To think absence targets are unachievable

(42 Posts)
Lolamon Thu 25-Jun-15 10:47:58

I attended my dd reception talk yesterday and of course attendance came up. The government have now changed the attendance guidelines so now you have to achieve 90% attendance which equates to 2 and a half days off between September and December. They've also included children of not school age in this so 4 year olds. If you have more than 2 and half days off you're treated as a persistent offender and have to meet with the educational welfare officer. Is this totally ridiculous or is it just me. Bareing in mind you have to keep your child off for 48hours if they have a sickness bug!

cdwales Thu 25-Jun-15 10:53:10

I wouldn't worry, just manage it; have a 'reason' and keep them informed. It is not your child that will be concerning them I expect...

reni1 Thu 25-Jun-15 11:26:40

Is that 90% for each child or 90% average? If a child is sick, they are sick. 90% on average might work, my dd had a 100% record in reception, having had most bugs at nursery before. A child looked after at home might catch something once a month and have a much lower attendance.

NRomanoff Thu 25-Jun-15 11:29:57

The government has changed it so individual attendance has to be 90%? At my meeting for da they said they aim for overall 90% and individual 80%

SaucyJack Thu 25-Jun-15 11:33:30

90% attendance is a day off every single fortnight by my maths.

I don't think it's an unachievable target ^in the slightest^*

*usual exceptions for those with chronic health conditions.

Gemauve Thu 25-Jun-15 11:36:45

now you have to achieve 90% attendance which equates to 2 and a half days off between September and December.

90% attendance over three months is six days, not two and a half days.

Lolamon Thu 25-Jun-15 12:09:30

Ok headteacher got it wrong on the 2 and half days haha! I did think that was a big ask taking into account winter bugs!

Theknacktoflying Thu 25-Jun-15 12:21:20

i know that in our county school attendance has become something that has been taken up quite seriously. The problem is that esp. young children seem to pick up many bugs and it is safer for them to be out at home than spreading the germs around.

To give parents some kind of objective is mad - besides ensuring your well child attends school on time there isn't a hell of a lot that can be done.

Perhaps trying to put parents off taking holidays during term time

Heels99 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:24:13

You may be surprised. My dd has had 1 day off sick in three years.
Which is good as I take her out for holiday for a week every year!

Sirzy Thu 25-Jun-15 12:26:52

I think for a child without any medical problems then 90% is perfectly achievable, most schools have a goal of 95% or over.

As long as they realise for some children that will be unachievable due to medical issues then I don't see an issue

ReallyTired Thu 25-Jun-15 12:29:46

90% is easily achievable over period of a term. In fact I am surprised the target is so low. Attendance officers only intervene if the child has had more than ten days off without explanation and the parents are refusing to engage with the school. I feel the op is worrying unnecessarily.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 25-Jun-15 12:36:00

Dang! Ds missed his 100% as he had a dentist appointment this term.
I think most kids have a couple of days off every now and then, especially with the 48hour rule.
As long as school or class averages don't include those will long term illnesses, they should be ok.
Yab a bit u.

Ludoole Thu 25-Jun-15 12:36:52

Ds started secondary school in sept, got sent home feeling ill which developed into d & v and needed 4 days off. In december he had an horrendous absess on a salivary gland (swollen face, 2 lots of simultaneous antibiotics and 2 lots of pain killers- an operation was in the pipeline if it didnt improve) Doctor said to keep him off for a week as he could barely lift his head off the pillow. School were informed about all of this and yet we still received a snotty letter... hmm

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 25-Jun-15 12:37:24

My school had a big session in assembly about the importance of good attendance but because they were reasonably pragmatic about what you can actually do the message was basically, 'Wash your hands regularly so you can avoid getting sick and keep our attendance figures up!'

Which was right, of course, but still a bit bizarre. It would have been less confusing for the kids if they'd just focused on the importance of good hygiene as an end in itself.

DoILookLikeIGiveAFuck Thu 25-Jun-15 12:37:54

Here we have a 95% target for the whole class and I think it's 90% individually.

