Following a conference held by Wirral Department for Education regarding how schools on the Wirral are required to monitor and record attendance and/or punctuality. Please see below a list of helpful Questions and Answers.
Q Why do schools monitor attendance?
A Schools have a statutory duty to monitor attendance to ensure the safeguarding, wellbeing and education of every child
Q I hear the term ‘Regular Attendance’ referred to, what is ‘Regular Attendance’?
A Regular attendance means ‘Every day your child should be in school’
Q How can I report my child’s absence?
A By leaving a message via telephone 0151 647 7349 x 1 – this line is available 24hrs a day
By Email firstname.lastname@example.org
By calling into the reception and reporting to school office
Q If I have reported my child absent, do I need to call each day they are off?
A Yes, however, there may be individual exceptions to this eg. Medical Instruction from GP, hospital or dentist etc.
Q What happens if I do not ring school to report an absence?
A School will always try to make contact via telephone and/or text. If a reply is not received an unauthorised mark will be given.
Q What is an unacceptable reason for absence when leaving a message?
A Reasons such as ‘ill’, ‘poorly’, ‘won’t be in’ and ‘under the weather’ etc. are not acceptable and if used an unauthorised mark will be given. Please clearly state the illness.
Q Why might I get an unscheduled home visit?
A An unscheduled home visit may occur for a number of reasons
* If no communication is received by school as to the reason a child is absent
* If patterns of absence are identified that raise cause for concern (even if communication regarding the absence has been made)
* Due to the increase cases across Wirral of parents/carers reporting children off ill, only for school to discover that this is not the case. At the Head Teachers discretion, spot checks may be made
Q Why might school request medical evidence?
A * If patterns of absence are identified that raise cause for concern
* If a child is absent for 5 days
* If your child does not have ‘Regular Attendance’
* If a child is absent due to illness and school are made aware that this may not have been the case
As per the Department of Education guidelines – it is the parent’s/carers responsibility to prove that the child is ill not school’s responsibility to disprove.
Q Does school monitor lateness?
A Yes, if your child arrives before the register is closed, a ‘late’ mark will be given and the number of minutes late recorded. If your child arrives after the register is closed, an ‘unauthorised late mark’ is given and the number of minutes late recorded. An ‘unauthorised late’ means your child loses their mark for the whole morning.
Both cases could result in an Education Penalty Notice being issued.
Q What happens if I take my child on holiday during term time?
A Holidays during term time will no longer be authorised unless they are due to exceptional circumstances (Details are available on request).
Q Why might I be invited to a Panel Meeting?
A If your child’s attendance and/or punctuality becomes cause for concern, you may be invited to attend a Panel meeting. This is a supportive measure for you and school to discuss mutual strategies that will aim to have a positive effect on your child’s attendance and/or punctuality and most importantly their wellbeing and education.
Q What happens if my child’s attendance and/or punctuality does not improve?
A With the measures put in place following the panel meeting and your continued support, it is hoped that your child’s attendance will improve. However, failure to improve could result in an Education Penalty Notice or prosecution.
Cathcart Street Primary school prides itself on the relationship we have with our parents/carers and the open door policy that we offer.
We hope that this information has been helpful, however, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff if you have any concerns or questions.