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Attendance

Deputy Headteacher: Miss Taunton

 

 

 

Attendance Officer: Mrs Frank

Attendance

We take attendance and punctuality very seriously.

We have many initiatives in school to encourage and highlight good attendance. This includes a weekly competition between classes to win our attendance trophy and golden stickers for children with 100% attendance. We also hand out certificates each half term to praise and acknowledge children who achieve above 100% attendance and hold a termly ‘In it to win it’ prize to celebrate attendance.  

 

Ellen Gee, while a pupil at Meadlands, met with the Senior Leadership Team to put forward her opinion that pupils with a diagnosed medical condition should not be penalised for missing sessions due to hospital appointments. Ellen was right and because of her frank and fair approach the school have now changed their policy. See her presentation below:

 

At Meadlands we believe that attendance is extremely important and low attendance can affect your child’s education. This is why we have the 100% attendance awards and competition. However we wish to make our policy fairer and have decided that children with diagnosed medical conditions who have to regularly attend hospitals appointments for those conditions will not have these absences count towards their attendance percentage. It is important to encourage your child to attend school at all times and while we know that no one ever chooses to feel unwell we have to draw a line somewhere. For this reason all other sickness absence or medical or dentist appointments will continue to count towards your child’s attendance percentage. Thank you for supporting Meadlands and your child by sending them to school at all possible times. Ellen Gee.

 

Richmond and Kingston have a set attendance target of 96%, however at Meadlands we wish for outstanding attendance and have set our own goal of 96.5%.   We work closely with the Education Welfare Service to promote and monitor good attendance and punctuality.

 

Punctuality

 

Morning Nursery starts at 8.30am and afternoon at 12.30pm

 

Covid Specific Information

In March 2020 when the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear that no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.

 

Now the circumstances have changed all children, in all year groups, should return to school full time from the beginning of the Autumn Term in September 2020. It is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.

 

Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School Attendance is therefore mandatory again from the beginning of the Autumn Term in September 2020. This means from that point, we welcome your child back into school and the usual rules on School Attendance will apply, including:

        •    Parents’ duty to ensure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a                  

               registered pupil and they are of compulsory school age

        •    Schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence

        •    The availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with Local

               Authorities’ codes of conduct

 

Procedures

1. Absence If a child is absent, the parent must contact the office by making a telephone call (0208 940 9207), or via Parentmail or emailing (office@meadlands.richmonds.sch.uk) EVERY day the child is absent. Please do not leave a message stating ‘unwell’, as we need to have details of why a child is absent and any symptoms they have.  If parents do not call the school with a reason, the school will call home after 09:00 each day of absence. All reasons for absence will be recorded and monitored by the school. A letter and medical evidence if requested, must be sent in when the child returns to school to authorise the absence.

 

If your child is absent from school due to illness, we are unable to accept them part way through the day. This does not include any pre-arranged medical appointments where a green form would have been completed in advance. Accepting children part way through the day, is not something that we can authorise. Please can we ask that parents make a decision on their child's attendance in the morning.  If your child is too unwell to attend school, then we want them to stay at home and get better. 

 

2. Lateness

During this time, all classes have a 5-minute staggered start time (see table below) and during this time lateness is defined as arrival in school after the allocated classes drop off time. Therefore if Year 5’s slot is 8.40am – 8.45am, any year 5 child entering the school after this period will be recorded as late. If children miss their allocated slot, they will need to wait until the last class has entered before they can enter. The Key Stage 1 and 2 gates will be shut at 9.00am. If you are later than this, you will have to call the school and arrange to meet a member of staff at the playground gate. No entry will be permitted through the main office for the time being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The registers will be closed at 09.20am. Therefore, arrival after this time is recorded as an absence. Children who arrive between 09.20am - 12.00 noon may have their lateness authorised depending on the reason.

 

It is essential that children arrive at school on time to begin their lessons; children who arrive late often miss valuable lesson time, which will affect progress and learning and also the rest of the school day. Children do not like being late. It is often not their fault and it really can affect their confidence.

