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Dealing with lateness

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Gentleben, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Any ideas for dealing with lateness? I have several chronically late boys and girls (Y5/6) and it's getting beyond a joke - anywhere up to 60 minutes after school starts. I've tried asking them if everything is OK - trying to be empathetic and understanding - but I'm getting to the point where it's increasingly hard to be patient. The lateness is proving quite disruptive and it's having a knock-on effect on their learning.
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We now require parents to sign a lateness book stating why their child is late and it has reducedthe number or children who are regularly late.
  3. In primary school, lateness is rarely about children and almost always about parents. It is they you should be speaking with about this.
    As an aside, a very good safeguarding adviser recently told us about a child at her previous school who was persistently late by 10 minutes on a wednesday. Not enough for most people to act, but his very vigilant teacher did ask about it. It turned out he was late that day because it was the day he had to top up the electricity meter before taking his siblings to school and nursery (he was ten). There were no other signs that anything was wrong, but this child had a chronically depressed and alcoholic mum at home and he was managing the household.
    Ten minutes late/60 minutes late - it needs investigating further.
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would keep a track over a week of what time the children arrive. Then ring parents on the Friday and point out exactly what their child has missed by being so late. If this had no effect then I'd get on to the attendance officer, you might need to go via a line manager.
  5. pachamama

    pachamama New commenter

    Do you have a learning mentor? This year we have started using ours to contact parents when their children are constantly late. She runs courses for parents and children, attempting to forge better school home links. Keeping a record is also a good idea. I imagine they are missing either numeracy or literacy each day. (I imagine if you sent the missed work home it wouldn't get done?) We had a child who used to arrive at least an hour late each day from reception up to year 3. Again not his fault his mother didn't see him getting to school on time as essential. (I had to alternate num/lit each day so he wouldn't miss out) Hope you manage to find a solution.
  6. We make a call to the carer of any child who has not arrived by 9.15 where the school has not been informed of their absence. This would be one way of letting the parents know that the children weren't getting to school on time, assuming they are unaware. It also means if something awful has happened on route we would be alerted to an issue asap.
    We have 2 codes for for lateness in the register - between 9.10and 9.30 is an L and after 9.30 is a U and the arrival time is noted in the register in both instances. There is official guidance on this.
    The head checks the attendance reports termly and writes to parents of those with concerns and refers to the EWO where nec.
    As for the children, any work missed gets done in their own time be it breaks or Golden afternoon. No attention on arrival - just come in, sit down and get on (with brief instruction from the TA if nec.)Apologies to the CT for being late must be made at the next break.
    We also have reward certs for 100% attendance and 100% punctuality. We're not perfect but it's improved since the above was introduced 4 years ago.
  7. beethan31

    beethan31 New commenter

    I agree with milliebear. We have a duty of care and even though Y5/6 chn can be lazy and 'not bothered' about getting to school on time, in our school all consistent lateness is investigated and monitored with regular 'well being' discussions with parents, head & child protection coordinator. We're in a deprived area and lots of our kids are carers for parents and siblings, and are totally responsible for sorting themselves out in a morning. It's rarely their fault, as irritating and disruptive as it is.
    We do similar to brum and 'big-up' attendance and punctuality with 'early bird' awards and prize drawers etc.
  8. You know what? I'm really glad I posted, as the advice here is clear - I'm right to be concerned and something needs to happen about it. Thank you all for reassurance on this and - more so - for suggestions as to how it might be tackled. I have several ideas now and will be tackling the problem head on. FWIW I didn't intend to blame the children - think there will be some interesting conversations with parents this week!
  9. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    Very true. I hate to see teachers or TAs questionning the child infront of the whole class about why they are late. Most of the time it is not the child's fault (at primary age anyway).
    A senior managment member at my previous school took it upon them to start invstigating persistant lateness. It was a massive job for her but opened a huge can of worms in many families. Children who were young carers and we didn't know they were, children whose parents were incapable of looking after them, chldren who walked themselves to school at a very young age, children being bullied by older siblings, illness in the family amongst many more. It really opened everyones eyes to how important it was to investigate these instances with the parents.

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