St John Fisher School seeks to ensure that all its pupils receive a full‐time education. Through good attendance at school pupils will be able to maximise their opportunities and be helped to realise their scholastic potential. A high attendance rate in lessons helps pupils prepare for and achieve in examinations. Attainment at school is hampered by time away from class. The Attendance Advisory Service for Schools and Academies for schools and academies will work closely with the school in order to promote regular attendance and high standards of punctuality. Underlying Principles The Attendance Policy contributes to the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda.
- To enjoy and achieve
- To stay safe
- To be healthy
- To participate positively
- To become economically independent
All pupils are encouraged to attend school every day of the 190 days that school is open. The register is called twice daily and pupils are expected to be present for the 380 sessions, or half days.
That leaves 175 days for family holidays, shopping trips and other needs. Regular attendance at school is a legal requirement. St John Fisher School supports the government and LA target of a minimum of 96% attendance for all pupils. Many of our pupils achieve 100% attendance over one, two or three terms. Some pupils achieve 100% attendance over more than one year. Pupils, parents and staff are rightly proud of such remarkable achievement.
The law of the UK is quite clear about absence from school. In the school register schools must differentiate between authorised and unauthorised absence. Authorised absence is where the school has either given approval in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be out of school or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as satisfactory justification for absence. All other absences must be treated as unauthorised. (Ref. DFES 0628‐2003) Parents may not authorise any absence, only the Head Teacher can do this. Parentally condoned unauthorised absence can be a problem as it means disruption to a child’s education. School staff need not accept a parental explanation for a child’s absence whether written, telephoned or given in person and where parentally‐condoned absence appears to be a problem the Attendance Advisory Practitioner Service will be involved at an early stage and, in certain circumstances, a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued.
Additional information is provided in our Attendance Policy, available in the policy section of the website, or by clicking here.