Not much you can do when they pick up every bug going, but I can say that my child was at about 85% for his first two years and this past year he's at 98%! So they do build an immunity eventually!

redskybynight Thu 25-Jun-15 12:41:44

90% attendance averages down to half a day off every week.

Quickly thinking through all of my DC's classmates, I'm fairly sure that the only children falling below this are those who
- have had a lot of term time holiday ( those with only a week are probably above the threshold)

- have or have had particular medical reasons (either underlying condition or one off absence due to specific medical problem)

- have parents who randomnly take them out of school as the mood takes them

The vast majority of children should easily be able to make these targets.
The vast majority of DC at my children's school only have the odd day or 2 off in a school year.

reni1 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:51:13

It also depends how it is calculated, over a year, or per term/ half term? My dd totalled 5 days off in 3 years, but 3 of these days were consecutive, so that half term she'd be only just above the 90%. I think they will look at general patterns before taking any action. Appendicitis? Nobody will interview you. 4 long weekends in one term? Maybe have a closer look.

thehumanjam Thu 25-Jun-15 12:54:27

I ignore the targets. My children have only ever taken time off when they are unwell and as parents what more can we do than ensure they are in school when they are well and off when they are ill? My eldest has received the 100% attendance award on two occasions (totally disagree with this, how can you reward someone for having good health?) and we also had a letter from the attendance officer informing us that his attendance was unacceptable despite it being on record that there was a specific medical reason for his absence. I wrote a letter to the attendance officer expressing my dismay at their inability to exercise common sense. Unsurprisingly they never bothered to reply.

Athenaviolet Thu 25-Jun-15 12:56:04

I don't really understand why other dcs are off so often.

We've had 11 years of school between dcs here. The max off in a school year is 3. Most years it's been 0,1,2 days off.

Of these most were of the 'feeling a little under the weather in the morning, fine by lunchtime' type illness.

Is that really that abnormal?

Annabel7 Thu 25-Jun-15 13:00:36

Attendance targets are a nonsense. Schools need to be concerned as Ofsted looks at it but as a parent I don't give a jot. My kids go to school when they're well and stay home when they're ill. I think the only concern from the school should be unauthorised absences for holidays, days out etc...

MarjorieWinklepicker Thu 25-Jun-15 13:01:35

Well DS is in reception and is so far at 94% attendance.

He has had tonsillitis twice, an ear infection, sickness bug and chickenpox. Also three hospital appointments and one dentist (he fell over and banged his teeth).

So that's how some can get so low. I would never keep them at home for anything other than illness. DD has 100% this year but she is 10 and has had a lot of the childhood illnesses now.

reni1 Thu 25-Jun-15 13:02:38

Athena, your experience is exactly mine. Most other children I know also only miss 1-2 days per year. School year of 190 days needs 19 days off, so almost 4 full weeks. Colds and sniffles do not explain this, a serious car accident or leukaemia would.

bobajob Thu 25-Jun-15 13:04:43

Attendance is unlikely to be 90% in a Reception class - for e.g. my class had chicken pox jut before Easter, so that's 10 children with 5+ days off each. Then we had an impetigo outbreak. Plenty go down with D&V, tonsillitis, colds, tiredness especially in the first and last terms.

Lolamon Thu 25-Jun-15 13:08:09

Ds rarely gets ill but when he does he's very ill! Chicken pox in reception ended up with a week off school and tonsillitis at Christmas time was another week!

But I agree I'm probably being unreasonable in worrying about this. My dcs are always on time in correct uniform and only off when I have consulted doctors first. Thanks for all your thoughts on it

SomewhereIBelong Thu 25-Jun-15 13:13:49

Mine got a letter for 90% attendance after being at school every single day/session - the BOY after HER in the register was off a lot, and she was marked off in error.

I complained and was told to not let her be off again... ermmmm ?!?

Suffice to say I went in and complained in person in all my apoplectic fury and it was all sorted out.

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