Attendance

We are always monitoring our attendance and we strive to improve upon this year on year.

The attendance of children at this school is monitored by a local Education Welfare Officer.

Here are some facts that might surprise you.

If your child is on 90% attendance that means they miss 1⁄2 a day of learning a week on average. If they are on 80% that is one whole day a week that they are missing!

If they keep up 80-90% attendance throughout their time at school, by the time they get to year 11 they will have missed A YEAR of their schooling.

General principles
Good attendance means that children usually make good, consistent progress in their school learning. We expect good attendance from our pupils, in order for them to make the most of the opportunities that the school has to offer. We rely on our partnership with parents to ensure that this is achieved as it is the responsibility of the parents to see that children attend school regularly and are punctual on all occasions.

We would ask parents to help the school by notifying us of all absences on the first day if possible, and always to ensure that any absence is covered by a note on your child’s return to school. Any absence which is known in advance, such as medical appointments, should be notified to the school in writing beforehand or through a phone call.

We strive for good attendance at St Mellion by encouraging you not to take time out for holidays during term time.

The school day
Our school day starts at 8.45am with early morning maths and class registers are marked at 9am. Pupils who are not present for registration will be marked as absent initially. If they arrive within the following 15minutes, the mark will be changed to late. If you child arrives any later, a note/explanation will be required.

Authorised and unauthorised absence
Authorised absence can be:
Genuine illness
Unavoidable medical / dental appointments (but try to make these after school if at all possible)
Days of religious observance
Seeing a parent who is on leave from the armed forces
External examinations
When Traveller children go on the road with their parents

Unauthorised absence is:

Any type of shopping
Looking after siblings or unwell parents
Minding the house
Birthdays
Resting after a late night
Any family holiday in term time
Relatives visiting or visiting relatives

Absences during Term Time
From the 1st September 2013, all schools were unable to authorise any requests for absences relating to holidays in term time. We do appreciate that some parents who work for the armed services have to take holidays at the instruction of their employers and therefore cannot avoid school time. Other exceptional circumstances could include unforeseen or unavoidable family situations. These are the families for whom the system is designed. Only in exceptional circumstances can extended holidays be agreed with the Headteacher’s approval. Holiday prices, last minute deals and the fact that the parents have booked a holiday before checking with the school are not considered to be exceptional circumstances.

Please notify the school in writing, on the forms available from the office, to request to take your child out of school. Requests need to be made in advance so that sufficient home learning can be provided, alongside the child’s attendance and progress reports.

If parents/carers do still take a child out of school during term time and this has been unauthorised by school, the school is placed in a position that it may request a penalty notice be issued by Cornwall County Council, together with involvement from our Educational Welfare Officer.

Leaving school during school hours
If parents require children to leave school early for a valid reason a request must be made to the Class Teacher or Headteacher and parents need to arrange a time to collect their child.

Monitoring attendance
When a child’s attendance is a cause for concern, (this has currently now been set at around 90% and below) or they have been absent from school with no communication with the school, it is brought to the attention of our Education Welfare Officer (EWO). The aim is to work with parents to increase their child’s attendance at school.