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Brookfields Primary School

Late/Absence Procedures

All children have the right to a full and complete education. At Brookfields we are striving to reach the national target of 96%. We follow the Birmingham attendance policy and use the "Spotlight on attendance" model to target and support families where children's attendance is causing concern.

 

Some Key Features of the Attendance Policy:

 

Unplanned absence

Parents must notify the school on the first day of an unplanned absence – for example, if their child is unable to attend due to ill health – by 9:00 or as soon as practically possible. 

Absence due to illness will be authorised unless the school has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness.

If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the school may ask parents to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence. We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily.

If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents will be notified of this in advance.

 

Medical or dental appointments

Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence; advance notice is required for authorising these absences.

However, we encourage parents to make medical and dental appointments out of school hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary.

Parents must notify the school office of the appointment and present proof of appointment.

 

Lateness and punctuality

A pupil who arrives late but before the register has closed will be marked as late, using the appropriate code.

A pupil who arrives after the register has closed will be marked as absent, using the appropriate code.

 

 Following up absence

The school will follow up any absences to ascertain the reason, ensure proper safeguarding action is taken where necessary, identify whether the absence is approved or not and identify the correct attendance code to use.

Where the school has concerns, staff may visit the child's  address to seek further clarification of the child's welfare.

 

 Authorised and unauthorised absence

 Granting approval for term-time absence

Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence to pupils during term time unless they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'.

We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as an urgent and sudden situation effecting immediate family. (Defined as parent, child, sibling or grandparent.) Proof of tickets for travel may be requested and the child's current attendance will be considered a factor.

The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the headteacher’s discretion.

 

Legal sanctions

Schools can fine parents for the unauthorised absence of their child from school, where the child is of compulsory school age.

If issued with a penalty notice, parents must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. The payment must be made directly to the local authority.

The decision on whether or not to issue a penalty notice ultimately rests with the headteacher, following the local authority’s code of conduct for issuing penalty notices.

If the payment has not been made after 28 days, the local authority can decide whether to prosecute the parent or withdraw the notice.

 

Attendance monitoring

The attendance officer monitors pupil absence on a daily basis.

Parents are expected to call the school in the morning if their child is going to be absent due to ill health, and each subsequent day.

If a pupil’s absence goes above 3 days we will contact the parents to discuss the reasons for this.

The persistent absence threshold is 10%. If a pupil's individual overall absence rate is greater than or equal to 10%, the pupil will be classified as a persistent absentee.

Pupil-level absence data is collected each term and published at national and local authority level through the DfE's school absence national statistics releases. The underlying school-level absence data is published alongside the national statistics. We compare our attendance data to the national average, and share this with trustees.

 

Roles and responsibilities

The headteacher

The headteacher is responsible for ensuring this policy is implemented consistently across the school, and for monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to the trust.

The headteacher also supports other staff in monitoring the attendance of individual pupils and issues fixed-penalty notices, where necessary.

 

The attendance officers

The attendance officer:

  • Monitors attendance data at the school and individual pupil level
  • Reports concerns about attendance to the headteacher
  • Arranges calls and meetings with parents to discuss attendance issues
  • Advises the headteacher when to issue fixed-penalty notices

 

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Safeguarding Information

At Brookfields safeguarding of pupils is at the forefront of everything we do. Check out our safeguarding page for the latest information and advice.

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