Parents / Carers are requested to telephone the office on 01626 862605 and leave a message on the absence line (option 1) before 8.50am if their child is going to be absent/late. The reason for absence must be in full i.e. sickness on Sunday, temperature, severe cold etc. Please do not leave vague messages i.e. unwell, ill or under the weather as the school office will have to call you back for more information.
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. Office staff check all class registers between 9.10am and 9.30am on a daily basis, to identify those pupils who are absent. If no message is left with the school office we will telephone in turn each of the contacts on the list provided by the parents, until a contact has been reached to advise why the child is not at school. This is the school’s duty of care and safeguarding for your child.
The class register opens at 8.50am and closes at 9.05am. If you child arrives after the register has started at 8.50am but before it has closed at 9.05am they will be coded as late (L). If they arrive after 9.05am they will be coded as arriving after the register has closed (U) which is an unauthorised absence.
The school attendance policy (available to view in Key Information) states that the attendance of children who arrive late will be registered as follows:
*A child arriving after the register has started but before the register has closed will be coded as “late” (code L).
*A child arriving after the register has closed will be coded as “Late after registration closed” (code U). This is counted as an “Unauthorised Absence” (see appendix for use of other codes).
*The times from which children will be marked as “late” or “late after registration closed” will be clearly communicated to parents.
We have a 48 hour rule for any sickness/diarrhoea to try to prevent any outbreaks. Please ensure that if your child has suffered with either of these, they remain absent from school for a clear 48 hour period from the last attack.
If your child needs to be away from school, for any reason, please complete an absence request form (L5) or bring in a copy of the medical appointment letter/card. All holiday requests for children over 5 years old are unauthorised and any absence over 10 sessions (5 days) are reported to Devon County Council in accordance with Government guidelines, which may result in a penalty notice.
We always strive for high attendance at Gatehouse Primary Academy and work closely with the Education Welfare officer to raise children's attendance. Please be advised that 6 missed sessions per half term (3 days) would put a child in a persistent absence category and the Education Welfare Officer may become involved.
I am sure you will appreciate that good attendance in school correlates to the educational achievements of children. Official research by the DfE shows, in general, the higher the percentage of sessions missed across the Key Stage, the lower the likely level of attainment at the end of Key Stage 2. In particular, pupils with no absence are 1.6 times more likely to achieve Age Related Expectations or above, and 4.7 times more likely to achieve above Age Related Expectations than pupils that missed 15-20% of all sessions.
Further information can be found by viewing our Pupil Attendance Policy on the First Federation Trust Website.