At Pear Tree Mead Academy we promote an EVERY DAY COUNTS, approach to attendance meaning For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential. Therefore children should be in school every day and on time ready to learn, unless there is an exceptional reason preventing them from doing so.
We are committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all our pupils/ students and endeavour to provide an environment where all pupils feel valued and welcome. Parents and pupils play a part in making our school so successful. Every child has a right to access the education to which he/she is entitled. Parents and teachers share the responsibility for supporting and promoting excellent school attendance and punctuality for all.
It is our duty to consistently strive to achieve a goal of 100% attendance for all children. Every opportunity will be used to convey to pupils and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.
For our children to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered it is vital your child is at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. The routines children develop around attendance and punctuality at school are the same as the expectations of any future employer in the world of work. High attainment, confidence with peers and staff and future aspirations depend on good attendance.
Parents/carers should contact the school on the first day of their child’s absence. When parents/carers notify us of their child’s absence it is important that they provide us with details of the reason for their absence.
All absences are recorded as either authorised or unauthorised absences in the register. It is important that we receive accurate information from parents with reasons for the child’s absence. This information is used to determine whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. The Head teacher has the responsibility to determine whether absences are authorised or unauthorised. It is not the right of the parent to determine how the school should consider the absence.
Where we have not received reasons for a child’s absence then we send a group call reminder requesting these details. If after a specified date, we have not received a reason, the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence (Attendance Code O)
First Day Contact / Follow up Third Day absence call / Home Visits
Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent, then we initiate a first day contact process. Front office staff will check all of the registers from 9.00am to 9.30am on a daily basis, to identify those pupils who are absent. There are occasions when we are unaware why the child is absent and we will contact the parent to check the reasons for the child’s absence. You will also receive a call a follow up call/ groupcall text on the third day of absence for an update regarding your child’s expected return to school.
When we cannot establish contact with the parent or when we are concerned with the reason given for the child’s absence an unannounced home visit will be made. This will usually be made by the Attendance Officer and another appropriate member of staff such as a senior leader, class teacher or learning mentor. Home visits will be repeated if the child does not return to school and the appropriate authorities notified.
Long-Term Medical Conditions
When children have an illness that means they will be away from school long term, the school will do all it can to work with the parents, to supply work for the child to access at home, so that they can keep up with their school work.
Where over the course of an academic year, a child has repeated periods of illness, the school will write to parents or ask them to attend a meeting, and they will then be expected to provide medical evidence for each future period of illness related absence. This evidence could be a Doctor’s note, appointment card or copy of a prescription. We may seek written permission from you for the school to make their own enquiries.
Parental Request for Absence from School for Holiday
With effect from September 2013 the government abolished the right of head teachers to authorise absence specifically for holidays. Now, Head teachers are only allowed to grant leave of absence for any reasons if they are satisfied exceptional circumstances exist. Children are expected to attend EVERY DAY, therefore for permission to be granted by the Headteacher for leave, evidence of the exception will need to provided.
Once the doors are closed at 9am the only way to get into school is via the school office. Any pupil, who comes into school this way from this time, will be marked as late in the attendance record. Records are kept of those pupils who are late; this is documented on the electronic register for each pupil (Attendance code L). Any child who arrives for school later than 9.25am will be marked as having an unauthorised absence for the morning. (Attendance code U).
Children, who have attended a dentist or doctor’s appointment and subsequently come to school late, will have the absence recorded as a medical absence (Attendance code M).
Children who are persistently late miss a significant amount of learning, often the most important aspect, as the beginning of the day is where the teacher explains the learning and what each child is expected to achieve.
Where there have been persistent incidents of lateness parents/carers will receive a letter advising them of the concerns and the school will provide opportunities for parents/carers to seek support and advice to address these issues.
You can view our attendance and punctuality policy and leave of absence forms in full below.