Attendance Update from Trust EWO Mrs Hughes 5.3.21
After months of uncertainty the Government has now indicated that from 8 March 2021 school attendance is once again mandatory, meaning that children should attend, on time, prepared to learn, every day. Parents have a legal responsibility under the Education Act 1996 to ensure this takes place. Schools accept that sometimes absence is unavoidable, especially in these unprecedented times, however there can be no doubt that children learn best when they are in school.
Staff at CPJA have worked extremely hard to ensure that learning has continued during the latest lockdown, but now it is time for children to return and received the education to which they are entitled. They have also worked hard to ensure school is a safe place to learn. It is vital that your children access school, not only for their academic learning but also for the development of social skills, friendship groups, and to prepare them for the next stage of their education. Gaps in their attendance will be reflected in their learning so it is important that, as parents, you ensure your children attend every day.
All absences will be followed up by school staff in the first instance. Some may be referred to me where further intervention is considered necessary, and I may refer to the Local Authority if legal interventions are needed. Hopefully with your co-operation this will not become necessary and your children will benefit from attending school and gaining the most from their education.
Thank you and stay safe,
Barbara Hughes, Trust EWO
Attendance at school is a statutory requirement and students are expected to have a 'good' standard of attendance. Parents / carers have a legal responsibility to ensure their children attend school and we would like to support you in doing this. Any absence from school is detrimental to a child's education and progress.
At Castleford Park Junior Academy, we aim to work hard with parents to ensure children can attend school as often as possible as, where there is persistent absence, they are missing vital parts of their learning. Every lost day is a day where they could have spent time being read with, working on their mental maths, mastering a new skill that could become a future passion and enjoying time with their friends.
Even missing one week is 20 hours of lost learning that has to be caught up in order for your child to reach their potential.
Whole Days Absent
Learning Hours Lost
Cause for Concern
Critical cause for concern that could lead to further serious investigation
School doors open at 8:50am and we expect children to be on time. Children arriving after 9:10am are considered absent for that period – which will mean an unauthorised late mark is recorded if the absence is unexplained.
Some absences are unavoidable – usually due to illness, bereavement or difficult family circumstances. School are committed to supporting parents as well as they can in these situations and would encourage parents to discuss this with us. Decisions to authorise absence lie with the Headteacher and requests for authorised absence should be made by completing an exceptional circumstances request form.
Medical and dental appointments should be made for after school, or during school holidays wherever possible but we do understand this isn't always achievable. A medical card/letter should be brought into school to verify the appointment if it is within school time.
There are times when children are absent for reasons which are not permitted by law. They are unauthorised absences. Examples such as: waiting in for a delivery, going on a family day out, sleeping in after a late night, going for a shopping/haircut, birthdays/holidays in term are not permitted and are classed as unauthorised absence.
School have a statutory duty to follow up any absence that is unexplained. If you fail to contact school to let us know where your child is, school may be required to do a home visit, or contact other members of your family to verify that you and your family are safe. If we feel your child, or your family is vulnerable and we cannot establish contact, we may have to contact the Police or Social Services. School has a duty to ensure that pupils are appropriately safeguarded whilst in their care and are given their entitlement of a full time education. This includes working with the Local Authority to ensure that no pupil remains 'missing in education' for a period of time.
There have been several high profile cases where families –and children- have been in danger at home and unable to get help. We would not want to leave a member of our school community in such dangerous circumstances when we could have helped.
New form to request authorised absence
If you need to ask for authorised leave from the Headteacher, please complete an exceptional circumstances request form. A blank copy can be downloaded below, or can be taken from the letter rack in reception.
Thank you as always for your cooperation and support.
Please contact the school office if you have any questions, or require further clarification.
Attendance Policy 2020.21 updated Jan 2021.pdf
CPJA Exceptional Circumstances Request Form.pdf