St Denys CE School believes that if children are to get the greatest benefit from their education in school it is important that they have good attendance and arrive punctually. Regular school attendance is the key to enabling 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. St Denys values all pupils. As set out in our policy, where children are not conforming to our high expectations for attendance and punctuality, we will work with families to identify the reasons and try to resolve any difficulties.

You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.

Article 28, The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

St Denys CE Infant School recognises that attendance is a matter for the whole school community. Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a strand that runs through all aspects of school improvement, supported by our policies on Safeguarding, Anti-Bullying Agreement, Behaviour and SEND. This policy also takes into account the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equalities Act 2010.

Excellent attendance gives your child a better opportunity to:

  • Make new friends;
  • Learn and enjoy new experiences;
  • Develop skills that you will need in later life;
  • Take part in a wide range of activities in and outside of St Denys;
  • Learn how to look after themselves and encourage independence;
  • Feel safe and listened to;
  • Improve their chances of having a good career or life chances;
  • Make a positive contribution to the St Denys community.

The importance of punctuality:

Whilst overall our pupils arrive at school on time, we can still have a small number of pupils who can arrive late to school. Parents may not be aware of the difficulties experienced by children even when they are only a few minutes late each day.

What role do parents and carers play?

The Parents/Carers of our pupils are asked to support the school and instil the value of education and regular attendance by:

  • Talking to their child about school life and taking a positive interest in their child’s educational progress.
  • Contacting the school if their child is absent to let us know the reason why and the expected date of return.
  • Avoiding unnecessary absences – wherever possible making medical appointments outside of school hours and providing medical appointment cards.
  • Asking the school for help if their child is experiencing difficulties and informing the school of any circumstances that may impact on their child’s attendance.
  • Ensuring their child attends punctually everyday.
  • Engaging with intervention strategies provided by the school if their child’s attendance becomes highlighted as a cause for concern.
  • Supporting the school; taking every opportunity to get involved in their child’s education, forming a positive relationship with school and acknowledging the importance of children receiving the same messages from both school and home.
  • Encouraging routine at home, for example, bed times, homework, preparing school bag and uniform the evening before
  • Not keeping their child off school to go shopping, to help at home or to look after other members of the family.
  • Avoiding taking their child on holiday during term-time; where this may be an exceptional circumstance, a written leave request must be sent to the Head Teacher in advance of booking the holiday.

DfE: Working together to improve school attendance- September 2022