Attendance Matters

Spotlight on Attendance

Dear Parents,

At Black Lane we aim for every child to reach their full potential.  Research shows that children achieve better if they are on time and have good attendance.  In order to provide children with the best education, we aim for every child to achieve at least 95% attendance, with a goal of achieving 100%.

Good attendance is important because:

  • Statistics show a direct link between higher achievement and good attendance
  • Regular attendees make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Regular attendees find school routines and school work easier to cope with
  • Regular attendees find learning more satisfying
  • Regular attendees have an easier transfer to secondary school

Last year we achieved a whole school attendance of 93.5%, so we are setting our target this year at 95.3%.  In order to achieve this, we need the support of parents in ensuring pupils attend regularly and punctually and any appointments are made outside of school hours.  Wrexham LA code attendance into Green, Amber and Red categories:

  • Green 100% – 97%
  • Amber 96% – 92%
  • Red Below 92%

You will receive a letter at the end of each term to inform you of your child’s attendance and which category it falls in – this will include authorised and unauthorised marks.  This is so you can monitor your child’s attendance too.

At Black Lane we encourage good attendance by:

  • Re-introducing a weekly ‘best class attendance’ trophy in assembly
  • Presenting individual certificates each term for pupils who achieve 95% attendance and above: Bronze – 95%+; Silver 98%+; Gold 100%
  • Rewarding pupils who achieve 100% attendance each term with an attendance pencil
  • Rewarding pupils who achieve 100% attendance throughout the year with a special attendance badge

Attendance and punctuality is monitored regularly with the Educational Social Worker (ESW).  Our main objective is to support pupils and their families in raising attendance.  If attendance falls below 95%, your child’s attendance will be monitored by the school and the ESW.  Letters may be sent home and you may be invited into school for a meeting or the ESW may visit you at home to look at ways of improving attendance/punctuality.

If your child does fall ill or cannot attend school due to exceptional circumstances then please ensure you contact the school on the first day of absence, by 9:30am stating the reason.  If the school does not receive an explanation for absence or if the explanation is unacceptable, then the absence will be marked as unauthorised. If pupils are absent frequently for medical reasons then a medical note may be requested.

Holidays during term time are discouraged as there are a total of 175 non-school days in one year.  The Local Authority recommends that no holidays are authorised in term time unless for exceptional circumstances. Holiday absence must be sought from the Head teacher by completing a ‘holiday request form’ from the office.  The Head teacher has discretion to authorise a holiday up to 10 days during term time, however the Head teacher will not authorise holiday absence, unless there are exceptional circumstances (see below).  Unauthorised absences can lead to legal action resulting in a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Criteria for Exceptional Circumstances:

  • Where it is company/organisational policy for an employee to take leave at a specified time in the year and there is no opportunity for a family holiday in school holidays
  • . This must be supported by documentation from the organisation.
  • Service personnel returning from/scheduled to embark upon a tour of duty abroad.
  • To attend religious festivals or services such as the wedding or funeral of an immediate family member.
  • Other compassionate circumstances e.g. family illness or family crisis.
  • Where a holiday is recommended as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issues. Evidence must be provided from a qualified professional such as a doctor.
  • Where there are other factors which the Head teacher may consider exceptional circumstances, this may be referred to the Local Authority for advice.
  • It should be noted that financial consideration are not deemed exceptional circumstances

A Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued where a pupil has accrued 10 unauthorised absences in term time (AM and PM count as separate absences so this is equivalent to 5 full days) or for late registrations (more than 10 occasions in one term) or for truancy.

You can find full details of the attendance policy on our school website: Attendance Policy.

Absence and lateness disrupts the education of the individual child and the whole class and can be highly distressing for the child. I have included a table to show what attendance % means in relation to the amount of days lost in a school year.  I have also included a punctuality poster to show how lateness seriously affects the education of children.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all parents for ensuring their child is attending school regularly and punctually and therefore benefitting fully from their full educational opportunity.  If you do have any problems with getting your child to school then please contact us – we are here to help!

I look forward to working together to achieve our school target of 95.3%.

Yours sincerely,

R.L. Fox

Head teacher