Attendance letter to parents

Dear Parent/Carer

I am asking for your support in improving whole school attendance and punctuality. During the COVID pandemic it was necessary for pupils and families to isolate if they or a close contact tested positive.  That is not now the case and it is essential that we build back up on our previous positive attendance rates.

The impact upon children’s education through lost learning is huge. At a time when so much education has been disrupted it is vital that we make every school minute count.  I urge you to ensure that your child is in school and on time everyday to prevent anyone falling behind with their learning. 

Persistent cases where poor attendance and punctuality do not improve can be considered to be neglect.

Government departments track school attendance figures. It is considered that attendance of 90% or below is persistent absence which will be closely monitored by school staff.  Failing to improve on this 90% can lead to prosecution, which school want to help families avoid. 

New York Primary School have a whole school attendance target which is 96.5%.

There are things you can do to improve your child’s attendance and avoid falling into the persistent absence category:

    • If your child is unwell and you are unsure whether to send them to school, contact the office to seek advice on 0191 8141788
  • Avoid taking any holidays during term times
  • Keep up to date with what % attendance your child has so that you know if they are at risk of persistent absence (office staff will provide this for you)
  • Speak to school staff with any concerns.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of them being in school and let them know how important you feel it is.

The table below provides an example of the impact of lost learning through pupil absence:

attendance % over a school year Equal to number of days absent Converted to approximate weeks of absence Approximate number of lessons missed School Concern Level
95% 9.5 2 47.5 Pupil can catch up and still succeed
90% 19 4 95 Poor attendance -we are concerned
80% 38 190 Very poor attendance – we are very concerned
70% 57 12 285 Serious concerns

So a child who has an absence % of 80% has missed 38 days of school and has missed 190 lessons.

Punctuality is also highly important. Pupils who arrive late to school are not only losing learning but also disrupting the learning of others as they arrive late for lessons.  Pupils do not like being late into school and  we witness how upsetting it can be for them.  We want to prevent this.

The table below provides an example of the impact of lost learning through pupil lateness.

Number of minutes late per day over a school year Approximate equivalent number of days lost learning
5 3
10 6.5
15 10
20 13

At New York Primary we sent out lost learning letters to parents each half term informing them of the number of minutes of lost learning for their child due to poor punctuality. From 1st November will send weekly letters home with the lost learning for the week and a cumulative total for the year to date.

We want to help families get their child to school on time.  Here are some things you can try:

  • Have everything you/your child needs for school prepared the night before
  • Ensure that your child goes to bed reasonably so they are not too tired to get up in the morning
  • Ensure your child has a good night’s sleep by minimising their use of devices at bed time.
  • Have a consistent bedtime routine for your child
  • Set an alarm to allow plenty of time for your morning routine in getting to school on time
  • Bring your child to breakfast club (8am – 8.30am)

Thank you for your support.  I hope we can make improvements to attendance and punctuality.

Mrs J Shaw