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Attendance

Attendance at Croxley Danes

At Croxley Danes School, we promote and encourage high attendance because it is important to your child’s academic achievement, wellbeing, and wider development. Students who attend school regularly (95% and above) are considerably more likely  to achieve grades at or above the expected level compared to their peers with irregular attendance. For example, government research shows that those students who do not achieve a pass in English and  Maths at GCSE (at least a grade 4 in both subjects) had an average absence rate of 8.8%. This means that their overall attendance was on average 91.2%. Many parents may find this surprising as they might regard this as a reasonably high figure.

High levels of attendance help build positive peer relationships, which contribute to better mental health and wellbeing and also help prepare young people for a successful transition to adulthood in terms of employment and citizenship. Students who attend school consistently have increased opportunities for positive social interactions, contributing to the development of crucial interpersonal skills. 

Staff members work closely with students and families to support attendance. Active parental involvement is one of the most influential factors in achieving high attendance. We therefore ask parents to ensure that their child is always aiming for 100% attendance, something a high proportion of our students achieve.

The hard work of the school, students and families has been recognised by our Fischer Family Trust (FFT) award for being in the top 25% of schools nationally for 2023/2024.

PARENT/CARER RESPONSIBILITIES

The law states (Education Act 1996, Section 7) that all children of compulsory school age must receive an appropriate full-time education. As a parent/carer, you are legally responsible for making sure your child receives an effective education. Failure to ensure your child attends school regularly could lead to intervention from the Missing Education & Child Employment Service which has the power to implement:

  • Fixed Penalty Notices

  • Prosecution 

  • An Education Supervision Order

To ensure we are able to fully support you, we ask that parents ensure the following is in place:

  • Provide Croxley Danes with accurate and up-to-date contact details

  • Provide Croxley Danes with more than one emergency contact number

  • Talk positively about school and actively support the work of the school

  • Create morning and evening routines which support organisation and consistency

  • Support home learning and attend parents evening / events at school

  • Demonstrate the importance of school by avoiding booking appointments during the school day and not taking children on holiday during term time

  • Communicate as early as possible circumstances which may affect absence or require support.

  • Only let your child stay home if he/she is truly sick. Sometimes complaints of a headache or stomach ache might be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home

Please talk to the school if you are worried. This helps create a collaborative approach to support your child. 

Make sure you frequently look at the parent Arbor app to check whether your child has unexplained absences or lateness that you do not know about. Sometimes children do not behave at home and school in the same way. If you have concerns then raise an enquiry to ask whether your child’s teachers have noticed any changes in their mood or behaviour.

Work together with the school and once you have come up with a plan to address any issues, stick to it for at least half a term. It’s important to have this consistency to increase your child’s sense of security and give them a routine.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS TOO UNWELL FOR SCHOOL?

We understand that occasional absences due to illness or unforeseen circumstances will happen. In such cases, we appreciate your prompt communication with the school via our absence reporting line. If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, your GP, or other parents for advice on how to make them feel comfortable and excited about learning. We encourage parents to develop back-up plans for getting to school in preparation for unexpected events that might occur - perhaps by calling upon another family member, a neighbour, or another parent.

Don’t let your child stay at home unless they are truly unwell. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay at home. The table below gives guidance on when you should keep a child off school and when it is appropriate to send them in. 

Come to school

Come to school (inform form tutor)

Stay at home

Please send your child to school if they are experiencing any of the following:

  • Sore throat

  • Cold

  • Mild cough

  • Feeling tired/lack of sleep

  • Hay Fever

  • Achy or sore limbs

Students can participate in learning when experiencing any of the above. You can give them medication if you feel they need it at the start of the school day. 

If you wish for them to bring medication on site, you must hand this to reception along with a Medical form* for the school nurse to be able to dispense that medicine to your child. 

*If the medication is prescribed a Med 1 form must be completed. For over the counter medication i.e. paracetamol or antihistamine, a Med 2 form must be completed.

Form tutors and Heads of Year are available for your child to speak with if they are feeling unwell and we have medical staff on site to support when necessary. The school will always contact you if your child is ill during the school day and not well enough to be in.

