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At Richmond Hill Primary School we place high importance on attendance because we know that, children who attend regularly, do better than those who don’t. The Government expect that children attend school 96% or more, over the course of the year.  We have procedures in place for parents to follow, and that we follow, to ensure children attend school.

What to do when a child is unwell

If your child is slightly unwell, and you’re not sure if they should be in school, bring them in and see how they go. Generally, when they get to school with their friends, they usually pick up. You can always call us and ask how they are or if we feel your child is becoming more unwell, we will call you to come and pick your child up.

If your child is genuinely unwell and you feel you need to keep them off school, parents MUST call the school on the first day of absence. We then expect parents to call us every day a child is off school. We ask that parents contact school to inform us of absence for two reasons:

  1. To notify of reason of absence. We need to know if there are lots of children off school with the same illness, like vomiting or chicken pox, so we can take extra steps to minimise the risk of spread to others.
  2. To know a child is safe at home. There have been safeguarding issues in other schools  where children have not turned up at school but parents think they have and schools think they’re off school sick but actually a child has had an accident, played truant or worse still, have been abducted. We take safeguarding our pupils very seriously and we will not rest until we know a child is safe at home, even if we have to make a home visit or contact police for a welfare check.

Please note: simply calling school to notify us of reason for absence does not automatically authorise an absence. If the headteacher is not confident that the information provided is factual or medical evidence is not provided, in cases where pupils are persistent absentees, then an unauthorised mark will be given. We would much rather parents were honest with us, as when parents say their child is ill but classmates tell us your child is away for a long weekend, we will still unauthorise the absence.

It is the headteachers final decision as to whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised.

If a parent does not inform school of child’s absence

If a child is off school and the parent or carer has NOT informed the school of any reason why, then this will trigger a text message to the parent/carer named as first contact, requesting that you call the school.

If a call is not made to the school, then Mrs Cattanach will call all numbers on the contact list until she gets an answer.

If no one answers the call, then a decision will be made as to whether a home visit is required to check the safety of the child. Mrs Blair/Mrs Vailionis/Miss Ostle/Mrs Maxwell will call at the house. If there is no answer, then a decision will be made as to whether a call to the police or safeguarding team is warranted.

How do we monitor attendance?

Mrs Cattanach in conjunction with the senior leadership team check attendance percentages, on a monthly basis.

As soon as a child dips to 95%, this will trigger an attendance planning meeting with Mrs Vailionis and Mrs Cattanach. At this meeting, we will discuss reasons for the low attendance and offer support to help with these. We will also set targets for parents to work towards. One of these targets will be to provide medical evidence of illness. This could be in the form of an appointment card, letter from a doctor or medication or prescription.

When a child’s attendance drops to under 90%, this means they enter the “Persistent Absentee” category.  Here, closer scrutiny of any absences will take place and a further planning meeting will be held.

Attendance Enforcement referrals

If a child's attendance causes concern they will be referred to Elsa Elliott at the Local Authority. They will examine the evidence we send them and decide which action will be taken. 

Holidays in term time

Parents taking children on holiday during term time, must first complete a leave of absence form and give clear reasons for the absence. Requests will be considered on a case by case basis and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. The decision is at the Headteacher’s discretion.

Referrals will also be made when children have 7 school days off school for holidays. These fines are £60 for each child, for each parent.

How will parents know what their child’s attendance is?

Parents and carers will receive termly updates of their child’s attendance. They will also receive letters informing them of poor attendance or improved attendance.

We hope we can work together for excellent attendance for all pupils.

Please inform school by 8.40am if your child is ill or will be absent for any reason.

A message can be left on the school voicemail if necessary, or email