It is important that children arrive at school punctually. Lessons begin promptly and children can miss vital information if they are late. Any latecomers must always report to the school office so that their attendance can be registered. The school day starts at 8.55am for Key Stage One and for Key Stage 2.
10.15am – 10.30am
12.00 – 1.15pm
12.15 – 1.15pm
12.30 – 1.30pm 1.15/1.30pm – 3.20/3.25pm
Morning session of lesson Break
Lunch – Reception
Lunch – KS1
Lunch – KS2
Afternoon session of lessons
(No afternoon break)
Children should not arrive at school too early in the morning, as they are not normally allowed in the school building until the bell goes, unless there are exceptional weather conditions. Parents need to be aware that the playground is only supervised from 8.45am so it is unwise for children to arrive earlier. It is essential that children use the correct paths and entrances. Parents are not allowed to drive onto the school property without a special permit.
We are very security conscious at the school, and the only entry point for visitors leads into the reception lobby at the main entrance. We request that parents remain in this area until one of our office staff becomes free to attend to them. Access beyond this point is regulated by a security fob. All other entrances are security locked under the same system.
I wanted to write to you to give you better clarity on how we make a decision about whether an absence will be authorised or unauthorised following a request from a parent/carer, with a particular regard to holidays in term time. It is fair to say that during the school year 16/17 there was a volatility in approach due to a high profile court case. The government and Kent County Council have changed their approach as this case has developed. This has led to confusion for both schools and parents. However, this situation appears to have now been resolved. Therefore, as part of The Pathway Academy Trust we will be adopting a consistent approach from the start of the new school year.
The Headteacher will continue to make the decision about authorising an absence and that decision is final. Our approach can be summarised in the following sentence:
A request for time off in term time will only be authorised in the most exceptional and rare circumstances.
Of course there is an infinite list of circumstances for which parents may request time off, so I have listed a few of the more common examples below which should act as a benchmark. Hopefully they will give you a better idea of what we believe is an exceptional circumstance. It is also worth noting that the government expectation is that a child’s attendance is 96% (only 7-8 days absence a year), so I will not approve any absence if a child falls below this. Some parents appear to believe that 90% is a good attendance, but this is the equivalent of a day off every fortnight! (see below)
(NO or POSSIBLY)
|A week off to attend a family wedding in Spain.|
|Two weeks holiday due to parents’ work commitments during the school summer holidays (or holidays from work are in school time).||NO|
|A few days away due to parents who work in the armed forces or police being directed as to when they can take their holiday.||POSSIBLY|
Two days off to visit grandparents who are celebrating an anniversary.
|A family holiday which has to be arranged around a member of the family with a severe disability.||POSSIBLY|
|A short break away given as a gift by grandparents who did not know the term dates.||NO|
A short break away related to a club or sports team who are touring abroad.
|A week’s holiday in term time to avoid the higher costs of travelling during the school holidays.||NO|
If a pupil has a period of 5 days of absence which is deemed unauthorised, a Penalty Notice is normally issued by KCC. The fine is currently £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 thereafter. Further details of our attendance policy can be viewed on our website.
I do hope this makes things much clearer for you and that we can work together to ensure your child’s attendance is as high as possible. After all, attendance has a massive impact on achievement.