Attendance Update

As from September 2015 the Government is changing the persistent absence threshold from 15% to 10%. This will mean that pupils whose attendance is 90% or below will be considered a persistent absentee (PA).

Attendance and punctuality is directly linked to attainment and success in education and is closely monitored by school staff. If required, a referral to the Education Welfare Officer may be made for additional support.

If a pupil fails to achieve 90% attendance and has 10 or more sessions (half days) of unauthorised absence recorded on the attendance register in a given period, a penalty notice may be issued by the Local Authority.

Leave of absence will not be authorised in term time. Consideration will be given to requests made under exceptional circumstances and all requests should be requested in advance, on the appropriate request form available from school.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their support in ensuring the regular and punctual attendance of their children. If you require any further information or would like support with attendance issues please do not hesitate to contact the school.


Taking Children out of School in Term Time

The Government says that a school's attendance should be no less than 95.0%. The School’s attendance percentage includes illness and holidays as well as general irregular absence. 


Many of you will be aware that there was a change in the law from the 1st September 2013. This removed the previously accepted statutory threshold of “ten school days” discretion for the Head Teacher. The amendments make clear that Head Teachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances”. The Government have not defined what an exceptional circumstance is but say that “it is unlikely to be granted for the purpose of a family holiday”. Unauthorised pupil absences could see parents fined £60 each per child, payable within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days”.


What can parents do to improve the School’s attendance figures?

To keep absence to a minimum:

~ notify the School before 8.30 am if your child is going to be late or absent and the reasons why – if nothing is heard by 9.20 am it has to be recorded as an unauthorised absence even if your child does attend later.

~ not keeping your child away for a minor ailment or cold – if in doubt whether your child is well enough to attend, bring him/her to school and allow the school to determine.

~ where there are siblings, not keeping other children away if only one is ill. Please have a

   contingency plan in place for someone (perhaps another Garras parent) to deliver/collect the healthy children.

~ avoid keeping your child away for any reason other than “exceptional”.

Over the last year efforts by parents to keep absence to a minimum have been successful and this has improved the School’s attendance percentage to 95.1%. 

Thank you for your massive commitment in working to maintain high standards in attendance.

Lucy Wandless

Executive Head teacher