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Attendance at Horizon

As I am sure you are aware, attendance and attainment are very closely linked.  At Horizon Primary Academy we are very grateful for the support of all parents and carers who ensure that their children attend school regularly and punctually. This allows teachers the best possible opportunity to support our pupils to reach their full potential.


The Ofsted expected minimum attendance rate for primary school children is 96%. If pupils have more than 7days absence from school during the academic year they will not be able to achieve this. We have a strong expectation at Horizon Primary Academy that our pupils aim for 100% attendance so that they have access to all learning opportunities. I am very pleased to note that most of our pupils have excellent attendance and punctuality.


To help us promote regular attendance and punctuality and ensure that absences are kept to an absolute minimum,  Horizon Primary Academy work closely with The South Eastern Attendance Advisory Service (SEAAS) who provide focused support to improve school attendance.


Working closely with SEAAS, we continuously monitor and review the attendance of all pupils. If we have concerns about a pupil’s attendance level or that a pupil’s attendance is having a negative impact on their attainment, we will refer the matter to SEAAS who will work with you to improve the attendance.


SEAAS will work on behalf of the school to address all attendance concerns including lateness and holidays in term time.  In cases where attendance does not improve and or parents are not engaging with the process, SEAAS will consider all the legal options available to them including penalty notices and referrals to the Local Authority for prosecution under Sec.444(1) Education Act 1996.


Key Points of the Attendance Policy:

If your child arrives after 8.50am they must be signed in at the office by a parent/carer and will be marked as late.


If you child is too unwell to attend school ring the absence line before 8.30am.


Medical evidence is required for every absence; if this is not provided by the parent/carer, the absence may be treated as unauthorised. For data protection reasons school staff are not able to contact doctors surgeries directly.


The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time.


If you child has absence below 95% or is persistently late a penalty notice can be issued. The penalty is £60 rising to £120 if it isn't paid within 28 days. If you do not pay the fine you may be prosecuted under Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 for failure to ensure your child's regular attendance at school.


Over the course of the school year:

5 minutes late each day means your child would miss 3 days of learning.

15 minutes late each day means your child would miss 10 days of learning.

30 minutes late each day means your child would miss 19 days of learning.


To promote good attendance the school:

Award stickers to every child who achieves 100% attendance each week.

Award Attendance Ted to the class with the best attendance each week.

Award Punctuality Pup to the class with the best punctuality.

Every term all children with 100% for that term are entered into a draw to win a prize.


Some facts about school attendance...

  • 90% attendance is like having a day off every two weeks.
  • Most children should routinely have attendance rates of 97% or more. This is the equivalent of 6 days absence a year. BUT 100% is achieved by many pupils every year in both primary and secondary schools.
  • A 2 week holiday each year in primary school means a total of 14 weeks teaching time missed - this could have a real impact on their basic literacy and numeracy skills.
  • It is the school and not parents who decide whether or not to authorise absences. The parent's note is necessary because the reason given need to be considered by the school.
  • Keeping children away from school for no good reason is a criminal offence.
  • Prolonged absence from school can lead to loneliness. It can make it harder for your child to get along with other children and make friends.
  • Looking after other children or shopping for new clothes are not good enough reasons to keep your child off school. The schools will not authorise absences without a good reason for your child being off.
  • Keep an eye out for early signs of your child not wanting to go to school, such as moodiness, headaches or stomach aches, especially at important times like the transition into a new year group or after the school holidays. Act upon these signs early, please don't be frightened to speak to Debbie our Wellbeing Coordinator.
  • If your child does not go to school regularly and you fail to work with the school and our Attendance service then you may be fined up to £2500 or be given a Parenting Order.
  • Remember the only legally accepted reason for not being in school are illness or a day of religious observance.
  • 80% attendance is the same as having a day off every week.
  • Some parents have been given a prison sentence for continually failing to send their child/children to school.
  • The Government regard 95% as the minimum satisfactory attendance for a primary school pupil.
  • Children with poor attendance often become the victims of bullying.

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