Attendance and Punctuality
We can only teach those who attend!
At St Joseph's, we have high expectations for EVERY pupil's attendance at school. Punctual and regular attendance is an essential requirement for successful learning from the very first day a child starts school.
It is a legal requirement for parents/carers to ensure that their child attends school regularly and punctually.
There is a wealth of research showing that children with excellent attendance make better progress at all stages of their education than those with poor attendance. 90% attendance may sound good, but it is worth remembering that a child with 90% for the whole year will actually have missed nearly 4 weeks of school!
Please pass a message via the office for Mrs Skinner if you would like to discuss anything around attendance or absences.
Of course, children are ill on occasions and when this is the case we readily accept that being at home is the best place to be. Children can’t help being ill and as a school we want all our children to be well and healthy in order to learn happily and confidently when they are here.
Please make sure you ring the school office ideally by 9.00 a.m.to explain why your child will be absent and the nature of the absence.
If we do not receive a phone call we will phone you to ascertain your child’s whereabouts and the reason why they are not in school.
Please also phone on each subsequent day of your child’s absence, or provide us with an indication of when they are expected to return.
Now that the autumn term is fully underway, we need to remind families of the importance of regular attendance at school – and to thank the vast majority of families where children are at school every day, on time .
There is now a real “push” on promoting excellent attendance for all pupils, from all schools and at local and national government level. As children have missed so much school over the last two years due to the pandemic it is going to be so important that everyone is at school, every day – unless the absence is absolutely unavoidable.
We are now working with an Independent School Attendance Advisor, Jackie Storey, who will be our school link with the local Authority and will be working with families where we are worried about poor attendance. Our Attendance Officer is independent of the school and will give impartial advice.
Mrs Skinner is the SLT member responsible for attendance and punctuality and she works closely with the office team, Mrs Foan and Mrs Storey as well as closely with our parents, carers and families.
Schools are not able to authorise absences for “avoidable” reasons and will often require documents to support absences. If your child has a “low level” illness (such as a tummy ache, headache or sore throat) then they are usually fine to come into school. If you are unsure about whether to send your child into school please call the office for advice.
THIS guidance "Do I Need To Keep My Child Off School?" from the Public Health Agency may also help you.
Click HERE for a link to the B and H Council webpage "When a child can/can't be absent from school."
Click HERE for an information leaflet "Every School Day Matters," for parents and carers around persistent absence and its effects on a child's education.
Click HERE for more information about Fixed Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Absences.
Click HERE to see our Attendance Policy.
Unfortunately, our overall school attendance rates are lower than many other schools across Brighton & Hove, so we will be really focussing on helping all children and families to attend every day. If your child misses school and their attendance falls below around 93% you should expect to receive a letter letting you know that we are keeping an eye on their attendance, and offering support.
We have seen a sharp increase in requests for absence due to term time holidays recently, and in line with Brighton & Hove City Council’s Code of Conduct these are recorded as unauthorised.
From now on, please do not book any trips or holidays during term time as these will not be authorised. Any parent/carer of a child who is absent for a holiday during term time should expect to receive Fixed Penalty Notice fines from the Local Authority.
Please, please, please use the wonderful 175 non-school days each year for holidays, trips and family time. We recognise it is not always possible, but please try to make medical and dental appointments during these times too.
Click HERE for our term dates and INSET days for the year 22-23.
We would like to send a sincere thank you to the vast majority of families who ensure that children are on time every day. However, lateness is an area that we do need to improve on as a school so it is going to be monitored closely, and we will be sending letters to families where persistent lateness is a concern.
We have a "soft start" from 8.30-8.50 to allow children a "window" to arrive in school. From 8.50am, teachers will have prepared lessons and interventions for every child to learn. Punctuality is important because children who arrive after 8.50am are missing that valuable intervention/input time which is so crucial to their progress. When lateness is repeated, it becomes more difficult for the class teacher to help the children.
Every minute really does count!
How do we celebrate attendance?
At St Joseph's, we like to encourage and praise children who attend school regularly. Our school office team, our Inclusion Team and our SLT work closely with families providing support to help overcome barriers in improving attendance.
At St Joseph's, we are keen to acknowledge the efforts of pupils to improve their attendance and timekeeping Some of the things we do at St Joseph's to celebrate and improve attendance are:
During Monday's Assembly, the class's with the highest attendance in each Key Stage is celebrated. Trophies are given out to the highest class attendance over 97%. Classes with 100% attendance also receive a treat!
Every child with 100% attendance for the week, gets a raffle ticket put in to a half termly draw.
Termly Attendance assemblies are held to celebrate those children who have 100% attendance. Each child receives a certificate, a sticker and a treat and parents/carers are invited in to join in with the celebration.
An Attendance Celebration is held at the end of the year for those children with 100% attendance throughout the year. These children receive a special medal.
Punctuality stickers are given out by the SLT on gate duty each morning sometimes to regularly punctual students and other times to children who have made an extra effort to be on time.
Individual, class and whole school attendance is regularly featured and celebrated in the school newsletter and supporting information is shared through the newsletter and via PING.
Parents and Carers - We really do appreciate your support with attendance and punctuality. Let's work together to improve attendance at St Joseph's!