Regular and punctual attendance at school or alternative provision is a legal requirement, as well as being essential to enable children to maximise their educational attainments and opportunities.
CWAC Code of Conduct Irregular Attendance
Start of day - doors open at 08:40.
Reception finish at 3:05, Key Stage 1 at 3:10 and Key Stage 2 at 3:15pm.
Children need to be in school regularly with minimal absence if they are to enjoy and achieve as well. Learning starts promptly in the morning and children who are late miss key learning as well as having an unsettled start to the day.
School Holiday Dates for CWAC to 2025 - check them out to avoid missing school before you book!
Every child has had their education impacted by the pandemic. Therefore, it is even more important that family holidays are taken in the school holidays and not in term time. To help families plan a holiday without impacting on their child's education, families are encouraged to check before booking the dates of all school holidays up to 2025.
From September 2022 expectations regarding term time absence for holidays will be as they were pre-pandemic. The expectation is that all holidays are taken in the school holidays. It will only be in the most exceptional of circumstances that any term time absence other than illness or medical appointments will be authorised.
Families requesting term time absence for a holiday should continue to request this in advance from the headteacher. While each case is considered on merit, it would be highly unusual for any holiday absence to be authorised and likely that it could result in an FPN (fixed penalty notice).
Attendance in Autumn term tells us that without unauthorised absence, attendance would be 96.6% which would be good and in line with the school's attendance rates pre-pandemic during the Autumn term.
Our attendance figures with the National in brackets
Overall attendance this year is 95.9 [93.6], up very slightly from Autumn term when it was 95.4% [93.3]
Authorised absence at the end of Spring term was 3.2% [4.8%]
Unauthorised absence 0.98% [1.6%]
Persistent (below 90%) absentees DfE 6.5% [20.7%]
Families are encouraged compare their children's attendance with the schools and national picture using the App on Arbor.
attendance over time
March-May 2021 - 97.79%
July 2020 - 95.13%
July 2019 - 97.53%
July 2018 - 96.98%
Data shows that attendance in school has been consistently good but has been impacted by Covid and almost two years of a pandemic.
Covid means attendance can't be judged as it was pre-pandemic. Nevertheless, good attendance is even more important after two years of interruptions to school.
We expect all children to arrive on time and ready to learn. Children who've eaten breakfast at home or in school are far more ready to learn than those snacking on the way or missing breakfast completely.
The start of day are not only important for children's emotional well-being and settling into the busy school day but they are key times for learning. Children arriving late have a dis-regulated start to the day and also impact on the learning of others when having to have a lesson explained because they missed the start of day. In Early Years and Key Stage 1 we start the morning with the very important lesson in phonics - fundamental to children learning to read and write. Children arriving late miss their short phonics daily input. Others are embarrassed and insecure walking into class after lessons have started. This is why we have a staggered morning session without lining up - children can arrive between 8:40 and 8:50 so all can enjoy a positive start to the day.
We expect children to have no absence other than for sickness or other medical reasons. If your child is too unwell to be in school please ring us on 01606 800170, select option 1 and leave a message. All children must be accounted for when we take the registers and we will contact families if we are not sure of a child's whereabouts.
Sickness and diarrhoea - bugs spread very quickly in school despite regular reminders about hand washing after using the toilet and hand gel dispensers around the building. When families support the 48 hour rule, fewer days are lost to sickness absence.
Anyone reporting diarrhoea and vomiting should exclude themselves from school until 48 hours after the vomiting and/or diarrhoea has stopped, this will help prevent spread to others.
Director of Public Health, Cheshire West and Chester Council
CWAC Good Practice Guide to Emotionally Based School Non-Attendance
To thrive and enjoy school to the full, children need to attend on time, every day.
Click here for the CWAC school holiday dates right up to 2025. We hope this will help families book lovely holidays in the holidays!
1. Any staff who test positive will stay at home for five days before returning to school.
2. Any pupil who tests positive will stay at home for three days before returning to school.
3. Any pupil or staff member who has a temperature will be asked to stay at home until their they no longer have a temperature as we would with any illness. DO NOT bring your child to school if they have a temperature as they will be asked to return home.
4. If your child has sickness and diarrhoea they MUST stay at home for 48 hours after the last bout of sickness or diarrhoea.
5. If your child has a respiratory infection DO NOT bring them to school.
6. Home learning will now not be set unless we are advised to do so by public health.
more persistent and serious absence
The Department of Education deem any attendance below 90% as persistent absenteeism. While all absence affects children's learning and achievement, attendance below 95% is where we would communicate with families around making improvements. It is the responsibility of parents or carers to bring to our attention and discuss any exceptional circumstances affecting their child's attendance.
Attendance is formally monitored at for all children at least once a term. If data gives cause for concern it will be monitored more regularly. Where attendance is below 90% this is a more serious cause for concern and is deemed persistent absenteeism. If attendance does not improve, unless there are exceptional reasons for absence being unavoidable we will escalate our response.
Parents may be informed by letter where the reasons for absence are understood or if attendance, while still at or below 90% has shown improvement.
Parents or carers are invited to an informal meeting which they are expected to attend. We will discuss how we might work in partnership to achieve acceptable levels of school attendance. Emotionally based non school attendance can be considered as a reason, not an excuse, for poor attendance and reasonable adjustments can be considered.
If this does not improve the situation we will convene an attendance panel. At this, targets for attendance may be set and we may require that for any further medical absence to be authorised, we must be given proof of appointment or a note from a health professional saying that the child was too unwell to be in school. We could inform parents that term time absence is being taken cumulatively (i.e. not ten consecutive sessions of unauthorised absence but ten sessions over the year).
The school can then issue a fixed penalty notice (fine) for non attendance which may lead to further legal action should attendance not improve.
Fixed Penalty Notices and term time holidays
We consider all unauthorised absence to be serious.
Cheshire West and Chester Local Authority have issued detailed guidance for all schools to use when any pupil's attendance is a cause for concern. Families wishing to take their children out of school for reasons other than illness or medical appointments should put their request in writing to the headteacher, along with the dates of the absence requested. In exceptional circumstances absence in term time may be authorised. If families do not have the absence authorised in advance they risk a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued.
Since September 2023 it can be assumed that, unless circumstances were genuinely exceptional, all holiday absence meeting the threshold for a FPN would result in one being issued. It can also be assumed that almost all term time absence for holidays will be unauthorised.
We ask families to take holidays in the school holidays. We appreciate that this has a cost. Our own employees, some of whom are on far lower pay than those taking children out of school, are equally impacted by price hikes in school holidays. We also understand parents and carers noting the 'cultural value' of time abroad. We agree that holidays, while not essential, are important for quality of life and experience.. We would ask that people also consider the value to their children of education and consistent uninterrupted time in school. There are around thirty children in a class, the overwhelming majority of who do not have term time holidays. Their learning may be impacted by teachers having to take additional time with children back off holiday who've missed previous lessons.