Attendance at St George's
Improving attendance is a key priority for us at St George's.
In September 2023, the government and children’s commissioner have launched a campaign to restore children’s attendance. It is feared that Covid-19 disruption, strike closures and other recent factors have affected everybody’s attitude towards attending school and the impact this has on our children’s right to thrive.
We have now entered a national crisis regarding school attendance for many children. We need to work with our families to help improve this.
Put simply, children are missing more school than before. The number of children missing a lot of their education (20 days a year) has increased from 8% in 2019 to 25% according to indicative figures
Government has united children's commissioner, chief medical officers and school leaders to help drive this campaign.
It is feared that Covid-19 disruption, strike closures and other recent factors have affected everybody’s attitude towards attending school and the impact this has on our children’s right to thrive. This was highlighted in a recent report from Public First who concluded that;
"There has been a profound breakdown in parental attitudes to the idea of full-time school attendance in the years since the Coronavirus pandemic.".
We know that being in school helps children thrive socially, academically and improves their life chances. We need to improve this and ensure that:
- Children are in school as often as possible.
- We work with families to ensure that children are supported to be in school and we overcome any difficulties that they may be having. School needs to be a safe, happy place to learn for all our children.
- We reduce absences. Chief medical officers have highlighted that children shouldn't be off school for mild illness. The chief medical officers wrote an open letter to encourage us all to get children into school even when they are managing mild illness. This can be read by clicking here.
- We challenge absence habits. At St George's we are very clear that leave from school will only be granted on very rare occasions. If unauthorised leave is taken we will work with our council officers to challenge this and apply fixed penalty notice fines if they are required.
We know that there is a direct link between attendance and our children's personal, academic and personal development.
We classify good attendance as above 96%. That means that any absence above 7 days will cause us concern.
Department for Education issued updated guidance for all schools regarding attendance in September 2023. These are clarified in our school's policy that can be downloaded at the bottom this page and in the links below:
Promoting good punctuality involves a strong partnership and commitment to children. We are always here to help and support if your child has any barriers to good attendance.
Department for Education's Guidance on the process for this is very clear:
- They will attend school regularly
- They will arrive on time, appropriately dressed and prepared for the day
- They will discuss with their parents or class teacher any issues which are affecting their attendance.
- They will encourage their child to attend school and support the school’s policies.
- They will contact the school office when their child is unable to attend and also send in a note to the teacher on their child’s return
- They will ensure their child is appropriately dressed taking account of the school’s uniform policy and is well prepared for the day
- Will provide a safe learning environment
- Will provide a sympathetic response to any child’s or parent’s concerns
- Will keep regular and accurate records of attendance and punctuality
- Will contact parents when a child fails to attend and where no message has been received to explain the absence. Any unexplained absences will be followed up.
- Will encourage good attendance and punctuality through a system of rewards and recognition
- Will refer irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to Wirral Attendance Service.
When we raise attendance concerns, our aim is always to ensure that we are making a positive difference for your children. Flow chart below shows how this will be managed within the school:
Below is our attendance strategy, information about how Fixed Penalty Notices are applied and the link to our leave of absence request Google form.
Information on Wirral Council's attendance service can be found online:
Below is the link for the Leave of Absence form.
If your child is not in school and we don't have a reason for this, we have to treat this as a safeguarding concern. Flowchart below explains our actions: