School Attendance and Absence
Excellent attendance promotes excellent learning. Regular school attendance is essential if children are to achieve their full potential.
Highfield Middle School believe that regular school attendance is crucial to allowing children to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.
Since the the Covid pandemic, around 1 less pupil per class across the country are attending school each day. It is really important that we raise attendance levels to the same high standards that we have had in the past.
Highfield Middle School values all pupils. As set out in the policy below, we will work with families to early identify the reasons for poor attendance and try to resolve any difficulties.
Highfield Middle School believe attendance is a shared responsibility, involving the whole school community and local community; Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a thread that runs through all aspects of school improvement, and is supported by our policies on safeguarding, bullying and behaviour.. This policy also takes into account the Human Rights Act 1998, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Race Relations Act 2000.
We believe the following important principles underpin our approach to managing attendance:
- Pupils and parents/carers understand the issues and procedures for attendance and punctuality.
- All school staff, including governors, administrative and support staff understand the issues and procedures for attendance and punctuality
- Clear procedures for enabling pupils to come to school
- Attendance issues are addressed in the curriculum Attendance Description 100% Excellent 98-99% Very Good 96-97% Good 95% Satisfactory 90-94% Unsatisfactory 90% Persistent Absence
- Parents/carers and pupils having the opportunity to raise concerns and share in addressing those concerns
- Allocating resources e.g. time, people, space to support the policy
- Rewarding students who have for good attendance and those who strive to improve their attendance
- Identifying patterns of absence and intervening early. Patterns of attendance are established early in a school career. Children who miss significant amounts of their education in primary schools are more likely to truant later on. Our Parent Support Partner will work with the school partnership using data to identify students early.
- Sanctions for failing to ensure regular attendance are fully understood by the whole school community and parents/carers.
What time should my child arrive at school?
Please make sure your child gets to school on time. Punctuality is important as arriving late disrupts your child’s education. Support staff are available from 8.40am in case of accident in the school playground but there is no direct supervision in the playground until this time. You are responsible for your child’s well-being before the bell rings at 8.55am.
What do I do if my child will be absent?
Make sure that you inform the school office as soon as possible, and before 10am, if your child will not be in school by calling 01661 833922. Attendance levels are high at HMS. We closely monitor attendance in collaboration with our Educational Welfare Officer and if your child’s attendance falls below the Government recommendation of 92% further action may be taken by the EWO.
What if my child is going to be late?
Call the school office as soon as possible if your child will be late into school. This really helps with registration and dinner administration. When your child arrives in school, they must come to the main office to be signed in.
What if my child is ill?
Please contact the school office as soon as possible to let us know why your child is absent. If your child experiences vomiting and diarrhoea, they must not return to school for 48 hours after the last occurrence of illness. Children who return to school before the 48 hour period has passed will be sent home.
Can you grant holiday requests?
No. The school year includes 13 weeks when children are on holiday. Under Government guidelines, Headteachers are no longer permitted to authorise absence for holidays during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Therefore if you wish to take your child out of school, a formal request must be made to the Headteacher before the holidays are booked. You will receive a written response from the Headteacher.