Mrs Louise Greenham is the Attendance Champion for Damers First School

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best possible start in life!
Our commitment to improving rates of attendance remains a key priority. We believe that attendance and punctuality is part of good behaviour with our aim to strive for 100% attendance and punctuality for each child. We must support all families to ensure all children are up, ready and motivated to get to school on time and to have high rates of attendance.  We believe good attendance is a whole school responsibility and your child’s class teacher will be able to help you with any queries regarding attendance.  This is in addition to support offered by the Head of School Mrs Greenham, Deputy Heads Mrs Bearwish and Mrs Hardisty and SENDCo Mr Bracey.  We are there to help if you have any difficulties with attendance. 

Our safeguarding message is clear for the community; if we can’t see a child, we don’t know they’re safe. We know there are a wider range of factors which can affect attendance including illnesses that make absences unavoidable and some medical appointments that are unavoidable during the school day. 

The facts are that children who frequently miss school fall behind in their learning and do less well in exams. We recommend that all parents read the helpful guide produced by Dorset Council.
We are committed to:

  • promoting the positives of attendance
  • having clear escalation systems for absence
  • addressing persistent absence quickly
  • working with external agencies for exceptional cases

We believe that attendance is a shared responsibility and the following is key:

  • effective leadership overseeing attendance
  • high quality teaching and learning to engage and enthuse all pupils
  • strong pastoral and safeguarding systems
  • effective monitoring and robust administration protocols to act upon absence
  • a warm welcome and clear routines for catch up upon pupils’ return* from absence

*we know that absence from school can result in a dip in academic and social stamina, tiredness and difficulties in re-adapting to the school routines
Please let the school know if your child is ill and not in school as soon as possible. If the office does not hear by 9.15, your child will be marked as an unauthorised absence.  Sometimes it is difficult to know when to keep your child off school – this NHS guide can help you decide whether to keep your child off school if they are unwell.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Being on time 

           Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year

           Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year

           Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year

           This can seriously affect your child’s learning and whole school experience. 

Helping your child be on time for school: 

  • Help your child get everything ready the night before (e.g. uniform/PE kit/book bag)
  • Allow plenty of time to get to school
  • Make arrangements with neighbours, family or friends if you have problems getting your child to school
  • Make sure your child has breakfast 
  • Help your child organise homework
  • Establish a good bedtime routine
  • Make sure your child gets enough rest and is not distracted by too much time on the computer or watching TV
  • Set an alarm clock in good time!
  • Remember strand times: Grayling – 8.30, Meadow – 8.40, Skipper and Chalkhill 8.50

Reporting Absences

All absences must be reported to the school office on each day of your child’s absence. You may be asked to supply information from the child’s GP as to why they are away.
If we do not hear from you and your child is absent, we may need to escalate our concern to Dorset Council social care/Dorset Police in order to ensure you and your child are safe.
Our Attendance Policy clearly and comprehensively explains the attendance expectations we have of all pupils and can be found on our 

School Policies page
Dorset Council’s School Attendance and Absence page

Thank you for your continued support