As a parent or carer, what am I expected to do about attendance?
We believe that regular school attendance is central to raising standards in education and to improving the life chances of all children. Regular attendance at school enables children to gain maximum benefit from the range of educational and wider opportunities available to them.
Unsurprisingly, children who are absent from school or who are persistently late, can soon fall behind with their learning and social development. Research conducted by the Department for Education (DfE 2016) confirmed that, as the level of overall pupil absence increases, the likelihood of pupils achieving what they are capable of decreases.
Parents of children of compulsory school age are, by law, required to ensure that their children receive a suitable education through regular attendance at school or otherwise.
Parents and carers across Wirral schools are expected to:
- To ensure that their child attends school every day that the school is open, unless there is a genuine and unavoidable reason that prevents them from so doing;
- To talk to school staff as soon as possible should their child be reluctant to come to school for any reason, or if there are any other issues impacting on school attendance. This is so that any problems can be quickly identified and overcome.
- To ensure that their child arrives at school on time (08:45). A reason should be offered for any lateness;
- To inform school as soon as possible, by ‘phone or in person, if their child is unable to attend on any day, together with the reason for absence (0151 677 3231);
- To trust that school staff will contact them during the school day if a child is ill in school and needs to go home;
- To ensure that school has at least two sets of full contact details, and that these are kept updated;
- To make all medical appointments outside school hours whenever possible, and to inform school in advance of any medical appointments that cannot be scheduled out of school time. For absence to be authorised as a medical absence, schools do require evidence, such as an appointment card or letter; In the case of a primary school child, to ensure that their child is collected on time at the end of the school day;
- To take family holidays during school holiday periods, and to be aware that there is no entitlement to withdraw children for authorised leave of absence during term time. Any requests for leave of absence during term time should be made in writing and in advance to the head teacher (form available from school office);
- To be aware of curriculum requirements and to be especially vigilant with regards to attendance during particularly important times such as SATs and other exam periods;
- To provide evidence and advice from a health professional when needed to enable school to gain a greater understanding of their child’s health issues.