Attendance

I am the newly appointed Attendance and Parent Support Officer at Bishopton. In my role, I am looking forward to getting to know all of our parents and carers over the coming weeks and months.

Good attendance shows potential employers that your child is reliable. Children who go to school regularly might be less likely to get involved in antisocial behaviour or crime. All schools must record details of pupils’ attendance and absence at school. They do so at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions.

90% Attendance sounds good, but means that your child misses:

  • one half day each week
  • nearly four weeks every school year
  • over one school year in a school career

What parents/carers can do

The following are ways that you can help to tackle the problem of truancy:

  • Inform school if your child has to be off school (preferably prior to absence or on the first day of a medical absence)
  • Talk to your child about his/her school day
  • Attend school Parent’ Evening
  • Find out what the school’s Attendance Policy and practice is
  • Do not allow your child to be absent without good cause
  • Arrange family holidays during the school holidays not in term time
  • Arrange visits to the Doctor, Dentist, Opticians etc for outside of school hours
  • Take a positive interest in your child’s homework
  • Let your children know you care and that if they are experiencing any difficulties, that they can talk to you
  • Do not allow your child to be absent for birthdays, haircuts or shopping
  • If there are any problems, speak to your child’s class/form teacher, Deputy Head or Headteacher

What the law says

The law relating to school attendance is detailed in the Education Act, Sections 445 – 447; the Children Act 1989, Section 36; the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 (February 27th 2004), Section 19

To summarise:

  • Parents/Carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child/children receive an education appropriate to their age, aptitude and ability, either by regular school attendance or otherwise
  • Parents/Carers are responsible for ensuring that their child/children attend school each day and arrive on time.
  • Parents/Carers must not allow their child/children to work during school hours
  • Parents/Carers can receive up to a 3 month imprisonment or £2,500 fine as a result of not ensuring their child/children’s attendance at school
  • Parents/Carers can receive a Penalty Notice (up to £120) for a period of unauthorised absence (i.e. unauthorised holidays in term time)
  • Parents/carers can receive a Penalty Notice if a child is out in a public place unsupervised while excluded from school

School Attendance Officer’s role covers:

Offering support to families and pupils to assist them in securing regular school attendance. This may include:

  • Home visits
  • Meeting pupils in school to offer support and advice
  • Liaison between home and school to improve communication links and resolve any difficulties that have hindered progress

Working in partnership with the Child and Adult Services Department and other agencies to promote the child’s welfare and gain appropriate support. This may include:

  • Referral to social care staff for support
  • Referral to the School Medical Officer
  • Referral for psychologist support
  • Referral via the HUB for support

Ensuring that the statutory duty in relation to school attendance is carried out. This includes:

  • Half termly register checks
  • Prosecuting parents who fail to secure their child’s attendance at school
  • Supervising an Education Supervision Order
  • Enforce a School Attendance Order
  • Issue a Penalty Notice

Attendance Policy