Going to school regularly is important for your child’s future. Parents are responsible for making sure their children receive full-time education. Talking to your child and their teachers could help solve any problems if your child does not want to go to school.
Regular school attendance
Good attendance shows junior schools, secondary schools and future potential employers that your child is reliable.
Phoenix Infant Academy records details of all children’s attendance and absence at school. We must do so at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions. If your child is absent, you must tell the school why immediately.
The school will record the absence; the Local Authority will receive this information for each child. The Department of Education also receives annual attendance data for the school.
Your responsibilities as a parent
By law, all children of compulsory school age must receive a suitable full-time education. For most parents, this means registering their child at a school – though some choose to make other arrangements to provide a suitable, full-time education.
Once your child is registered at Phoenix Infant Academy, the parent is legally responsible for making sure they attend on a regular basis. If your child does not attend school on a regular basis you could get fined or be prosecuted in court.
How to prevent your child from missing school
You can help prevent your child missing school by:
- making sure they understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality
- taking an interest in their education – ask about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities
- discussing any problems they may have at school and letting their teacher or Principal know about anything serious
- not letting them take time off school for minor ailments – particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work
To avoid disrupting your child’s education, you should arrange appointments and outings:
- after school hours
- at weekends
- during school holidays
- You should not expect Phoenix Infant Academy to agree to your child going on holiday during term time
Support on school attendance
A child’s school attendance can be affected if there are problems with:
- housing or care arrangements
- transport to and from school
- work and money
If your child starts missing school, you might not know there is a problem. When you find out, ask your child and then approach their teacher or the school attendance team.
Phoenix Infant Academy adopts the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework. This is modelled on the work of Professor Katherine Weare. The emphasis is on developing a school culture and climate which builds a sense of connectedness and belonging to ensure all children can attend school and thrive. The approach ensures we prioritise building solid working relationships with children/ parents prior to any escalation. The staged approach ensures we identify triggers early that can lead to poor attendance issues such as; mental health issues, lack of trust, communication and relationship breakdowns and the possible lack of networking opportunities both internal (in-school) and external (external agencies).
- Increase school Attendance and reduce Persistent Absence to meet set targets.
- Ensure Attendance is well managed within the school, with the appropriate level of resources allocated.
- Enable the school to make informed use of Attendance data to target interventions appropriately, focusing on the key demographic groups highlighted in the 2022 DfE paper.
- Create an ethos within the school in which good attendance is recognised as the norm and every child/young person aims for excellent attendance.
- Make attendance and punctuality a priority.
- Set focused targets to improve individual attendance and whole school attendance levels.
- Embed the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promotes consistency in carrying out designated tasks with respect to promoting attendance and punctuality.
- Record and monitor attendance and absenteeism and apply appropriate strategies to minimise absenteeism.
- Develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing relevant attendance data.
- Provide support, advice and guidance to; parents, children and young people and develop mutual-cooperation between home and the school in encouraging good attendance and in addressing identified attendance issues.
- Demonstrate through the use of rewards that the school recognises good attendance and punctuality are achievements in themselves.
Phoenix Infant Academy's approach is evidence-informed and completely child-centred. Each Foundation is supported by 5 Key Performance Indicators, these are used to ensure the school can embed the Foundations framework and understand the strategic direction regarding attendance improvement.
The framework allows the school to understand the whole school approach to supporting and improving attendance – Phoenix is a place where every child belongs. We create welcoming environments to allow all children to gain a sense of belonging and ultimately achieve academically through regular school attendance.
The school policy is translated into practise through the processes and systems we follow, the escalated approach supports children at each stage. Parents who do not engage with support understand why, at times, we must follow this process.
All staff receive attendance training to support the whole school approach, they understand their role in improving attendance. Certain staff are identified to engage in specialist training to continue to support families and children who work with external partners.
We use data information to support children, this allows us to understand the groups, and individuals, who require specific programmes of intervention. Reviewing each programme allows us to understand the effectiveness of support and change what is not working.
Finally, we train and support all staff to understand the ‘root cause’ of concerns. Staff use the wider curriculum to allow all children to feel valued and accept themselves. We celebrate attendance success and ensure children returning from long absence receive a planned transition.
DfE: Working Together To Improve Attendance 2022
From September 2022, the DfE: Working Together To Improve Attendance paper will replace all previous guidance on school attendance except for statutory guidance for parental responsibility measures. The Secretary of State has committed to it becoming statutory when parliamentary time allows (this will be no sooner than September 2023).
The table below identifies how the 5 Foundations of Effective Practice will underpin the DfE 2022 paper:
Absence reporting procedures
If your child is absent as a result of illness, please phone us from 08:00-08:30am on 01753 521888 on the first day of absence and each subsequent day, to let us know the reason.
When your child is well enough to return to school, you must show one of the following if he or she has been absent for 3 or more consecutive days (or 6 or more consecutive sessions) and hand to a member of the school office:
- A signed/stamped Doctor's note dated from the time of absence;
- An appointment card signed/stamped by the medical practice or department and dated from the time of absence;
- A receipt for over-the-counter medicine dated from the time of absence;
- Any prescribed medicine with an affixed sticker including the date from the time of absence;
- An official text from a medical establishment showing confirmation of a medical appointment.
For absences of up to 2 consecutive days, or 4 consecutive sessions, please provide a letter/email/Class Dojo message explaining the reason for their absence.
For further information or support, please speak to our Attendance Officer, Miss S. Fielding, or the school's Senior Champion for Attendance, Mrs K. Pelazza.