Statement of intent
The Diamond Learning Partnership Trust (DLPT) believes that in order to facilitate teaching and learning, good attendance is essential. Pupils cannot achieve their full potential if they do not regularly attend school.
The average attendance for a school age child is above 95%.
Children may only be absent from school for medical reasons or other very exceptional circumstances.
We ask parents/carers to contact the school as soon as possible to let us know about any absence. In the event that we are not notified, the school will contact you.
Leave of Absence
We would discourage parents from taking any leave of absence during term time. If this is unavoidable, we would ask you to complete a 'Leave of Absence Request Form' to let us know of your intention.
The school requires parents to observe the school holidays as prescribed; therefore, the headteacher will be unable to authorise holidays during term-time in the vast majority of cases. The headteacher will only be allowed to grant a leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.
Applications must be made in advance and the headteacher will be satisfied by the evidence which is presented, before authorising term-time leave. The headteacher will determine the amount of time a pupil can be away from school during term-time.
Any leave of absence is at the discretion of the headteacher. Any requests for leave during term-time will be considered on an individual basis and the pupil’s previous attendance record will be taken into account.
Requests for leave will not be granted in the following circumstances:
- Immediately before and during assessment periods
- When a pupil’s attendance record shows any unauthorised absence
- Where a pupil’s authorised absence record is already above 10 percent for any reason
If parents take their child out of school during term-time without authorisation from the headteacher, they may be subject to sanctions such as penalty fines.
If a pupil’s attendance falls below 90 percent, a letter is sent home explaining that the pupil’s attendance is now being monitored, and the attendance officer contacts the parents to discuss this.
- The pupil’s attendance is monitored for two weeks and, if attendance does not improve after this time, parents are required to attend a meeting in school with the classroom teacher and set targets for their child. If parents are unwilling to cooperate, or are genuinely unable to attend, a referral may be required to the local attendance improvement officer (AIO), who will then conduct a home visit.
- After the two-week monitoring period, and if targets are met, a letter may be sent home from the SLT to congratulate the pupil and their parents on improving attendance. Monitoring and communication with the parents continues until attendance stabilises to 96 percent.
- If targets are not met, a referral to the Trust Attendance Officer may be made. Education welfare protocol is followed, and a parental contract is drawn up. A four-week monitoring period is established and, if there are no improvements, a final written warning is issued to the parents if there is no improvement after an additional four weeks, a fixed-penalty notice may be issued.
The school will regard punctuality as of the utmost importance and lateness will not be tolerated. The school day starts at 8.35am and gates will close at 8.45am for all pupils in Reception to Year 6.
Pupils should be in their classroom on time:
- Registers are marked by 8.55am. Pupils will receive a late mark if they are not in their classroom by this time.
- The register closes at 9:10am. Pupils will receive a mark of absence if they do not attend school before this time. This will impact on your child's overall attendance figure.
- Pupils attending after the registers have closed will receive a mark to show that they were on site, but this will count as a late mark.
What does poor attendance and lateness means to your child's education?
The Trust aims to work together with parents to ensure that all children registered at a DLPT school attend both regularly and punctually. We expect attendance at school to be 100% unless there are exceptional or unavoidable reasons for absence.
1. Parents have a legal duty to ensure that children of compulsory school age attend on a regular and fulltime basis (compulsory school age starts the term after the child turns 5)
2. Parents should ensure that if their child is absent from school for any unavoidable reason such as illness, they should contact the school as soon as possible, preferably by telephone before 9.15am on every morning of absence, they may also inform school either by letter or in person.
3. Parents should arrange routine medical appointments outside school hours. If this is unavoidable children should come to school/return to school before/after their appointment so as to miss as little learning as possible.
4. Parents cannot authorise their child’s absence – only the school can do this on the basis of the explanation provided by the parents. Should parents fail to provide a satisfactory reason for their child’s absence the school will record such absence as unauthorised. It may become necessary on occasions, for the school to request medical evidence for regular absences due to illness.
5. Parents should ensure that their child arrives in time for the start of registration. If a child arrives late then they should report to the office.
6. Parents should avoid booking family holidays during school term time. If this is unavoidable they should write to the Head teacher. All holidays during term time will be recorded as unauthorised. (leave will only be granted in extremely exceptional circumstances)
If parents are not happy with the decision concerning holiday leave, they should make representations to the Governing Body of the school
If at parent takes a child out of school for term time leave for 3 consecutive days or more this may receive a penalty notice.
Further details on school attendance can be found here - https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools- &-learning/education-your-rights-and-responsibilities/non-attendance-andthe-law/