At Southmere we believe that regular attendance, beginningfrom their first day in our Nursery, is essential to ensure that your child hasthe best possible start to their education. Our target for pupils is 96%attendance and we regularly reward pupils who have met their target with special celebration events and activities. These range from certificates in assemblies to red carpet events with film or theatre shows and a very special end of year event on the last day of the summer term.
Children whose attendance is less than 90% are classed by the government as 'persistent absentees' and may be referred to Bradford Council's Education Social work service. Research has shown that there is a very clear link between poor attendance and poor attainment.
At Southmere we believe that early intervention is the best way to prevent absence impacting on children's education, and we want to work with parents and carers to ensure that absences are kept to a minimum.
This means that if your child is absent and you have not contacted school to let us know why our attendance team will telephone you. We also make home visits to find out the reason for your child's absence. We may also invite you into school for a confidential discussion to find out how we can work together to improve attendance.
When attendance becomes a serious concern (is below 90%) the following actions are implemented:
We have been working very hard to improve both attendance and punctuality at Southmere and to reward children who have done their very best to be here every day.
Your child has arrived in time to settle well and has the best possiblestart to their day
Your child has probably arrived just after most children as the school days starts at 8.50 a.m.
Your child is late and has missed the beginning of the school day, being a few minutes late often unsettles children.
5 minutes late a day means 3lost days a year.
10 minutes late a day means 6 lost days a year.
15 minutes a day late means 9 lost days ayear
Arriving after the register closes is recorded as an unauthorised absence and counts as a half-day missed.
Applications for a leave of absence including for holidays:
Parents should complete a Leave of Absence form, which they may obtain from the academy, if they intend to remove their child from school for any reason including holidays. It should be completed and returned, before the absence. The Principal will assess each request individually and inform parents whether the leave be authorised or unauthorised.
In the case of family holidays it is very unlikely that leave will be authorised save for exceptional circumstances. The maximum number of days authorised in exceptional circumstances within an academic year will be 5 days.
Evidence of exceptional circumstances may be requested to support the Principal in making a decision. Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, says: "If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, her parent is guilty of an offence?". If the reasons given for your child's irregular school attendance are not satisfactory, or if your child doesn't attend school when holidays have been unauthorised then the Local Authority may take legal proceedings against you for failure to comply with the Law.