St. Teilo’s cluster schools recognise the important role that parents play in promoting good school attendance. The school therefore seeks to provide professional, quality information and advice.
Cluster casework officers analyse attendance data for all pupils at the close of each half term. Pupils are categorised into one of four tiers, namely: low absence; moderate absence; chronic absence; or severe chronic absence.
For pupils with moderate absence, each school will provide a keyworker who will monitor absence at least weekly. The keyworker will communicate with the pupil and family to address barriers to good attendance and punctuality.
For pupils with chronic absence, the cluster will provide a casework officer who will monitor absence at least weekly. The casework officer will receive records from the keyworker, conduct a profiling assessment with the child and family and write an action plan.
For pupils with severe chronic absence, the casework officer will review the action plan with all stakeholders and refer to statutory and third sector partners as appropriate. They will monitor absence daily.
For pupils with severe chronic absence for a consecutive half term, the casework officer may refer to the Education Welfare Service.
When a pupil has been absent for an extended period, they are welcomed positively on their return. Each school is responsible for ensuring that support is made available to the pupil, helping them to ‘catch up’. In some cases, the school may choose to re-examine the pupil’s curriculum offer to encourage better attendance.
Attendance is reported to parents in all written school reports.
Hierarchy of sanctions
St. Teilo’s cluster schools are caring schools and always seek to resolve matters of poor attendance through effective partnership with parents. On the rare occasion that the school is unable to elicit in parents the support deemed necessary to encourage pupils to attend school, sanctions may be used. In the first instance, parents may receive letters or telephone calls which:
- Request reasons for their child’s absence;
- Request medical evidence for their child’s absence;
- Express concern about their child’s absence and offer advice and support;
- Advise them about their child’s lateness and ask for their help in getting their child to school on time;
- Advise them that the school has taken the decision not to authorise an absence;
- Advise them that a casework officer intends to visit their home;
- Advise them of their legal responsibilities to ensure their child attends school regularly;
- Advise them that they are at risk of receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice; or
- Advise them that a referral has been made to the Educational Welfare Service.
In some circumstances, the school may request that the Educational Welfare Service issue parents/carers with a Fixed Penalty Notice under The Education (Penalty Notices) (Wales) Regulations 2013.
Casework officers will liaise with the Education Welfare Service to provide the evidence required to prosecute parents who fail, without reasonable justification, to cause their child to attend school regularly, under sections 444(1) and 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996.