At St James’ CE Academy we aim for all of our pupils to arrive on time and attend school every day. We work in partnership with pupils, parents and our Education Welfare Officer to ensure that attendance remains above the national average.

Regular Attendance
Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children receive full time education. Regular attendance is essential if children are to progress with their learning.

Working together
It is the parent / carer’s legal responsibility to ensure their child/children attend school regularly unless they are ill. The school has a responsibility to do all it can to ensure that this happens.

Please let us know if you are having difficulties getting your child/children to school. We are able to offer support for families.

Is Your Child Missing Out?
Focus on Attendance and Punctuality

Research has shown that regular attendance and good punctuality are crucial factors in children achieving their full potential in education. At St James’ CE Academy we wish to work in partnership with parents and carers and so are seeking your full support in ensuring that your child attends the academy every day and on time. We are always pleased to work together with parents/carers in resolving any difficulties, but we are also committed to improving attendance levels at the academy.
The target attendance figure for all children is a minimum of 97% attendance. Based on current
attendance figures your child will be placed in one of the following groups below.

Group 1: No Concern – Green Group (The child attends for 97% – 100% of the time)
Group 2: Concern – Yellow Group (The child attends for 96% – 96.9% of the time)
Group 3: Risk of Underachievement – Amber Group (The child attends for 94% – 95.9% of the time)
Group 4: Severe Risk of Underachievement – Pink Group (The child attends for 90% – 93.9% of the time)
Group 5: Extreme Risk of Underachievement – Red Group (The child attends for 0% – 89.9% of the time)

St James’ CE Academy are monitoring children closely whose attendance is falling and will contact you if your child’s attendance does not improve. As a parent/carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends the academy regularly and punctually. It is important that parents/carers monitor a single day’s absence, as these days soon add up to weeks.

At St James’ CE Academy we reward children who attend the academy each day and whose attendance is improving. Children are also rewarded for good punctuality. The class with the highest weekly attendance receives a certificate and each child who achieves 100% attendance and punctuality goes into a weekly prize draw. Both these rewards are presented in a whole school assembly. Children who achieve 100% attendance over the year are rewarded in the summer term with a certificate and trophy.

If you are concerned about this new ‘Focus on Attendance’, there are important steps that you can
– Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. School opens at 8.45am and all children need to be in the classroom by 8.55am. Children arriving after 9.15am may be marked absent and will require an explanatory note or the absence will remain un-authorised.
– Ensure the academy has up-to-date addresses and telephone numbers. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the academy. This ensures that the absence is quickly identified.
– If your child is ill, contact the academy on the first day of absence and provide an explanatory note on their return to the academy.
– If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as un-authorised. Ultimately the academy is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
– Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of academy time.
– Avoid trivial absences such as, ‘buying new shoes’. This would not be accepted as a reasonable absence.
– Holidays should not be taken in academy time. Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Head and only agreed where there are exceptional circumstances.
– Respond to letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality.
– Contact your child’s class teacher if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into the academy.

Term-time holidays

As you know, pupils of school age must, by law, attend school regularly.  If your child is to be away from school you need to put in a written request for leave of absence and for this absence to be approved (authorised), which it will be when there is a good reason.

You cannot yourself authorise a child’s absence.  This school, the Adult, Children and Family Services and many parents are working in partnership to enable children to reach their full potential and this requires regular attendance at school.

The legislation by the Government on school attendance for holidays in term time changed from 1st September 2013.  Schools are not permitted to grant leave of absence for holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It is our school’s policy to refer all cases to the Local Authority for absence from school due to a holiday unless there are exceptional circumstances as to why the holiday had to be taken during term time. Exceptional circumstances include:-

The need to travel away from the area due to a family bereavement

Parents being unable to take holiday during school holidays due to their conditions of employment. In this case, a letter on headed paper from the parent’s employer must be presented to the governing body stating that the parent was unable to take holiday during the school holidays due to their conditions of employment.

  • Families who have a parent in the Forces and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term time.
  • Acute crisis within the family, where the family needs to spend time together to support each other.
  • Other justified exceptional circumstances.

Time off school during statutory test times will not be authorised. It is important that all parents should be aware of the implications that are now in place for taking holidays in term time as this can disrupt your child’s progress and achievements.  Not only do children miss the teaching provided on the days they are away, they are also less prepared for the lessons building on this learning after their return.  Children’s progress can be slowed and there may also be a risk of future underachievement.

If parents chose to take their child out of school for a holiday that is not authorised by the school, the Local Authority (LA) receive our attendance data and it is the LA (not the school) who may then issue a Penalty Notice fine of £60 per parent, per child,  to be paid within 21 days.  If payment is not received the Penalty Notice will increase to £120 to be paid within 28 days.

Any requests for exceptional circumstance absences during term time will be individually considered by the headteacher, and in some circumstances by the governors, before a decision whether or not to authorise the absence is made.