Whitings Hill Primary School

Attendance

Whitings Hill School is committed to the continuous raising of achievement of all of our pupils and recognises the impact that physical illness and Mental Health can have on children’s attendance.

Regular attendance is critical if our pupils are to thrive from the opportunities presented to them.

One of our basic principles is to support our families to secure good and outstanding attendance.

Good attendance is fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience in which pupils progress emotionally, physically and academically.   

We actively promote 100% attendance for all of our pupils but understand there are some circumstances in which parents and pupils will need extra support in order to achieve this.

We recognise that parents/carers have a vital role, and a legal responsibility to ensure good attendance and we aim to work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils and other agencies to resolve attendance problems and support where needed.

Absences due to Sickness

If your child is not attending school, please contact the school on the first day of absence by 9am. You can do this by emailing the pastoral team using the email address: attendance@whitingshill.barnet.sch.uk or by telephoning the school number (020 8359 5360) leaving a voicemail message for the Attendance Officer.

If the school has not heard from a parent/carer as to why their child is absent by 9:30am on the first day of absence, the school will contact them. First contact will be made via Arbor, with a phone call following by 10am if the parent does not respond.

Planned absences

Please try to arrange medical appointments during holiday times or out of school hours.

If you cannot make doctor or dentist appointments out of school hours, wherever possible the child should come to school before the appointment and return to school afterwards. Please provide a written explanation or an appointment letter beforehand.

If you wish to take your child out of school for a religious observance please inform the school beforehand with a written explanation at the earliest opportunity.

Late arrival

All children should be in class for registration by 8:50am. Children arriving between 8:50am and 9:05am will be marked Late. Any child arriving after 9:05am will be marked U unauthorised late. Children must be accompanied by an adult to the school office to explain why they are late and sign them in to school.

Requests for Absence

The Headteacher’s permission must be sought in writing, in advance, for any known absence of one day or more. A request must be made via the office/ Attendance Officer and permission granted before any arrangements are made, including travel arrangements.

The Headteacher can only authorise an absence in exceptional circumstances. Each request for absence will be looked at individually by the Headteacher and the parent/carer will be informed by letter whether the absence has been authorised or not. If the Headteacher cannot authorise a requested absence and the parent/carer still removes their child from school, the absence will be unauthorised and will be recorded as such in the class register. This will then be reported to the Education Welfare Officer from the London Borough of Barnet, who may wish to issue a fixed penalty notice. If a child fails to return to school on the expected date, any extra days will be unauthorised and will be reported to the Education Welfare Officer from the London Borough of Barnet unless a valid reason is given and accepted by the Headteacher.

 

The school can only authorise an absence in the following circumstances:

  • Genuine illness

  • Dental/Medical appointments (these should be made out of school hours where possible)

  • Family bereavement

  • Religious observance

 

What is NOT acceptable?

  • Caring for a parent or sibling

  • Going shopping

  • Day trips

  • Birthdays

  • Bad weather

 

Family holidays must not be taken during the school term. The guidelines from the London Borough of Barnet state that under no circumstances should schools authorise absence for holidays or other circumstances on the grounds of cost.

If you take your child on holiday without authorisation, the Local Education Authority has the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £60 per parent per child, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days. Failure to pay can result in a criminal record and a fine of up to £1000.

Requests for absence should be made by completing and returning the attached Special leave of Absence Request form to the school office. 

If you need to take your child out of school during the day please let the school know in writing, before the date, stating the reason, the date and time of collection. This must be addressed to the school office.

When collecting your child, please sign him/her out of school at the school office.

Please try to make medical appointments out of school hours.

It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their child is in school. All patterns of attendance; holidays, lateness, medical and sickness are monitored closely and in cases of poor attendance/punctuality referrals are likely to be made to the Education Welfare Officer at the London Borough of Barnet. The school’s endeavours in trying to reduce absence are also monitored.

We appreciate that the majority of our school community already follow the guidelines and we appreciate your continued support in this matter.