Absence and Illness

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Absence and Illness


We are a great school, and we want your child to benefit from being here every day!

Mrs Saunders 

It is a statutory duty on parents (and others with parental responsibility) to ensure that children receive a full time education.  We provide a fantastic curriculum, tailored to the needs of our children and our community.  It is this curriculum and teaching that have enabled us to be placed at the very top of the Sutton Primary School League Tables!  Naturally then, we want to ensure that all of our children attend school our school every day, so that they can fully benefit from all the learning, excitement and discovery on offer.  Even in an amazing school like ours, low attendance can seriously hamper the progress and development that we feel sure so will agree all our children are entitled to!

Please note that both attendance and punctuality are actively and regularly monitored by both the school and the Local Authority.  The school operates a policy of issuing fixed term penalty fines for unauthorised absence.  In cases where this fails to result in an improvement in attendance, further legal action is possible.

Absences, Punctuality and Attendance generally across the school are monitored and overseen by Mrs Saunders , who reports directly to the Executive Headteacher in this regard.

Absence due to illness:

Over the course of the primary school years, any child may need to take a very few days absent.  They may, for example, catch chickenpox or get a tummy bug that properly necessitates their absence.  However, in the vast majority of children, these will be few and far between.  On the rare occasions when this applies to your child, please follow the procedure below.  Please note that authorisation of all absence is at the discretion of the Executive Headteacher or the Deputy Executive Headteacher.  Absences will not be normally be authorised if the following procedure has not been adhered to:

1) Please ring the school, before 8.30am, to inform us of your child’s absence.  The school phone number is 0208 688 1390 (dial and follow the instructions given for reporting pupil absence).

2) If there is any particular information that requires speaking to someone in person regarding the illness of your child, please feel free to call the school number and speak to one of our office staff personally.

3) If your child is absent for more than one day, please ring before 8.30am,  to inform the school of each day of subsequent absence.

4) If your child is absent for five school days or longer, you will need to provide medical evidence to support the authorisation of time spent away from school.  the definition of medical evidence for these purposes, is described below.

5) On return to school, please provide your child with a written note, explaining why you took the decision to keep them away.

Medical Evidence:

Absences of five school days or greater require medical evidence (see above).  In cases where children have low attendance rates, the school may require medical evidence to be provided for all absence through illness.  If this is the case with your child, you will receive a letter informing you of the fact.

Medical evidence broadly refers to any proof of attendance at a doctor’s surgery or hospital.  Specifically, this can include an appointment card, medical letter, antibiotic or other prescription-only drugs named for the child and dated over the period of absence etc.  Medical evidence should be shown to a member of the office staff on the first day that the child returns to school.

Absence requests other than for illness:

Please note that the school will not ordinarily authorise any absences during term time. Only the most genuinely exceptional cases will be considered by the Executive Headteacher or Deputy Executive Headteacher.  If you feel that you have such a genuinely exceptional reason for your child to be granted leave from school, you should speak to Mrs Saunders, who will, in the first instance, provide you with the necessary paperwork to make such a request.  Once completed, Mrs Saunders will meet with the Executive Headteacher and/or Deputy Executive Headteacher, in order to discuss your request.  The paperwork will then be returned to you indicating whether or not the absence request has been authorised.

We recognise that some reasons for absence may be personal and/or upsetting.  In these cases, please speak to Mrs Saunders directly to arrange an initial meeting with her.  This meeting will usually remain, in the first instance, confidential between Mrs Saunders, the Executive Headteacher (or Deputy Executive Headteacher) and yourselves.

In all normal circumstances, requests for absence during term time should be submitted not less than six weeks prior to the commencement of the requested absence.  Where this is genuinely not possible (usually due to genuinely unforeseen circumstances), the request should be submitted, without delay,  as soon as the need for absence is known.

Please note that Miss Sellers cannot herself authorise absences and cannot be held responsible in any way for the outcome of an authorisation request.

Absence due to lateness:

As with illness, a normally punctual child might be slightly late on very rare and exceptional occasions. However, when lateness becomes a regular issue, the child begins to lose significant time from their education.  By way of example, a child arriving just five minutes late each day will, over the course of just a single school year, have effectively missed three and a half days of school!  In addition to the gaps in education, arrival late into class is both upsetting for the child, and also disruptive to the learning of their peers.

Whenever a child arrives late after the normal registers have closed, they will need to be taken by the adult bringing them to school, to the main school office.  The adult will then need to sign a Late Book, indicating time of arrival and the reason for the lateness.  All lateness is recorded and cumulative lateness is monitored by both the school and the Local Authority.  If punctuality becomes a concern to the school, we will arrange a formal meeting to discuss methods of resolving this problem.  The Local Authority may also be present at this meeting.

We feel sure that the vast majority of you will support this stringent approach to ensuring that children receive their full entitlement to exciting and effective education, recognising as you do, the value of regular and consistent attendance.  In addition to ensuring uninterrupted learning and development, strong and regular attendance instills a lifelong standard and value which can only serve to stand our children in excellent stead for happy, successful and prosperous working lives in the future!

We very much look forward to seeing you all in school, on time and every day!

Comments From Our Community…

  • My child is making excellent progress. Very happy with ethos of school. Very dedicated staff – excellent leadership team.

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  • Best decision I made.

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  • He loves coming in each day.

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