We place great value on regular and punctual attendance in order to maximise the learning opportunities for our pupils and to ensure their well-being. While recognising that there are good reasons why this is not always possible, it is our intention to provide support and challenge where appropriate to ensure that attendance remains high for all pupils in our care.
Full details of our attendance policy are available in the Policies section.
What are the times of the school day?
School begins at 8.50am for all pupils. Pupils arriving after this time will be recorded as being late. If your child arrives after 9.20am, this will be recorded as an absence.
What should I do if my child is unwell?
If your child is too ill to attend school, please contact the school on the first day of absence before 9.00am. You can do this by telephone on 01903 785672, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Coughs and common colds are not normally a reason for absence from school. If you’re unsure whether or not your child should attend, we suggest bringing them in and speaking with their class teacher or with the school office. We can always call home if they feel unwell later in the day.
You can also find further advice about when children should or should not attend school on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/
When should my child return to school?
After periods of sickness and diarrhoea, children should not return to school for 48 hours after the last bout. This helps to prevent the spread of infection.
In the case of other contagious illnesses, please contact the school office who can advise of recommended return periods based on health guidelines.
What about medical appointments?
We ask that parents make appointments for dentists, routine doctors’ visits, etc. outside of school hours. In circumstances where this is not possible, such as hospital visits, please let the school office know in advance, ideally by showing an appointment card.
How can I request time off for other absences?
Headteachers are only allowed to authorise other absence from school in exceptional circumstances. Absence for family holidays or days out will not normally be approved.
If there are exceptional circumstances, then please complete the absence request form (available from the school office) giving your reasons and providing suitable evidence of the exceptional need. The request will then be considered by the headteacher. Guidance on consideration of absence requests is here:
If the absence is not approved, but your child is not in school on the requested days, then this will be treated as an unauthorised absence.
How does the school monitor attendance?
In circumstances where a child’s attendance falls below 95% (approximately 3 days off per term), we will monitor attendance to ensure that it is improved over time. In cases where attendance falls below 90% (6 days off per term), we will contact you to inform you of our concerns.
In some cases, the headteacher may request that any future absence is supported by evidence (such as a doctor’s appointment card for illnesses).
Does the school issue fines?
In common with other schools in the locality, including East Preston Infant School, Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued by West Sussex County Council to families where a child has missed at least 5 days of school in a ten-week period without authorisation.
Penalty Notices incur a fine of £120 per parent, per child. This means that a family of 3 children with two parents missing school for a holiday could lead to combined fines of £720 for the family.
It is therefore important that school is kept informed of reasons for absence.