At Nightingale Primary School, we believe it is vitally important for students to attend school regularly and punctually. This will give them the best opportunity to progress and achieve their full potential.
We aim to:
- Improve our attendance rate
- Promote children’s welfare and keep them safe
- Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance
- Give our pupils the best chance of succeeding whilst at school
Research has shown clear links between attendance and achievement. Excellent attendance is important because:
- There is a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
- Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
- Regular attenders find school routines and schoolwork easier to cope with
- Regular attenders are more likely to find learning satisfying and to build strong friendships with their peers
- Regular attenders have an easier transfer to secondary school, having developed positive habits in attending school every day.
Parents/Carers of children of legal school age have a responsibility to ensure that their child attends school regularly for the full day. If children have poor attendance or punctuality, we will notify you. We may also meet with you to discuss how we can improve your child’s attendance and /or punctuality.
The school also works closely with Redbridge Education and Welfare Service. If any child is absent from the school on a regular basis, is frequently late, or has a number of unauthorised absences, the school may refer families to our Education Welfare Officer.
A child with 90% attendance misses nineteen days of school learning across the year.
If your child is unwell:
Please follow the link to view the NHS guidance regarding illness - NHS Is my child too ill for school?
In the event of an unplanned absence (e.g. illness), please telephone the school to inform of the absence prior to the start of the day. During the phone call you will be asked about the reason for your child’s absence and when you expect them to return.
Following guidelines from the Educational Welfare Officer, the school will request to see medical evidence for sickness absence of 3 days or more. This can be either a copy of a doctor’s letter, prescription for medicine or the prescribed medicine packaging itself.
If your child has previous low attendance you will be asked to provide medical evidence on day one.
For appointments at Clinics, Hospitals etc., please inform the school and provide medical evidence in advance. You can then collect your child from the School Office at the appointed time. Please try to make appointments out of school time, if possible.
Authorised and Unauthorised Absences
Only the school can authorise a child’s absence, not parents. Absences, which are not valid, are known as unauthorised and in some cases a fine may be issued. Please note that authorised absences will still impact your child’s overall attendance.
Leave during term time
As a school we are not able to authorise term time holidays. It is not acceptable to take children out of school for birthdays, family holidays, to visit relatives abroad, family weddings or any other special events during term time.
Please complete the ‘Request for Leave of Absence’ form (link) to apply to the Headteacher to take your child out of school in exceptional circumstances.
Valid reasons for authorised absences include:
- Religious observation (no more than 3 days)
- Emergency medical and dental appointments
- Family bereavement
If a holiday is taken during school time without the permission of the Headteacher, you will be issued a fixed penalty notice of £120 per parent per child (reducing to £60 if paid within 21 days). If you fail to pay your penalty notice you may be prosecuted at magistrates' court for your child's non-attendance.
The habit of good punctuality needs to be started from the earliest age including Nursery and Reception. Good time keeping is a vital life skill that will help children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world. Poor punctuality is not acceptable, when pupils arrive late they disrupt lessons, they will miss some key learning opportunities and it can be embarrassing for them to enter the class late.
If your child is persistently late with Redbridge Education and Welfare Service may implement a penalty notice to the parent or carer. A maximum of 7 late attendances during any 1 half term could mean you'll receive a penalty notice.
5 minutes late daily adds up to 3 days lost each year.
How to improve your child’s attendance and punctuality
- Have a set bedtime.
- Have a set wake-up time
- Get school uniform and book bag ready the night before
- Be positive when talking about school
- Allow plenty time for your journey to school
- Be firm and send your child to school every day, where possible