The careful monitoring of attendance is imperative to improving the overall performance of pupil outcomes, but it is equally important in keeping children safe at New Barn School.
Knowing who is absent and why, is fundamental to effective safeguarding.
Non-Attendance to school or unauthorised attendance, can result in safeguarding action. This is because persistent absenteeism and sudden changes in patterns of attendance and pupil behaviour, are a key indication that something is wrong and could lead to sudden extended absences.
As a school, we have a duty of care to take action.
We therefore scrutinise pupil absence, investigate the reasons for this and ensure our procedures are followed. For example:
Pupils having two days absence without a reason being given, a member of staff will make a welfare call to clarify the reason for absence.
Pupils who become withdrawn, or who start acting differently in class and who are then absent, would be flagged as a safeguarding concern to the Designated Safeguarding Leads and investigation undertook.
Absences may well be due to illness, but they could equally be linked to safeguarding issues such as bullying, family break-ups, domestic abuse, involvement in county lines or online grooming.
A great deal of work has to be done to protect children.
New Barn Action will include:
- Monitoring of attendance with accurate record keeping
- Speaking to parents/carers who we make aware that the procedures are rigorous and that absences will always be questioned. We will ensure this is sensitive and in the best interests of all parties.
- Where there are causes for concern, we make contact with the Local Authority MASH Team, a family Social Worker and the EWO (Education Welfare Officer)
At New Barn School, attendance is closely monitored by key members of staff, in different areas of the school, staff are well trained, and we maintain positive communication links with parents and have effective systems in place to deal with any attendance issues quickly and sensitively, so that we are well equipped to keep children safe.
If staff have any concerns that a pupil may be going on a visit abroad where FGM is suspected then the appropriate actions will be taken.
Parents/carers should ensure that if their child is unwell, the school office should be contacted on 01403 289606 by 9.00 a.m.
The school will make the decision whether attendance will be authorised and if the pupil is at a medical appointment, proof maybe requested in the form of a letter or email.