The school sets targets for attendance and expects children to aim for 100% attendance to ensure they receive every opportunity to reach their full potential. Just one day of absence means 6 hours of missed learning opportunities. Likewise, late arrival at school impacts on your child’s learning as they miss the morning welcome and the introduction to the lesson. Late arrival is also embarrassing for your child so please ensure your child is always on time.
Charlie Taylor’s report, 'Improving Attendance at School', states that “focus on unauthorised absence deflects attention away from the most important issue - that all absence is bad for children’s education”. The staff at St Margaret Clitherow’s agrees with this statement which is why we work in partnership with parents and the Brent Education Welfare Service to monitor any potential causes for concern.
Both attendance and punctuality are the legal responsibility of the parent. If a child is unwell, then certainly the best place for the child is at home but, apart from personal illness, children must attend school all day and every day. Missing school for any other reasons may well affect social and educational progress.
If a child is not in school, parents are required to phone the school before 9.00am to let us know the reason for their child’s absence. If we do not receive a phone call from a parent we will then attempt to contact the parent ourselves. We will do this for two reasons; firstly to make sure that the parent is aware that their child is not in school and secondly to enable us to officially record the absence. For safeguarding purposes, parents must telephone the school on every day of their child's absence unless the school has been notified that the child will be definitely be absent for a specific period of time.
Following any period of absence, written confirmation for the reason is required on return to school. Parents may provide their own note or complete the school’s Reason For Absence slip. Where applicable, please also provide a copy of any documentation associated with the absence such as a hospital letter or appointment card.
Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school and according to the relevant legislation; parents have to apply for permission in advance. Schools do not have to agree to absence for a holiday. St Margaret Clitherow School has decided to NOT authorise any requests for holidays in term time as this would impact on a child’s educational progress. Routine appointments should be arranged out of school hours or during the 14 weeks of school holidays. Where an interruption to the school day is unavoidable, for example an urgent medical appointment, please arrange this for as late in the day as possible to avoid your child missing the essential learning skills which mainly take place in the morning sessions.
We cannot legally authorise more than ten days absence in a school year unless there are extenuating circumstances. If your child will not be able to attend school and you know of the reason in advance, please inform the Headteacher in writing. Each situation is considered individually, in line with current policies and guidelines, to determine if the absence will be officially authorised on the school register. The most important consideration is the effect the absence would have on the child’s education.
Please click here to view the Attendance Policy
Punctuality at both ends of the day is an important factor in your child’s learning progress. Lessons start promptly straight after registration so even 5 minutes lateness can lead to your child missing the introduction to a mathematics or English lesson. If a child is late through no fault of his/her own then a note or a phone call from the parents prevents the child from being blamed.
Children who are ‘left behind’ when everyone else has gone home can become very distressed. Sometimes parents are unavoidably detained. This is understandable and a phone call to the school prevents a tearful child. Any child who is still uncollected by the time the school building is closing will be taken to the local police station.
Persistent late arrival or late collection after school will be discussed with Brent Education Welfare Service to monitor any potential causes for concern.
Morning Session: 8.40am – 12.00pm
Afternoon Session: 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Morning Session: 8.40am – 12.00pm
Afternoon Session: 1.00pm – 3.00pm (Year 3 and 4), 1.00pm – 3.05pm (Year 5), 1.00pm – 3.10pm (Year 6)