Attendance at Pontybrenin
Attendance from September to April
You may or may not be aware that one of the recommendations of our recent ESTYN Inspection is to improve attendance. Pontybrenin’s target is 97% which means pupils are not expected to miss more than 5 days school in the year. As you can appreciate this is a challenging target and in an effort to reduce our absences where we have concerns over level of absence medical evidence will be requested to “authorise” the absence, if this is not provided absence will be recorded as “unauthorised”. Mr Williams will also be holding meetings with parents where necessary. The EWO Mr Smith will also be monitoring attendance and working with the school and families.
As you are aware, improving school attendance has been a focus for attention for some time. Although our school attendance figures are significantly higher than ever before, compared to similar schools they are still deemed to be not good enough at 95.4% and would directly lead to an ‘adequate’ if we had an inspection.
As attendance of less than 95% has been shown to have a negative impact on the progress a child is able to make , it is vital that we try to ensure that children attend school when they should, regardless of the introduction of fines or school inspection criteria.
I am sure you will continue to work with us in this matter, for the benefit of the children.
The Education (Penalty Notices) (Wales) Regulations 2013 introduced fixed notice penalties for regular non-attendance at school.
The Welsh Government has required all local authorities to draw up and implement their own Local Codes of Conduct to ensure consistency in the issuing of penalty notices. The code will be implemented in Swansea from January, 2015.
The Welsh Government states that penalty notices are one option among number of different interventions available to promote better school attendance. The introduction of these regulations is one part of the Welsh Government strategy to support improved school attendance across Wales.
The introduction of these regulations mean that parents may now be fined for their child(ren)’s regular non-attendance at school.
The local code of conduct, which explains how penalty notices will operate, is available on the Swansea Council website http://www.swansea.gov.uk/educationpenalty
On the website the local authority has also provided answers to some frequently asked questions.
If any parent has concerns about their child/s attendance, then please speak to staff in school for advice and support.
Attendance January 2018