OTIS Information for Pupils and Parents
Here at St Paul's we are continually striving for excellence in all areas, including our school attendance. Children are regularly spoken to about how important good attendance is and the need to be at school on time every day. Within school, we have our attendance mascot – OTIS (On Time In School) who the children know about well. As a school, we are constantly working towards our goal of 97% attendance and high attendance is celebrated each week in assembly. We want the children of our school to have the best learning experience possible and for this to happen we expect great attendance.
Our School’s Attendance Lead is Luke Varney.
Our OTIS Ambassadors:
We recognise there are many children within our school that have exceptional attendance and work hard every day to make sure they are in school and arrive on time. Our OTIS ambassadors are a group of children who have shown their commitment to attending school to the best of their ability. These children and their roles are known within school and are happy to help and speak to children who may need help with getting to school every day and on time.
Working Together to Improve School Attendance:
Using the ‘Working Together To Improve School Attendance’ documentation produced by the government, as a school we have created the following guidance to help parents and carers better understand the importance of school attendance and the measures we have in place as a school:
As a school, we aspire to have high standards of attendance from all pupils and parents and strive to build a culture where all can, and want to, be in school and ready to learn. The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full time education. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education. Good attendance is a learned behaviour so it is important to develop good patterns of attendance from the outset.
The DFE expects schools to monitor and analyse weekly attendance patterns and trends in order to intervene and support where attendance does not meet the required level. School has clear procedures in place to monitor school attendance. If your child is absent from school, you should contact the school office before 8.45am and either speak to a member of the office team or leave a message providing your child’s full name, the reason for absence and when you think your child will be likely to return to school.
Daily School Monitoring –
If your child has not arrived before 9.15am and there is no reason provided for absence, you will receive a phone call from the office to ascertain the reasons for absence. If absence continues without explanation, further daily contact will be made to ensure safeguarding. If after 5 days no reason has been provided, absences will become unauthorised which may lead to further action.
Half Termly Monitoring –
During each half term, school attendance is monitored and analysed by the school’s Attendance Lead. This analysed data is used to identify pupils who may need support. Where school begins to have concerns about a child’s attendance we will initiate school led support.
School Led Support:
When a pattern of poor attendance is spotted, school will agree how all partners can work together to resolve them. Good attendance is essential for children to achieve well academically and for their wider wellbeing. You will be invited to discuss any possible barriers and school will make an offer of support, which may be in the form of an Attendance Support Plan. Hopefully, this will positively impact attendance and no further intervention will be needed. Where absences persist and school continue to have concerns you will be invited to an in-school meeting with leaders to discuss further support. An Attendance Improvement Officer from the Local Authority may be involved at this stage.
If School Led Support is not working or parents and carers are not engaging, a meeting will be held with the Local Authority Attendance Improvement Officer to look at a more formal level of support. Where a child has 15 sessions / 7.5 days of unauthorised absence across 2 terms, the school will begin proceedings for a family to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Impact of Absence:
We know and strongly believe here that children who are attending school regularly and on time are accessing their learning to the fullest capacity and are having the best chance possible to be successful within their education. If a child is absent, even if for just 1 day, it has huge implications on their learning, meaning that they are having to spend time catching up on missed work. Below is the chart we have displayed in school which clearly communicates how many hours learning are missed should children be absent from school.
We strongly encourage parents and carers to make any appointments for their child outside of the school day as any time off school will mean that a child will have missed a valuable lesson. NO holiday during term time will be authorised. Only families with very exceptional circumstances may be granted authorised leave from school and this will always be down to the Head Teacher’s discretion. If your child’s attendance falls below 90%, then you will be expected to attend a meeting with myself and the Attendance Improvement Officer from Hertfordshire County Council to ascertain the reasons for absence and support that needs to be put in place moving forward.
|Attendance during 1 school year||Equals – days absent||Which is approximately weeks absent||Which means this number of lessons missed|
|95%||9 days||2 weeks||50 lessons|
|90%||19 days||4 weeks||100 lessons|
|85%||29 days||6 weeks||150 lessons|
|80%||38 days||8 weeks||200 lessons|
|75%||48 days||10 weeks||250 lessons|
|70%||57 days||11.5 weeks||290 lessons|
|65%||67 days||13.5 weeks||340 lessons|
Fixed Penalty Notices:
To ensure that our expectations of attendance are kept high, we will now be issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for families where any of the criteria below has been met. A Fixed Penalty Notice comes with a charge of £60 per child, per adult in each family unit.
Criteria for Issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice:
- Penalty notices may only be issued in cases of unauthorised absence
- The pupil must have at least 15 sessions (half days) unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous term
- The school must have sent a formal warning to the parent
- The school/academy/police or Attendance Improvement Officer considers that issuing a penalty notice could avoid further absence
- Issuing a penalty notice does not conflict with any other legal action being taken
- A maximum of two separate penalty notices will be issued to a parent within any twelve month period
- Penalty notices will be issued for pupils of compulsory school age, up to the end of the spring term of year 11
- A penalty notice will not be issued in respect of a pupil who is looked after by the Local Authority without the prior agreement of the Central Attendance and Employment Support Team Manager on behalf of the County Lead for Attendance
To view the school's attendance policy, please click the link below which will take you to our policies page.