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Annual Attendance Report

2015 -2016

St Peter’s London Docks C of E Primary School

 

Attendance & Welfare Adviser: Stephen Hastings

Dated: August 2016                 

 

Summary:

 

St Peter’s is a one class entry primary school located in Wapping.  The school is a faith school, Church of England, though pupils of all faiths are welcome.

 

This report is produced to assist both the school and the Attendance and Welfare Service to highlight attendance issues, review strategies recommended in last year’s report and to address any concerns identified and to develop new initiatives in order to improve attendance next year.

 

Figures used in this report are taken from the schools electronic register, Wauton Samuel & Co Ltd, together with those figures which the school supplied to Tower Hamlets each half term on attendance and persistent absence.  All figures are for the first 5 half terms only and exclude the second half of the summer term.  Figures relate to years 1 to 6 only and exclude Reception and Nursery, unless specifically shown.  Where comparison with national figures is made these figures relate to last year and include HT6.[1]

 

St Peter’s achieved 96.31% overall attendance this year, which ranks as 17th highest out of the 68 primary schools in Tower Hamlets.  The average attendance for all primary schools in Tower Hamlets was 95.94% with other schools recording attendance figures ranging from 94.94% to 97.45%.

 

St Peter’s had 0.62% unauthorised absence this year.  The average figure for all primary schools in Tower Hamlets was 0.7% with other schools ranging from 0.18% to 1.73%.

 

Reception attendance was 95.56% and was 3rd highest within Tower Hamlets.  The average attendance for reception class in Tower Hamlets was 93.4%.

Factors which affected attendance

 

The school uses first day calling to check on absent pupils and this is the single most effective influence which has improved attendance.  Staff are challenging of weak excuses which sends out a clear message about the expectation of regular attendance.

 

Most absence was due to illness; this year chicken pox was prevalent to a greater than usual extent, also this year there was a higher than usual incidence of illness causing sickness and diarrhoea.

 

Being a Church of England school St Peter’s does not close for non-Christian festivals, including Eid.  However a significant proportion of its pupils are Muslim and were absent on each occasion of Eid this year.  This has adversely affected attendance this year.

 

REPORT

 

 

Overall attendance has been close to or above 96% for the last four years and the trend line indicates a progressive rise over the last five years.   This year the school has 17th highest attendance of all Tower Hamlets primary schools.

 

By way of comparison the average attendance of primary schools across England last year was 96.0%.

Unauthorised absence for the last 5 years

The school asks for medical evidence before authorising absence once the pupils attendance falls below 90%.  Additionally a number of families took unauthorised leave during term time.  Both reasons have contributed to the unauthorised absence figure.

By way of comparison the unauthorised absence level nationally for all primary schools in England was 0.9%.

Attendance by year group

Two year groups have slightly lower attendance compared with the school average, year 2 and year 5.  Two pupils are referred in year 5 and they have helped depress attendance in that year group.  I am unable to explain the slightly lower attendance in class 2.

Reception attendance is high at 96.6%; this year reception attendance in Tower Hamlets ranged from 90.4% to 97% with an average of 93.4%.

Analysis for particular groups

Boys/Girls

 

Boys/Girls Average
attendance
Number
Boys 96.7 86
Girls 95.8 76

 

Boys had higher overall attendance this year.  For comparison average attendance of boys vs girls in all primary schools across England last year was 95.9% vs 96%.

Last year at St Peter’s boys had higher attendance though he difference was much closer.  I do not draw any conclusions from this and given the relatively small number of pupils the results are probably not statistically significant.

 Ethnicity

 

Ethnicity Average
attendance
Number of
pupils
White British 95.6 38
Any Other White Background 96.4 17
Mixed/Dual Background – White & Black Caribbean 95.1 4
Mixed/Dual Background – White & Black African 100 1
Mixed/Dual Background – White and Asian 96.7 12
Mixed/Dual Background – Any Other Mixed Background 95.9 15
Chinese 92 1
Black or Black British – Caribbean 96.7 6
Black or Black British -Any Other Black Background 100 2
Black or Black British – African 97.4 4
Asian or Asian British – Pakistani 97 3
Asian or Asian British – Indian 96.2 2
Asian or Asian British – Bangladeshi 96.6 44
Asian or Asian British – Any other Asian Background 98.5 3
Any Other Ethnic Group 95.6 10

 

Where the number of pupils within an ethnic group is small caution should be exercised before attributing too much significance to their attendance figures.

