St John and St Francis Church School is committed to the continuous raising of achievement of all our pupils and we have high expectations for every pupil’s attendance. Regular attendance is critical if our pupils are to be successful and benefit from the opportunities presented to them. Attendance and punctuality are important to allow children to achieve their full potential during their time at school as well as an important life skill.
As a school we consider attendance to be extremely important and would ask for the continued support of our parents in ensuring their child attends school regularly and on time. Somerset County Council will issue penalty notices for unauthorised term time leave of 5 continuous days or more if, as a result, your child’s attendance falls below our school target of 96%.
Whereever possible please arrange for your child to have their appointments after school or in the school holidays. If you are unable to make an appointment during this time, we would ask for your assistance in making the appointment after 2.30pm, rather than in the morning.
If your child is absent from school you must telephone the School Office on (01278 456918) on each day of absence, before 9.30am and provide a reason.
If we receive no confirmation of the reason you will receive first of all a text message, and then a follow up phone call home. If we are unable to get hold of you, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be advised and may carry out a Safeguarding Welfare visit. If we do not receive a reason for your child’s absence, it will be marked as unauthorised.
- If your child’s attendance drops below 96% it will be monitored.
- If your child’s attendance drops below 90% then your child will be classed as a Persistent Absentee and be monitored by the Education Safeguarding Service.
- If your child accrues 10 or more unauthorised absences (2 registration sessions per day) the Education Safeguarding Service may become involved.
Actions that could be taken
- Letters sent home when attendance drops below 92%.
- Parents/carers will be invited to a meeting with the Head Teacher to discuss their child’s attendance and any support the school can offer.
- Medical evidence may be requested to support frequent illness patterns.
- If there are still no improvement, a Request for Involvement will be sent to the Education Safeguarding Service, who will request a parental contract meeting.
- If attendance fails to improve, the Education Safeguarding Service may take further action including a pre-court meeting, and possibly prosecution.
Your child should be in class by no later than 8.55am when the morning register is taken. Arrivals after 8.55am and before 9.15am will be marked as Late. Arrivals after 9.15am will be marked as Unauthorised.
Request for Term Time Leave
No Request for Term Time Leave will be authorised for any pupils (unless in exceptional circumstances) as the lessons they miss will have a detrimental effect on their progress and academic success. If the reason for leave is for an exceptional circumstance and your child’s attendance is below 96%, this will not be authorised.
We recognise that financial pressures and work commitments sometimes make it difficult to take holidays outside of school time. However, you cannot avoid the fact that your children will only have one chance to receive an outstanding education and in order for the staff at St John and St Francis Church School to do their very best for your child, we ask that you support us in this matter.
If you choose to take an unauthorised Term Time Leave for your child of 5 days or more, then you may be at risk of a £60 per child, per parent fine from Somerset County Council. Further details of the prosecution process are available on their website: School attendance and children missing education (somerset.gov.uk) and Somerset Penalty Notice Protocol 2022
If your child accrues unauthorised absences of 5 days or more in a 12 week period, a Request for Involvement will be sent to Somerset County Council, for a Warning Penalty Notice. If that 15 day review period fails, Somerset County Council will issue a Penalty Notice which, if unpaid, could lead to prosecution.
- Each week, the class with the best attendance will be rewarded with a non-uniform day the following week
- Each fortnight, at Key Stage Celebration Assembly, a child who has attended 100% of the past fortnight (excluding evidenced medical appointments) will be chosen at random to have their attendance celebrated and rewarded.
Please see our Local Policies page for our Attendance Policy and the attached Parents Guide to Improving Attendance from the Department for Education.