At the start of the afternoon of 17th SEPTEMBER 2020, I was contacted by a parent of a child in Skylarks (3) to inform me that their child has tested positive for Covid-19. The child was not in school on this day. The parents of all the other students in the child’s class (Skylarks class), have been contacted and all children and staff in this class have been sent home this afternoon and told to self-isolate for 14 days. The rooms where the class have been taught are to be deep cleaned immediately. No other student bubbles in any other year group have been affected.
At Barden Primary School, we expect children to attend school every day, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We feel that the most important way to promote good attendance is to ensure that both pupils and parents have a positive relationship with school.
Research shows that pupils who attend school regularly are more likely to do well in the future. Regular attendance helps children to develop their confidence and to make and keep lasting friendships.
The Department for Education has determined that from September 2015 a pupil becomes a persistent absentee when their attendance falls below 90%. When attendance nears this level children have already missed significant amounts of schooling; meaning that their educational progress is at risk. We need parents' full support in ensuring that attendance does not reach this level. Parents may be asked to attend an Attendance Panel meeting to discuss their child’s attendance.
If you know your child is going to be absent from school, you must ring the school office on 01282 682277 at the earliest opportunity to let us know. School will contact parents if they are in any doubt as to the whereabouts of a child.
Leave in term time is not a ‘right’. Absence from school can have a serious impact on your child’s education. All requests for leave in term time must be made in advance of confirming any arrangements and may be granted at the Headteacher's discretion dependant on the circumstances. Changes to the Regulations mean that schools can only authorise leave in term time if the circumstances surrounding the request are considered to be exceptional.
If pupils accumulate a number of unauthorised absence's, school may have to consider referral to external agencies, such as the Local Authority Pupil Attendance Support Team. The use of Penalty Notices may also be considered under certain circumstances, including where leave is taken without agreement.
Firstly, I would like to thank all the parents/carers that do not request leave in term time. Your support and respect for the school and your child’s education is greatly appreciated. However, I am becoming increasingly concerned and disappointed about the number of requests for leave in term that have been made. 17 penalty notices already have been issued in the first THREE WEEKS of term alone. This is having a significant negative impact upon our school.
When parents take their children out of school in term time, ALL children in school suffer as a result as our staff are required to help these children catch up the education they have missed upon their return to school. This takes teachers and support staff away from other children. Children that take leave in term time miss vital learning, their friends, trips and visits, social and emotional learning along with sporting opportunities. Additionally both myself and the office staff lose valuable time undertaking meetings/paper work associated with this process. This time could be better spent improving the quality of your child’s education. I am shocked, saddened and disappointed that some parents seem to think that this is a risk worth taking – especially when the staff at Barden work so hard to provide the very best for your children. Our whole school attendance data is now on a decline again. This was an area highlighted by Ofsted and will be monitored. I respectfully urge you to prioritise your child’s education, which Barden Primary School works so hard to provide and not request leave in term time.
Again, I thank the many parents that do not take leave in term time.