We want our children at Lower Fields Primary Academy to enjoy coming to school.

Research proves that there is a high correlation between school attendance and academic performance and success.

Absence from school is often the greatest single cause of poor performance and achievement.

Ensuring children attend school is crucial for the welfare of children and safeguarding their wellbeing.

Good attendance means- being at school at least 98% of the time or 186-190 days.

Why is it so important to attend every day?

  • Each day’s learning builds upon those of the previous day and lessons are sequenced as a learning journey.
  • Reading the material and completing work independently does not compensate for the direct interaction with the teacher – this only happens when a child is in school.
  • Classes use discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of the daily learning activities, and these cannot be made up by those who are absent.

Are there other benefits to my child? 

  • Pupils with good attendance records generally achieve higher grades and enjoy school more.
  • Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life.
  • Regular school attendance patterns encourage the development of other responsible patterns of behaviour, useful life skills and resilience.

 What parents can do to help?

  • Parents must model the value of education, including the high importance of attendance.
  • Make sure that your child goes to school regularly and arrives on time. This will help establish a good habit, which they will continue through life.
  • If your child starts missing school, work with the school to put things right. Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of him/her missing school.
  • If your child is ill or must miss school for some other reason, contact school immediately. If you ask for home-learning, make sure your child completes it.
  • Do not expect school to approve of shopping trips, birthday treats etc. during school hours. Arrange family holidays so that your child will not miss any learning.
  • Take an interest in your child’s schoolwork and be involved in the school as much as possible-your child will value school more if you do.
  • Arrange medical and dental appointments outside of school hours where possible. 

School Council and Attendance

In Spring 2024, Mrs Pearson, our Attendance Officer, discussed the importance of attendance with School Council and found out how the children viewed rewards for attendance.

The Council very much believed in the importance of promoting attendance and updated their thoughts on appropriate rewards and awards for children who improved their attendance or achieved school targets.

How do we promote and ensure good attendance?

  • We ensure Lower Fields is a warm, welcoming and nurturing environment.
  • We ensure that pupils are safe and feel safe at all times at Lower Fields.
  • We ensure the curriculum is accessible, interesting and appropriate for all pupils’ needs.
  • We help children to feel valued and like they belong to Lower Fields – encouraging events that create a sense of community and belonging.
  • In an age-appropriate way, and in the context of managing their well-being, we encourage in pupils a sense of their own responsibility for being school ready and attending every day they can. Through assemblies and the curriculum, we equip children with the life skills needed to take responsibility for good school attendance and punctuality appropriate to the child’s age and development.
  • We provide lots of fun activities, enrichment, opportunities that children want to come to school to do.
  • We provide a sympathetic and supportive response to any pupils’ or parental concerns/difficulties.
  • We raise awareness of parents, carers and pupils of the importance of uninterrupted attendance and punctuality at every stage of a child’s education.
  • We promote good attendance in a child friendly manner to encourage responsibility – using the acronym attendance HERO (here, every day, ready, on time).
  • We ensure that parents understand the responsibility placed on them for making sure their child attends regularly and punctually.
  • We report to parents/carers annually on their child’s attendance with the annual school report.
  • We contact parents/carers should their child’s attendance fall below the school’s target for attendance.
  • We provide support and, if necessary, challenge where attendance issues are identified.
  • We have procedures for monitoring and responding to pupil attendance and punctuality.
  • We work in partnership with pupils, parents, staff and Children’s Services so that all pupils realise their potential, unhindered by unnecessary absence.
  • We establish a pattern of monitoring attendance and ensure consistency in recognising achievement and dealing with difficulties.
  • We recognise and utilise the key role of all staff, not just the learning mentor and class teacher, in promoting good attendance. 

 We maintain and promote good attendance and punctuality through:

  • Using clear procedures for identifying, reporting, and reviewing cases of poor attendance and persistent lateness.
  • Supporting pupils who have been experiencing any difficulties at home or at school which are preventing good attendance.
  • Developing and implementing procedure to follow up non-attendance at school.
  • Using a range of ever-changing attendance promotions/positive reinforcement and rewards – we join with cluster wide campaigns, school council are consulted regarding what attendance awards should be given, individual children and families who are supportively challenges received individualised feedback.  These rewards and high-profile events are discussed regularly with school council and staff and are subject to change according to need/ideas. 
  • On to one support of children as needed – attention and focus from the inclusion team.

School has a statutory duty to keep your child safe which includes knowing where they are if they are not in school. We appreciate that children are sometimes genuinely ill. If your child is going to be absent due to illness, please inform the office by 9am on every day of absence. If you do not contact the office, school will ring you followed by every contact number we hold for your child until we speak to somebody. If your child is absent and we are unable to contact anybody, we will visit the family home in order to ensure that your child/ children are safe and well. If we are still unable to contact a named contact, then we may call 101 in order to seek the police’s assistance in locating the family.

Rewards for Good Attendance and Punctuality

At Lower Fields, we recognise the importance of good attendance and punctuality and as a result we reward the children in a variety of ways, including:

  • Weekly certificates and rewards for the classes/ individuals with the best attendance
  • Half termly certificates and rewards for the classes/ individuals with the best attendance
  • End of year certificates and rewards for the classes/ individuals with the best attendance

Lower Fields Primary Academy Attendance Procedures

If your child’s attendance drops below 97% you will receive letter 1 informing you that we are concerned.

If there are further absences, letter 2 will be sent. 

  • Following letter 1 and letter 2, if there is no improvement in your child’s attendance then you will be invited to an ‘Attendance Support Plan meeting’ so we are able to discuss any barriers to good attendance and how we can help you.

If there are further absences, a more formal approach could involve:

  • Education Penalty Notice warning letter
  • Education Penalty Notice
  • Court proceedings

Please refer to the Attendance Policy for further details.

Punctuality – arriving at school on time

Lateness not only affects your child’s education, but it does not allow the social time to settle with their friends, they may feel upset or embarrassed, and it disrupts the rest of the class.

School starts at 8:45am. Being frequently late for school adds up to lost learning.

You will receive a letter, a home visit and be invited to a support meeting if we are concerned about the number of lates your child has.

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club at Lower Fields is offered to all pupils from Reception through to Year 6 (subject to availability). Breakfast Club opens at 7.45am and provides your child with a healthy breakfast and the opportunity to develop their social skills. You may find that regular attendance at Breakfast Club may help improve your child’s punctuality.

Holidays during term time

Holidays during term time will not be authorised, unless there are exceptional circumstances, and an Education Penalty Notice will be requested from the local authority. If you are planning to remove your child from school to take them on holiday, please complete a Leave of Absence form, available from the office or below. Please be aware that if you do not complete a Leave of Absence form or inform school that you are taking your child on holiday, and school has good reason to believe they are absent due to holiday, then an Education Penalty notice will still be requested.

The Penalty is £60 per parent per pupil and if not paid within 21 days this will increase to £120. Failure to pay the full amount within 28 days will result in a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court.

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