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St Giles Church of England Primary School





'Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.'

(Department for Education) 

If your child is ill or has an identified illness/condition, and you're not sure whether or not to send them, the NHS have published a very useful guide - it's an alphabetical list from Coughs and Colds to Vomiting and diarrhoea:

NHS Guidance on School Absence

Our School Day

Our school day starts when gates open at 8.35am, and children are registered at 8.45am. School finishes at 3.15pm (EYFS/KS1) and 3.20pm (KS2).

Children are welcomed into school from 8:45am and gates close at 8.55am.  Children arriving after 8.45am are registered as LATE.  Children arriving after 9.15am will receive an unauthorised absence mark on their register.

We do expect pupils to arrive and to be collected punctually at the start and end of each day.

It is vital that pupils attend school, on time, every day in order to gain the greatest benefit from their education and reach their full potential.

We aim for all our pupils to achieve at least 96.5% attendance, and for our whole school attendance to be 96.5%, which is above the national average of 96% (prior to lockdown). However, continued absence including family holidays will result in many missed days - the graph below shows the link between days missed and attendance rates:


As parents / carers, you have a legal obligation to ensure your child attends and remain in school. We do appreciate that there are times when children cannot attend school due to illness or other circumstances.

The graph below is an old version of KS2 attainment, but the figures have not changed over time. It remains the case that the higher a child’s attendance, the higher they achieve in school; the blue lines represent pupils who achieved the expected standard in Reading and Maths, and the red lines show those who achieved Greater Depth. Both lines decrease as attendance rates become lower:

There are various good habits that you can adopt that will have a positive impact on attendance and - therefore - how well your child achieves in school:

Leave of Absence from School

All requests for a leave of absence in term time should be made three weeks in advance by completing the ‘Leave of Absence Request Form’, which is available from the school reception.

Please be aware that absence requests are only authorised in exceptional circumstances.


Attendance Team

The Attendance Officer in school is Mrs Katie O’Rourke. The Attendance Team includes Mrs K Adams (School Business Assistant), Mr Loader (Headteacher) and Mrs Shackleton (Deputy Head). Phase Leaders and class teachers also follow up attendance issues, as well as the Sendco (Mrs Binney) if SEND is a barrier to good attendance. Telephone: 0114-248-2825, or via email at korourke@stgilesprimary.org.uk.


Frequently Asked Questions about Attendance

 What is a good attendance percentage?

A: Ideally, we would like pupil’s attendance to be as close to 100% as possible but understand that at times, we all get sick. The national average attendance rate for school attendance is 96% so anything above this would be classed as good attendance.

 What is poor attendance?

A: Anything below 95% attendance is worrying as your child has less chance of success and reaching their full potential. It makes it harder for your child to progress if they are missing key learning opportunities.

 What will happen if my child's attendance falls below 95%?

A: We monitor pupil’s attendance every week, every term and every year. If your child’s attendance becomes a concern, we will send you a letter informing you of their attendance and that we are monitoring it. We will work with you to support you in improving your child’s attendance at school. Unfortunately, if your child’s attendance does not improve you may be invited to an Attendance Meeting at the school and may receive a Penalty Notice due to your child’s persistent absence from school.

 Isn't my child entitled to 10 days holiday or odd days off for trips?

A: No.

Parents have a legal obligation to ensure that their child receives efficient full-time education. We strongly urge parents to avoid taking family holidays during term-time as school can only approve leave in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Term-time holidays are NOT classed as exceptional circumstances.

If you decide to take your child out of school during term-time and your leave has been unauthorised by the Headteacher, you will be served with a penalty notice by Derbyshire County Council Education Welfare Office.  A fine of £120 per pupil per adult will be issued and should be paid within 28 days. If the fine is paid within 21 days, the payment reduces to £60 per pupil per adult.

What is meant by genuine medical reasons to be absent?

A. Diarrhoea, sickness, childhood ailments e.g. measles, chicken pox, extremely high temperatures are classified as genuine illnesses. Children should not stay home if they have minor coughs, colds, tummy aches and headaches. If your child is too poorly to remain at the school. The school will contact you. Please remember that even absence due to genuine medical reasons still affect a child's attendance.

What should I do if my child is absent?

A: Contact the school on the first day and subsequent days of absence to explain their absence. You can do this by telephoning the school reception on 0114-248-2825 Option 1. If your child is absent with no reason provided, school will contact you to carry out a health and well-being check, which may include a home visit.

What should I do if my child has a medical appointment?

A:When you know in advance that your child will be absent from school for a medical appointment, it would be helpful to let school know before the date of the appointment. You can do this in person, by telephone or via email. However, we do request that routine medical appointments and dental appointments are booked out of school hours. We do understand that specialist appointments are allocated with little option but we would appreciate every effort is made to ensure your child does not miss any of their time at school.

Do you require proof of medical and dental appointments in school time?

A: We will request proof of any appointment such as an appointment card or letter. Please respect that we are required to ask for proof by the Local Authority, as without evidence your child’s absence will not be authorised.


Attendance and Absence Policy

Penalty Notices - Advice for Parents and Carers

School Attendance - The Law - September 2019.

Working Together to Improve School Attendance - September 22