Attendance

Our attendance and punctuality policy aims to:

support children and their parents/carers in the early establishment of the highest possible level of attendance and punctuality;

ensure that all our children have full and equal access to the best education that we can offer;

enable children to progress smoothly, confidently and with continuity through the school and education system;

support parents/carers in the fulfilment of their legal responsibilities.

St Paul's CofE VC Junior School has recently updated its attendance and punctuality policy. Please click the links below to download our attendance leaflet and attendance policy.

PDF icon Attendance Policy

PDF icon Education Attendance Officer - Information for parents and carers

PDF icon School Attendance Sweeps Advice for school parents

PDF icon Somerset County Council Penalty Notice Code of Practice

Reporting of absence

The attendance line phone number is 01749 343250 Please phone this number by 8am (or as early as possible) to speak to a member staff.If your child is ill and not able to attend school it is your responsibility as a parent/carer to contact the school with a reason for you child´s absence. Should you have any concerns about your child´s attendance and wish to speak to someone, you can contact the school administration team and your class teacher, who will be able to provide support.

Short term absence

There will be times when children are unwell or have health appointments. School must be told of the reason for these absences, either in writing or by phone on the first day of absence. Appointments should, where possible, be arranged for out of school hours, school also require a copy of the appointment card/letter. If absence is persistent our Welfare Officer will be involved in supporting the family to improve attendance.

Long term absence

School endeavour to support all families and pupils to ensure they are able to attend school as often as possible. During long term absences school ask that families remain in contact with them. We will continue to offer as much support as possible, with the aim of ensuring the pupil returns to school as soon as they can.

Attendance meetings

If attendance falls below 90% families will be invited to attendance meeting at school with Amy Harper (Welfare Officer) and a Member of the School Leadership Team, usually the Headteacher.

What we have been doing to improve and sustain the best outcomes for our learners

During recent years, staff have worked relentlessly with parents, carers and extended services to ensure that we promoting and communicating the importance of good attendance at school. Action has included;

- Reviewing and updating our Pupil Attendance Policy

- Providing letters to parents and carers to fully explain the importance of good attendance and the impact of poor attendance on pupils

- Updating our school website to ensure we consistently communicate the importance of this issues

- Provided individualised parents meetings to ensure the relevant services are supporting families well

- Held parents discussions (as part of parents mornings and school events) to raise the profile of attendance and to provide ongoing opportunities for discussing this issue

- Ensured that we have created action plans with parents and relevant services where attendance decreases or does not improve

- Reported ongoing development and outcomes to the school Governors and the local authority

- Held multi agency meetings with health teams and social care to explore how all services to can support pupils with additional needs e.g. health concerns  

The importance of good attendance

Attendance at school is, in most cases, one of the most important factors that effects the chances of success at school. We continue to work hard to support our learners and their families in having good attendance at school. We hope that you find the following helpful in supporting us in improving attendance even further.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What do I do if my child is not well enough to come to school?
    A.If your child is ill or absent for any reason, contact the school on the attendance line on the first day of absence. You may be asked to provide evidence if your child has high attendance.
  2. What should I do if my child has a medical appointment during school time?
    A.If you know the date and time for a hospital appointment please inform the school in advance. However, you should try to make routine appointments such as dental check-ups during the school holidays or after school. You will be asked to sign your child in and out of the school and this information will be recorded on our attendance system.
  3. Can I take my child on holiday during term time?
    A.At St Paul's we do not authorise holidays for pupils in term time. The Headteacher and Governing Body will only consider  cases for leave in term time, if there is an exceptional circumstance. Our attendance policies provides further information regarding such circumstances. Our attendance policy and pupil leave form for exceptional circumstances is available from the school's office. 
  4. What is an authorised absence?
    A.Authorised absence means the school is satisfied with the explanation provided.
  5. What is an unauthorised absence?
    A.Unauthorised absence means the school does not accept the reason provided or the reason does not comply with government guidelines. Unauthorised absences can result in parents being prosecuted.
  6. What is a persistent absence (pa)?
    A.A persistent absentee (pa) is any pupil who has accumulated higher levels of authorised or unauthorised absence.
  7. What happens if my child does not attend school regularly
    A.As a parent, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly.
  8. What can I do as a parent to help?
    A.If your child misses school regularly or is unhappy at school, you should contact us as soon as possible so that we can work with you to resolve difficulties. We understand that many of our children require additional support from social care, health services and/or other extended teams, therefore we ensure we coordinate and facilitate support to benefit pupil outcomes.

St Paul's Welfare Service

At St Paul's we have appointed our own Welfare Officer, Amy Harper, who works with the staff to raise achievement levels by working with pupils, parents and schools, other agencies and the community, to improve the attendance of our pupils. She also is the Community Learning Partnership's PFSA and works with families to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Diary Dates