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Under the Education Act, a pupil is required to attend regularly at the school where he/she is a registered pupil. Regular attendance and prompt punctuality supports pupil progress and at Almond Hill we strongly promote this expectation.

The school is obliged by law to differentiate between authorised and unauthorised absence.  A letter or telephone message from a parent does not in itself authorise absence. Only if the school is satisfied as to the validity of the explanation offered by the letter or message, will the absence be authorised.

We have a school target of 96%+ for attendance. We appreciate that children are ill sometimes, but all absence is rigorously monitored by senior leaders in the school. If your child’s attendance drops to 96% or below within a half-term you will be informed by letter. If absence below 96% persists, you will be invited to discuss the absences with the Pastoral Lead or Headteacher. If your child is absent, please contact the school office on 01438 233660 or e-mail before 9.00am. If you do not contact the school, we will try to contact you by phone or text to ask the reason for absence. We will continue to try to contact you and this may involve a visit to your home by a senior member of staff.

If your child returns to school without a reason for absence, the school will contact you asking for parents/carers to confirm the reason for absence. If no reason for absence is received, the absence will be recorded on your child’s record as an ‘unauthorised absence’.

Absence from school will be authorised if it is for the following reasons: -
• sickness;
• unavoidable medical or dental appointments;
• days of religious observance;
• exceptional family circumstances, such as close family bereavement.

Attendance falling to less than 90% shows a serious risk of underachievement and even attendance falling to 95% may present a risk of underachievement.  When looked at in terms of time lost, 90% attendance means that half a day a week is missed or 4 weeks missed over the course of a school year or half a year missed over your child’s time at primary school! 
100% attendance gives your child the opportunity for the greatest achievement!

Holidays in Term Time

Along with all schools in Stevenage, Almond Hill Junior School does not authorise holidays in term time. If you take your child out of school during term time it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Over 15 sessions unauthorised absence across a year can attract a fixed penalty notice. 

When not to send a child to school

Details of isolation and incubation periods for infectious and contagious diseases are available from the school office. If your child is well enough to attend school and you wish them to stay inside at playtime, we appreciate you sending a letter or doctor’s certificate.

Head lice are common among children and clean, tied back hair is not immune. It is important that parents carry out regular checks on their child for head lice.