At Rustington Community Primary we consider it vital that your child attends school as regularly as possible.
Research has clearly shown that regular attendance has a positive impact on children’s achievement.
Being at school regularly helps your child build friendships with other children, and your child can feel “left out” after an absence.
Our Attendance policy can be found here under the Policies tab.
West Sussex's information about attendance, unauthorised absences and fixed penalty notices can be found here.
What are the times of the school day?
We have a staggered entry, where children go directly into the classroom, from 8.45 for Years R to 4 and an 8.55am start for Years 5 and 6. Registration is at 09.00 for all children. Pupils arriving after this time will be recorded as being late. If your child arrives after 9.20am, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
What should I do if my child is unwell?
If your child is too ill to attend school, please contact the school on the first day of absence before 9.00am. You can do this by using the Parentmail app, telephone on 01903 785271 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Coughs and common colds are not normally a reason for absence from school. If you’re unsure whether or not your child should attend, the information here will help guide you with official guidance from Public Health England on the need to stay off school, based on the symptoms or illnesses.
When should my child return to school?
After periods of sickness and diarrhoea, children should not return to school for 48 hours after the last bout. This helps to prevent the spread of infection.
In the case of other contagious illnesses, please contact Mrs Jephson (Welfare Officer) via the school office who can advise of recommended return periods based on health guidelines.
For guidance about when to return to school if your child has had a positive Covid test please see: https://www.rustington.w-sussex.sch.uk/Coronavius/ or phone for Office for advice.
What about medical appointments?
We ask that parents make appointments for dentists, routine doctors’ visits, etc. outside of school hours. In circumstances where this is not possible, such as hospital visits, please let the school office know in advance, ideally by showing an appointment card.
How can I request time off for other absences?
Headteachers are only allowed to authorise other absence from school in exceptional circumstances. Absence for family holidays or days out will not normally be approved.
If there are exceptional circumstances, then please complete the absence request form (available here) giving your reasons and providing suitable evidence of the exceptional need. The request will then be considered by the headteacher.
If the absence is not approved, but your child is not in school on the requested days, then this will be treated as an unauthorised absence.
How does the school monitor attendance?
In some circumstances where a child’s attendance falls below 96% (approximately 3 days off per term), we will monitor attendance to ensure that it is improved over time. In cases where attendance falls below 90% (6 days off per term), we will contact you to inform you of our concerns.
In some cases, the headteacher may request that any future absence is supported by evidence (such as a doctor’s appointment card for illnesses).
Does the school issue fines?
In common with other schools in the locality, Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued by West Sussex County Council to families where a child has missed at least 5 days of school in a ten-week period without authorisation.
Penalty Notices incur a fine of £120 per parent, per child. This means that a family of 3 children with two parents missing school for a holiday could lead to combined fines of £720 for the family.
It is therefore important that school is kept informed of reasons for absence.