We encourage all children to have excellent attendance at St Thomas a Becket
Regular school attendance brings enormous benefits to individual pupils, their families, schools and the community as a whole. Without regular attendance, levels of attainment suffer and opportunities are missed to obtain maximum benefit from education.
Persistent absence and lateness will affect a child’s achievement and progress in school. Comprehensive research shows that there is a direct link between a child’s level of school attendance and their level of school attainment.
As a parent it is your legal responsibility to ensure your child receives a suitable full time education. It is your responsibility that your child attends school each day and is on time.
It is important to set the expectation of good attendance right from the beginning of school so children grow up with ‘good habits’
If your child is absent from school you must inform the school, by telephone, e-mail or by letter, giving a reason for the absence. Absences once reported are either authorised or unauthorised by the school.
Authorised absences would include time off for religious observance, medical appointments and genuine illness. Please note that the school has the right to ask for proof of medical appointments and confirmation from a medical professional if a child’s level of absence is above that expected for a usually healthy child.
Unauthorised absences would include time off for birthday treats, family days out, holidays ….
If you need to make a medical or dentist appointment:
Medical appointments should where possible be made outside school hours. When this is unavoidable, your child should be in school for the remainder of the school day, whether before or/and after the appointment.
Holidays & Leave of Absence
There is no legal entitlement to holidays or leave of absence during term time.
A leave of absence can now only be authorized in exceptional circumstances. Holidays are not deemed to be exceptional circumstances and therefore will not be authorised. If a parent wishes to request a Leave of Absence then a formal request must be made in writing stating the dates of the absence and giving details of the exceptional circumstances which they feel warrant the request. A form for this purpose is available from the school office and any requests must be made in advance of the absence.
Having good attendance also means being on time and not being late to school. Children who arrive late can feel embarrassed, left out and miss out on important introductions to lessons. Punctuality is an essential life skill that needs to be taught from the very beginning.
What happens if we are worried about your child’s school attendance?
Good attendance is 95% or more, if attendance is below 90% the child is classified as ‘persistently absent’ from school and this will have a negative impact on the child learning.
If we have concerns about your child’s attendance or punctuality, we will contact you so that we can offer support and work together to make sure your child’s attendance is good. We are supported by the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) who will also work with families if there is concern about school attendance.
What you can do to help your child?
- Make sure your child comes to school regularly and punctually.
- Please support St Tom's in our efforts to encourage punctuality, good attendance and behaviour.
- Take an interest in your child’s school work
- If your child if off school, it is very important you phone on the first morning of absence to tell us why. Staff will be concerned if they do not hear from you. On your child’s return to school, please provide a note showing the inclusive dates of absence and the reason for absence.
- If your child starts missing school, work with the school without delay to put things right. Communication is very important