All children have the right to an education based on equality of opportunity, and Harris Junior Carshalton, in partnership with parents, carers and other parties, must take measures to encourage regular school attendance and reduce rates of absenteeism. We know that there is a direct link between a child's attainment, progress, social skills and attendance. A child’s success at school is likely to be affected negatively if their attendance is poor. Those who do not attend regularly may fall behind in their learning, leading to underachievement, both academically and socially.
HJAC recognises the crucial role that parents and carers play in promoting good school attendance. We therefore seek to provide professional, quality information and advice, communicated frequently by telephone, email, texts, leaflets, parents’ evenings, school reports and via the school office.
Harris Junior Academy Carshalton aims to :
- Give attendance and punctuality a high priority;
- Provide support, advice and guidance to families;
- Use attendance data systematically to evaluate success and to prioritise appropriate follow-up procedures
- Use sanctions sensitively and only when necessary; and
- Support pupils returning to school after significant periods of absence.
Our overall attendance for last year (22-23) was 94.07% which is above the national average. This is encouraging however we are striving to improve and so this year attendance has been made one of our key focuses for the accademic year 23-24.
Children who arrive after the register closes are marked late (morning session starts at 8.40am – afternoon session starts at 1.15pm). If children are absent we ask to be informed on the first morning of absence either by email (to the office), or telephone. If we are not informed then the school has a legal obligation to contact parents/carers via phone/email to find out why pupils are not in school. Non-Attendance not supported by an adequate reason is counted as an unauthorised absence and is marked accordingly in the register. If there are concerns over a pupils attendance then the school does not have to authorise absence. Holidays will not be authorised during term time.
Legal Responsibility: parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child attends school regularly. If a child is not attending school regularly the school will work with the family to support them in fulfilling their legal obligation. If families do not engage with the school and attendance does not improve then a referral will be made to the local authority. In extreme cases this can lead to court proceedings.
Hospital, Doctors, Dentist Appointments: we require evidence if a child is to be taken out of school for hospital/clinic appointments to authorise it as a medical appointment. Unless it is an emergency, visits to the dentist, doctor etc, should be made outside of school hours. In the interest of safety we do not allow children unattended out of the school ground during school hours.
Sickness: should your child need to be collected from school due to sickness or appointments after morning or afternoon registration, it is very important that you sign your child out on the entry system and inform the office before you leave.
Severe Weather Conditions: in the event of very severe weather, the school will contact parents and carers if children are allowed to go home early. Children are never released early without the consent of their parents/carers.
Holiday In Term Time: as part of the on-going drive to improve the attendance levels in all schools, the Local Authority has directed that schools no longer authorise holidays during term time.
*Holidays in term time are not a right and will not be authorised. If holidays are taken during term time then this information will be passed to the local authority and parents could be subjected to a £60 fine per child, per parent.
*Leave of absence will only be granted where proper procedures have been followed.
*It remains a discretionary power of the Head Teacher and Governing Body to authorise leave of absence.
*Where the school and the parents fail to reach an agreement and the child is then absent from school the absence will be marked as unauthorised and parents could be subjected to a fine by the local authority.