Attendance and Illness

Primary anxiety print poster.pdf
Primary illness print poster.pdf

Attendance matters

'From the first day of term to the last, the small moments in a school day make a real difference to your child'. #AttendanceCounts 

Improving attendance is everyone’s business.  The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education either by attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school. 

Regular school attendance can facilitate positive peer relationships, which is a protective factor for mental health and wellbeing as well as improve attainment. 

In 2018/19, just 40% of persistently absent children (attendance below 90%) in KS2 achieved the expected KS2 standards, compared with 84% of pupils who were regular attenders. 

Please read this blog for further information about the importance of school attendance. Why is school attendance important?

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 school holiday dates before booking.

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.

Absence due to illness

Call 01606 800170 and choose option 1 to report pupil absence.

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 before registration at 8:50 and leave a message. Don't email on the morning of absence as 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. 

We do not authorise term time absence other than sickness unless there are exceptional circumstances. We ask that parents and carers avoid term time absence. Request should be made to the headteacher in writing and in advance, informing us of the reason and dates.

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

Please see NHS guidance Is my child too ill for school? for further advice around managing illness. 

CWAC Good Practice Guide to Emotionally Based School Non-Attendance

Attendance 2022-23.pdf

Attendance 2022 - 2023

Our attendance figures with the National in brackets

Data from Arbor as of 31/08/2023

Families are encouraged compare their children's attendance with the schools and national picture using the App on Arbor.

Spring term

Our attendance figures with the National in brackets

Data from Arbor as of 31/03/2023

Families are encouraged compare their children's attendance with the schools and national picture using the App on Arbor.

Attendance 2021-22

Unauthorised absence has increased due to missed and rearranged holidays and seeing family overseas after the pandemic. From September 2022 usual expectations regarding term time absence resumed with the routine use of fixed penalty notices.

Attendance over time

attendance was impacted by Covid 
the last year unaffected by the pandemic and tantalisingly close to 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.

More persistent and serious absence

Persistent 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.

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.