New Attendance Thresholds

25th September 2015

25th September 2015

Dear Parents/Carers,

Re:  2015/16 Attendance Process Update

The Department for Education (DfE) has released new, higher attendance percentage thresholds for this academic year.  The new zones are as follows:

  • Above 97% - Green Safety Zone
  • 92%-96% - Yellow At Risk Zone
  • Below 91% - Red Danger Zone (school and legal attendance monitoring)

The school has a statutory duty to monitor the attendance of all children to these new higher standards.  Every minute of education that a child misses can affect their chances in life.  Attendance is the key to success in later education and employment and all of the staff at Throckley Primary want the best for all of our children.

The attendance process is as follows:

Daily registers are taken at 9.00am and all absences and lates are recorded.  Please ring the school if your child is going to be absent.  If we do not have a reason for absence, you will be sent a text requesting that you make contact with the school.  If your child is in the yellow or red zone, you may also be visited by Julie Ions, our Family Welfare Officer.

If a child is absent for more than two days, you will receive a phone call from the class teacher.  This phone call will give you and the teacher the chance to discuss your child’s absence and to find out if we can offer any support during the absence.  If the circumstances allow, the teacher will send work home for your child to complete and return.  This work may be delivered by Julie Ions, our Family Welfare Officer.  The teacher will mark the work in order to determine how best to help your child to catch up with the learning that was missed during their absence.  Please note that all children who are in the red zone will be placed on school monitoring regardless of the reason for absence (as in accordance with DfE guidelines).

If your child fails their first session of school monitoring, you will be invited into school to sign a parent contract.  If your child fails two periods of school monitoring and has attendance below 91%, you may be referred to the Local Authority for legal monitoring.  The Local Authority may take legal action against you if your children do not attend regularly and if the absences are not authorised by the school (Section 444, Education Act 1996).  The legal information from the LA is as follows:

Penalty notice issued under the local Code of Conduct (Sections 444A and 444B, Education Act 1996):

  • £60 fine if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid within 22 - 28 days.
  • Non-payment will result in a prosecution for the original offence.

 Education Supervision Order (Section 447, Education Act 1996; Section 36, Children Act 1989):

  • Makes the Local Authority responsible for advising, supporting and giving directions to the supervised child and parents to make sure that the child is being properly educated.
  • You may be guilty of an offence if you persistently fail to comply with reasonable directions and the maximum fine is £1,000.

 Prosecution under Section 444(1), Education Act 1996:

  • ‘If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.  If you are found guilty, the maximum fine is £1,000.’

 Prosecution under Section 444(1A), Education Act 1996 (as amended by Section 109, Education and Inspections Act 2006):

  • ‘If (in circumstances above), the parent knows the child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails to cause him to do so; the parent is guilty of an offence, unless he can prove he had reasonable justification.’
  • This is a more serious offence and a warrant can be issued to make you attend court.  If you are found guilty, the maximum fine is £2,500 and/or you could be sentenced up to 3 months in prison.

 We realise that sometimes children will have illnesses or other authorised reasons that keep them from attending school.  If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance, we are here to offer guidance and support.  Please speak to your child’s teacher or the school office if you need assistance.  We can also arrange for you to meet with Julie Ions, our Family Welfare Officer who can give you advice about support.

 Thank you for your support with this important matter.

 Mrs Julie Stuart

Head Teacher