Attendance and Punctuality
Attendance and Punctuality at West Lea School: Academic Year 2022-23
“Attendance is everyone’s business” (Department of Education, Working Together to Improve School Attendance, May 2022)
Attendance is everyone’s responsibility. The foundation of good attendance is a strong relationship between the school, the child and parents beginning in the Early Years. We will contact you if your child’s attendance becomes a concern. Please see the chart at the bottom of this letter for the impact of poor attendance and the school’s processes if attendance becomes a concern. When we are working together to achieve good attendance and punctuality – we are “learning for life”.
Please click here to view our Attendance Policy.
We want you to be aware of our high expectations for attendance and punctuality at West Lea School; what your responsibilities are and what we do as a school to support good attendance:
• In order for your child to reach their maximum potential they need to be in school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for absence is unavoidable.
• At West Lea, we expect all our learners to have an attendance of at least 93%. As a parent or carer, it is your legal responsibility to ensure your child attends school.
Missed time in school means missed learning and may impact on your child’s friendships and wellbeing.
If your child has to be off school for an unavoidable reason, then you need to call the school absence line, on: 020 8807 2656 (option 1) and leave a message before 8:30am.
Please state your
Ø Child’s name
Ø Registration class
Ø Reason for absence
This needs to be done on the 1st day of absence and any following days your child is absent from school. We need to understand the reason for your child’s absence so please give as much information as you can. A lack of information may result in an unauthorised absence.
What parents and carers can do to support good attendance:
• Try to make medical (including dental and optician) appointments outside of school hours. Please talk to us if this is difficult to do.
• Report any barriers to attendance in a prompt manner, for example if your child is experiencing friendship difficulties. If we know about it, we can do all we can to resolve any issues and so remove the barrier. We encourage you to contact your child’s Class Teacher or Campus Attendance Lead if you have concerns about your child’s attendance.
• Have a positive attitude towards school, even if your own experience of school was not a good one. We encourage all our parents and carers to become active members of the school community, for example attending one of our coffee mornings.
• Get ready for school the night before.
• Ensure your child goes to bed early so that getting up in the morning is less of a challenge.
West Lea School employs an Attendance Officer (Kathryn White) who oversees the systems and procedures which support good attendance.
• Each Campus has an Attendance Lead who is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Class Teachers are responsible for taking registers and play an important role in supporting good attendance.
• We will ensure the morning and afternoon register is taken daily in a timely manner (before 9:15am & 1:30pm)
• If a child does not arrive at school, and we have not had contact from the family, we will endeavour to find out the reason for the absence by making calls and sending text messages to parents/ carers and emergency contacts.
• If we are unable to make contact with parents/carers this triggers a safeguarding procedure which may result in home visits or referrals to the Education Welfare or Social Services.
• We will contact you if your child’s attendance becomes a concern to understand, discuss and support any barriers to attendance.
• We can usually resolve barriers to attendance at school level (working your child’s Class Team and/or Campus Attendance Lead). In some cases, we will seek guidance and support from our Education Welfare Officer, Patrick Lemonius.
• We recognise and celebrate good and improved attendance.
Please note that we are fully aware that we are school where many of our learners have complex medical needs. Absences for medical appointments and time in hospital, if evidenced, are always authorised. If you have any concerns or need support, please contact your child’s Attendance Lead.
Government guidance states that holidays are not permitted in term-time and any holidays taken will marked as an ‘unauthorised absence’. Taking a child out of school in term-time and can result in the involvement of the Education Welfare Service.
If your child needs to be off for exceptional circumstances, you will need to submit an ‘Absence Request Form’ (these can be requested from the school office). These requests are considered by the CEO (Paul Quinn) who will decide whether the absence will be authorised.