Attendance & Absence

Primary

Attendance 

Oakgrove School works in partnership with parents to ensure that pupils achieve an outstanding level of attendance.  The school firmly believes that outstanding attendance is a key factor to the success of pupils realising their true learning potential.  From the moment that they arrive in school in the morning all children are engaged in learning activities and during an average school day, pupils will spend over five hours learning in planned lessons.  If pupils miss any of these lessons it can be harder for them to catch up, as following lessons often build upon what a child has learnt previously. 

If attendance at school is unsatisfactory, Oakgrove will send a letter to advise on the non-attendance.  Parents will be invited in for a meeting if there continues to be issues, so that the school can understand any concerns and, by working together, improve the child’s attendance.


Lateness

Pupils begin learning from the moment they arrive at school.  It is important that they arrive at school in plenty of time, before the classroom doors close, so that they do not miss any work. 

  • Years 1-6 - classroom doors open at 8.30am and close at 8.40am
  • Foundation classroom doors open at 8.40am and close at 8.50am
  • Nursery doors open at 8.45am and close at 9am

Registers are taken promptly after the classroom doors close.  If children arrive after the doors close, they must report to reception, so that their mark can be recorded.


Reporting an Absence

If your child is absent for any reason, please leave a message on the absence line by calling 01908 545300, select option 5 for Primary and then 1 for the absence line. Absences can also be reported by email at: primaryabsences@oakgrove.school Absence without reason is followed up and, if the parent cannot be contacted, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.  

Please avoid arranging medical appointments during school hours wherever possible. If it is absolutely necessary, the school kindly requests to be shown a copy of the appointment letter.

For any queries relating to attendance, please contact the School Administrator, Mrs Porritt. 


Holidays in Term Time

Government legislation on taking holidays during term time states that schools are not able to authorise absence for family holidays.  Exceptional circumstances will require evidence, otherwise holiday leave will be recorded as unauthorised.  Parents must complete a Leave of Absence Request form if they are planning to take a holiday during term time. Please return it to the School Office at least three weeks before the date of your request, attaching any required evidence. 

Following a Supreme Court ruling, Milton Keynes Council has updated its Term Time Holidays policy. From September 2017, Oakgrove School will refer parents/carers to the local authority for action (Fixed Penalty Fine) if children are taken out of school to go on holiday for five consecutive days or more during term time.


Leave of Absence - Exceptional Circumstance

The school appreciates that there may be special circumstances in which a pupil requests a leave of absence, such as taking part in a sporting activity, family events (e.g. close family weddings/funerals, religious celebrations, graduations etc.) and on compassionate reasons. These will be considered on an individual basis and may be authorised. The school will, however, require evidence of the event attached to the leave of absence request. If this is not provided the absence will be unauthorised.


Sickness and Medication

If a pupil becomes ill during the school day, or is recorded as having a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius, a member of staff will telephone you (in the order of the contacts given to the School Office) and ask that the pupil be collected. 

Prescribed medication can be administered in school, if it is required more than three times a day.  The medication will need to be handed in at the School Office each morning and a form completed.  Any long term medication should be left in school and a long term medication form completed at the School Office.

Please note the information in school policy regarding the exclusion periods for the following illnesses and infections.  These are in place to avoid the spread and further infection amongst other children in school:

  • Sickness and diarrhoea – children can return to school 48 hours after the last episode of sickness or diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis – Children can return to school after starting treatment
  • Impetigo – Children can return to school 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment or after the lesions have crusted and healed.
  • Ringworm – Children do not need to be excluded but should be treated
  • Scarlet Fever – Children can return 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment
  • Warts and Verrucae – Verrucae should be covered
  • Chickenpox – Children can return to school once they are feeling better and all the spots have crusted over
  • Headlice – If you see live headlice please treat your child at home.  If they are in school and live lice are seen, you will be contacted and asked to collect your child and treat them at home
  • Slapped Cheek – children can be in school as long as they do not have a high temperature and are well enough in themselves

Please instruct and encourage children to wash their hands properly at home to try to avoid the spread of infection.