 

Please send your child to school and inform your child's form tutor if they are experiencing any of the following:

  • Headache

  • Feeling sick

  • Stomach ache

  • Earache

  • Experiencing feelings of anxiety

  • Twisted, sprained or broken limbs

Students can still participate in learning when experiencing any of the above. Give them medication if you feel they need it at the start of the school day.

Children often feel unwell if they are anxious (e.g. worrying about a class, homework or possible sanction).

If in doubt, contact your child's form tutor

 

There will be rare instances where your child will have to be absent from Croxley Danes due to illness or injury. These would include:

  • Temperature over 38°

  • Sickness & diarrhoea

  • Contagious illness (e.g. chicken pox)

  • Operations / Medical Treatments

Medical evidence should be provided to the school wherever possible to ensure the absence is authorised.

Should your child be absent for more than 5 days we request you provide supporting evidence for their absence from a medical professional

You should also remain in regular contact with both the child's Head of Year and the Attendance Officer.

All absences must be reported on a daily basis. If we do not hear from parents, this could be recorded as a safeguarding concern.

 

HOW DO I REPORT MY CHILD'S ABSENCE?

Daily Absence

Information about the cause of any absence is always required so that the school can be assured that a student’s absence does not represent a safeguarding concern. If a child is absent, parents/carers must contact the school by 8.00am on the day of absence and provide the reason for their child’s absence. This action must be completed for every day the student is absent.

Telephone number: 01923 284483 (then choose option 1)

Email: attendance@croxleydanes.herts.sch.uk

Leave of Absence

The school will only grant a learner a leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. In order to have requests for a leave of absence considered, the school requires parents to contact the Headteacher in writing at least two weeks prior to the proposed start date of the leave of absence (unless exceptional circumstances mean the full notice period can not be given)  A leave of absence form, which must be submitted, is available for download at the bottom of this page.

Any requests for leave during term time will be considered on an individual basis and the learner’s previous attendance record will be taken into account. Where the absence is granted, the Headteacher will determine the length of time that the learner can be away from school. The school will not grant leave of absence for the purposes of family holidays unless certain exceptional circumstances apply, Such exceptional circumstances do not include the cheaper cost of holidays within term time.

 

ANXIETY AND SCHOOL AVOIDANCE

Our staff are here to work collaboratively with you to support your child's attendance to school. We have a range of effective strategies to help with more complex cases, including our Mental Health support that concentrates on the early signposting and allocation of personalised help to students in need. 

We have robust, but supportive, attendance protocols in place to address attendance concerns and these  are triggered as soon as attendance falls below 95% (the national target for attendance pre-pandemic). These protocols are attached for your reference. I would also like to draw your attention to the Emotionally based school avoidance (EBSA) EBSA  guidance from Hertfordshire County Council, which highlights what parents can do to get their children into school if they are resistant.

Croxley Danes School works closely with a number of agencies within Hertfordshire in order to provide tailored and helpful support. 

NESSie - Supporting the positive mental health of children and young people. NESSie offer 1-1 and group arts therapies for children and young people. They also hold  training forums and support for parents and carers. More information can be found here.

Delivering Specialist Provision Locally - area 9 (DSPL9) offers support for parents within the Three Rivers area who have children experiencing EBSA. These monthly sessions allow opportunities to share experiences and seek support from a range of professionals attending each of the sessions. More information on these sessions can be found here.

The reading list below is also recommended for parents and carers:

  • Can’t Not Won’t: A Story About a Child Who Couldn’t Go To School - Eliza Fricker

  • How To Cope When Your Child Can’t: Comfort, Help and Hope for Parents - Alice Welham

  • I Can't Go To School! The School Non-Attenders Workbook - Suzy Rowland

  • Mental Health and Attendance at School - Katie Finning, Tamsin Ford & Darren Moore

  • Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children: A Guide For Autistic Wellbeing - John Murray

  • Autism and Masking: How and Why People Do It, and the Impact it Can Have - Jessica Kingsley

  • The Book You Wish Your Parents had Read - Philippa Perry

  • The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults - Frances Jenson & Amy Ellis Nutt

Downloads

Page Downloads File Size  
MED 1 FORM (for prescribed medication) 122.92 KB Download
MED 2 FORM (for non-prescribed medicatio... 138.57 KB Download
CDS Student Leave of Absence request 734.26 KB Download