These are the most important years of your child’s life, and we don’t want them to miss a thing!
At Churchfield we know that regular attendance is directly linked to raising achievement and develops skills for life and work. Good attendance has an immeasurable number of benefits, both academically and socially. We are committed to ensuring that every child can access every opportunity, and children being in school is a fundamental part of that belief. We expect children to attend every day, and be on time every day, and work closely with the Barnsley Education Welfare Service to provide support where needed.
Below is a range of information about attendance, initiatives in school and more.
Attendance is a partnership between home and school and we are here to help! If you have any issues around attendance, or any home/ personal issues that may impact on your child’s attendance – just come and speak to us. As a school we are also part of the DFE Attendance Hub.
Our school target for attendance is 96%, but we always push our families to ‘Aim for 100, beat 96!’. No value can be put on good attendance, so aim for every single day.
As attendance and punctuality is so important to us, we cannot be complacent where there are instances of unacceptable, low pupil attendance, or if children are regularly late to school. We track and monitor the attendance of all children in school, and parents may receive letters inviting them into school for set meetings if a child’s attendance needs improving.
We are part of the ‘5 Foundations for Effective Attendance’ programme and support the idea that attendance is a whole-school approach. At the bottom of this page is more information about the programme. We’re also thrilled to be part of the DFE’s Attendance Hubs, to further develop our approach and support our children.
Every half-term we run our ‘Attendance League’ where classes compete against each other in ‘attendance matches’. The winning class in the league win a FREE McDonald’s lunch, and lots of other school have now adopted the league incentive!
Every week as part of our Attendance League, classes can also win a roll of the big dice and get to move their piece on the Monopoly board. If a class gets 96%, they win 1 roll, or 100% wins 2 rolls! There’s lots of prizes from non-uniforms days to glow-in-the-dark dodgeball. Our School Council selected all the prizes too!
We understand that on rare occasions, children may be too ill to attend school. In these cases, we ask all parents to phone school ASAP and inform us of the reason, and expected return date. If we don’t hear from a parent, school will phone first thing to check-in.
‘Rise & shine, school starts at 10 to 9!’. Being on time to school and good punctuality is essential. Our doors open at 8:45am, and school starts at 8:50am prompt.
Good attendance is so important, so there are some cases where we may need to work with the Education Welfare Service to submit fines. This may be if a holiday is taken in term time, or if attendances does not improve after a period of support.
5 Foundations for Effective Attendance
At Churchfield, we have adopted the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework, this is modelled on the work of Professor Katherine Weare. The emphasis is on developing a school culture and climate which builds a sense of connectedness and belonging to ensure all children can attend school and thrive. The approach ensures we prioritise building solid working relationships with children / parents prior to any escalation. The staged approach we use ensures we identify triggers early that can lead to poor attendance issues such as; mental health issues, lack of trust, communication and relationship breakdowns and the possible lack of networking opportunities both internal (in-school) and external (external agencies).
The Foundations framework has most recently been reviewed by the Department for Education. The Foundations framework received an excellent report following the four-day review. “The Foundations approach is an excellent example of best practice; there are very clear and detailed systems and procedures in place to manage absence and attendance consistently” (Michelle O’Dell DFE Attendance Advisor March 2022).
Aims of the strategy
- Increase school Attendance and reduce Persistent Absence to meet set targets
- Ensure Attendance is well managed within the school, with the appropriate level of resources allocated
- Enable the school to make informed use of Attendance data to target interventions appropriately, focusing on the key demographic groups highlighted in the 2022 DFE paper
The 5 Foundations Approach
The approach is evidence-informed and completely child-centred. Each Foundation is supported by 5 Key Performance Indicators, these are used to ensure the school can embed the Foundations framework and understand the strategic direction regarding attendance improvement. The framework allows the school to understand the whole school approach to supporting and improving attendance. We create welcoming environments to allow all children to gain a sense of belonging and ultimately achieve academically through regular school attendance. All staff receive attendance training to support the whole school approach, they understand their role in improving attendance and certain staff are identified to engage in specialist training to continue to support families and children who work with external partners.
We use data information to support children, this allows us to understand the groups, and individuals, who require specific programmes of intervention. Reviewing each programme allows us to understand the effectiveness of support and change what is not working. Finally, we train and support all staff to understand the ‘root cause’ of concerns.
Foundation 1 – Whole School Thinking Culture and Climate
The school has a fully embedded ethos in which excellent school attendance is expected, developed and nurtured. The escalated approach to supporting attendance is built on foundations of belonging and connectedness.
Foundation 2 – Supportive Policies, Systems and Process
The approach to improving attendance is built on clear policies, systems and processes. This ensures continuous and sustainable improvement drives attendance practice. The attendance policy is understood by all stakeholders and allows the school to set, and maintain, high expectations to improve the culture of attendance.
Foundation 3 – Professional Learning Staff Development
The school prioritises developing a team of attendance experts, with a shared vision and core purpose. The Attendance Leader delivers bespoke training to support all staff to fully understand their role in improving attendance. External partnerships support attendance improvements through a multi-disciplinary approach for identified children and families.
Foundation 4 – Implement Targeted Programmes and Intervention
Data information and analysis direct resources proactively towards key demographic groups and identified individuals. The expert use of data analysis informs decision making at all levels. The attendance process ensures the Attendance Leader understands the reason for attendance concerns, these barriers can then be successfully supported and removed.
Foundation 5 – Connect Appropriately with Approaches to Behaviour Management
Connecting and belonging drives the school approach to supporting attendance. All staff are supported to understand ‘deeper roots’ regarding poor attendance concerns. The school has developed, and embedded, an effective rewards system to further drive attendance improvements and celebrate success.