whilst the attendance rate dropped in 2021/2022 this was a rate that was above the national average.  We continue to place a HIGH focus on ensuring EVERY child has a full experience of school. We expect all families to work in partnership with us. 

It should be noted that during the academic year 2016-2017 the school tightened it's policy on attendance. For example, children arriving after 9.15am were considered absent for the session. One of our key targets for the future is to improve the overall attendance rate of children to at least 97%.  

Information regarding use of Fixed Penalty Notices

What is a penalty notice?


Penalty notices for unauthorised absence were introduced by the government as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 to support schools to improve attendance. They are an alternative to prosecution and allow parents to discharge their potential liability for an offence of failing to ensure their child’s regular  attendance at school by payment of a penalty.


When are penalty notices used?


We use penalty notices as part of our whole school approach to improving attendance. Penalty notices may be issued once a pupil has 15 or more sessions (a session is a half day) of unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous school term. The absences may have occurred in a block or a series of odd days and/or unauthorised holiday.
It is a Headteacher’s or Principal’s decision on whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised based on the information provided by you as the parent.
If we decide to apply for a penalty notice we make this application to the Local Authority and it must comply with Hertfordshire Code of Conduct.
Once issued there is no statutory right of appeal however the Local Authority may withdraw a notice if it has been issued incorrectly. This does not mean that a notice will be withdrawn because you disagree with it.


What happens if you do not pay?


If the penalty notice remains unpaid after 28 days the Local Authority will prosecute you for the original offence of failing to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school. You need to be aware that this is a criminal offence and upon conviction you may receive a fine of up to £2,500 (each parent) and will have a criminal record.

April 2019 update- There is additional information on use of FPNs that can be downloaded below. This includes copies of letters you may receive in the post.  

Our policy for attendance is available below.

Note the additional letter in regard to the use of FPNs- Fixed Penalty Notices