 

The most numerous ethnic group are pupils of Bangladeshi origin and their attendance is above average at 96.6%.

The next most numerous group are White British and their attendance is below average at 95.6%.

 

No ethnic group (of significant numbers) has attendance below 95.5%.

Comparative figures shown below are from school census returns for all primary schools in England for last year, HT 1 to HT6.

 

Attendance by Ethnic group for all primary schools
in England (DfE figures for last academic year
% of pupils by
ethnicic origin
Average
attendance%
White 74.8% 96
White British 68.1% 96.1
Irish 0.3% 95.4
Traveller of Irish heritage 0.1% 82.5
Gypsy / Roma 0.4% 87.8
Any other white background 5.9% 95.3
Mixed 5.5% 95.7
White and Black Caribbean 1.5% 95.1
White and Black African 0.7% 96.1
White and Asian 1.3% 96
Any other mixed background 2.0% 95.7
Asian 10.6% 95.7
Indian 2.8% 96.4
Pakistani 4.3% 95.3
Bangladeshi 1.7% 95.2
Any other Asian background 1.8% 96.2
Black 5.8% 96.9
Black Caribbean 1.2% 95.9
Black African 3.8% 97.3
Any other Black background 0.8% 96.6
Chinese 0.4% 97.3
Any other ethnic group 1.8% 95.7
Minority ethnic pupils (excluding “White British”) 30.8% 95.7
All pupils 100% 96

 

 

 

Free School Meals

 

Free School Meals Attendance Number
FSM 96 77
No FSM 96.6 85

 

Slightly less than half the pupils receive free school meals and their attendance is 0.6% below the others.  Nationally the difference is much more exaggerated with those receiving FSM averaging 94.2% and those not receiving FSM averaging 96.4%.  The percentage in receipt of FSM nationally is also much lower at 17.3% of pupils.

 

 

Children in Public care

 

No pupils are LAC

Education, Health and Care Plan

 

The schools MIS, Wauton & Samuel, does not appear to provide this information in a report.

The information below was calculated manually from the SEN register supplied by the school SENCO.

 

SEN Number Attendance
S 5 93.30%
A+ 32 95.95%
A 15

For comparison the average attendance of pupils with an EHCP/SEN last year across England was 93.7% and of those receiving support it was 94.8%

Pupils who are either looked after or who have an Education, Health and Care Plan are regarded as particularly vulnerable and all schools are expected to monitor their attendance

Attendance by Events

 

Events Attendance%
Day before Eid 23/9/15 98.5%
Eid-ul-Adha 24/9/15 62%
Day after Eid 25/9/15 97%
Ramadan 6/6/16 to 6/7/16 95.5%
Eid-ul-Fitr 7/7/16 65%

 

A significant proportion of pupils are Musim and were absent on each Eid; attendance was unaffected the day after each Eid and held up well during Ramadan, so their parents appear to regard school attendance as a priority.

The overall effect of both Eid falling on a school day reduced the schools attendance by approximately 0.4%

Partial weeks
Week beginning
Attendance%
31/08/2015 (first week back) 95.7%
21/9/15 (week of Eid) 90.7%
4/1/16 (bank holiday) 96.8%
21/3/16 (Bank holiday) 91.4%
11/4/16 (inset) 97.9%
2/5/16 (bank holiday Monday, Polling day Thursday) 95.2%

Attendance was lower during the week of Eid.  Also attendance fell in the week before Easter as some families went away to celebrate Easter.

Unauthorised leave during term time

Unauthorised leave (code G) accounted for 0.34% lost attendance, this compares with 0.45% last year.

The average figure within Tower Hamlets Primary schools this year is 0.32%.

For comparison the average figure last year for all Primary schools in England was 0.3% for the whole year, including HT6.

The school follows DfE and Tower Hamlets guidance and does not authorise leave during term time except in exceptional circumstances.  Where parents have taken unauthorised leave the school has referred for a penalty notice and this year 7 penalty notices were issued.

Identification and Tracking of Pupils with Persistent Absence

By the end of the 5th half term only 8 pupils remained as persistently absent and these represent 4.94% of the school.  St Peters has the 17th lowest rate of persistent absence within all Tower Hamlets Primary schools; other schools ranged from 0% to 12.64% and the borough average was 7.1%.

