When your child is sick

Short Term Absences:
Please contact the school via email at absence@stlukes.herts.sch.uk

Or, phone the school office on 01582 626727

When your child has vomited or has had diarrhoea, we follow the Public Health Guidance and ask that you keep your child off school for 48 hours.

Over 70% of our pupils have complex medical conditions, and many of these have serious implications when battling virus or bacterial infections. By reducing the likelihood of children catching viruses and infections, they are more likely to keep healthy.

Longer Term Absences:
  • Please contact the school to let us know about your child's circumstances and information relating to this
  • We sometimes need to let other parents/carers know about illnesses to prevent the spread of viruses and bacterial infections in the school
  • Where children are away from school for several days, and they are able to access work, we will provide this for the parent/carer to continue learning
  • Where a child is absent from school for a longer period of time, we work with ESTMA to support learning at home or in hospital


Expectations of School Attendance

Where possible, we expect all pupils and staff to be in school each day of the academic year with 100% punctuality.

Pupils are in school for 190 days, 38 weeks of the year with 175 days (weekends and holidays) not in school.

90% attendance may sound good initially, though this is the same as having half a day off school every week.

We ask that precautions / plans are in place to reduce the likelihood of absence, though when unavoidable, the school is notified at the earliest possible opportunity.

We recognise many of our pupils have complex medical needs that require visits to specialists in London and further afield. Preparation for these visits and the travel time, often mean pupils cannot make school on such days.

School Registration

Schools are statutorily required to take a register of pupils' attendance.

  • There are two points in the school day, this is taken - am and pm, creating two school sessions.
  • 8.45am is the start of the school day and the register is taken before 8.55am.
  • Afternoon Registration takes place between 1.15pm and 1.30pm


Lateness
  • When a pupil arrives between 8.55am and 9.30am, this is classed as a late.
  • When a pupil arrives between 9.30am and 1.30pm, this is classed as an absence.


Authorisation of Absences
  • The Headteacher authorizes absences, where there are legitimate reasons. Where not, these are classed as unauthorized absences.


Attendance Improvement Officer (AI0)
  • The AIO reviews absences and lateness with the school on a monthly basis. Where the school has been unable to improve attendances, they can address matters further. This could lead to a court hearing and possible financial fine for families who do not support their child accessing school, where they could.

Holidays in Term Time

We would ask that parents and carers avoid taking their child out of school during term time. We do however, understand particular circumstances where this is unavoidable.

In such cases, please complete the form below and email/ send in to the school office for the Headteacher to review and make a decision as to whether this would be authorised or, an unauthorised absence:

Ensuring Our Pupils are Safe When Absent From School

If your child is unexpectedly absent, school Reception may:

1. Telephone the primary contact number on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you by 9:30am, to ascertain the reason for absence. (It is therefore important that telephone numbers are constantly updated with the school as soon as there is a change of number and that more than one is provided).

2. Telephone the primary contact number again on the morning of the second continuous day of absence if we have not heard from you by 9:30am, to ascertain the reason for absence.

3. The Head of School may be notified.

4. Telephone all contact numbers provided on the afternoon of the second continuous day of absence to ascertain the reason for absence.

5. If we have not heard from you or been able to get in touch on the third continuous day of absence a member of staff may make a home visit to ensure the wellbeing of the child and parents/carers.

6. If we are still not able to verify the welfare of the child or parent/carer the school may immediately notify CHILDREN’S SERVICES and/ or Community Police links. This is to ensure the welfare of the child absent is known about and raise an alarm to ensure their safety.

The school may also:

  • Authorise the absence; authorisation of the absence is at the discretion of the Executive Head or Head of School.
  • Invite you in to discuss the situation if absences persist.
  • Inform you by letter if persistent absenteeism is a concern; all below 85% attendance will receive a letter each half-term; attendance figures to accompany reports.
  • Refer the matter to the Attendance Improvement Officer if attendance moves below 85%.
  • Support a long term absentee with gradual integration and support from school.

  • Where a pupil has 21 sessions marked as an unauthorised absence in one school term, a referral will be made to the school Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO). (Mornings and afternoons are counted as individual sessions)

    DfE Guidance for Parents about Attendance

    Overview
    You must make sure your child gets a full-time education that meets their needs (for example if they have special educational needs). You can send your child to school or educate them yourself.

    Children must get an education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.

    You’ll be contacted by either:
  • the school - if your child is enrolled in school and doesn’t turn up (even if they’re only absent for a day)
  • the council’s education welfare officer - if they think your child isn’t getting a suitable education at home

  • You can be prosecuted if you don’t give your child an education. You’ll normally get warnings and offers of help from the local council first. You can get education and attendance information from your council.

    When your child can miss school
    You can only allow your child to miss school if either:
  • they’re too ill to go in
  • you’ve got advance permission from the school

  • There’s extra support available if your child can’t go to school for long periods because of a health problem.

    Holidays in term time
    You have to get permission from the head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time.
    You can only do this if:
  • you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)
  • there are exceptional circumstances
  • It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.
    You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

    School trips
    Your child’s school can ask you for a voluntary contribution to the cost of activities like school trips. They can’t stop your child from attending if you don’t pay, but they should cancel the activity if there isn’t enough money to cover the cost of it.

    See our Policies Page - St Luke's Policy on Attendance