Absence from School
Attendance Expectations During COVID-19
As restrictions continue to ease, as of 8th March 2021, attendance at school for all pupils is mandatory and the usual rules on attendance will apply, including:-
• Parents duty to ensure that their child of compulsory school age attends regularly
• School will record attendance in line with government guidelines and follow up absences
We very much hope that parents are confident with the changes that have been put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible in returning to school. We would always urge parents to talk to us if they have any concerns.
Although attendance is mandatory, there are some circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus and parents and pupils will have to follow guidelines from the Department for Education and Public Health England. In these circumstances, parents will not be penalised for following official public health advice.
If you are in any doubt if you should send your child to school – please refer to the reference guide below from KCSP dated 17th September 2020. If you have further questions, please contact the school office.
Attendance and Punctuality
At Stella Maris we aim for 100% attendance and punctuality, it gives children the best possible start to life and ensures they are able to keep up with their learning.
Persistent lateness causes disruption to the rest of the class and causes embarrassment to the child arriving late. It makes the session harder for the child to settle as they may have missed vital instructions.
If your child is absent from school for any reason, please remember that we need some form of official notification.
The best way to do this is to ‘phone the school office – an alternative is to send us a note when your child returns to school. A verbal message from your child, however, is not acceptable.
It is worth remembering that children constantly absent from school without good reason are, generally speaking, less likely to succeed in life than those with a good attendance record.
Family holidays should be taken during the school holidays, and we are only able to authorise a maximum of 10 days additional leave per year during term time, provided parents fill in the proper Application for Exceptional Leave (copies are available from the school office). Authorisation will only be given when parents can show that there are exceptional reasons for taking time out of school during the term and a child’s attendance record otherwise is good.
Parents of children in the Unicorns’ Class should remember that we cannot authorise any absence apart from absences due to sickness during SATs week.
Penalty fines can now be issued to parents whose children regularly miss school without good reason.
Penalty Notices are issued in consultation with the Educational Welfare Officer. On receipt of the Notice, the penalty is £50 if paid within 28 days, rising to £100 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days. Failure to pay the penalty in full by the end of the 42 day period may result in prosecution by the local authority.
The following circumstances will be considered appropriate reasons for the issuing of Penalty Notices:
- Parentally-condoned absences
- Excessive term-time holidays
- Excessive delayed return from extended holidays
Persistent lateness after the register has closed (registers close at 9:00 a.m.).If your child is absent from school for any reason, it is essential that you let us know the reason, by ‘phoning the school office or sending a short note in for the teacher. If you need to collect your child for an appointment (at the doctors, for example) please make sure that a member of staff knows about it beforehand.