Granta seeks to ensure that all its pupils receive a full time education which maximizes opportunities for each individual pupil to realize their potential.
The school will strive to provide a welcoming, caring environment whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and safe. All school staff will work with pupils and their families to ensure each pupil attends school regularly and punctually.
The school will establish an effective system of incentives and rewards which acknowledges the efforts of pupils to improve their attendance and timekeeping and will challenge the behaviour of those pupils and parents who give low priority to attendance and punctuality. However, as a school catering for pupils with complex needs we understand that there can be circumstances that mean a child will be absent.
The School keeps a register of attendance for every child. This is a legal document and records and classifies every half-day attendance and/or absence.
Absences are classified as either authorised or unauthorised. For this reason, the school will ask parents/carers for the reason for each absence.
If your child is absent, you must contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence.
If your child is absent, we will:
- Telephone or text you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you
- Invite you in to discuss the situation with a teacher or senior member of staff
- Monitor and arrange regular meetings if attendance is consistently below 90% and not improving
- Refer the matter to our Education Welfare Officer (EWO) at Cambridgeshire Council if attendance is regularly unauthorised and moves below 80% and stays there for a significant period of time
Under the provisions of the Education Act 1993, only the school and not the parents can authorise absence.
A pupil is deemed to have an authorised absence when he/she is unable to attend either because:
- he/she is ill
- of some unavoidable cause
- of a religious observance
- he/she is receiving treatment at a medical, dental or similar appointment
- of an approved educational activity, such as visiting another school
- of a bereavement
- of some exceptional circumstances negotiated with the Headteacher
These absences will only be authorised where the parent has written to the school and evidence of documentation may be requested for medical or dental appointments.
Unauthorised absences are absences that do not fit the description of authorised absence given above. They would include:
- shopping trips or days out
- looking after the house or siblings
- holidays in term time
- extended trips
- any absence where the school has not been provided a reason
Cambridgeshire County Council now operate a 'zero tolerance' policy to holidays during term time. This means that other than in exceptional circumstances or illness a child's absence from school during term time will be recorded as 'unauthorised'. Further details can be found here.
It is also important that all children are collected on time at the end of the school day. School finishes at 3.15pm. If you are regularly late in collecting your child, you will be expected to attend an interview with the Headteacher in the first instance to discuss the reason why you are late.
Persistent failure to arrange for their child to be collected at a reasonable time may result in the child being taken to a place of safekeeping by the police or into temporary care by social services.
Your child will be classified as late if they enter the school premises after 9.30am. If your child enters after the register has closed, they will receive an unauthorised absence mark for that half-day, unless the lateness is due to local authority transport. The school monitors lateness closely.
Promoting Regular Attendance
Effective partnership between the school and home is essential to ensuring good attendance and punctuality. It is vital that any difficulties are discussed with the Headteacher, so that these can be resolved through working together.