When a child is unwell or unable to attend school parents or carers must contact the school via an ex-directory automated telephone line – 01992 813083 option 1. This is purely for reporting absences and should not be used for any other purpose. This must be done on every day that a child is absent.
- Each person reporting their child’s absence will be asked for the following information:-
- Child’s class
- Child’s name
- Caller’s name and relationship to the child
- Reason for Absence
- The current password
- The school requests medical evidence (such as appointment cards or prescribed medication) be provided to cover all absences. Failure on the part of the parent to provide such medical evidence, will result in absences being recorded as unauthorised and referral to the Missing Education and Child Employment Service will be considered.
Absence during term time
The staff and Governing Body of Theydon Bois Primary School firmly believe that in order for a child to be successful at school, regular attendance is important. There is a proven link between regular attendance and attainment, and the negative impact of poor attendance on attainment.
School Attendance and the Law
Under the 1996 Education Act, parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and punctually. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against them by the Local Authority.
The register is a legal document and schools must, under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 take a register at the start of the morning session, and again during the afternoon session. Since September 2006, schools have been required to use statutory registration codes (see appendix A).
Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, only the school (and not parents/carers) can authorise an absence. Where the reason for a pupil’s absence cannot be established at the time the register is taken, that absence shall be recorded as unauthorised. If a reason for absence is provided by the parent/carer, the school may decide to grant leave of absence which must be recorded as authorised using the appropriate national code.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 have removed all references to family holidays and leave of absence shall not be granted unless an application had been made in advance and the Head teacher considers that leave of absence should be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Head teachers no longer have the discretion to authorise up to ten days of absence. This discretion has been removed by the aforementioned Regulations (2013). Whilst the Head teacher will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis, parents must be aware that requests will normally be refused.
Where a family chooses to take a holiday during term time, the absence will be coded as unauthorised (G code) and a Penalty Notice may be issued to each parent for each child (where 5 or more days of unauthorised absence are recorded as a result).
The DfE have not provided any guidelines as to what they would consider to be exceptional circumstances. This is solely at the discretion of the Head teacher. Where possible, families of schools should look to have a consistent approach to all leave of absence requests – to try to ensure that requests for siblings who attend different schools are met with the same response by each Head teacher who receives a request.
If leave of absence is taken without the request having been agreed, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. This may result in the Local Authority issuing a Penalty Notice, in accordance with the Essex Code of Conduct (£120 per parent, per child / £60 if paid within 21 days), where there have been 10 sessions or more of unauthorised absence recorded. If this penalty is not paid the Local Authority will instigate legal proceedings against the parent/carer in the Magistrates Court.
In compliance with the Education Act 436A (Chapter 2 Part 6) the school will, after making appropriate checks, report all Children Missing from Education to the Local Authority, Missing Education and Child Employment Service, who has a duty to investigate the whereabouts of such children and negotiate their prompt return to suitable education.
Safeguarding - Keeping Our Children Safe
Theydon Bois Primary School is committed to safeguarding and ensuring the welfare of all pupils. We have a detailed Safeguarding Policy that details the procedures staff follow to protect children from harm and promote their welfare.
Parents are asked to keep us informed of any changes to their child's health that might affect their well-being at school. It is important that we are aware of conditions such as asthma, epilepsy, allergies, hearing or sight impairments, diabetes or eczema.
West Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups promotes and supports the health needs of children in our school through its school nursing services. School Nurses are responsible for screening children at school entry, checking vision, hearing, weight and height. Parents can access the school nurse at any time, if they have any concerns. In school, school nurses may work alongside teachers in a health promotion role.
Illness and medicines
Should your child be taken ill or have an accident at school, we will make every effort to contact you immediately. There is an annual form for you to complete to keep us up to date with any changes to your address, phone number and emergency contact numbers. Please tell the Headteacher or office if your child has been prescribed medication. Medicines should not be left with your child in the classroom. The school can only administer prescribed medicines in certain circumstances by prior agreement with the school office. Over the counter medicines should not be sent into school at any time – this includes throat sweets etc.
Norovirus (Winter Vomiting Bug)
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It is easily spread by contact with an infected person, and outbreaks in schools are common.
If your child develops symptoms of norovirus, they should avoid direct contact with others until 48 hours after the symptoms have gone. They should not be sent back to school until this symptom free time has elapsed, as they may still be able to pass the virus to others. Following these precautions will help to limit the spread of the virus around the school. For more information on the symptoms, treatment and prevention of norovirus, click here to follow a link to NHS Choices.
Head Lice and Threadworms
Unfortunately, all schools experience head lice and threadworm outbreaks from time to time. We ask all parents to remain vigilant, performing checks at home regularly (especially at the beginning and end of terms), encouraging good hand washing habits at home (after using the toilet and before eating), and making arrangements for treatment quickly in order to minimise spread.
To help prevent outbreaks, longer hair should be tied back at school, and children are asked to wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet. Although we have hand gel available at school, this is not a substitute for good hand washing habits, and will not remove threadworm eggs from little hands!
These links to NHS Choices provide further information about head lice and threadworms.