 

Monitoring Lateness

School will closely monitor lateness recorded for individual children and take into consideration the reasons. Regular lateness will prompt the following stages:

 

Stage 1 Two lates or more over a week will prompt an initial letter from the school requesting parents’ co-operation for improvement.

 

Stage 2 If there is no improvement, or over half a term a pupil has accrued 5 or more lates, then parents will be invited in to discuss the issues causing the lateness and be offered support to improve punctuality. 

 

Stage 3 From the date of the initial punctuality meeting (Stage 2), lateness will be monitored for a further 4 weeks. If lateness is still causing an issue, a third letter will be sent to parents stating that, due to lack of improvement, the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will need to be involved. Parents will be invited in for a meeting with the school and EWO and, at this meeting, an Attendance Agreement improvement plan may be written. The monitoring of lateness will then be the shared responsibility of the EWO and the school. 

 

Monitoring Absence

The school will closely monitor the attendance of individual children and take into consideration the reasons for absence. Regular absence will prompt the following stages:

 

Stage 1 If attendance dips below 92%, this will prompt an initial letter from the school informing parents of their child's attendance and number of sessions missed, and reminding parents of the Government's baseline of 90%. If attendance has dipped below 90% medical evidence will need to be submitted to authorise the absence. Exceptions to this are pupils who have ongoing significant health needs. 

 

Stage 2 The Attendance Officer notifies the Attendance Lead of any issues and trends on a half-termly basis during an Attendance meeting. During this meeting, questions regarding attendance of children who have dipped below the 90% threshold will be discussed. If a pupil's attendance has not shown signs of improving, or has dipped below 90%, another letter will be sent inviting parents for a meeting with the school's Attendance Lead (Miss Taunton).

 

Stage 3 A formal meeting between the parents and Attendance Lead (Miss Taunton). During this meeting, an Attendance Contract may be completed. 

 

Stage 4 After a formal meeting with the school, the child's attendance will be monitored for a further 4 weeks. 

 

Stage 5 If there is still no improvement during the monitoring period, the school will formally refer to the Education Welfare Service, who will invite the parents in for a meeting with them and the school. During the meeting, the Education Welfare Service's Attendance Agreement Improvement Plan will be completed.

 

Further information:

 

Authorised Absence. Authorised absence is defined as when we have accepted the explanation offered as satisfactory justification for the absence or given approval in advance. 

The following are the occasions when an absence will be authorised:

  • When a child is ill

  • Medical or dental appointments which cannot be made during the holidays or after school

  • Family bereavements

  • Days of religious observance

  • Offsite educational activities which occur on an occasional basis, i.e. school trips, sporting events, music examinations or public performances in which children are participating.

  • Attendance at other educational establishments

  • Covid related absence: Children who display any of the three symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) must inform the school and stay at home and follow the government's guidelines.  Fore more information on this please refer to the coronavirus page on our website, click here

 

Unauthorised Absence Unauthorised absence is defined as when we have not received a request for the absence or we have not approved a child's leave from school or if the attendance is a concern.

The following are occasions when an absence will not be authorised:

  • No reason is given
  • No written letter received explaining the absence
  • When there is reason to doubt the explanation
  • Shopping trips during school hours
  • Birthdays
  • Early removal from school – unless agreed by the HT/DHT

 

If your child has 5 or more consecutive days absence, in order to authorise this, we will require a medical note. If medical evidence is not submitted your child's absence will be marked as unauthorised. 

 

Holidays During Term Time

Leave of absence during term time will only be granted under exceptional circumstances. The school cannot condone holidays taken during term time and would request that wherever possible parents arrange holiday absences that do not result in children missing learning opportunities. Permission for absences in term time may only be granted for exceptional circumstances and approved educational experiences at the Headteacher / Deputy Headteacher’s discretion. If the holiday absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken any way, the Education Welfare Service may look into the specifics of the case. Achieving for Children's Educational Welfare Service monitors attendance regularly of all schools and their pupils.

