Attendance really does matter
Regular attendance at school is important for your child's learning, development, future opportunities and friendships. Every time your child misses school he or she is missing valuable learning and we want all of our children to have every opportunity available to them so that they have more opportunities later in life. For a child to reach their full potential a high level of school attendance is essential.
Every child has a right to access the education he/she is entitled. Parents and teachers share the responsibility for supporting and promoting excellent school attendance and punctuality for all. Every opportunity will be used to convey to children and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance. For our children to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered it is vital your child is at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. As a parent/carer you have a legal duty to make sure your child receives a full-time education and comes to school regularly. If you are finding it difficult to get your child to school you must speak to the class teacher and or member of the office of Senior Leadership team. We will be able to help you. If your child is genuinely too ill to attend school you must ring the school office before 9am and leave a message on the answerphone or with the admin team. If you're not sure if your child should be home or in school have a chat with the office and they will advise.
What the school does
The school closely track the attendance of every child in school. As a school we have a legal duty to make sure children are in school and safe. We aim to work closely with families in order to ensure that any difficulties around attendance are quickly resolved. Attendance certificates are shared regularly with parents across the year and emails and letters follow if the attendance remains a concern. If we have concerns about the high level of absences or of lateness of a child we have the right to refer the family to the Local Authority who will follow this up but we want to avoid this and work with families. Persistent unauthorised absences or lateness (more than 10 in a 100 day period) may result in the school issuing a fixed penalty notice. We think that by working with you there is a greater chance your child's attendance will improve.
Targets and achievements
Eling Infant School and Nursery has worked hard to improve attendance year on year. Every day counts when it comes to your childs education. In the academic year 2022-2023 our attendance target is the national figure of 96%
Term time absence: Final position following Isle of Wight Council v Platt decision in Supreme Court, Updated June 2017
Further to previous communications, the Supreme Court has now delivered its judgement in relation to the Isle of Wight Council's appeal which sought clarification on what is meant by “fails to attend regularly” in the context of a prosecution for unauthorised non-attendance at school.
The Supreme Court said that “regular” means “in accordance with the rules published by the school” and rejected the view that regular meant “sufficiently frequently”. Full details of this judgement can be found on the Supreme Court website: www.supremecourt.uk.
This clarifies the position regarding term time absence and it is clear that schools can determine whether an absence is authorised or not. In coming to their decision schools need to abide by Hampshire County Council's Code of Conduct when issuing Penalty Notices. All schools, maintained and academies, should be implementing the Code of Conduct and warning parents of the likelihood of legal action if absence is not authorised.
Guidance that came into force for our school from September 2019
"In February 2019 there were changes to the Schools Code of Conduct for unauthorised absence. The main change refers to parents who have received a fixed penalty notice. If you pay the Penalty Notice and your child has further unauthorised absences additional legal action may be taken. For example, in the event that a Penalty Notice has previously been served to you due to unauthorised holiday, should your child have any future unauthorised leave this may result in further legal action for you, such as prosecution or an Education Supervision Order."