Thank you to everyone within our school community who continues to support our aim for every child to achieve 100% attendance each year. Research shows that children who are absent from school achieve less well than children who are in school every day. Therefore, it is very important for children to be in school as much as possible.
Unfortunately, the school attendance figures for the autumn term could be improved and were lower than expected. Therefore, as a community we have a duty to ensure that all children are in school as often as possible.
Welsh Government legislation has been introduced which aims to improve pupil attendance across Wales. This also includes the introduction of fixed penalty notices for families with children who are persistently absent from school without a valid reason.
The school’s attendance policy agreed by the Governing Body states the following guidelines:
- Leave of absence during term time will be discouraged. Parents and carers do not have the automatic right to withdraw their children from school for an annual holiday and will be reminded of the effect that absence can have on a pupil’s potential achievement.
- A maximum of ten days per academic year will be authorised for a leave of absence. However, there may be ‘exceptional’ circumstances where absence over ten days may be authorised. Governors will monitor the number of ‘exceptional’ circumstances which are granted during the school year.
- To ensure a successful transition to the child’s new class, no days will be authorised in September.
- To ensure that the school fulfils its statutory obligation to administer national tests in reading and numeracy, no days will be authorised during the month of testing.
- To ensure that pupils are fully prepared for the next phase of their education, no days will be authorised on Year 6 transition days to the High School.
- Holidays will be automatically refused authorisation if a child’s attendance is already below the cluster target of 95%. However, there may be ‘exceptional’ circumstances where absence may be granted.
- Approval for a leave of absence will be checked retrospectively to work out a full year of attendance data.
- Parents/carers must apply for a leave of absence no more than one week in advance.
It is important to remember that the above points apply to requesting a leave of absence, not sickness. However, if a child’s attendance is below 95% due to sickness, then a leave of absence will not be granted.
It would be greatly appreciated if all parents/carers arranged their children’s medical appointments in the afternoon after 1:00pm. This would ensure that children are in school during the morning sessions when literacy and numeracy are usually taught.
The school’s updated attendance policy can by downloaded from the school blog:www.bedwasjunior.com It is also available as a paper copy from the school office. Welsh Government information about fixed penalties can be found at this address: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dcells/publications/130925-guidance-regular-non-attendance-en.pdf
Thank you for your support with this intiative. Please contact the school office for advice if you are hesitant about sending your child into school.