Important messages for parents in readiness for September 2021 return.
By the time the new academic year begins, bubble and isolation restrictions currently in place across UK schools will have changed. Whilst there will be some practices required to manage proven positive cases, the following procedures should be noted by all.
Key dates reminder and procedural updates.
School starts for the children on Monday 6th September. Term dates have already been issued on the school website, including INSET dates. School will be open to all from 8:45am until 3:20pm.
INSET dates reminder:
First day in September
Staff will be available to guide children.
Important: Parents of children in Key Stage 2 are not permitted onto the rear playground (in line with current arrangements) at the start of the school day; however, parents can continue to collect from said playground at the end of the school day. The exception to this is for parents of children in Year 3 for the first week only.
Entrance to school
Access to the school reception area will remain restricted to avoid overcrowding. Anyone wishing to enter the school must do so via the main entrance and this may require you to be patient.
Owing to safeguarding considerations the playground entrance to the reception area will not be available to parents – only the main door is to be used for entry and exit.
No cash payments
A reminder that cash payments will not be accepted by the school office other than for school uniform purchases. All other payments, including school dinners and trips should be continued to be paid through ScoPay.
Please ensure that if you change your mobile phone or number you inform us of this. It is vital that we have your up-to-date details so that we can contact you in an emergency.
PE lessons will commence in full as of September and children will be required to change for PE. Please see the school uniform policy for guidance. A reminder that PE is a part of the national curriculum and not optional. Children will be required to take part in PE even without the correct attire if it is deemed safe to do so. Absences owing to medical conditions may require NHS confirmation if deemed persistent/long term.
School Uniform – Remember, remember, school shoes in September!
I have not placed too much pressure on parents to adhere to the school uniform policy during the pandemic. This was in recognition of the financial pressures placed on some families and the recognition that some were reluctant to buy new uniform (notably school shoes) so close to the end of the academic year, and at the same time running the risk of being placed in repeated isolations.
As of September there is an expectation of strict adherence to policy once more. 7 week notice is hereby given and is deemed reasonable and appropriate.
Policy states: Children are to attend school in/with the following items, in a clean and good condition:
Note on school shoes: Some companies produce school (all black) specific fashion training shoes. These are permitted on the understanding that:
The full school uniform policy is available on the school website under Key Information>Policies & documents
Consequences of non-uniform compliance
By sending your child to Ashgate Primary School, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of governor approves policies.
Department for Education guidance (Guidance for governing bodies, school leaders, school staff and local authorities 2013)
“A head teacher, or a person authorised, may ask a pupil to go home briefly to remedy a breach of the school’s rules on appearance or uniform. If the pupil continues to breach uniform rules in such a way as to be sent home to avoid school, or takes longer than is strictly necessary to effect the change, the pupil’s absence may be counted as an unauthorised absence. If a school is considering excluding a pupil in response to breaches of uniform policy then this must be in line with the legal requirements for exclusion”.
This date has been applied in order to allow parents to purchase the appropriate clothing if they do not have it at this time and is deemed reasonable and appropriate notice.
Objections or complaints about the school uniform policy or actions following the above guidance can be addressed to the Headteacher directly, or through the school’s governor agreed Complaints Policy (available on the school website). Parents are however reminded that admission to the school is on the grounds that governor approved policies are adhered to.
In the interim the staff are directed where it is appropriate and reasonable to ask children to remove items that do not match policy and parents will receive notice that they have sent their child to school incorrectly dressed.
Punctuality and attendance
A reminder to all that persistent absenteeism has a significant impact on your child’s education, particularly in light of the number of enforced forced absences during pandemic lockdowns and isolations.
Your child’s academic recovery is reliant on good attendance.
It is the Department of Education/Ofsted that dictate attendance below 95% is poor and that below 90% is ‘persistent absenteeism’. The reasons for this have been made clear before; good attendance is vital for the success of pupils and their wellbeing. Our own school data, as well as that issued nationally, makes clear that poor attendance results in poorer outcomes for children.
Attendance - the law
Children must attend school under the Education Act 1989 (revised). Poor attendance at school can result in one or more of the following:
I will actively seek to enforce the necessary legal actions to address absence affairs where improvements are not seen and /or parents do not engage with or recognise the legitimate concern.
Drop off and collection to school – Punctuality matters
Arriving to school late for either drop off or collection places significant pressures on staff and restricts the support we can give to other pupils, not to mention the challenges it places on the child themselves. The school does maintain punctuality records and repeated or significant poor punctuality may result in agency actions, including a conversion to an unauthorised absence where appropriate (counting against your child’s attendance.
Collection from clubs/afterschool activities
Some clubs are run by external agencies and they work beyond the opening hours of the school office. As a result of this, should late collections be deemed a pattern, your child may have to forego their position at the club so that the place can be offered to another child.