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St Andrew's CE Primary School

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Please read this important letter containing information about safeguarding changes to our absence procedures from January 2020




Over the course of one academic year…

95% attendance means your child has missed 9 ½ learning days.

90% attendance means your child has missed 19 learning days. That’s nearly four weeks!

85% attendance means your child has missed 28 ½ learning days.

80% attendance means your child has missed 38 learning days.

70% attendance means your child has missed 57 learning days.

If your child has 85% attendance every year,

they will have missed 370 ½ days of learning over their whole school life.

That’s more than one year of their precious education!

Please take attendance seriously to give your children the best opportunities in life.


Have the conversation…

When you know what the problem is, you can work with us to plan how best to help.

Here are some things that might impact on attendance…

illness            anxiety about school work        bullying                    issues at home        depression

sleep issues: fear of missing out / homework overload / insomnia        friendship issues

                        no clean uniform              changes in circumstances           responsibilities at home

(This list is by no means exhaustive, it’s just to help get you started.)

Don’t stay away

Your children are our future leaders, carers, teachers and parents. We don’t just nag about attendance because their education is a legal requirement. For us, it’s about giving them the very best opportunities right from the start. If attendance is a problem for your child or you, contact our St. Andrew’s Attendance Officer straight away. Early intervention is the best way to help your child get the best from our school. Don’t be scared to call. Make some notes before you ring, if that will help. Here are some questions to ask yourself…


> Do you know why your child is refusing to attend? Is there a pattern? For example, do they always struggle to come to school on Thursdays, and is Thursday a PE day or a teacher’s job share day? Do you do something different on Thursdays?


> Is there a member of staff with whom your child feels comfortable, who might be able to help?


> Do you have an idea for a school incentive that we can put in place to encourage them?


> Are you the school refuser? Often parents don’t realise that their children are using their super powers to hone in on their parents’ emotions. Does it make you feel sad when you have to leave your child at school? Do you dislike a teacher or a friend of your child?


Some of these questions may seem daft, but rest assured that whatever is behind your child’s frequent absence, we can help and we want to help.


Changes to our attendance practice


If your child’s absence drops below 96% you will now receive a letter informing you that their attendance will be monitored for a specified period of time, and you may be asked to provide medical proof of your child’s illnesses. If your child’s attendance drops below 90%, you will be asked to attend a formal attendance meeting to discuss any issues and to look at ways we can support you in improving their attendance. We may ask you to complete an attendance contract.  At 90% or below, all illness absences must be supported with evidence such as a signed GP’s appointment card or prescription, or a hospital letter.  Where absences are not supported by such evidence, your child’s absence will be recorded as “unauthorised”.  This may result in legal action.



Where a child has an unauthorised absence from school, that is, if a parent or carer has not contacted the school by 9.15am to confirm the child's absence, this will be regarded as a safeguarding matter and we will contact the Chesil Partnership Attendance Project. Following this, an Attendance Link Worker will visit the family home to establish the reason for not attending school and to check that the child is safe.


General Absence

Please contact the school  on 01305 832346 and leave a message on the 24 hour absence line or email  before 9.15am stating the exact reason for absence e.g. cold/cough, sickness etc. Please do not state ‘”unwell” or similar. If the reason given is vague, the office team will be asked to call you to clarify the exact circumstances of your child's absence.


Every half term we undertake an attendance review. If your child's attendance has recently dropped below 96%, you will receive a letter from Claire Alison, our Family Support and Attendance Officer, informing you that we will be monitoring their attendance for a specified amount of time.


The school is very aware that some children have medical or personal circumstances which negatively impact on attendance on a long-term basis, and we understand that many of our children have had chicken pox or scarlet fever during this academic year, which will also have lowered their attendance percentage. The school is required to provide the Local Authority with evidence to show how we are supporting families where a child's attendance is below 96%. At this early stage it is not possible to break down the attendance of every child, which is why letters will be sent to all families in this category regardless of the reason.


If you have received a monitoring letter previously and your child's attendance has not sufficiently improved or has dropped further, you will be invited to attend a meeting to discuss your child's attendance and to see if the school is able to provide support in helping to build up their attendance. If you have been invited to an attendance meeting previously and your child's attendance has not improved or dropped further, you will be required to attend a second attendance meeting.  If you are not able to attend on the date offered, you can contact the Family Support and Attendance Officer to arrange a time convenient to you. However, if you miss the meeting, it will take place in absentia and you will be provided with a copy of the outcome of the meeting. 


We really hope this will answer any questions and help you to understand why these letters are being sent out. If you have any worries about your child's attendance, you do not need to wait for a letter! Contact the Family Support and Attendance Officer now to arrange an appointment to come in and chat about the support we can offer:

Miss Claire Alison

07512 256 403