We want all of our children to be able to access full time education in order to achieve their full potential. We are aware that it is sometimes unavoidable for a child to miss school, either due to illness or exceptional circumstances, but we are committed to working with children and families to provide a safe and nurturing environment, where children want to come to school.
All children’s attendance and punctuality is carefully tracked and we celebrate good attendance through termly certificates and through class based rewards, which are noted in the school newsletter. We work closely with West Sussex Local Authority and our Education Welfare Officer to support children whose attendance is below the expected level, to ensure that they are able to access the same education as their peers.
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school regularly and on time during term time. Children can only miss school if:
they are too ill to go to school
the school has authorised the absence due to exceptional circumstances.
Typically, mild colds, headaches or tiredness should not prevent a child from attending school. Unless your child has had sickness or diarrhoea (in which case they need to have 48 hours off school to avoid the spread of nasty bugs) or they have a high temperature, please make every effort to bring your child into school every day. If your child is feeling under the weather, please let their class teacher know by writing a note in the diary and they will keep a close eye on them. If your child’s condition worsens during the day, we will phone to ask you to pick them up or see if you would like us to give them medication.
If your child is too ill to attend school, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01293 525449 and choose option 1, before the start of the school day. Please do not email the office to say that your child will be absent. If your child is absent and booked into Breakfast Club or Cygnet Crew, please remember to email email@example.com to let them know that your child will not be at the club.
Parents can also apply for their child to miss school for exceptional circumstances. These might include:
Religious Observance e.g. Eid
A significant family event e.g. a wedding or a funeral
School entrance exams
Medical or dental appointments (although these should be made out of school if possible)
School starts at 8:50am every morning. Gates and external doors are opened at 8:30am and children can arrive at any point between 8:30am and 8:50am, when the gates are closed. Any children who arrive at the school gate after 8:50am, will be marked as late. If your child arrives after 9am, the morning session is coded as an unauthorised absence. Latecomers need to enter the building through the main entrance.
School ends at 3pm for Reception, 3:05pm for Years 1 and 2 and 3:10pm for Years 3 to 6. This allows time for parents with children in multiple years to move around the school site. All school gates are opened at 3pm and children need to be picked up from their classroom doors (Reception through to Year 2) or the KS2 playground (Years 3-6). Children need to be picked up on time. Any child not collected by ten minutes after the end of the school day will be taken to the school office and emergency contacts will be called. Children in Years 5 and 6 can walk home by themselves; parents do need to give the relevant permission on Arbor for us to release them.
School is open for 32.5 hours per week for every Reception child, rising to 33.75 hours per week for KS2 children. We want to ensure that as many children as possible receive the hours that they are entitled to.
Parents can see their child’s absence at any time on the Arbor Parent Portal App and whether absences are authorised or not. Yearly absence figures are also included on termly reports. Individual attendance over the year is expected to be over 95%. If your child’s attendance drops below 90% (whether authorised or unauthorised) they are officially classed as a ‘persistent absentee’ and you may be contacted to discuss how your child’s attendance can be improved.
If a child accrues more that 10 unauthorised absences, we have to refer them to Pupil Entitlement at West Sussex, who will investigate whether an offense has occurred. Please click on this link for more details: West Sussex Absence