Back to School Week – Everything you need to know about school attendance

Face-to-face education is important in helping students realize their potential.

During school time, we believe that students should be in class with their teachers and peers and enjoy all the benefits that brings.

Parents or guardians of a child have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child receives an appropriate education. This is usually achieved through regular school attendance.

Here you will find everything you need to know about school attendance.

Why is regular attendance so important?

Being at school every day it is open is important for your child’s success, well-being and development.

With millions of students expected to return to schools and colleges over the next few days, there will be a renewed focus on maximizing students’ time in the classroom, as evidence shows that the most diligent pupils throughout their schooling achieve the best results at GCSE and A Level.

Here’s what the data shows:

  • High performing students in KS2 and KS4 had lower levels of absence during the milestone than those with lower levels.
  • Pupils who did not reach the expected level in reading, writing and mathematics in 2019 have an overall absenteeism rate of 4.7% on the key stage, compared to 3.5% among pupils who reached the expected level and 2.7% among those who have reached the higher level.
  • Pupils who did not reach Years 9-4 of the English and Maths GCSEs in 2019 had an overall absenteeism rate of 8.8% on the key stage, compared to 5.2% among pupils with reached a 4th grade and 3.7% among students who reached 9th to 5 in English and maths.
  • Generally, the higher the percentage of missed sessions in the milestone at KS2 and KS4, the lower the level of success at the end of the milestone.
  • Among the pupils who did not miss any session during KS2, 83.9% reached the expected level, compared to 40.2% of the pupils who were constantly absent.
  • Of students who did not miss a session beyond KS4, 83.7% reached grades 9-4 in English and Maths, compared to 35.6% of students who were consistently absent.

There are only a few circumstances in which it is permissible to miss a day of school.

When can my child be absent from school?

When you enroll your child in school, you have a legal obligation to ensure that your child regularly attends that school.

This means that your child must be present every day the school is open, unless:

  • Your child is too sick to come that day.
  • You have requested in advance and received permission from the school for your child to be absent that day due to exceptional circumstances.
  • Your child cannot go to school on this day because it is a day when you participate in a religious practice
  • Your local authority is responsible for arranging transport for your child to school and it is not available that day or has not yet been provided; Where
  • You are a family of gypsies/travellers with no fixed address and you have to travel for work that day, which means that your child cannot go to his usual school. In most cases, however, your child is required to temporarily attend another school during these absences.

These are the only circumstances where schools can allow your child to be absent.

What should I do if my child has to be absent from school for one of these reasons?

You should contact their school as soon as possible to explain why. If not, your child’s school will contact you on the first morning of their absence to find out the reason.

All parents can apply for a “leave of absence” for their child which gives them permission to be absent from school. Leave must be requested before your child is absent and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Your child’s headteacher has the final say on whether to approve the request and the length of your child’s absence.

Their decision will be made after consideration of the specific facts and circumstances giving rise to your request.

Can I take my child on vacation during school holidays?

Parents should plan their holidays around school holidays and avoid asking for vacation time off unless unavoidable.

As leave is only granted in exceptional circumstances, it is unlikely that your child’s headteacher will agree to leave for a family holiday.

If permission is refused and you take your child away from school on the days requested, you are likely to commit an offense and be penalized by a fixed fine or be prosecuted by your municipality.

Where can I get help to help my child go to school?

Children can struggle to go to school for a wide variety of reasons.

If your child is struggling to attend school, their school and your local authority also have a responsibility to help you support your child’s attendance.

In most cases, if your child’s attendance level drops, their school will contact you to explore the reasons and discuss what support may be in place to help you overcome the barriers they are facing.

If your child is having trouble going to school, you can expect the school to meet you and your child if they are old enough. The school will want to understand the reasons for their absence and what support you or they need to overcome any barriers to attendance they are having.

If the barriers to your child’s attendance are at school – such as if they have friendship issues – the school is responsible for working with you to help overcome the issues.

Information about who to contact at the school for help, including the school’s senior attendance officer, can be found in the school’s attendance policy on its website or are available in hard copy from the school itself.

If the barriers to attendance you or your child are facing are beyond the school’s remit – such as a transportation or mental health issue – the school and local authorities have a responsibility to help. This includes helping you access wider support you may need, for example from the school nurse or local housing or transport teams.

As part of the conversation you will have with your child’s school, you will agree on a common set of actions that you will all take to help overcome barriers to attendance.

This agreement will often include a commitment to refer you or help you access support services in exchange for your agreement to engage and participate in the support offered. They will also arrange mutually convenient times for you to get together to review this progress and your child’s progress.

This agreement can take the form of an informal action plan, an early support plan or a parental contract – depending on the complexity of the reasons for your child’s absence.

What else are you doing to combat unauthorized absences?

We’re launching a three-year 1-2-1 Attendance Mentorship pilot starting this quarter, aimed at addressing factors that cause absenteeism, such as bullying or mental health issues .

It is launching in Middlesborough this year, before rolling out to other parts of the country next year. The pilot project will provide personalized support to more than 1,600 consistently and severely absent students over the three-year period.

Schools, academies, local authorities and government will also have access to a powerful new attendance data visualization tool which is also being launched to help spot and troubleshoot issues.

This data supports the launch of the new National Interactive Attendance Dashboard alongside the release of the first comprehensive bi-monthly attendance data of the quarter. This is expected later in September and will provide continued transparency and vastly improved potential for understanding and analyzing daily, weekly and quarterly trends.

The majority of schools now share daily register data with the department, where it is aggregated and presented in dashboards to schools, academies and local authorities.

This makes it easier for teachers to analyze attendance, making it easier to spot problems with individual students or groups such as children receiving free school meals, for example.

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