Attendance & absence
High attendance is vital if children are to make good progress and achieve their best at school. At Middleton, our attendance figure in the year before the pandemic was just below 97%. In the academic year 2022-23, that figure was 95.5%. This was above national average, but our target for the 2023-24 school year is to return to 97%. Last year, we developed a new school policy (see below) to reflect the government's Working Together to Improve School Attendance document.
We monitor all children's attendance closely. If any child's attendance drops below 95% this raises concerns with us and we will look into the reasons why absences are increasing. Parents/carers will usually be contacted at this stage, but if the figure falls closer to 90% we will definitely do this to discuss the low attendance and seek ways to work together to improve the situation. This conversation will initiated by either the Head Teacher or Mrs Helena Harne, our Learning Mentor/Attendance Officer. If children's attendance drops to 90% or below, they are deemed to be 'persistent absentees' and clear actions need to be identified to avoid a continuation of such regular absence. Where there are persistent issues we also involve our Local Authority Education Welfare Officer, Mrs Sandra Smitheringale. If absences continue to be a concern (e.g. the taking of unauthorised holidays during term time), a Penalty Notice resulting in a fine may be issued.
Please read our policy below for further information:
Our school day
We have a slightly staggered school day for different year groups, to reduce congestion at the start and end of the day.
- F2, Y2, Y4 and Y6: drop-off from 8.40am, all children should be in class by 8.50 when the register closes. Dinner break is from 11.45am to 12.45pm. The school day finishes at 3.15pm.
- Y1, Y3, Y5: drop-off from 8.45am, all should be in by 8.55, when the register closes. Dinner break is from 12.15-1.15pm. The school day finishes at 3.25pm.
These hours mean children are in school for 32.5 hours each week. For children in Nursery, attendance totals 15 hours a week with the following times:
- Nursery sessions are 8.40-11.40am for morning children and 12.35-3.35pm for those who attend in the afternoon.
The above information is summarised on the following chart:
Parents/carers are asked to ensure that their children arrive punctually each morning, so they are in class by the designated time for registration for their year group. Regular lateness is highly disruptive to the start of the school day and impacts significantly on children's learning.
Children should also be collected promptly at the appropriate time for their year group. If you are held up for any reason and know that you'll be late to collect, please call the School Office so a message can be relayed to the class staff. Your child will be supervised safely until you arrive. However, regular late pick-ups are not acceptable so alternative childcare arrangements must be made if you know that you will be unable to be on time consistently.
If for any reason your child is absent from school, you need to contact the School Office (via telephone or alternatively in person if you are dropping another child off at school) as soon as possible on the first morning of absence. In the interests of child safety, the office will send you a text message at 9.30am if we have not ascertained the reason for absence by then. If you do not respond to this, we will try to call other alternative contacts you have provided for us. If we still have no explanation as to why your child is absent, we may have to make a home visit to ensure that your child's whereabouts are known to us.
Wherever possible, children should not be taken out of school for routine dental or medical appointments that could be scheduled for after school hours or during holidays.
Holidays during term time
A school term and holiday calendar for the current and future years is available on the Term Dates tab under 'News & Events', to help you to plan ahead and avoid inadvertently booking holidays during term time. In line with national regulations, leave of absence cannot be granted during term time unless we consider that it is due to exceptional circumstances. If there is a situation in which you need to request absence, please contact the Head Teacher directly (either in person or via telephone/email). Any period of leave taken without consulting with us first will be deemed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions including a Penalty Notice.