Of the 8 identified PA pupils 7 will remain on roll next year and will form the cohort for early monitoring from September.

The DfE has changed its definition of persistent absence[2].  Since the start of the 2015/16 academic year, a pupil has been classified as a persistent absentee if they miss 10 per cent or more of their own possible sessions, rather than if they reach a standard threshold of absence sessions.  Meaning, that when a pupils overall absence rate becomes 10 per cent or higher they will be classified as persistently absent.  Additionally the DfE expects schools to identify pupils at the point when their attendance falls below 90%, or is about to, and to begin working with them immediately.  This has had a dramatic effect on expectations for monitoring and intervention and the sheer numbers involved have proved challenging to establishing sensible working practices.

For comparison below are Official  DfE figures for last year, 2014/15, for the whole year, HT1-6 based on PA (10% Threshold).

Primary Schools % PA pupils last year

 

St Peter’s 4.94%
LBTH 8.3%
National 8.4%
Inner London 8.9%

 

Strategies employed by the School and evaluation of their effectiveness

First day calling to chase up unreported absences.  First day calling is the single most effective way a school can improve overall attendance.  School encourages attendance whenever possible, even if that means the pupil arrives late or may have to go home early.  Weak excuses such as “temperature” or “headache” are challenged and staff make clear the absence will not be authorised in such circumstances and ask that the pupil attends school if possible.

The head teacher meets with individual parents where there is an attendance concern.

Good attendance is celebrated and rewarded.

Existing strategies have worked well, attendance remains above 96% and the number of persistently absent pupils is well below average.

Strategies employed by the AWA and evaluation of their effectiveness

Annual register inspection in the autumn term to identify pupils who meet THAWS referral criteria and to confirm school is using all legitimate means to maximise attendance.

Regular register checks, fortnightly or monthly, to enable early identification of emerging attendance concerns and early intervention.

Contacting and meeting parents where there is an emerging attendance concern, in collaboration with school staff.

Termly letters to all parents with child’s attendance.

Reception year

No specific work was carried out by the AWA with reception age children.

Comments on Implementation of Recommendations for 2015/16

Recommendations on close monitoring when attendance approached 90% were followed through.  The head teacher, attendance officer and AWA met together to identify attendance concerns and to plan individual interventions to try and prevent each pupil becoming persistently absent.

Recommendations for School Action for 2016/17

The school has set challenging attendance goals and must target interventions in order to achieve these.  Current strategies have worked well and these should continue as a basis to build on further.

Positive measures such as recognising improved attendance and celebrating good attendance generally have better outcomes than criticism of poor attendance.  Promoting the benefits of good attendance is far more likely to win support from parents.

The policy of requesting medical evidence following prolonged or repeated absence is positive as this promotes the importance of regular attendance.  Telling parents when absences will not be authorised sends a very clear message about what school regards as good attendance.

The DfE expects all schools to monitor the attendance of vulnerable children, LAC and SED/EHCP in particular.  The school should have systems in place to achieve this.

Recommendations for AWA for 2016/17

Annual Register Inspection during the autumn term in order to identify pupils who meet THAWS referral criteria and to ensure the school is following current register marking legislation.

To undertake monthly register checks to identify pupils with developing absence concerns at an early stage and to work with the school to jointly plan early intervention to address those concerns.

To ensure prompt follow up of referrals through contact with families and other agencies, home visits, preventative and outreach work.  Monitor attendance of referred cases on a regular basis and re-evaluate all cases every half term to review action plans.  Prompt referral to the Social Inclusion Panel when all other strategies fail.

Attendance and Persistent Absence Targets for 2016/17

Attendance and Persistent Absence Targets for 2016/17
Attendance Target 15/16 97%
Actual Attendance HT 1 – 5 96.31%
Actual Attendance HT 1 – 6
Attendance Target 2016/17 97%
Persistent Absence Target 2015/16 5%
Actual Persistent Absence 2015/16 for HT1-5 4.94%
Actual Persistent Absence 2015/16 for HT1-6
Persistent Absence Target for 2016/17 7%

Date:  31/8/16

[1]  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-2014-to-2015

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/absence-statistics-guide

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