For our children to achieve the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that they attend school every day and on time. We are aware that good attendance is the key to successful education. Any absence will affect your child’s education and could become a barrier to their learning as well as the routines of their class and that of their peers. Ensuring your child’s attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law which could lead to prosecution in the form of a Penalty Notice or a criminal record.
Mrs Jayne Mills, Pastoral Lead, works with children and their families to ensure that their school attendance is at least 96%. If pupils are not in school they cannot learn; persistent and unexplained absence will result in a direct communication with home.
Getting to school on time
Gates at Manorside Academy open at 8.30am and the first bell rings at 8.40am. The bell for registration rings at 8.50am. Children will receive a late mark when the child arrives at school between 8.50am and 9.15am. Any lateness after 9.15am is marked as late after registration is closed which is an unauthorised absence.
Absence due to illness
All parents must notify the school of their child’s absence before 9am by calling 01202 380103 leaving your child’s name, their class, along with the reason for absence. If school is not notified then a telephone call will be made to parents to determine a reason for the absence. If there is no reply then a ‘safe and well visit’ could be carried out at the family address.
It is not usually necessary for a child to be absent from school for more than a couple of days due to illness. If your child has been prescribed a course of antibiotics or medication by the doctor, but they are well enough to be at school, please come to the school office to complete a consent slip and the first aider will be able to administer the medication for you.
Absence due to medical appointments
Parents should make medical and dental appointments for their children before or after school or during the school holidays, whenever possible. If this is not possible, then authorisation will be given where evidence of the appointment is received at the school office, e.g. appointment card. Children are expected to attend school prior to the appointment and return to school following the appointment whenever possible. An authorised medical absence can only be for a maximum of half a day. If you keep your child away for a whole day, this will be unauthorised unless evidence of a longer appointment is received.
In light of recent legislation, Manorside Academy is unable to authorise any absence due to holidays in school time. If a parent takes their child on a leave of absence without authorisation from the school, we will request that the Local Authority issue a Penalty Notice. Only in very exceptional circumstances, may the Principal be able to authorise such absences.
A Penalty Notice involves a fine of £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days. This will rise to £120 per parent, per child if paid within 28 days. Should a parent fail to pay the full amount of the fine within the specific time, they will be liable to prosecution in a Magistrates’ Court. If convicted, a fine of up to £1000 could be imposed.
Absence due to illness or injury in school
In the event of accident, injury or illness while the child is at school, the appropriate procedures will be followed and the parent informed. Parents may be requested to collect the child from school in these circumstances. In the event of a serious accident or injury sustained by the child outside of school time, to ensure their safety, we may require that the parent keep the child at home for a reasonable period before returning to school. If appropriate a risk assessment will be completed.
The role of the Local Authority
Attendance at school is a legal requirement and it is a parent’s duty to ensure regular attendance at school for their child. At Manorside Academy, we work hard to support parents but we have a duty to report matters of poor school attendance to the Local Authority (School Attendance Worker, 5 to 19 services) at regular intervals. The School Attendance Worker allocated to Manorside Academy works closely with us to monitor and promote regular attendance of compulsory school aged children and will:
- Carry out regular attendance audits in school
- Meet with pupils and parents in school and at home to discuss any attendance concerns
- Work closely with families to understand how best to support you
- Work with other agencies and services to offer you and your family a package of support which meets your needs
- Implement a range of legal interventions when necessary.