There are 41 languages represented in the school and the attainment of pupils on entry is very low compared with national levels, with many pupils speaking little or no English. In addition, the percentage of pupils who have learning difficulties is similar to the figures found nationally. The school offers a wide range of before- and after-school activities for pupils, their parents and the local community.
The purpose of this study is to identify an area of development on attendance and punctuality of the school as they have problems with it. According to Ofsteds report dated 2004, the Dormers Wells Infants School, it contains school complaints where actions were not required. Following school representation, Ofsted decided to publish informations relating to complaints on September 1, 2006 where actions were required by Ofsted and the school. Even if there were several complaints, they did not require any action. This responsibility to give true and up to date information was changed in January 2009.
The main concern of primary school teachers is the issue of pupils taking holiday during school time. The staff were confused as to when holiday time should be authorised and when it should not be authorised. In both authorities, different practices were followed. The ones interviewed believe that Circular 3/99 be rewritten, simplified and be more user friendly for better local clarification.
In primary schools, everyday attendance is checked then at the end of school term, a certificate of full attendance is awarded. Teachers are also involved in visiting homes of pupils who got absent on the first day. Some teachers are confused about authorising unauthorised absence issue. All the staff did not believe that attendance should be a part of the work load agenda but they should be involved in registration process as part of their duty of care and pastoral support of pupils and parents. However, both heads and teachers worry that too little information was being shared by school and their local social services and health departments and other local services agencies (ex: Connexions, YOT providers), that has implication for Every Child Matters (Dfes, 2003).
The method I used to gather data from parents regarding attendance and punctuality is give questionnaires to parents because I found this method more convenient. The significance of this method is that the researcher and respondent should not in any way have any personal involvement. They have to maintain a social distance. (Research Method p 2)
Advantages of using questionnaires are:
1. Questionnaires are more objective because responses are gathered in a standardised way.
2. Informations are relatively quick to collect using a questionnaire but in some instances they can take a long time designing and analysing.
3. Information can be gathered from a large portion of a group. Returns from questionnaires are usually low and this is not often realised. But return rates can be improved if the questionnaire is delivered and responded to on time.
Disadvantages of questionnaires:
1. Like the many evaluation methods, questionnaires are given after the event, so participants may forget some important issues.
2. Questionnaires a