Attendance & Punctuality

Attendance: Enabling Your Child to be Successful

Central to ensuring your child fulfils their potential is the recognition that pupils who attend school regularly make good progress. Research has demonstrated that children with poor attendance tend to underachieve compared to those pupils who attend regularly.

As part of our commitment to raising the achievement levels and aspirations of all pupils, we expect pupils to:

  • Attend school every day and for a minimum of 96% of school days;
  • Attend school on time. Pupils have to be in school for 8.25am and in form or assembly at 8.30am;
  • Be punctual to lessons.
  • Bring all equipment need for the day.

We expect you as parents/carers to:

  • Ensure your child aims to attend 100% of the time and at least hit the minimum school target of 96%;
  • Promote good attendance by ensuring your child is only off school in very serious circumstances;
  • Avoid making health appointments during school time for your child;
  • Ensure no holidays are taken during term time – the legislation has changed and we are no longer allowed to authorise holiday absence.

When your child is not in school the absence is recorded as either:

Authorised: school has been given an acceptable explanation to justify an absence.
Or
Unauthorised: no reason has been offered for an absence or where the school feels the explanation offered is unacceptable.

Acceptable Reasons for Absence

Unacceptable Reasons for Absence

Serious illness

Cold or sore throat

Medical emergency

Looking after siblings

Admission to hospital

Attending a wedding

Hospital appointment

Holidays

 

Dental appointments

 

Visiting relatives

 

Shopping trips

 

Long weekends

 

Birthdays or Birthday Parties

Being Frequently Late for School Adds up to Lost Learning

Arriving 5 minutes late 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 is the same as being absent for 19 days a year

19 days lost a year through being late = 90% attendance.

If your child is ill and you are unsure whether to send them into school, the colour coded notes below are a useful guide:

RED – STAY AT HOME

  • Raised temperature (of over 37.5)
  • Rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses such as chicken pox and measles. If your child has a rash, check with the GP before sending them into school.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea. Children with these conditions can return to school when their symptoms have settled.

AMBER – TAKE ADVICE

  • Headaches. A child with a minor headache does not need to be kept off school.
  • If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms such as a raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep your child at home and consult your GP.

GREEN – COME TO SCHOOL*

  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling tired

*We will always contact you if your child becomes ill during the day.

Understanding Missed Days

Days Absent

Weeks Absent

% Attendance

1

 

99.5

2

 

99

3

 

98.5

4

 

98

5

1

97.5

10

2

95

15

3

92.5

20

4

90

25

5

87.5

30

6

85

35

7

82.5

40

8

80

90% attendance = ½ day missed every week!

1 school year at 90% attendance = 4 whole weeks of lessons MISSED!

90% attendance over 5 years of secondary school

= ½ a school year MISSED!

Research suggests that 17 missed school days a year = GCSE grade drop in achievement. (DfE)

THE GREATER THE ATTENDANCE

THE GREATER THE ACHIEVEMENT!

Holidays

The Department for Education has recently changed the attendance regulations. The headteacher is no longer able to grant any leave of absence during term time and will NOT authorise holidays of any length.

While we recognise that holidays during the school term may appear less expensive, we as a school believe you cannot place a value on the ‘cost’ of missed days. There is a clear ‘cost’ to your child in terms of jeopardising their potential achievement.

There are 175 days (weekends and school holidays) available to use for holidays.

Taking a holiday in term time gives your child the wrong message that it is acceptable to miss school.

Penalty Notices

Penalty notices are issued in the following circumstances:

  • Taking unauthorised holidays
  • 20 sessions of unauthorised absence

Penalty notices are issued for each parent in the household. The fine is £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days. Non-payment of fines will result in prosecution under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Rewarding Good Attendance

This academic year the rewards policy will include an attendance requirement. Pupils who fail to achieve the 96% benchmark will miss out on for example:

  • Trips
  • Activity days
  • Inclusion in the draw to win prizes for good attendance
  • Certificates

What We Expect from Parents

  • Encourage your child to be in school on time every day.
  •  Inform us if you change your contact details. It is important we can contact you easily.
  • Reward your child for good attendance at school – mutually agree a target and stick to it.
  • Ensure your child is only absent if absolutely unavoidable.
  • Contact school on the first morning of your child’s absence and on each subsequent morning.
  • Avoid booking holidays in term time – remember that unauthorised holidays may result in a penalty notice.
  • Help your child develop a good routine.
  • Aim for 10 hours sleep a night for your child; this will make the next school day easier for them.
  • Always try to arrange any medical appointments for outside school hours.
  • Inform school promptly of any issues which may affect attendance.
  • Ask for help if you need it – our Pastoral Care Officers can offer practical advice and support.
  • Know the routines of the school day to avoid issues, e.g. have they got their PE kit or cooking ingredients

What Parents can Expect from us

Incentives:

  • Inclusion in a prize draw for pupils with good attendance
  • Certificates for 100% attendance and improved attendance
  • Reward trips

Awareness:

  • Letters and attendance cards sent to parents
  • Discussions in school with pupils about attendance

Interventions:

  • Contact from our Attendance Officer or Pastoral Team
  • Phone calls home/letters to make parents aware of any deterioration in attendance.
  • Home visits.
  • Referral to the councils Early Intervention Team.
  • Attendance panel meetings in school.
  • Referral to the Court Officer for Penalty Notices or Prosecution.

Contact Information

The school number is 01204 391800

The absence line is option 1

You can also text the school on 07860 002241

If you need to leave an absence message please give the following information; name of the pupil, form, reason for the absence and the expected duration of the absence.

Contacts in School

Pastoral Manager – Mrs Burns
Assistant Pastoral Manager – Mrs Adamson
Year 7 Pastoral Care Officer - Mrs Wolstencroft
Mandela Pastoral Care Officer - Mrs Coote
Shakespeare Pastoral Care Officer - Mrs Evans
Jenner Pastoral Care Officer - Mrs Greenslade
Attendance Officers - Mrs Williams & Mr Murphy