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Riverwalk School

Attendance

All pupils are encouraged to attend school regularly and to be punctual. We work closely with families to achieve this and expect everyone to be committed to excellent attendance.

Regular school attendance is vital in ensuring that children maximise the educational opportunities available to them while safeguarding their personal safety and well-being.  

At Riverwalk School we feel it is important to help and encourage attendance by working together and providing support wherever we can. We value the importance of family engagement and working together to create the best possible experience for all our children and their Parents/Carers.

Why is regular school attendance important?

  • Allows children to fully access and benefit from the extra support available at SEN schools
  • Beneficial for developing important social skills and relationships within a safe and supportive environment
  • Encourages students to develop important skills for life such as social skills, team skills and confidence
  • It prepares students for their next steps in life

Parents/Carers Responsibilities:

  • Ensure their child attends school regularly and punctually unless prevented from doing so by illness or medical appointment
  • Contact the school office on the first morning of absence
  • Inform the school in advance of any medical appointments during school time
  • Follow the correct procedure for requesting an absence during term time, only if absolutely necessary as these requests are not automatically approved

How do I report an absence?

In line with the Trust absence policy, if a child cannot attend school due to illness, we would expect a parent or carer to contact the school on the first day of absence on the main Riverwalk School number: 01284 764280.

Riverwalk School has a pupil absence line. Just call the school number and press 1 to report your child’s absence. The school doesn’t need to be open to receive your absence call. Please ensure you let us know before the start of the school day by 08:45. 

Where we have not received any communication from the parent/carer, the school will call home by 10.00 am.

If we are unable to make contact, we will contact the emergency numbers you have provided. Please make sure these are up-to-date. If we have not heard from any contacts, then a home visit may be conducted.

It is important to consider the vulnerability of some of our students to illnesses. Following a bout of sickness or diarrhoea, your child cannot return to school for 48 hours after the last bout.

Can we book holidays in term time?

The Trust has a legal responsibility to apply the law to all ‘exceptional leave requests’. Therefore, it is unlikely that leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. We know this can sometimes be frustrating and we will ensure that all requests for exceptional leave are reviewed and considered with compassion and understanding while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Where exceptional leave requests are supported with appropriate evidence, and it meets the Department for Education requirements, we will approve as an authorised absence.  We are unable to provide blanket approval to all parental requests.

How do I request a leave of absence?

All requests for leave should be made in writing to the Academy Head, using the school’s request form. The form should be returned to the office before the start of the absence.

Please visit the following page to download a copy of the pupil leave of absence form: Riverwalk School - Parental Forms

What Support is available at Riverwalk?

You are welcome to contact the school if you feel you would like advice or support in helping your child attend more regularly. We are committed to maximizing the education of all our pupils and aim to work with parents to ensure this can be achieved. 

If you would like any advice or guidance, our Riverwalk Family Support Officers are always here to help.  They can share a range of information, advice and support to families who need assistance.

Please contact us on 01284 764280 or info@riverwalk.suffolk.sch.uk to arrange a face-to-face chat or telephone call.

Useful links:

Department for Education advice on mild illnesses and school attendance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-school-leaders-on-mild-illness-and-school-attendance/letter-to-school-leaders-on-mild-illness-and-school-attendance

Early Help is support given to families when a challenge first develops: https://www.riverwalk.org.uk/page/?title=Early+Help&pid=8