REMINDER: Children's attendance should be 100%. Any holidays or unathorised absences taken during school term time may result in a penalty notice being issued (per parent, per child).

"There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and academic acheivement… [children] have little chance of catching up their peers if their attendance is bad." (Department for Education. Improving Attendance at school. Crown 2012)

At Orchards we value education and the right for every child to be educated. At the heart of this is regular attendance. We reinforce to children that "We come to school to learn," and that "if we aren't at school, we aren't learning." Being at school every day is very important so that children don't miss out on valuable learning time.

The only reasons to be absent from school should be due to illness or exceptional circumstances. No holidays will be authorised in term time under any circumstances.

Our attendance policy and procedures are in ine with Local Authority policy. You can view examples of letters 1, 2, and 3 below.

Letter to parents re: attendance procedures

As a result of our combined efforts, we continue to improve our school attendance to be in line with national expectations of 100% attendance or better. With your help, we aim to improve further by July! This year our whole-school average is currently 94.9% – an improvement on this time last year!

It is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually.  Failure to do so may result in a Penalty Notice being issued against you and/or legal proceedings being considered. Before booking a holiday, remember you could be at risk of a fine if you take your child out of school during term time. This fine is £60 per parent, per child.  No holidays will be authorised in term time.

Telephone school before 9:00 am to report your child’s absence.  If your child’s attendance is satisfactory, we will authorise two days’ illness.  If your child is absent for more than two days, you will require medical evidence in the form of a doctor’s note, medical appointment card, prescription or details of any medicines taken.

Where possible, try to make all medical appointments outside school hours.  If this is not possible, please show the office evidence of the appointment.

Letter 1 – will be sent if your child’s absence falls below 96% to inform you that their attendance is below expected.  You do not need to take any action at this stage.

Letter 2 – will be sent if your child’s absence continues to fall.  You will be invited to school to discuss your child’s attendance.  These meetings are usually very beneficial and informative to parents and school.  Support is offered if required and strategies are discussed to help improve attendance where applicable.

Letter 3 – will be sent if your child’s absence does not improve after the attendance meeting.  Lesley high, the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) will become involved and at this stage, legal proceedings may begin.  With effect from September 2015, the Department for Education has reduced the Persistent Absence threshold to 10%; previously it was 15%.

Please speak to myself, Julie Carlile or Lesley High regarding any concerns or problems you may have regarding attendance. Attendance has a direct impact on your child’s success and progress; thank you in advance for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Miss J Lynch
Acting Headteacher