Why is attendance important?
Every day of education and indeed, every lesson matters. In the National Curriculum where there is built-in progression, children who are persistently late or absent soon get behind with learning and then do not understand current lessons when they return. These gaps in learning impede children's progress and future ability to engage in lessons. This in turn has a knock on effect on their concentration, behaviour, as well as affecting their mental health and wellbeing. Frequent absence has a profound and cumulative effect on achievement.
We want every child to be successful at school and as such, set a target for all pupils to be at 97% attendance or above. We work closely with parents, carers and families to support every child to achieve this:
- We discuss the importance of attendance from the first transition meeting to secondary school, and our Home-School Agreement sets out our target of 97%
- We raise the importance of excellent attendance with pupils through our Values & Character programme, pastoral care and numerous rewards and celebrations
- We ensure that attendance is monitored effectively, parents and carers are contacted in the event of any absence and reasons for absences are recorded promptly and consistently
- We request that appointments, including for medical reasons, take place outside of school hours wherever possible
- We are consistent in how we authorise any absence ensuring that attendance at school is prioritised wherever possible
- We work in partnership with parents and carers, involving with the Education Welfare Team in Barnet where appropriate, to support every child to develop habits of strong attendance and punctuality
How do parents & carers report absence?
Ark Pioneer expects parents to contact the school before the start of the school day if they are making the decision to keep their child at home.
All absences should be reported to the school using this form by 7:45am on the day of absence.
This form should be completed on each day of a child's absence.
The parent should expect a follow up phone call from the attendance administrator by 10am on the morning of absence. This is the case whether an absence form has been submitted or not.
If we cannot contact parents regarding a child’s absence and a form has not been submitted, the child is considered to be missing and this may trigger a referral to external agencies so we can ensure the child/families safety.
Pupil appointments within the school day
Wherever possible - and excluding emergency appointments - any pupil appointments should be booked outside of school hours. In the instances where appointments within the school day cannot be avoided, please ensure that you are informing us as soon as possible. Please do this when the appointment is booked and at the very latest the morning of the day before the appointment. If you notify us the day of your appointment, we may not be able to authorise the absence.
We still need evidence of the appointment in order to authorise the absence, but this can be done after you have notified us of:
- the appointment date
- what time your child needs to leave
- if they will be collected or be leaving by themselves
Please always ensure when your child needs to leave for an appointment they are aware what time they need to leave lessons and come to reception, adding a note to their planner will help them remember. Please send all appointment information to firstname.lastname@example.org.