Referral to the Education Welfare Officer

  • Unexplained absences may be referred
  • All pupils who fail to attend regularly
  • Any absence where the school experiences difficulty in determining whether or not the absence is authorised or unauthorised
  • Repeated unauthorised lateness will be referred.
  • Repeated early removal from school.

 

For further information please refer to our Attendance Policy on the policies page.

 

Emotional Related School Avoidance (ERSA)

 

Emotional Related School Avoidance (ERSA) is a term that is used to describe a small number of pupils who do not attend school, often having prolonged absence due to underlying emotional reasons.

 

ERSA is typically associated with emotional symptoms that often manifest behaviourally. There is often no single cause of ERSA and it is believed that there is likely to be a combination of factors which put a child at risk of non-attendance due to anxiety. It is important to note that most children, at some point of their schooling will have some form of school related anxiety but this does not automatically mean that they are going to suffer from ERSA.

 

 There are four key considerations of school attendance:

 

Group A: the majority of the school population who are attending school and are not anxious.

 

Group B: children who are very anxious, but who do maintain their school attendance. AFC’s attendance baseline is 90% and Meadlands’ is 96.5%

 

Group C: children who have low school attendance (below 90%), but anxiety is not the major factor leading to their non-attendance.

 

Group D: children who are highly clinically anxious and feel unable to attend school. This category of children reflect children who are suffering from emotional related school avoidance.

 

Possible indicators that a child may be in Group D or at risk of falling into Group D are:

 

  • Sporadic attendance and lates
  • Feeling anxious or worried about particular lesson, but still attending school
  • Parent or carer reporting that the child does not want to come to school
  • Physical signs of stressed believed to be related to anxiety
  • Behavioural changes
  • Health interventions for anxiety

 

School support

 

If parents notice any of the above indicators and are concerned about their child, it is vital that they communicate these worries as early as possible.   This can be done via the class teacher, who will then pass on your concerns to the relevant person. We will then be able to assess, and if necessary put a plan in place, to support the child.

Possible school support will include:

  • Working with the child to explore their anxiety. This will be done primarily through pastoral work with Miss Davies.
  • Completing with the child and family a Return to School Plan.
  • Taking small manageable steps focussing on overcoming one factor at a time.
  • Where possible utilising external resources such as the school nurse and Educational Welfare Team (EWO).
  • Keeping in regular contact with the family

 

Parental support

 

Parental intervention is crucial to the successful management of ERSA. Therefore the school hopes that that all work will be in collaboration with the child and parents.

  • Listen and acknowledge that their child’s fears are real to them.
  • Remind their child how important it is to attend school and reassure them that you and their school will work together to make it a happier place for them.
  • Be firm and consistent and stick to the agreed Return to School plan. Any concerns that parents have regarding the plan, should not be shared with the child – a united front is recommended.
  • Make sure that as a parent, you also have someone to reach out to and talk to.
  • Keep close links with us here at school
  • There may be set-backs during the execution of the Return to School plan but you must remain optimistic.

 

Over the past three years our attendance figures are as follows:

 

Attendance 2019 - 2020

Year Group

Attendance

Reception

91.3%

1

93.4%

2

95.5%

3

96.3%

4

96.2%

5

94.8%

6

97.1%

 

Attendance 2018 - 2019

Year Group

Attendance

Reception

96.1%

1

94.9%

2

96.5%

3

96.0%

4

96.0%

5

97.1%

6

96.9%

 

Attendance 2017 - 2018

Year Group

Attendance

Reception

96.0%

1

95.6%

2

96.6%

3

97.3%

4

96.6%

5

96.9%

6

96.4%

 

Attendance 2016 - 2017

Year Group

Attendance

Reception

95.6%

1

95.3%

2

96.8%

3

97.2%

4

96.4%

5

96.9%

6

96.2%

 

 

 

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