If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, they must follow government stay at home guidance and not attend school.
Covid19 Symptoms are:
new, continuous cough
loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If your child has any of these symptoms, contact school straight away to let us know on 0115 9150466. Please make sure you speak to either our attendance support worker or our office staff.
If a family member has Covid-19 symptoms or even a positive case, your children must still attend school.
At Southwark, we strongly believe that good attendance and punctuality is vital for EVERY child
To give our children the best chances and opportunities, they must be in school. We will work tirelessly to get the children into school but we can only do it with your help and commitment.
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is a parent/carers’ legal responsibility as per the Education Act 1996 Section 444 and permitting absence from school that is not authorised by the school creates an offence in law.
We understand that when feeling under the weather, staying at home can feel like the best form of recovery but as the NHS says, “not every illness needs to keep your child from school.”
Here are the recommendations from the Public Health Agency for common illness that often, but not always necessary, result in absences from school.
|Symptom||Recommended period to be kept away from school / nursery|
|Diarrhoea and/ or vomiting||48 hours from last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting|
|Warts and Verrucae||
|Chickenpox||Five days from the onset of rash|
|Hand, Foot and Mouth||
|Impetigo||Until lesions are crusted and healed or 48 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment|
|General cough and/ or cold||
It is important that classes make a prompt and effective start to the school day. Lateness into school causes disruption to that individual's learning and to that of the other pupils in the class. It is of extreme importance therefore that all pupils arrive at school on time. We are unable to take responsibility for children on the school premises before 8:40am which is the time when all doors to classrooms open. It is very important that children do not play on the play equipment before or after school as there is no supervision at these times.
By law, all schools (except those where all pupils are boarders) are required to keep an attendance register, and all pupils must be placed on this register. The attendance register will be taken at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session.
School opens at 8.40am. Pupils must all be past the school gates by 8:55am when gates close. Children must be in their class by 9:00am. Registers are open from 9:00am are completed and closed by 9.30am. Afternoon registration is at 1:40pm for Year 2 – Year 6 and closes at 1:50pm. Nursery – Year 1 afternoon registration is at 12:40pm and closes at 12:50pm. Teaching staff will register children accurately, as this is a legal requirement. Attendance registers are kept electronically as part of the School’s Information Management System (SIMS). If the electronic register is unable to be taken, paper registers will be provided and then inputted on the electronic register. Southwark Primary School complies with and uses the DFE compulsory national attendance codes.
The school uses contextual safeguarding information to assess the risk level around any absence. Therefore, the school:
If a child is absent from school, due to unplanned absence, parents should contact the school on the first day of absence, before 8:30am if possible, on our attendance phone line (0115 9150466. Option 1) and maintain contact with the school throughout the absence following the procedure below:
Each morning, phone the school’s attendance number, 0115 9150466 and press option 1 to speak to one of our attendance team. This phone is staffed from 8:30am - 11:00am. If you are calling outside these times, or no-one is available, then please leave a voicemail message with the following information:
The pupil’s parent/carer must notify school in advance for any planned, term-time absence.
Planned Medical / Dental Appointments
We ask that parents book medical / dental appointments outside of school time. However, if this is not possible, medical, or dental appointments will be marked as authorised if the pupil’s parent/carer notifies the school in advance of the appointment and can provide evidence of the appointment. We ask that parents/carers can provide evidence of the appointment in the form of a booking card or email / text message confirmation in advance of the appointment. Where it is not possible to book an appointment outside of school hours, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary (e.g., attend school before and after appointment as appropriate)
Applications for ‘Leave of Absence’ in term time
The pupil’s parent/carer must apply for other types of term-time, planned absence as far in advance as possible of the requested absence.
The Head teacher will only grant a leave of absence to pupils during term time if they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'. A leave of absence is granted at the Head Teacher’s discretion. The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, considering the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. Only the school, within the context of the law, can authorise a child’s absence. It is a statutory requirement for the Head Teacher to decide whether absence is authorised or unauthorised.
