Attendance and Holidays
The Good Shepherd aims to encourage children, parents and carers to achieve the best possible levels of attendance in order to take full advantage of the learning experiences available to them. The school will offer an environment in which children feel welcomed and valued. Through the ethos of our school children will be aware that their presence in school is important and they will be missed if they are absent or late.
Good attendance at school is vital for pupils to achieve their full educational potential. Pupils with good attendance records benefit in the following ways:
· Continuity of learning which makes progress and retention easier
· Enhanced performance in SATs tests
· Continuity of relationships and friendships
· Good references for further education or employment
· Good habits are formed for later life
· Research shows that attendance has a direct impact on GCSE results. If a pupil's attendance is less than 50% throughout their school life they are less likely to succeed in their GCSE exams. In fact, only 3% of these pupils do.
· For pupils who miss between 10%-20% of school, only 35% manage to succeed in their GCSE exams.
· However for pupils who attend at least 95% of the time, 73% achieve above the national benchmark for GCSEs including in English and maths.
The DfE defines Persistent Absentees as school-age pupils missing more than 10% of sessions in a school year.
Rewards for Excellent Attendance
- Class Party for the class with the best weekly attendance. The winning class gets to pack up 15 minutes early on a Friday and enjoy party snacks and music.
- At the end of each term a special event is held for those children with 100% attendance, they also receive certificates and vouchers for either Hullabaloo (KS1) or Laser Zone (KS2).
- Those children with between 96%-99% attendance at the end of each term are entered into a special raffle to win prizes!
We are very thankful to all of the fantastic companies that donate attendance prizes to The Good Shepherd each year, especially Hullaballoo, Laser Zone, Tesco, Morrisons, Gullivers Land and Trilogy Gyms.
If you know of or work for any company that may be willing to donate prizes, no matter how big or small, please contact our Family Support Worker Mrs Auburn or visit the School Office.
Monitoring Attendance and Punctuality
We are monitored for both attendance and punctuality by the Dept. for Education and Ofsted. Official Registers can be inspected by them at any time. The Local Authority also takes pupil and attendance data on a weekly basis.
The school has been set a target of 96% attendance for all pupils by the Local Authority. We monitor attendance on a weekly basis and will send letters to parents whose child’s attendance is below 90% for the previous 6 weeks, their attendance will be monitored over a 6 week period for improvement.
Should attendance or punctuality become a cause for concern the school may contact the Education Entitlement Team at any time.
Late arrivals are monitored on a weekly basis and letters will be issued to parents/carers of pupils who have arrived late on more than 3 occasions during a term. If the pupil continues to be late, parents will be asked to attend a meeting with both the Head teacher and the Family Support Worker.
If your child cannot attend school due to illness, please leave a message on our school absence line on the morning of the first day and each subsequent day of absence. You can also log your child's absence via ParentMail.
Should we not hear from you by 9.30 the school is legally obliged to contact you to ascertain that the child is at home for safeguarding reasons. When your child returns to school please ensure that you give a letter to their class teacher with the reason for absence as well as your medical appointment card/prescription where applicable.
Please click HERE to view the government guidance re: time off school for particular illnesses.
The school asks when possible that medical appointments are made outside of school time, however if you have to take your child out of school to attend an appointment please inform the school office as well as the class teacher and provide an appointment card/letter for school records.
The Department for Education has announced important changes to legislation concerning absence in term time. From the 1st September 2013 the law gives no entitlement for parents to take their children on holiday during term time. Any application for leave can only be granted at the discretion of the Head Teacher who must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave.
If the application for leave is not considered an exceptional circumstance and therefore is not granted, and parents remove their children from school during term time, a fixed penalty notice may be issued by the Northamptonshire Education and Inclusion Partnership Service. The fixed penalty tariff has been fixed by Northamptonshire County Council at £60 per parent/per child (two parents/two children = £240). This figure will be doubled if not paid in 21 Days.
If you pay the Penalty Notice in full within 21 days it is £60 and is £120 within 28 days. If the Notice remains unpaid then Northamptonshire County Council will commence proceedings in the Magistrates' Court which if proven can attract a range of fines up to £2,500.
Northamptonshire County Council will be issuing fixed penalty notices in the following circumstances
- Where a child misses five consecutive school days that the school has not authorised.
- Where a child misses the equivalent of five school days in a six week period that are not authorised.
This brings Northamptonshire in line with the majority of other local authorities.
If you wish to apply for leave for exceptional circumstances during term time please read and complete the application form below. This form should be returned to the Headteacher.
Click HERE to read more information from the County Council regarding your child's attendance.
We hope that you will continue to support us in these matters.