For a child to reach their full educational achievement an excellent level of school attendance and positive behaviour is essential in order to raise standards of pupil progress and attainment.
Windhill21 are committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all our children and endeavour to provide an environment where all pupils feel safe, valued and welcome. Parents/Carers and children play a part in making our school so successful. Every child has a right to access the education to which he/she is entitled. Parents/Carers, staff and governors share the responsibility for supporting and promoting excellent school attendance and punctuality for all.
It is our duty to consistently strive to achieve a goal of 100% attendance for all children if they are fit and healthy to do so and expect a minimum attendance of 97%. Every opportunity will be used to convey to parents/carers and their children the importance of regular and punctual attendance and we believe a principal factor of promoting excellent attendance is having a positive attitude towards school and learning.
Excellent attendance is important because:
- Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
- Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
- Regular attenders find school routines, schoolwork and friendships easier to cope with
- Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
- Regular attenders are more successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school, and higher education, employment or training.
Windhill21 aims to:
Provide a safe, caring and happy learning environment
- Raise achievement through the promotion of excellent attendance and punctuality
- To create a culture in which excellent attendance and punctuality is valued
- Continually strive to improve the attendance and punctuality of all children
- Make attendance and punctuality a priority for all those associated with the school including children, parents/carers, staff and governors
- Provide support, advice and guidance to parents/carers and children
- Promote effective partnerships with the LAAO and with other services or agencies as necessary
Responsibilities of Parents/Carers:
- Ensure their child attends school regularly, punctually, dressed in Windhill21 uniform, equipped and ready for learning having had appropriate rest, sleep and eaten breakfast each morning
- Impress upon their child the importance of attending school regularly and following the school’s positive behaviour policy
- Ensure holidays are never taken in term time
- Avoid arranging non-urgent medical appointments during school hours/term time
- Inform the school daily, of absence and communicate the reason for their child’s absence by telephone, email, letter or in person to the school office
- Maintain regular communication with the school about any concerns/issues which may lead to poor or non-attendance
- Take an active interest in their child’s school life and work
Responsibilities of Pupils:
- Attend every day unless they are genuinely ill or have an authorised absence
- Attend regularly, on time, dressed in the required school uniform
- Adopt the schools ‘Pillars of Being a Successful Citizen as detailed in the school’s behaviour policy
At Windhill21 the classroom doors are opened at 8.30am and your child’s teacher/teaching assistant will greet the children into the classroom. Windhill21 encourage all parents to arrive with their child between 8.30am-8.40am. This enables the children to settle and be ready to learn at 8.45am when the registers will be taken. If your child arrives between 8.45am and 9.15am, he/she will be marked as late in the register but counted as authorised. Arrival after the close of registration at 9:15am will be marked as an unauthorised late mark.
Persistent lateness means:
- Children miss out on essential information and instructions given at the beginning of the day
- Children may feel awkward arriving to the classroom when everyone else is settled
- One child arriving late, disrupts the entire class and the teacher – everyone’s education is compromised
Parents/Carers of pupils who have patterns of lateness will be contacted to discuss the importance of punctual time keeping and how this might be achieved.
A child becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when their attendance rate reaches or falls below 90% at any time of the school year, for whatever reason. Absence of this level will considerably reduce a child’s educational prospects and the parents/carers fullest support and co-operation will be needed to improve this.
Attendance is monitored on a weekly basis by the attendance team and the reason for absences are analysed. The school acknowledge that each case may be different, and consideration is given to all factors affecting attendance before deciding what intervention may be required. In all cases, early intervention is essential to prevent attendance from worsening. It is therefore essential that parents/carers keep the school fully informed of any matters that may affect their child’s attendance. The school may call parent/carers and/or issue emails/letters to parents clearly defining their child’s attendance levels, concerns and the school’s requirements. It is hoped a that a quick response and an improvement in attendance will be seen thus preventing the need for the Local Authority Attendance Officer (LAAO) to become involved.
This film shows the impact of pupil absence in a week.
Request for Leave of Absence
There is no legal entitlement for time off in school term time to go on holiday and the rule at Windhill21 is that leave of absence will not be authorised unless it can be defined as exceptional irrespective of the child’s overall attendance. Parents/carers wishing to apply for leave of absence need to fill in an application form in advance.
If term-time leave is taken without prior permission from the school, the absence will be unauthorised and if the number of sessions absent reaches the thresholds set down in Hertfordshire’s County Council Code of Conduct, parents/carers can be issued with a fixed-penalty fine or other legal action in accordance with the code.