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Garden Suburb Infant School

Attendance & Punctuality

In Garden Suburb Infant School we take children’s attendance and punctuality very seriously.

Educational research shows that children who attend school regularly and arrive on time are much more likely to achieve well academically both in primary and secondary school. They will benefit from all that school has to offer and develop important habits which will support them in their future working lives.

The Attendance and Punctuality of all pupils is very closely monitored by the Education Welfare Officer from the London Borough of Barnet. Attendance statistics form part of your child’s annual school report which stays with them throughout their school career.

The School is also held accountable for pupil’s attendance and punctuality and our actions in relation to attendance and punctuality are also monitored.

On this page you will find the school procedures for Attendance at Garden Suburb Infant School. Please take time to read them as they must be followed by you and the school, according to instructions from the Department for Education and Skills and advice from the Education Welfare Officer from the London Borough of Barnet.

 Absence From School

Absence from school

We realise that there may be times when your child is unable to attend school due to illness or for other very specific reasons and the following sets out the school procedures for attendance and how we deal with absence.

These procedures have been drawn up using instructions from the Department for Education and the Education Welfare Officer from the London Borough of Barnet.  Please make sure that you read them carefully so that you know what to do.

Absences due to illness

  • If your child is not attending school, please telephone the school by 10.00am on the first day of absence stating the reason for their absence. Alternatively you can email Mrs Cox directly on mcox@gsis.barnet.sch.uk.
  • Please call each day that your child is absent from school.
  • If we have not been notified of a child’s absence by 10.00am, the school will telephone the child’s parent/carer. 
  • When your child returns to school you must send a note which explains the absence.

If you are unsure whether your child should come to school, then please telephone the school and speak to Mrs Cox our Welfare Officer for advice.

For more information and advice about common childhood illnesses please visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Yourchildatschool

Absence due to religious observance

  • We do ask that requests for absence due to religious observance are submitted in advance and using the forms available in the reception area. Only the actual religious day(s) will automatically be authorised.

Absence during the school day

  • See Punctuality/School Day page

Holidays/planned absence during the school year

  • Children of school age are expected to be at school for 190 days or 38 weeks of the year and you should not remove your child from school during term time for a holiday. Requests to do so will not normally be authorised.
  • It is expected that families make holiday arrangements during the 14 weeks of school holidays so that children’s education is not disrupted. We realise that holidays are less expensive during term time but Government guidelines do not accept this as a valid reason for absence.

Requests for exceptional leave of absence

  • In very exceptional circumstances permission may be sought from the Head Teacher for a child to be absent during term time.
  • Such requests are considered on their own merits and by making the request you are agreeing to abide by the decision of the Head Teacher. 
  • At the time of making such a request you must provide relevant information, including proof of the exceptional nature and not make travel plans in advance.
  • These requests should be made using the forms available in the school reception area.
  • If your request is not agreed, your child must attend school, or the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and will be included in their end of year report.
  •  If permission is not sought before an absence it will be recorded as unauthorised.
  • Unauthorised absences may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being served (see below)
  • Failure to return to school on the expected date will result in the extra days being recorded as unauthorised absence unless a valid reason is given and accepted by the Head teacher.
  • If a child does not return after 10 days from the expected return date, without a valid reason being given for the continued absence, the school may remove them from the school roll.

Unauthorised Absences and Fixed Penalty Notices.

  • If your child has a period of unauthorised absence during term time the Head Teacher may ask the Education Welfare Team in London Borough of Barnet to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. 
  • This is a fine of £60 per parent, per child.  If the fine remains unpaid the amount increases to £120 per parent per child.
  • Continued non - payment will eventually result in the Educational Welfare Team beginning court proceedings which could result in a fine of £1000 per parent per child, plus legal costs.

 Punctuality & The School Day

Punctuality is a very important life skill to have and it is important that children and parents know that arriving late to school, even by only a minute or two is not acceptable.

Arriving late can be very unsettling for children as well as the class teacher, and children may miss out on important lesson instructions.  They may also miss talking with friends or the teacher before the day officially begins. 

Start of School Day

  • School doors open at 8.45am each morning and children should be left at the bottom of the ramp to go straight to their classrooms, unaccompanied.
  • Registration is at 8.55am and children must be in class by then as this is the official start of the school day.

Late arrival

  • Children arriving after 8.55am are recorded as late and the time of arrival noted.
  • Arrival after 9.30am is usually recorded as an unauthorised absence for the morning session unless a valid reason is given and accepted by the Head Teacher.
  • If you know that you will arrive later than 8.55am due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. car break down, major travel disruption) please telephone the school and leave a message. We will pick it up but you will not receive a call back.

Appointments

  • If your child has an appointment during the school day which is unavoidable and will be late coming to school, please inform us in writing the day before the appointment, addressing all correspondence to Mrs Cox. 
  • We are required, by the Local Authority, to verify and monitor appointments during the school day so we will also need to see the appointment details.
  • Please do not take your child without him/her being signed out by a member of staff.
  • Please try to keep medical and other appointments out of school hours

End of Session/School Day

  • The school day ends at 3.20pm (for Reception children it ends at 12noon or 1.15pm until they stay for a full day).
  • Children are collected from the appropriate coloured area in the front playground. This is painted the same colour as their class and has the class name on it.  Please ensure your child says goodbye to their teacher.
  • If someone different is collecting your child you must complete a form, available in the reception area, and pass to the office or class teacher

Late pick up of children at end of school day

  • Children not collected on time are brought back into school. The time they are collected is recorded and a valid reason must be given for the late collection.
  • If you know you will be late due to unforeseen circumstances, always telephone the school and give an estimated time of arrival so that your child doesn’t get anxious.