Parents / Carers are requested to report their child's absence using the Absence text service on the MYEd app or by telephoning the school office on 01884 33473 before 9.00 am, or as early as possible if their child is going to be absent/late. The reason for absence must be given in full i.e. sickness on Sunday, temperature, severe cold etc. Please do not supply vague messages i.e. unwell, ill or under the weather as the school office will have to call you back for more information.
Mrs Ingram checks the class registers first thing daily. Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent as to the reason for the child's absence we will initiate our first day absence procedures. We will firstly send an absence alert text to the contacts who have parental responsibility, if no response we will then proceed to telephone all contacts held on the child's records, as supplied by the parents upon admission to the school. If at this point we have not been able to make contact to ascertain the reason for the child's absence we may carry out an home visit. This is the school’s duty of care and safeguarding for your child.
The school gates open at,8.45am and closes at 8.55am a member of staff will be on duty on the black gate.
The class register opens at 8.55am and closes at 9.10am. If your child arrives after the register has started at 8.55am but before it has closed at 9.10am they will be coded as late (L). If they arrive after 9.10am they will be coded as arriving after the register has closed (U) which is an unauthorised absence.
We have a 48 hour rule for any sickness/diarrhoea to try to prevent any outbreaks. Please ensure that if your child has suffered with either of these, they remain absent from school for a clear 48 hour period from the last attack.
Arriving Late at School
The times children can safely arrive at school and can go into their classroom is clearly stated on The School Day page of the website. If your child arrives after the school gate has closed, please take him/her into school through the school office and make sure that you sign them in using the iPad.
The attendance of children who arrive late will be registered as follows:
- A child arriving after the register has started but before the register has closed will be coded as “late” (code L).
- A child arriving after the register has closed will be coded as “Late after registration closed” (code U). This is counted as an “Unauthorised Absence”.
Please refer to The School Day page for the times of the school day.
The Law and School Attendance
The 1996 Education Act (s7) places a legal responsibility upon parents/carers to ensure that their child fully attends the school at which they are registered. This means that your child must attend school every day and on time (unless as parents/carers you can prove that the absence was with the authorisation of the school or that it was unavoidable).
If your child has unauthorised absences then the school can make a request to the Local Education Authority (through the Education Welfare Service) to instigate Parental Responsibility Measures. If you have Parental Responsibility, this could mean receiving any of the following:
- A Penalty Notice. Should a Penalty Notice be issued, one notice will be issued to each parent/carer for each child involved. Currently, each Penalty Notice is for £60 if paid within the first 21 days, this increases to £120 if paid between the 22nd and 28th day. If a Penalty Notice goes unpaid after 28 days, then a Magistrates Summons will be issued. Also, if a Penalty Notice has already been issued within the previous 2 years then the Local Authority will proceed straight to Magistrates Summons.
- A Magistrates Summons that could lead to a criminal record, a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment for up to 3 months.
- Education Supervision Order (ESO). The Children Act 1989 allows the Local Education Authority to apply to the Family Proceedings Court for an ESO for any child of compulsory school age, whom it is felt, is not being properly educated. The intention behind the ESO is to support parents in fulfilling their legal responsibilities. The ESO is only suitable where the child and the parents/carers are willing to co-operate with the process. If the application for an order is successful the ESO will last for one year, but may be extended for up to 3 years. A Supervising Officer will be appointed by the Court. The role of the Supervisor is to work with the child and family to ensure that an appropriate education is received.
Requests for holidays during term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances (please see our Pupil Attendance Policy at www.firstfederation.org) and should be submitted before the intended absence. We have to report any unauthorised absence of 5 days or more to Devon County Council, who may issue a penalty notice (i.e. a fine) per parent per child.
My child is unwell, should i keep her/him off school?
All schools follow guidance from Public Health England- 'The Red Spotty Book' which offers guidance on common childhood illnesses and provides us with information on whether your child should be kept away from school or not. If you are unsure please contact the school office and speak to a member of staff who will be able to advise you.
RED-STAY AT HOME Raised temperature , Rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses such as chickenpox and measles, if your child has a rash, check with your GP before sending them to school. Vomiting and diarrhoea. Children can return to school after 48 hours
AMBER– SEEK ADVICE Headaches. A child with a minor headache does not usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep your child at home and consult your GP.
GREEN– COME TO SCHOOL* Mild cough, mild cold, sore throat (unless accompanied by raised temp) Feeling tired.
*We will contact you if your child deteriorates during the school day.