Here at Marnel Junior School attendance is of the up most importance. In order to excel at school, be successful learners and develop good practice for later life it is vital that children attend school each day.
Our attendance target is 96% and above and children are expected to be on time to start their school day. This message is instilled in our pupils with a variety of incentives to promote and reward excellent attendance and punctuality.
A child who is regularly absent from school risks lower attainment, disruption to friendships and negative impacts on their mental health and wellbeing. As parents we have a legal responsibility to ensure our children attend school daily and failure to do so can also be considered a safeguarding risk.
As outlined in our attendance policy the school office must be notified on the first day your child is absent and any subsequent days that follow. Failure to notify us of a reason for absence will result in a home visit being conducted. If the whereabouts of a child cannot be determined they will be reported as 'missing/absent' from education to the local authority.
We have lots of different options we can explore to support you in getting your child into school. We understand that there can be a variety of different factors affecting attendance, but we are here to help; so please just ask.
Vanessa Dore (Attendance Lead) and Kay Lawrence (Admin Assistant) are on hand during the week should you need to discuss an attendance query or difficulty. You can contact the school office to speak to them or arrange a meeting. They may also make contact with you directly depending on your child's individual attendance figure, or persistent lateness... don't be worried, they are here to help. Take a look below to see the type of support that might be put in place depending on your child's attendance figure and circumstances:
90-95% - A half termly call from the class teacher to discuss your child's needs, learning that may have been missed and concerns you may have. This is an informal chat designed to support you and your child. There will be a follow up call from SENCO for SEN children.
Below 90% - All children with attendance below 90% are classed as a persistent absentee, but don't worry we will work with you to help improve their attendance, address medical needs and prevent any barriers to coming in to school. At this stage we will monitor your child's attendance weekly and contact you regularly.
Stage 1 - Initially we will send you a letter when your child's attendance drops below 90%.
Stage 2 - If your child's attendance continues to drop we will get in touch to arrange an over the phone or in person meeting where an attendance plan can be put in place. We will advise you of support that can be put in place, including SEMH groups for your child to attend during school.
SEMH attendance intervention - These are for children to take part of in school to voice concerns about the time they have missed at school. A lot of children who have a time off school find it hard following the work after days off as they have missed the lesson input or missed out on social experiences within their peer groups. We have observed that this can in turn cause children anxiety and worry when being in class as well as within friendship groups. There are a variety of children in each group, and we aim to cater for all needs so they may discuss routines, barriers to coming in to school such as school refusal, bullying and finding the work too hard .They also discuss medical worries or concerns and worries they have around illness.
Stage 3 - Generally, with the actions put in place above and working together your child's attendance will be seen to improve. However, if it is still dropping then you will be invited in to school to meet with Mr Jordan. At this stage there is the possibility that school will no longer be able to authorise illness without medical evidence, or that a penalty notice or legal intervention team referral(LIT) may be made.
Penalty Notice - Issued for 10 days unauthorised absence within a 100-day period, for example unauthorised holiday, or persistent lateness.
LIT referral - Referrals are made where there are 10 days unauthorised absence within a 100-day period but the reasons for absence are not as clear or the circumstances and need within the family are more complex. Referrals are triaged by the legal intervention team and may result in an attendance officer being allocated or are passed on to the legal team.
All of our interactions are aimed to be positive and supporting, we aim to work with the children and their parents/carers to support their wellbeing and attendance. We put this plan into place in a hope to avoid other sanctions such as penalty notices and court action and help improve attendance in a supportive a holistic way.
Our School Target
Our whole school attendance target for this year is 96%. We also have individual group attendance figures which can be seen in the document below. Always remember that your child's attendance figure changes as the year goes on, there is always time to make those positive changes and see that improvement... it is never too late.
Promoting Good Attendance in School
How we promote attendance to our students and how we support our families.
The Marnel Junior School Attendance Ladder:
We will be celebrating your child's attendance in school by encouraging them to 'climb to the top of the ladder'. At the end of every term we will be holding a raffle for prizes, including vouchers, days out and gifts. Depending on where your child is on the ladder will determine the number of raffle tickets they have entered into the draw.
As you know all the children in the school have been assigned a house, Air, Earth, Fire and Water. The children have shown great enthusiasm in earning house points since these were introduced last year, so now they will be able to earn house points for good and improving attendance. Each week the house with the highest attendance will earn 60 house points!
100% attendance certificates are given out on a termly basis. These are awarded for the term's attendance, not the whole school year. There is always a chance for children to strive to get a certificate the next again term if they missed out due to unavoidable circumstances.
Illness is unavoidable, and we know that in current circumstances knowing whether to send your child into school can be difficult, and a worry. We are taking regular guidance from Hampshire and the DfE on how Covid-19 impacts attendance, what symptoms to be looking out for, isolation periods and when to get tested.
If you feel your child has Covid-19 symptoms; a temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, please keep them home and notify the school immediately. If you are unsure as to whether your child should be coming into school please call the school office and they will be more than happy to advise you.
It isn't just illness and holidays that impact your child's attendance, we understand that more complex factors can be present. Ongoing medical conditions, mental health, finances, child development, education, childcare, change in family circumstances and much more can make it difficult to get your child to school. Our Home School Link Manager can offer guidance and seek additional support, both inside and outside of school to assist with any of these difficulties. Please let us know if you are having any difficulties, either by speaking to a member of school staff, calling the school office or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please don't struggle on your own, we know attendance can weigh on parent's minds and is not always a straight forward fix.
For more information on attendance at Marnel Junior School, please see our school attendance policy under the 'Policies' section of the school website.