Our Attendance Expectations
Regular attendance at school is crucial in raising standards of education and in ensuring every child can fulfil their God-given potential here at St. Mark’s.
Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children who are disadvantaged by poor attendance tend to achieve less in both their primary and their secondary education. Irregular attendance, even during a child’s earliest years in education can have a detrimental impact not only on their learning but also on their confidence, social relationships and life skills.
Therefore, it is important that children are only absent from school in unavoidable circumstances such as illness. Parents MUST NOT take their children out of school for term time holidays, shopping, visiting relatives, birthdays, or for any other avoidable reason. Children are often able to attend school with minor ailments and guidance can be provided to families on this matter. Please contact Mrs M Hussain in the school office for more guidance.
Finally, as mentioned above support is available for any family who may be experiencing issues with ensuring regular attendance. We ask that in the first instance, you contact Mrs M Hussain (our school attendance officer) or Mrs D Linley (Principal and lead DSL) at St. Mark’s school.
Leave of absence during term time
Parents are requested not to take their children on holiday during term time. Holidays taken during term time will be recorded as unauthorised.
The school may legally authorise a request for leave where there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. Please send a written request to the Principal about the exceptional circumstance, where possible, we also request that parents send proof on the matter. Request letters are available from the school office or you can request a letter from the school office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cannot stress enough how vitally important good attendance is in ensuring your child makes good progress. If they are regularly late or missing days on a regular basis, this leads to the child falling behind in their learning.
Appointments in school time
Where possible, we ask that all appointments are booked out of school time so that children are not missing important learning time. Please speak to the office staff about any appointments your child will need to attend. Evidence of appointments will need to be shown to school staff and all appointments are recorded on the school attendance system. Should a child have to leave school to attend an appointment, then they should return to school afterwards. Parents must sign a child out of school on the signage screen in the foyer, and also sign the child back in, on their return to school.
The school gates open at 8.30am and close at 8.45am. Lessons start at 8.55am so children need to be in class before this time to ensure they are well prepared to start their morning lesson. Any child arriving after 8.45am will need to be signed in by a parent on the signage system and your child will receive a late mark.
Being on time is a good thing
- Gets the day off to a good start with everyone in a positive frame of mind.
- Helps your child make the most of their learning and sets positive patterns for the future.
- Helps children develop a sense of responsibility both for themselves and for others
- Helps your child make and keep friends.
- Improves self-confidence.
The impact of being late
- Gets the day off to a bad start and can put you in a mood.
- Can be embarrassing
- May damage your child’s confidence.
- Children miss vital information at the start of the day.
- Disrupts the learning.
Some things that may help parents improve punctuality
- Help your child get everything ready the night before (e.g. PE kit, school uniform)
- Allow plenty of time to get to school
- Make sure your child has breakfast or arrives at school in time for breakfast club
- Help your child organise homework
- Establish a good bedtime routine
- Write down your morning routine with your child in a set of steps so that they can see what needs to be done. This will enable your child to see what step they are on and how many more steps there are to be completed before your child can go to school.
Procedures on Reporting a Child’s Absence
If your child is ill and unable to attend school, please contact the school office on 0121 357 9892 before 8.30am. The school answering machine will pick your message up and please following the instructions for reporting your child’s absence. A phone call needs to be made to the school office every day that your child is absent from school.
If we have not heard from a parent by 10.00am as to why their child is absent from school, Mrs. Hussain will ring all of the contact numbers registered for that child until contact is made.
Monitoring Attendance Procedures
To help keep all children as safe as possible, Mrs. Linley and Mrs. M. Hussain work together to monitor attendance. Every half term, Mrs. M. Hussain completes attendance reports to identify any children who have a low attendance rate or are at risk of a low attendance figure. Staff in school then work together with parents and families to develop strategies to support children and families to improve attendance.
Designated safeguarding leads in school also review attendance on a regular basis to consider if any additional support from wider services and/or external partners is required to help children and families in school.
Mrs M Hussain, Attendance Officer
Mrs Linley, Principal
Attendance Awards and Celebration
In every newsletter we send out, we always include attendance and punctuality figures for each class. We congratulate the class with the highest attendance rate and every term, we celebrate all of the children who have achieved fantastic termly attendance. At the end of the year, children who have never missed a day of school receive an extra special award for being in school every single day!