At Denby Free, we have high ambitions for all of our children and regular attendance at school is vital for children to learn and thrive. We are proud that our children tell us they enjoy being in school. There is an established link between attendance and achievement and we want to work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure every child’s attendance is as good as possible. With this in mind, we expect all children to reach at least 95% attendance and above in order to have the best chance to achieve highly at school.
We recognize that there will be times when children will fall ill, and that this can mean that they are unable to attend school. On these occasions, please contact the school before the start of the day to inform us. Where there is prolonged or frequent sickness, the Head will have a conversation with you about this, and offer support where appropriate.
Requests for authorized absences
Government legislation states that schools are not allowed to authorise absences for children being taken out of school for a holiday. Requests for your child to be absent from school can only be authorized under exceptional circumstances.
Should you need to take your child out of school due an exceptional circumstance, please contact us in advance to discuss this, as we are cannot retrospectively authorize absences from school.
An absence for an unacceptable or unexplained reason will not be authorized and will appear on your child’s attendance record as un–authorized absence.
How do we support good attendance?
Pupils only attend school for 190 days per school year. Each term we look closely at the attendance of all children and use the following categories to decide on actions we can take to ensure your child has the best possible chance to succeed at school.
95% attendance rate and upwards: Excellent Attendance
90% attendance and upwards: If attendance drops to this level, we will offer you an informal conversation with the Head, explaining the issues of time lost in school and offering support where needed.
89.99% attendance and below: This is a worrying level of absence, and the Head will have a more formal conversation with you around the reasons for absence and offering support. If attendance does not improve following this, a formal attendance letter will be issued and further formal meetings will take place if necessary.
Less than 85% attendance: This level of attendance would be a significant cause for concern, and you will be asked into school for a formal meeting. If your child is missing school without a good reason, local council and schools can use various legal powers aimed to improve attendance rates. You can find out more about these measures here
How can you support good attendance?
Parents and Carers have to make sure that children aged 5 to 16 years receive full-time education and that they attend school regularly.
If your child is absent from school, they may miss lessons which may not be repeated. It can be hard for children to catch up with work they have missed and it is likely that it will affect their learning progress. It can help to think about absence in terms of the number of lessons your child will miss:
- Half day absent = 3 hours of lessons missed.
- 1 day absent = 5 hours of lessons missed.
- 3 days absent = 15 hours of lessons missed.
- 1 week absent = 25 hours of lessons missed.
2 weeks absent = 50 hours of lessons missed
If you have concerns about your child’s attendance, we welcome you to contact the Head to discuss positive ways forward to support the education of your child.