Valid reasons for authorised absence include but are not limited to:
Authorised absence due to illness
It is a school’s decision whether to accept a reason for a child’s absence and whether to authorise that absence. Parents must provide the exact nature of their child’s illness. We cannot accept broad reasons such as: ‘illness’, ‘poorly’, ‘feeling under the weather’ or ‘tired’. In order to authorise the absence, we need to know exactly what is wrong with your child. In some circumstances we may request further evidence of a child’s illness to allow the absence to be authorised. We reserve the right to seek additional evidence related to the illness if we have any concerns regarding a child’s attendance. In fact, it is good practice to have clear systems in place to escalate any concerns about high levels of absence due to illness, including agreements about accessing addition services in order to provide appropriate support to pupils, particularly for long term illness. We will mark absence due to illness as authorised unless the school has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness. If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the school may ask the pupil’s parent/carer to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence. We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily. If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents/carers will be notified of this.
The types of scenarios when medical evidence may be requested include:
Southwark Primary School follows the Public Health Agency ‘Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings’ which outlines the recommended period to be kept away from nursery/school. Pupils who are absent for a period of time longer than that recommended may have these additional absences unauthorised. See document below.
The Head Teacher reserves the right to declare any absence unauthorised if:
In line with the 1996 Education Act, we expect all children on roll to attend school every day, when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so.
All absences that are not accounted for will be actioned immediately by our Attendance Support Worker following the procedures below.
Unexplained absence 1 – 3 days
During Days 1-3 of any pupil absence which is not accounted for (no contact between home-school/no reason provided for absence), the following procedure is followed:
All absences are investigated by our Attendance Support Worker. If parents/carers have not followed procedures outlined in Section 7.1, to alert school of the reason for a child’s absence, they receive a text message asking for a reason for absence. If there is no response to this text, parents are phoned. If there is no response to the phone call, a voicemail message is left where possible and a Class Dojo message is sent. We contact emergency contacts if we are unable to establish contact with parents/carers. This process is repeated for each day of the absence until the child returns to school or we can establish a reason for absence.
If we are unable to establish a reason for absence and the absence procedures outlined above have taken place, on the 3rd day of absence, members of the school senior leadership will visit the address of the pupil to check on the pupil’s welfare. If school are unable to establish contact at this visit, a letter is put through the letterbox asking the parent/carer to contact the school regarding the child’s absence.
If no contact has been made with parents/carers and school is concerned about the safety and wellbeing of a child, the school reserves the right to contact professional services including the police or Children and Families Social Care.
Unexplained absence 3 days +
The Attendance Support Worker will continue to follow the procedures outlined above to establish a reason for absence.
School will continue to liaise with relevant professional services as and when appropriate at any stage of the absence.
School will continue to undertake home visits / safe and well visits as and when appropriate, in conjunction with relevant professional services.
After 5 days of absence from school, if no satisfactory reason is established, the absence will remain unauthorised on the school register and a referral to Nottingham City Education Welfare Service will be made who may consider legal action against you.
Unexplained absence for 10 school days
If a child is missing for ten school days, then the child will be referred to Education Welfare as a child missing education (CME). School will communicate with the EWS prior to a referral to ensure that the children are classed as CME. This may involve additional home visits.
If the missing child does not return to the school for a further ten days (20 school days in total) and there has been no contact from the parents/carers, then the child’s place may be removed from the register. This decision will be made by the Head Teacher after an individual assessment of risk has been made. School will notify the local authority if a pupil is removed from the school register.
We ask all parents to be mindful that taking a pupil on leave during term time interrupts teaching and learning and will disrupt a child’s educational progress.
The Government issued new regulations in September 2013 regarding Leave of Absence (The Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended by Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.)
Parent/carers must follow school procedures when requesting leave of absence for their child:
Exceptional circumstances are defined as being unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child which outweighs the loss of teaching time.
Examples of leave of absence requests which do not count as exceptional circumstances (this is not an exhaustive list):
For all other information about attendance & punctuality, please read our attendance policy which is attached below.