At Ferndale, we expect children’s attendance to be 96% or above. To promote this, we reward children who achieve 100% attendance termly and annually.
Attendance of all pupils is monitored. The class with the highest attendance percentage and most punctual receive an extra playtime each week.
Children who have 100% attendance in 1 term become a bronze attender.
Children who have 100% attendance over 2 terms become a silver attender.
Children who have 100% attendance over 3 terms- the school year- become a gold attender.
Anyone with 100% attendance each term gets entered into a prize draw to win a prize from our book vending machine.
All three gates open at 8:30am and close at 8:45am.
All three gates open at 3:10pm for collection at 3:20pm.
The main entrance to nursery is situated on Eastwood Road. This entrance must be used for all nursery collections and for the drop off for the PM session.
For AM drop off, parents can enter school site via any of our entrances though please remember that all gates close at 8:45am.
Mornings at Ferndale
Ferndale class and building doors open on the first bell at 8:40am. The three gates close at 8:45am in order for children to be in class for registration at 8:50am. If your child is not in class by 8:50am when the register is taken, they will receive a late mark (L code) on the register.
Any children arriving after the gates have closed MUST be signed in by an adult at the main office (Ferndale Ave).
Illness at Ferndale
We understand that from time to time we all become ill. If your child is not well enough to attend school, you must contact us every day your child is absent, before 9am. Please call, text or WhatsApp our attendance line :07749 889 874 providing the information outlined below:
- Child’s full name
- Child’s class name/ teacher name
- Reason for absence (please provide some detail. ‘Unwell’ will require us to contact requesting further information)
Please note that the attendance line is only to be used for information regarding absences. Any other queries and communication must go through the usual channels such as the school phone, emailing admin or coming into the office.
As previously mentioned, we have to account for every child, every day, including during periods of illness. By informing school every day a child is absent, you will avoid someone from school calling, texting or even visiting your home to identify a reason for the absence. The attendance code given to your child can also be affected- if we do not have a valid reason for absence an unauthorised absence is recorded. Unauthorised attendance is closely monitored. If a child’s attendance falls below 90%, referrals to Sandwell Attendance Service will be made.
Ferndale’s absence procedure
If we have not heard why a child is absent from school by 9am our first day calling system is activated, which is outlined below:
Step 1) a member of staff will contact phone numbers attached to the child on our SIMS system.
Step 2) if contact via phone call cannot be made a text will be sent to numbers attached to the child on our SIMS system.
Step 3) If the child is not in school by 10:30am and if no communication has been made from a parent/ carer, a member of school’s Designated Safeguarding Team will consider the need to complete a home visit.
This cycle will continue and if contact is not made, it may be deemed necessary to contact the Police.
Evidence of medical appointments must be seen in order to authorise a child’s absence for the appointment. Electronic evidence must be sent to the absence line via WhatsApp. Regular dental and optician appointments, which can be pre-planned, should be arranged outside school hours or during school holidays.
The times of the school day are clearly communicated to parents on the website, in newsletters, on site or other appropriate means of communication. Parents/ carers must ensure they collect their children promptly- the school day finishes at 3:20pm (Nursery have separate session timings) Parents/ carers must notify the school if there are any changes to their collection arrangements or if they are going to be late (by calling the office) so that staff can be informed and so that care can be arranged for the pupil.
If a pupil is not collected at the end of the school day or after attending after school clubs, staff will establish with the pupil what their understanding of the arrangement is and will attempt to contact anyone on the child’s emergency contact list (if parents/ carers are unavailable.)
Where a child is collected 10 minutes or longer after the bell, parents/ carers are required to sign the pupil’s safeguarding form and these incidents will be recorded on our Safeguarding system CPOMS.
If a parent has not made contact or arrived by 4.30pm or 20 minutes after the end of an after school club, a further phone call will be made and where available, a message will be left to inform the parents that a referral is being made to Sandwell’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if no call is received within 10 minutes.
If the child is still not collected and no contact is made by 4.40 p.m. or 30 minutes after the end of an after school club, a referral will be made to MASH.
Leave of absence
Since September 2013, Headteachers are no longer allowed to authorise any ‘Leave of Absence’ (sometimes previously known as ‘term time’ holiday) unless a parent/ carer makes an application, in advance, detailing the ‘exceptional circumstances’ they would want the Headteacher to consider. Under the Education (Pupil Registration Amendment) Regulation 2013 absence may not be authorised unless:
- an application has been made in advance to the proprietor (Headteacher) by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides; and
- The proprietor (Headteacher), or a person authorised by the proprietor, considers that leave of absence should be granted due to the exceptional circumstances relating to that application.
Parents/ carers can be issued with Penalty Notices should their child take any Leave of Absence if they have not requested this, in writing, to the Headteacher (and/or completed a Leave of Absence Application) detailing the ‘exceptional circumstances’ they would want the Headteacher to take into consideration in deciding if any Leave of Absence can be agreed and authorised.
Parents/ carers can be issued with Penalty Notices should any Leave of Absence be taken without any application/ request being made.
Parents/ carers should ensure that any application/ request is made in advance 6 weeks of any Leave of Absence request date.
Parents/ carers should consider ensuring that they know if any Leave of Absence requested can be authorised by the Headteacher before planning, booking or paying for any part of a Leave of Absence.
Legislation dictates that a Leave of Absence application/ request can only be considered if it is from a parent/ carer with whom the pupil normally lives/ Leave of Absence application/ requests from a parent/ carer that a pupil does not normally live with or from any other family member cannot be considered under any circumstances.
The attendance of some children may require closer monitoring. Below are some triggers that will lead to additional communication with parents, further investigation and possible referrals to Sandwell Attendance Service:
- absence on more than 3 occasions without a parent/ carer notifying school by 9am
- pupil attendance below 96% (expected minimum)
If your child’s actual attendance falls below 96% (regardless of authorised, unauthorised or both) school will monitor this.
If there is no improvement, school will meet with parent/ carers to discuss this further and offer support where appropriate.
If your child’s actual attendance falls below 90% (regardless of authorised, unauthorised or both) contact with Sandwell Attendance Services will be made. Any 10 half day sessions of unauthorised absence (including unauthorised lateness) will result in a referral for issue of a Warning Notice. Any further 10 half days of unauthorised absence (including unauthorised lateness) will result in a referral for issue of a Penalty Notice. This is a fine of up to £120 per parent/carer per child. Non-payment results in Magistrates Court with a fine up to £1000 plus costs.
Following this, any further unauthorised absence (including unauthorised lateness) will result in a referral for possible Magistrates Court. (A fine of up to £2500 and/ or 3 months imprisonment plus costs)