Secondary

Attendance

Attendance is crucial to the success of any student at Oakgrove. Any absence from school will impact on students' progress. The current percentage of attendance for Oakgrove School is:

Primary and Nursery - 96.8%

Secondary - 96.3%

There is a strong connection between attendance and achievement at school. Of pupils who miss more than 50% of school, only 3% manage to achieve five or more GCSEs at grades 9 - 4 including Maths and English. 73% of pupils who have over 95% attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades 9 - 4.


Absence Information

Time and pressures of everyday life sometimes make it difficult to remember to do all those important little jobs including calling us when you child is not able to be in school. Therefore to help make the process as easy and efficient as possible for parents, below there is a list of ways you can contact us for absences.

How to contact us

Please contact us as early as possible on the day of absence, preferably before 9.00am. When contacting us about absence please include:

  • Student Name and Tutor Group (if known)
  • Reason for Absence – include a brief description especially if illness as we like to monitor any potential illness trends

Text: 07860 097184 - This is only for use when contacting about your child’s absence from school. If you save the number on your mobile as ‘Oakgrove Absence’ it will automatically come up if we are trying to contact you for this reason.

Telephone: 01908 545300 (Select Option 1) – This puts you through to the absence line where you can speak with Mrs Williams, our Attendance Officer, or leave a short message. All messages are constantly checked and collected throughout each day.

Email: twilliams@oakgrove.school or secondaryabsences@oakgrove.school

(Please include the information above just as you would when leaving a message.)

For certain absences, such as medical appointments either at the GP or hospital we ask for documentary evidence in line with our attendance policy and Local Authority guidelines. We reserve the right to refuse authorisation of an absence should we consider them to be unnecessary.

When contacting your child’s tutor or learning co-ordinator please ensure you also contact the absence line. Without doing so can result in a delay in the information reaching our Attendance Officer. Similarly, all notes need to be sent or shown to Student Services promptly as delays could activate an absence message being sent to you before the information is relayed.


Your Contact Information

It is important we have your correct contact details as we can only receive text messages from parent/carer mobile numbers that have been verified.

Please ensure all the telephone numbers and email addresses with have for you are correct. This is also vital in case we need to contact you in an emergency.

If you need to make any changes please contact the school with your details or ask your child to collect a ‘change of details’ form from Student Services.


Leave of Absence Requests

Whilst we appreciate the difficulty in planning a holiday and the costs involved when choosing when to go, holidays should not be booked or taken during term time. In line with our Local Authority any holiday taken of 5 days or more will incur a Fixed Penalty Fine unless there are exceptional circumstances and you must provide evidence of this with your request

Please remember if you are taking your child out of school for a religious event, weddings etc. it is also important you complete a ‘Leave of Absence’ Form or ask your child to collect one from Student Services and inform us as early as possible of the dates.

Without advance notice or lack of communication it could create a safeguarding issue should your child be absent without the school’s knowledge especially if you are unavailable to contact for several days.

A copy of the Leave of Absence form is available on our website (see link below), from our Reception and Student Services.

Leave of Absence Request


Punctuality

Parents will be receiving a notification via email each day their child is late to school, unless there is an accompanying note in their planner or we are advised in advance of the reason. This is to give a clear picture to parents when their child may be struggling to get in on time. In relation to this any student who is late after the register is closed is classed as missing school without a valid reason and marked as unauthorised. If several occurrences are recorded this could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine being issued by the Local Authority. A warning letter will be sent in advance so parents/carers have the opportunity to address the punctuality issues before it goes any further.

This will not affect anyone who is late due to a medical appointment but we will need proof of the appointment, such as a hospital letter or an appointment card for Dentist and GP appointments.


Medical Information

While we understand most hospital appointments are pre-booked and you are not able to change them, please ensure when making general appointments for GP’s and Dentist’s that the appointment is as close to the start of the school day or the end of the school day as possible. We will expect any student with a local medical appointment to attend school after the appointment (if in the morning) and before the appointment (if later in the day). Please provide evidence of the appointment such as a medical appointment card or a copy of your appointment letter.

A student should not need to miss a whole morning, afternoon or day for general appointments.

Medical Information