Absence and Illness
If your child is absent for any reason, please contact the School Office as early as possible so that the teacher can be informed.
It is vital to your child’s education that they attend regularly and punctually. Absence can affect routines of the child, the teacher and other children in the class and persistent absence can damage your child’s educational prospects.
If your child is unwell, has a medical appointment or there is an immediate emergency
Unavoidable causes, such as illness, medical appointments that fall in school time, or immediate emergencies, are classified as authorised absence – in these cases, please send in a letter explaining the absence, even if you have already notified us by phone.
Children should stay at home for 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea.
The NHS Choices website has some guidance to help you decide whether your child should stay at home or attend school.
Visit NHS Choices page “Is my child too ill for school?” (opens in new tab)
A Parent/Guardian’s Guide to treating common childhood conditions (opens in new tab)
If your child is absent for any other reason
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is the parent’s or carer’s legal responsibility, and permitting absence from school without a good reason is illegal and can result in prosecution.
From September 2013, the Government issued a directive to all schools in the UK that all exceptional leave is to be refused and will be recorded as unauthorised absences.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable. They are treated very seriously and can lead to the London Borough of Hillingdon’s Education Welfare Service using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. Absences of this type include:
- Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
- Truancy before or during the school day
- Absences which have never been properly explained
- Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark
- Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
- Day trips, holidays, family functions or visiting relatives abroad in term time
- Excessive illness without medical evidence
The school is required to inform the Participation Team at the London Borough of Hillingdon of any unauthorised absence and they could issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. The penalty is a fine of £60 per parent, per child – which rises to £120 per parent if it is not paid within 21 days.
If a child is consistently absent even after these sanctions, parents can be taken to court and be prosecuted.
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the school day. Lateness can disrupt other pupils, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.
The day starts at 8.55am and we expect your child to be in class at that time. Registers are returned to the office by 9.05am – any children who arrive between then and 9.30am will be given a late mark and recorded as an authorised absence.
At 9:30am the registers are closed. If your child arrives after that time they will receive a late mark and will be classified as an unauthorised absence. This means that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem continues.
If your child is late regularly you will be asked to meet with the Head Teacher and/or Attendance Officer to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.
Supporting your child to attend regularly
Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually makes things worse.
You can support your child by:
- ensuring regular and early bed times
- helping with homework
- having uniform and equipment prepared the night before
- providing a healthy breakfast
- reporting any academic or social concerns promptly
- retaining open and honest communication with the school
- being positive about school (even if your own experience was less than positive!)
- encouraging your child to invite friends home for play dates.
If you have concerns about your child’s attendance or punctuality, please do not hesitate to contact the school to arrange an appointment with the Head Teacher
Absence monitoring and improvement
We have targets to improve attendance and punctuality and your child has an important part to play in meeting these targets.
The minimum level of attendance for this school is set at 95% and we will keep you updated regularly about our progress and how your child’s attendance compares.
However, our aim is to achieve better than this, because we know that good attendance is the key to successful schooling. Therefore we closely monitor absences and punctuality throughout the school year to show us where improvements need to be made. We publish attendance figures in our weekly Newsletter which show the attendance levels of the academic year so far. We also hold Attendance Awards every fortnight in which the classes with the highest attendance in each year group are awarded the Attendance Cup. At the end of the school year, children whose attendance for the year exceeds 98% will be rewarded with a certificate and small prize.