Attendance

Overall attendance at Katherine Semar is very good. However, there are occasions when individual student’s attendance is a cause for concern.

Our attendance descriptors can be found below.

Holidays during term time

School Attendance and the Law

There is no entitlement in law for pupils to take time off during the term to go on holiday. In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled that the definition of regular school attendance is “in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school”.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 were amended in September 2013.  All references to family holidays and extended leave have been removed. The amendments specify that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are "exceptional circumstances" and they no longer have the discretion to authorise up to ten days of absence each academic year.

It is a rule of this school that a leave of absence shall not be granted in term time unless there are reasons considered to be exceptional by the headteacher, irrespective of the child’s overall attendance.Only the headteacher or his/her designate (not the local authority) may authorise such a request and all applications for a leave of absence must be made in writing on the prescribed form provided by the school. Where a parent removes a child when the application for leave was refused or where no application was made to the school, the issue of a penalty notice may be requested by this school.

At Katherine Semar Schools 'exceptional circumstances' is interpreted as:

... being of unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child which outweighs the loss of teaching time. The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are events that are “rare, significant, unavoidable and short”. By 'unavoidable' we mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.

 Lateness

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence. Good time-keeping is a vital life skill which will help our children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.

How we manage lateness:

The school day starts at 8.45 am (infants) and 8.35am (juniors) when children can begin to come into school.  Registers are taken at 8.50 am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.  Children arriving after 8.50 am are required  to come in to school via the school office if accompanied by a parent or carer, the parent/carer will sign them into our ‘Late Book’ and provide a reason for their lateness which is recorded. The school may send home ‘late notes’ in order to keep parents and carers informed.  From time to time the Child and Family Support Worker, Headteacher or Deputy Head teacher will undertake a ‘Late Gate’ check, greeting late arrivals at the main entrance to the school.   

At 9.20am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists. If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the School Welfare Officer and/or Child and Family Support Worker, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.  We expect parents and staff to encourage good punctuality by being good role models to our children and celebrate good class and individual punctuality.