We ask that parents contact the school by telephone on the first day of absence with an indication of length of absence if possible. Parents should ring for every subsequent day of absence unless information has been shared with Form Tutor / Year Achievement Coordinator / Student Support Officer / Inclusion Officer / Attendance Officer.
Following absence we expect pupils to bring a note from home within 5 days of the absence explaining why they have been away. This should be addressed to the form tutor who will then update the register. The Attendance Officer will ensure all registers are accurate and that an explanation has been given for all absence from school. If we do not receive this information then the absence may be marked as unauthorised.
For any absence of 5 days or longer due to illness, we request that parents provide medical evidence for the absence.
Catching up on work missed
If appropriate, work to be done at home can be arranged for long term absentees. For short term absences, students should catch up on work missed by speaking with subject teachers and/or classmates.
Pupils are expected to be in school by 8.30am, ready to enter their classrooms at 8.35am and in their classrooms ready to start work at 8.40am. If pupils arrive after this time they must sign in at the Reception desk in the main entrance. If no good reason is given, students will be issued with a slip and an Amber Warning. Students who receive 4 Amber Warnings across one term will receive a Pastoral Detention.
If a child has a medical appointment and arrives from this in school before 9.45am with a note confirming this, they will receive a ‘Present’ Mark for that AM session.
If a student is persistently late to school the Form Tutor / Year Achievement Coordinator / Student Support Officer / Inclusion Officer will discuss with parents and may seek to put additional support or sanctions in place.
Application for leave of absence for term time holiday
We actively discourage pupils from taking holidays during term time. Requests should be made via Leave of Absence Request forms which are available from the main school office or by clicking on the links on the school website.
All holiday leave will be recorded as unauthorised unless there are very exceptional circumstances. Parents will be notified by letter within 2 weeks if the absence is to be recorded as authorised. A term time absence will only be authorised by the school if there are special circumstances which warrant it. (Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.)
If absence is taken without a request having been made, parents will be asked to give a reason for the absence upon their child’s return to school.
If the unauthorised leave of absence is taken in term time we may refer this to the Missing Education Child Employment Service (MECES) and they may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (if paid within 28 days) or £60 (if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school. MECES can issue a Penalty Notice for any leave of absence which is taken which lasts for at least 10 session (5 consecutive days) irrespective of whether there are existing attendance concerns or not.
Monitoring and Improving Attendance
Year Achievement Coordinators work closely with our School Inclusion Officer (Mrs Buckley) to monitor absence and, when necessary, take steps to address concerns. In line with DfE guidance, we expect all students to have attendance of at least 96%. Attendance is calculated cumulatively across the school year and any student who has attendance of less than 90% at any point in the year will be classed as a Persistent Absentee.
We will work with students and parents where attendance is consistently less than 90% to ensure that this improves. We use a range of strategies including: phone communication to discuss concerns; letters expressing concern or requesting medical evidence; home visits; school-based Attendance Meetings; student rewards to increase motivation to attend. If attendance does not improve following staged intervention and support then we will refer cases to the Missing Education and Child Employment Service (MECES – formerly known as Education Welfare Service) who can call a formal School Attendance Meeting, apply Penalty Notices and can take court action if necessary.