DASP Attendance Statement
It is essential that children and young people form good habits of regular attendance at school from an early age and that good attendance is maintained throughout their school career, the schools within the Dorchester Area School Partnership (DASP) deem attendance of 95%+ to be good. All DASP Schools are committed to working together to ensure that there is a consistent approach to school attendance and to supporting parents and carers to achieve good attendance for the children and young people in their care. It is a legal requirement that all children should attend their educational provision and it is the parent/carers responsibility to ensure that their children attend school. To ensure this all schools in DASP have agreed the following:
It is important that pupils are in school on time. Time keeping is not only important in obtaining maximum benefit from education it is also a key skill for adult life. Lateness is monitored by the school and contributes to absence rates.
Schools will monitor the attendance of pupils and work closely with Dorset County Council’s School Attendance Service to support parents and carers, children and young people where attendance levels are causing concern.
Whilst we understand that children do become ill on occasions, children who lose a lot of time at school can suffer in the long term from significant gaps in their learning. If a child’s health continues to affect their education, schools are obliged to make a referral to School Health to ensure that appropriate medical advice and support is provided to support good attendance.
If a child is ill or absent from school it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure that they inform the school. DASP schools all operate a targeted “First Day Call” system, which means they will contact you to ask why your child is not in school and when they are expected to return. Please be aware that schools have a duty to safeguard pupils, failure to inform school or respond to a call from school, may result in your child being reported as missing to police or Children’s Services.
Leave of Absence should not be granted during term time, except in exceptional circumstances. The definition of exceptional circumstances are where requests are rare, significant and unavoidable.
It is essential that any requests for leave of absence for holidays, family events or any other reasons are discussed with your child’s Head Teacher prior to the request being made as they cannot be approved unless they are deemed as exceptional circumstances. Any absence which has not been authorised by your child’s school will be recorded as “unauthorised”. In line with Dorset County Council policy, if a child has 5 days (or 10 sessions) of unauthorised holiday within a period of 12 weeks, a penalty notice of £60 per parent may be issued by Dorset County Council, which if not paid within 21 days will double to £120. If this remains unpaid, parents will be prosecuted in the magistrates’ court.
DASP is committed to ensuring that every learner has the opportunity to thrive and achieve and recognises that good attendance is central to this.