Oldfield Park Infant and Junior Schools Attendance Policy

Information for Parents and Carers

Revised October 2014


‘Ensuring that all children receive their entitlement to a full education.’


In October 2011 a joint committee of governors from the Infant and Junior Schools agreed a revised Attendance Policy. We have been supported in both developing and implementing this policy by Rod Dixon our Children Missing Education Officer (CMEO) who has been able to advise us about the statutory duties of both parents and the schools with regards to attendance.


This information leaflet contains a copy of the revised Attendance Policy at Oldfield Park Infant and Oldfield Park Junior Schools as well as an open letter from Rod Dixon.


We would particularly like to draw your attention to the following information which is significantly different to our current policy:-

Attendance Matters!




0 days

of learning missed


Best chance of success for your child



1 week and 3 days

of learning missed



3 weeks and 4 days

of learning missed


Poor Attendance

Cause for Concern



5 weeks and 3 days

of learning missed



7 weeks and 3 days

of learning missed


Very Poor Attendance

Very Serious Concern



9 weeks and 1day

of learning missed


38 weeks in school year = 190 days



Oldfield Park Infant and Junior Schools Attendance Policy ~ October 2014


To ensure that all children receive their entitlement to a full education.



We believe there are two main reasons why we should strive for maximum attendance and punctuality:


Every child is entitled to full time education. Absence from any lesson or school experience can cause anxiety for the child as they miss the opportunity to continually build on their learning and participate fully in school life. Frequent absences, or absence for a block of time, can have a long lasting effect through the ‘learning gaps’ that are created in the child’s understanding.


Attendance and punctuality are life skills which show an individual to be reliable, responsible and organised. It is the responsibility of both parents and the school, in partnership, to prepare the children for the future. We believe that positive attitudes towards attendance and punctuality will hold them in good stead through their lives and chosen careers.


We ask that every parent helps their child achieve their potential by ensuring maximum attendance and punctuality.



The attendance target set for both schools is currently 96%. This equates to each child attending a minimum of 374 out of 390 school sessions in each academic year. (Attendance is measured through attendance at two registration sessions per day, morning and afternoon).


3 Step Action Plan to monitor and support full attendance at school:

Step 1: If a child’s attendance is in danger of falling below the 96% target their parent / carer will receive a letter or notification from the school alerting them to the fact this could be a cause for concern.


Step 2: If a child’s attendance falls below 90% a request will be made to discuss this with the relevant Headteacher to identify if any support can be provided by the school. The CMEO (Children Missing Education Officer for BANES) will be alerted to the situation through the school’s termly attendance report.


Step 3: If a child’s attendance falls below 85% the CMEO will be alerted automatically by the Local Authority and take the appropriate action to address the situation.



At OPIS attendance between 96% and 100% attendance is recognised in End of Year reports. The class with the best attendance each week is celebrated at assembly on Friday.


At OPJS children achieving 96% (Bronze Award), 98% (Silver Award) and 100% (Gold Award) attendance are presented with their awards three times a year. Children achieving 100% attendance for the year are presented with a named presentation shield at the leavers’ assembly on the last day of the academic year.



Absences are recorded as either authorised or unauthorised.


If a child is absent from school the appropriate school office should be informed before the start of the school day on the first day of absence for it to be acknowledged as an authorised absence.


If the school has not been informed by 9.30am on the first day of absence the parent / carer will be contacted as soon as possible to establish the reason why the child is not in school and to ensure that the child is safe.


If contact cannot be made or the school is concerned about the child’s absence the case will be referred to the schools’ CMEO.

If a child is unwell, time will be needed at home to recover. Parents can support other families by ensuring that children with contagious illnesses are fully recovered before returning to school.


If any child is frequently absent due to illness the school will contact parents / carers to discuss any issues and identify if any support can be provided. A letter will also be sent home requesting evidence of a doctor’s appointment or prescribed medicine for any future absence due to illness.


This is in line with guidance from the schools’ CMEO on recurrent absences due to illness.



Any planned absences during term time are discouraged and have an effect on a child’s progress in school.


The September 2013 DFE Statutory Guidance on School Attendance states that :


Any request for leave in exceptional circumstances will be considered individually and forms must be completed in advance which are available from the school office.

The following circumstances will be taken into account:


Exceptional Circumstances may include :-

Religious Celebrations

Absences resulting from participation on a day set aside exclusively for religious observance is deemed to be an authorised absence.


Family Bereavement

We recognise that death of a family member can be a particularly traumatic event in a child’s life. The school will respond sensitively to such requests for leave of absence and will normally authorise these.


A Local or National Emergency

For example where adverse weather conditions have resulted in widespread travel disruption.


Excluded Children

Where a child has been temporarily excluded the absence will be authorised. Where a child is permanently excluded the absence will be authorised pending consultation or an appeal.



Registration takes place at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session.


Morning registration at OPIS takes place at 9am and at OPJS at 8.55am. Children arriving up to 30 min after registration are marked late (L). Children arriving after 9.30am will not receive an attendance mark for the morning session.


Persistent lateness will be followed up in a similar way to the ‘3 Step Action Plan’ outlined above.




Parents receive a termly printout of their child’s attendance and punctuality. Attention is drawn to any concerns and may be followed up by letter or with a request to meet the parents. Reports may be generated at other times if necessary.



This policy has been written in line with the schools’ Child Protection Policy and other Safeguarding documentation. The schools are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.


Letter from Rod Dixon, Children Missing Education Officer,

for Oldfield Park Infant and Junior Schools.


School Attendance and Punctuality

Your child can only make the most of what school has to offer if they attend regularly and punctually. Irregular attendance and lateness leads to pupils feeling out of touch with school life and being constantly behind with their school work.



…that parents and carers of children and young people aged between 5 and 16, must ensure that they receive an education. Your child can only make the most of what school has to offer if they attend regularly and punctually. Arriving on time for the start of the school day is very important as it has a settling influence upon all the children and promotes good habits for the future. Good attendance can help children to:



Under the Education Act 1996, it is the duty of parents/responsible adults to ensure the regular attendance of their child in school. This means your child must be in attendance, and on time, every time the school is open, unless s/he is prevented from doing so by reason of illness or unavoidable cause.


A student’s punctuality is also a legal requirement and the parents/carers of a pupil who present as persistently late are guilty of an offence. The law treats persistent lateness in the same way as irregular attendance and parents can be prosecuted if late arrival is not resolved.


There will be occasions when your child is unable to attend school because of illness or other unavoidable causes. It is therefore vital that you, as parent, communicate with the school to inform them of the nature and expected duration of any absences. The school will then be able to decide whether or not the absence can be authorised.


Many parents say that the time their child misses because of a holiday doesn’t affect their school work; however a child who has 10 days holiday each year of their school life will miss 24 weeks of their formal education, which adds up to almost a whole academic year missed due to holidays. This absence is in addition to unavoidable absences, for instance if your child is ill.


 By continuing to encourage your children to attend regularly and to have a good education you are giving your child the best possible start in life.

Rod Dixon

Children Missing Education Officer

December 2011

Rod can be contacted on 01225 394353 if you would like to talk to him at any time.


Our new policy has been put in place to ensure that attendance at both schools continues to improve and that the number of our children who miss school is kept to a minimum.

Thank you for your continued support.


Claire McMurtry                                Marilyn Cole

                                    Head of OPIS                                     Head of OPJS