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The A to Z of Attendance

The A to Z of Attendance


by Mrs Sutton, September 2022

A is for Appointment.
Medical (and other) appointments should be made for non-school days wherever possible. If not, try to arrange them for the afternoon and ensure your child attends school in the morning. Always let us know so that an M can be entered into the register.


B is for Breakfast.
Having something to eat improves a child's ability to focus and learn. If you've nothing in or don't have time, grab a bagel in the yard or book your child into the breakfast club.


C is for Certificate & Codes.
Your child's attendance certificate shows their percentage, when they have attended, and were absent over the school year. Different codes explain the reason and whether any absences are authorised or not. Here are the most common codes you may see,
/ = present
L = late
I = illness
M = medical appointment
N = no reason provided
O = unauthorised


D is for Data.
We are always monitoring attendance and looking for patterns in the data. This may be for an individual child or a group of children. If your child's attendance data gives us cause for concern, we will talk to you about it and try to help you improve things.


E is for Experiences.
Your child has many opportunities to experience all sorts of things through school. Visits and visitors, clubs and competitions, special projects and partnerships. If they are absent, they are missing out.


F is for Friendship.
Not attending school regularly will make friendships more strained and difficult to keep.


G is for Guidance.
There is a lot of guidance about attendance written by the government; it explains what they expect local authorities, schools, parents and others to do.
Working Together to Improve School Attendance is the latest guidance. You can look at it here


H is for Healthy.
Staying as healthy as possible means less time away from school. We all became very good at hand washing and other aspects of hygiene because of the pandemic. Please ensure your child still knows how to wash their hands and when they should do so.

I is for Illness.
We can all feel unwell sometimes. If your child is too ill to come to school, please let us know as soon as possible. You will be given advice about how long they need to remain absent based on the symptoms you tell us.

J is for January.
Just like September is Attendance Awareness Month. January will be Perfect Punctuality Month. More information about this later in the year.


K is for Knock.
If your child is absent from school for 3 days and we have not been able to speak to you, we will visit you at home. If you don't want this to happen, you need to ensure we know what is happening for you and your child and when we can expect them back in school.

L is for Learning.
If you're not in school, you miss lessons, learn and achieve less.

M is for Mental health.
Coming to school, being part of something bigger, and being involved and connected to others is positive for your mental health.


N is for Ninety-six percent, 96%.
This is the minimum expected attendance each year for every child at Phillimore.

O is for Organised.
Being organised is a skill that we all struggle with sometimes. If children learn to organise themselves (from you), they are more likely to settle into a routine and be ready for school. My top organisation tip is to get everything ready the night before. Sometimes I forget, making the morning much more rushed and stressful!

P is for Persistent Absence (PA) - and severe absence.
If your child misses 10% of the possible number of days they could attend, they are considered to be PA. If they miss 50%, they are considered severely absent. We will try to work with you in both cases to improve things. When attendance is this low, legal action is always possible.


Q is for Quality.
Being in school enables children to access quality lessons and experiences that, in turn, improve their quality of life.

R is for Right.
It is a child's right to receive an education, and a Parents responsibility to ensure they attend.

S is for Sleep.
Going to bed at a reasonable time and having a good night's sleep is essential for good attendance and a positive school experience.


T is for Term Time Leave.
Only in very exceptional circumstances will a leave of absence be authorised. Leave of 5 days or more will result in a penalty notice (fine), and leave of 20 days or more may mean your child loses their place at Phillimore.
All requests for leave must be made in person at least 2 weeks before or as soon as possible if it is an emergency. Each request will be considered based on individual circumstances.

U is for Unauthorised.
When a child is absent from school, it will either be authorised or unauthorised.
Days away from school for reasons such as a birthday, shopping or waking up late will be unauthorised.
Genuine illness or unforeseen events may be authorised.
If your child's attendance is already low - less than 93% we may not authorise an absence even if the reason given would usually be authorised.
In all cases of absence, you should contact the main school office on 01142494036 as soon as possible.


V is for Vision & Values.
Our school vision is;
We believe that learning should be fun, purposeful and challenging through a broad, balanced and creative curriculum that nurtures and develops the whole child, developing lifelong learners who take ownership of their learning and are proud of their achievements.
Our values are;

Work hard, Concentrate, Don't give up, Understand others, Try new things, Improve, Imagine and Push yourself.
We need children to attend school regularly to meet our vision and impart our values.

W is for Weather.

It is very rare that school will close because of the weather; if we do, we will let you know by text message and classdojo. You should always assume that school is open if you do not receive either. Always ensure your child is appropriately dressed for the weather.

X is for X code.

The X code records the part of the week children under the age of 5 are not in school. It does not impact their percentage. More recently, the code was also used in relation to Covid19.

Y is for Youngest.

We apply the same approach to attendance to all children, including our youngest in FS1 (nursery). When you signed your FEL (Free Early Learning) agreement, you agreed to bring your child regularly. We do this as we know that instilling good attendance habits as early as possible means better school attendance later.

Z is for Zealous.

To be zealous means being enthusiastic. We are enthusiastic about attendance at Phillimore because we know that being in school regularly benefits everyone now and in the future.