At Place Farm Primary Academy, we believe that good attendance and punctuality are crucial to our pupils’ learning. It is important for children to attend school regularly, so that they not only learn, but also improve their social skills and raise their self-esteem.
We will do all that we can to encourage each child to attend regularly and on time. We will identify any problems and act upon them and endeavour to support parents and carers in their role. We place such high value on good attendance, that we have a dedicated Attendance Improvement Team, comprising of Mrs Beal (Assistant Headteacher [EYFS]); Mrs James (Admin Assistant); and Mrs Bavester (Behaviour Support Manager). Mrs Beal, who is part of our Senior Leadership Team, maintains a strategic overview on attendance and works closely with families who need additional support. Mrs James offers front line support, monitoring attendance daily, and following up via first-day calling, any pupils whose parents have not given a reason for their child’s absence. Mrs Bavester provides support to families and is able to draw on a range of strategies and resources for parents who are struggling to achieve good attendance for their child.
For our pupils:
- To attend school regularly
- Pupils are encouraged to arrive at school by 8.45am
- Registration is 8.55am – the school gates are shut promptly
- All pupils who arrive late must report, with their parent, to the school office where the reason for lateness is recorded
For our parents:
- To ensure that their child attends school regularly
- To ensure that their child is punctual
- To inform the school if their child is absent, and why, on the first day of illness, and each subsequent day
- To let the school know if there is a problem with their child attending school, so that we can offer support and endeavour to find a solution
- To support the school in its aim to raise its achievements through good attendance and punctuality
Promoting Good Attendance:
As a school we encourage and reward good attendance and punctuality in the following ways:
- Attendance Stickers awarded to pupils with 100% attendance over a week
- Attendance Bear and Attendance Cup are awarded weekly to the class with the best attendance for the previous week
Our rewards are reviewed regularly, to introduce new ideas if necessary, and to ensure their effectiveness.
We will communicate to our parents the importance of good attendance and punctuality. Parents are given information on illness and absence procedures in induction meetings and in the Home/School Agreement each parent signs in their child’s planner. This highlights the importance of being at school on time and notifying us if their child is absent for any reason.
Parents are asked to share any worries their child might have in school. Sometimes, little things upset a child, which means that they become unhappy and may not want to come to school. We hope that, by working together, we will be able to solve such problems.
At school, we are required to keep a register, which is a legal document, and we must record the reason for any child’s absence. All parents are asked to contact the school if their child is absent. This can be done by telephoning and leaving a message on the school answerphone (01440 702836).
If a child is regularly late for school, or is often absent, then the parent/carer will be contacted by the school either by text, telephone or letter. If there is an urgent concern, then the Headteacher will be informed immediately, and she will discuss this with the parents/carers before taking the appropriate action.
Although it is an extremely rare occurrence for a child to truant, if there is a concern that a child may be truanting, we will take action immediately.
Attendance is monitored weekly to ascertain patterns of absence. The school has a designated Educational Welfare Officer, who liaises with the school on a regular basis to discuss attendance issues, and offer advice and support.
Leave of Absence
Place Farm Primary Academy is part of Unity Schools Partnership. Leave of absence requests cannot be approved in term time except for exceptional circumstances.
- If parents/carers are considering applying for a leave of absence, they must seek permission from the Headteacher BEFORE taking their child out of school. We ask for at least four weeks’ notice.
- Parents are asked to complete a “leave of absence form” available from the school office and attach a letter outlining the reason for the request.
- The school will confirm in writing within a ten-day period the outcome of the absence request.
What happens if a Leave of Absence request is declined?
Where a child’s leave of absence request is denied it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and the school may apply the penalty notice procedure.
Further information on Suffolk County Council’s penalty notice procedures can be found by following this link:
Alternatively, a contract may be drawn up, either internally within the school, or through the Educational Welfare Officer.