At Darrick Wood Junior School we value good attendance greatly. If children do not attend school regularly, they will not benefit form the fantastic range of learning opportunities that the staff strive to provide. There are clear links between pupils whose attendance is poor and poor learning and progress.
There is a legal requirement for all children to attend school regularly. Whilst it is wholly appropriate for parents to keep children away from school when they are not well enough to attend lessons it is not appropriate for children to be away from school for trivial ailments, particularly those which would not keep parents away from work. Specifically with regard to sickness or diarrhoea, a child should not return to school until they have been clear of symptoms for at least 24 hours. If they have had both sickness and diarrhoea they should not return to school for 48 hours to help prevent the spread of infection. If your child is away from school, either through sickness or other unavoidable cause, we ask you to let us know on the first day of absence by ringing between 8.30am and 9.10am at the latest. Please provide written confirmation of the reason for absence upon your child’s return to school. The reason for the absence will be noted in the school register.
All absences are recorded as 'authorised' or 'unauthorised' and this decision is made by the Headteacher based on information provided by you, previous attendance records and school policy on categorisation of absences. Where the school has concerns that a pupil has been unnecessarily absent, it is obliged to challenge the parents' explanation and seek evidence of the illness.
The school monitors attendance rates very closely. Where attendance falls below 90% concerns may also be discussed with the school’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO) and we may write to the parents to outline our concerns. The school’s target for attendance is usually around 95%. We may request an appointment with a parent if we are particularly concerned about a child’s attendance or punctuality.
It is most important that children arrive punctually for the start of the school day. They may arrive from 8.45am and should be in the school playground when the bell sounds at 8.55am. Working parents who have to leave home early should make arrangements for the supervision of their children before 8.45am as the school cannot guarantee supervision before that time.
A pupil who regularly arrives late for school may seriously disrupt not only his or her continuity of learning but also that of others. When a child arrives late then the register is marked to show this lateness. If a child arrives after the school register is closed (at Darrick Wood Junior School this is 9.05am for the morning sessions and 1.45pm for the afternoon) then an absence mark is recorded. If a child is regularly late for school, we may request an appointment with one or both parents/carers.