At St. James' Junior School, we recognise the importance of being in school, on time, every day.
The national average attendance expected for children is 96%.
If your child has 90% attendance, they will have the equivalent of half a day off per week, which adds up to 247 days off over their full school life.
This equals 1 full school year of lost education.
Why is it important for children to attend school?
All parents want the best for their children and for them to get on well in life. Having a good education is important to ensure that they have the best opportunities in their adult life. They only get one chance at school, and your child’s future may be affected by not attending school regularly.
If children do not attend school regularly they may:
- Struggle to keep up with school work. In a busy school day it is difficult for schools to find the extra time to help a child catch up.
- Miss out on the social side of school life. Poor attendance can affect children’s ability to make and keep friendships; a vital part of growing up.
How can you help?
We understand that children will need time off school when they are poorly.
However, you can avoid attendance becoming a concern by engaging with school and not taking unnecessary days off e.g. holidays during term time.
Trying to make appointments for your child, and other family members, out of school hours will reduce time missed in classroom. This will make less of an impact on their school life.
You may not realise how quickly the odd day off can lead to a big dip in attendance percentage, indicating to school and other agencies that there may be problems to address.
If your child is not in school regularly, they will miss out on fundamental learning in the classroom. This is extremely difficult to catch up on and affects all aspects of their future education, as well as forming bad habits.
If your child is unable to attend school because they are ill, then please contact school to let us know. If you do not inform school then school may need to make a home visit.
If you are attending an appointment and it can’t be rearranged for out of school time, please show the office your appointment card/text and your absence will be authorised.
Punctuality is just as important as attendance. If your child has 100% attendance but regularly arrives up to half an hour late, they are still missing vital learning. If your child is 5 minutes late every day, then they are missing, on average, a whole day's learning per half-term.
As part of our on-going support system for children and their families you will receive notifications if your child’s attendance starts to become a concern. If this happens, please work with the school in order to help improve your child's attendance.
It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure your child attends school regularly. School have a legal obligation to refer children with poor attendance to the Local Authority Educational Welfare Officer who can take action against parents who are not supporting their child(ren) attending school.
If your child is reluctant to come to school, please have a positive conversation with them about why it is important.
Why do we need to come to school?:
- To learn new things
- It’s the law
- To make friends
- To be a part of and enjoy educational visits as they help us to learn about the wide world outside of school
- To take part in afterschool clubs - taking part in clubs and teams is fun and helps us to play and work together and improve what we do
- Being at school every day improves your chances of getting a job or going to college and university when you get older
- To learn valuable life skills
- It stops you from being bored
- Being active and busy helps you to sleep well which is good for your brain and mental wellbeing.
What happens if you don’t come to school?
- You don’t learn as well and you will get behind with your learning
- Your parents could get in trouble for not sending you to school
- You might get bored at home and lose interest in some of the things that make you happy
- You won’t get to see your friends
- You will be missing out on opportunities to try and enjoy new things that you didn’t know you would like or things that will develop your confidence
- You don’t get to make as many friends
- You miss out on special days, celebrations, educational visits, school clubs and team events.
Is my child too ill to come to school?
Please use this link for NHS guidance on when a child should be absent, for how long plus additional advice for parents.
Absence and anxiety
The Department for Education have reported that there is a recognition that ‘more children may be absent from school due to symptoms of anxiety than before the pandemic. Worry and mild or moderate anxiety, whilst sometimes difficult emotions, can be a normal part of growing up for many children and young people. Being in school can often help alleviate the underlying issues. A prolonged period of absence is likely to heighten a child’s anxiety about attending in the future, rather than reduce it.’
If you feel that your child is struggling please contact a member of our Inclusion Team.
Request for leave of absence during term time
If you wish to request some time off during school term time there is a form that must be completed. Please know that permission for holidays are only granted in exceptional circumstances. If your request is declined, and you still take your child out of school, each parent within your household can be issued with a £60 penalty notice for each child you have taken out of school.
If a penalty notice remains unpaid after 21 days it will increase to £120. If after 28 days it remains unpaid you may be summoned to appear before Magistrates to explain why your child has unauthorised school absences and you may be liable for a fine of up to £1000.
Taking into account all of the above, we strongly advise you against taking children out of school during term time for family holidays.
For information about term-time absences, please contact the School Office.
Please click here to view our Attendance Policy.
If you need further support or guidance with attendance, please contact Mrs McCall, our Attendance Officer