At King James’s School, we aim to maximise attendance rates as we know that attendance matters – for students to be able to take the fullest advantage when moving onto post 16 and, to be able to take the fullest advantage of the opportunities open to them, our target for individual attendance is at least 96%.
Research suggests that students who have good attendance achiever better results at GCSE. Students with poor attendance are less likely to succeed academically, less likely to succeed Post 16 or in employment – this also leaves them at risk of becoming NEET. Being absent from school also leaves your child at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, crime or gangs.
Whilst we understand that there are occasions when students need to be absent from school through medical appointments or conditions, we encourage parents/carers to make these appointments out of school time where possible. In exceptional circumstances where this has not been possible, Students are expected to attend school before and after any appointments during the school day.
We encourage parents that have a child with a cough, cold or sore throat to send their child into school, if your child becomes too unwell during the school day and needs to come home, our Welfare Officer will make the necessary contact with parents to arrange for this to happen.
Your support is vital, the school have an experienced and dedicated pastoral team who will be happy to discuss any concerns or problems that you may have regarding your child’s attendance.
Please contact the school every day before 8.45am to report your child’s absence. You can leave a message on the school answer phone 01484 412990 or email the office at email@example.com , stating your child’s name, class and full reason for the absence, illness as a reason will not be accepted and will be recorded as unauthorised.
As part of our safeguarding procedures, the school operates an automated everyday call up system. This means that if we are not notified of your child’s absence from school, you will be contacted by telephone or text until we have confirmation of the absence.
If we receive no response to our automatic call then school are obliged to call the police on 101 and ask them to carry out a welfare check.
It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school when they're unwell. There are government guidelines for schools about managing specific infectious diseases at GOV.UK. These say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't.
If you do keep your child at home, it's important to phone school on the first day. Let us know that your child won't be in and give them the reason. If your child is well enough to go to school, but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let school know.
Coughs and colds
It's fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or common cold. But if they have a fever, keep them off school until the fever goes. Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has a high temperature, keep them off school until it goes away.
If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all the spots have crusted over. This is usually about 5 days after the spots first appeared.
There's no need to keep your child off school if they have a cold sore. Encourage them not to touch the blister or kiss anyone while they have the cold sore, or to share things like cups and towels.
You don't need to keep your child away from school if they have conjunctivitis. Do get advice from your pharmacist. Encourage your child not to rub their eyes and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, and feels well enough, they can go to school. Your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either:
- have a high temperature
- do not feel well enough to go to school or do their normal activities
What to do if your child has tested positive
Your child is no longer required to do a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test if they have symptoms. But if your child has tested positive for COVID-19, they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test.
If your child has an ear infection and a high temperature or severe earache, keep them off school until they're feeling better or their high temperature goes away.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease but seems well enough to go to school, there's no need to keep them off. Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues straight away and to wash their hands regularly.
Head lice and nits
There's no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice. You can treat head lice and nits without seeing a GP.
If your child has impetigo, they'll need treatment from a GP, often with antibiotics. Keep them off school until all the sores have crusted over and healed, or for 48 hours after they start antibiotic treatment. Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and not to share things like towels and cups with other children at school.
If your child has ringworm, see your pharmacist unless it's on their scalp, in which case you should see a GP. It's fine for your child to go to school once they have started treatment.
If your child has scarlet fever, they'll need treatment with antibiotics from a GP. Otherwise they'll be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks. Your child can go back to school 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
Slapped cheek syndrome (fifth disease)
You don't need to keep your child off school if they have slapped cheek syndrome because, once the rash appears, they're no longer infectious. But let the school or teacher know if you think your child has slapped cheek syndrome.
You can still send your child to school if they have a sore throat. But if they also have a high temperature, they should stay at home until it goes away. A sore throat and a high temperature can be symptoms of tonsillitis.
You don't need to keep your child off school if they have threadworms. Speak to your pharmacist, who can recommend a treatment.
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school until they have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days (48 hours).
Leave of Absence in Term Time
Parents/carers do not have a legal right to take children out of school during term time. Each application is considered individually by the Headteacher. Permission for a leave of absence during term time must be requested 4 weeks in advance of the required date.
Request for student leave of absence from school Download/View
A Penalty Notice may be issued if:
- Parents/Carers have not sought permission from the Headteacher before taking their child out of school for a leave of absence in term time
- The Headteacher has refused the request but the absence occurs anyway
- The student has not returned to school by the agreed date with no satisfactory explanation
- Where the leave of absence has been recorded by the school as unauthorised in the attendance register on at least 10 sessions (5 school days) during the current term
Where Parents/Carers continue to take unauthorised leave of absences in term time, despite having previously been issued with a Penalty Notice, the local authority will consider a prosecution under the S444 of the Education Act 1996.
The penalty notice is £60, for each parent of each child, if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid after this date but within 28 days. Non-payment of a penalty notice will normally trigger a prosecution (under the provisions of section 444 of the Education Act 1996 or under the provisions of S103 (3) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006). The prosecution can only be for the original offence and NOT for the non-payment of the Penalty Notice.
You also need to be aware that if your child fails to return to school following 20 days of absence he/she is at risk of losing their school place.
Students who for any reason need to leave the site during the course of a day must show their appointment card to their form tutor. They will then give them a permission slip and they must sign out on the Early Leavers Register at the Pastoral Base.
Please try to make all dentist, doctor, hospital, optician and orthodontist appointments, outside school hours where possible. If this is not possible, please show evidence of the appointment at school reception.
Our Attendance policy can be read by clicking Download/View
- There is a significant link between a child’s attendance record and their success in the future
- Research shows that the equivalent of 17 days absence from school can equate to achieving a grade lower at GCSE
- 90% attendance means one half day per week, 4 weeks per year, and half a year off over 5 years in high school
- Good attendance promotes better friendships, builds resilience and improved self-esteem