Attendance & Punctuality

We monitor students’ attendance and punctuality, as students with high attendance make better progress academically and socially.

Parents play a vital role in encouraging positive attitudes and we ask for their support to ensure their children arrive on time and don’t miss school unless absolutely necessary.

The more time a student spends in school, the better they do in their exams, so we expect every student to have a minimum yearly attendance of 96%.

We ensure that all of our students receive a full-time education which maximises opportunities for them to realise their true potential. All school staff will work with students and their families to ensure each student attends school regularly and punctually.

Please see our Attendance Policy for more information.

To help the school keep your child safe, please ensure that you and your child keep to the following procedures:

  • If your child is too ill to attend school you must phone 01254 505700 and press 1 to report an absence, preferably before 8:00am. You must contact us each day that your child is absent. Please give your child’s name, Progress Group and the reason for their absence.
  • For persistent and/or lengthy absence, please provide medical evidence.
Attendance matters infographic


Absence Calls Home

We take safeguarding very seriously and our Attendance Officer will phone parents/carers if a student is absent, and they have not informed us.

Calls are made daily, even when a student has been reported ill previously. We cannot assume a student is ill unless notified by parents, as this could put them at risk. We also follow up unexplained absence via text, telephone, letter, and home visit.

Parents should ensure their child realises the importance of attending school on time and getting their present mark. Parents and carers should provide school with up to date contact numbers.


Types of Absence

Authorised absence means we have given approval in advance or accepted a given explanation for reason of absence.

Unauthorised absence is where we are not satisfied with the reasons given for the absence or no reason has been provided for the absence.


Persistent Absence 

Persistent absence is when a student falls below 90% attendance. If we have concerns about a student’s attendance, we will arrange a meeting with parents/carers to discuss how we can support them to improve their attendance.

Penalty Notice Warnings may be issued where a student's attendance exceeds 5 days (10 sessions) of unauthorised absence.

For Health and Safety reasons, if your child arrives late (after 8:30am) to school for any reason they must sign in at reception.

If your child needs to leave school for any reason they must sign out at reception with written permission from a parent or carer.

If a student is late to school 3 times or more they will be expected to serve an after school detention.


Punctuality

We expect all students to arrive by 8:30am for registration. School is open from 7:45am and our breakfast club is free to all students.

Students who arrive in school after 8:33am will receive a detention at the end of the school day, unless they have an acceptable reason for being late. After 8:40am students must enter school via the main reception.

Any student arriving after 9:15am without an acceptable reason will be marked as unauthorised late; this counts as an absence for the morning session.


What if my child is ill?

If your child is too ill to attend school you must phone 01254 505700 and press 1 to report an absence, preferably before 8:00am. You must contact us each day that your child is absent.

Please give your child’s name, Progress Group and the reason for their absence.


What if my child has an appointment?

Please let us know in advance, by sending in the appointment card or letter with your child to their Pastoral Manager. If this is not possible then leave a message on our absence line (option 1). We will require sight of an appointment card or letter in order to authorise the absence.

We ask that you make every effort to arrange appointments outside of school hours. Medical appointments are still absences and will affect your child’s attendance. We appreciate that on occasion this will be unavoidable.


Can I take holidays in term time?

The Department for Education does not allow schools to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you think you have exceptional circumstances please talk to us without delay and before arrangements are entered into or money committed. If exceptional circumstances are accepted the Headteacher will determine how much absence will be authorised.

Any parent who wants to take their child out of school during term time must complete a discretionary leave of absence application, and give at least 15 days notice.

Requests for absence for reasons such as compassionate leave, special family events, sporting or musical competitions, etc., should be made in the same way.

Applications are looked at on an individual basis, however it is highly unusual that any leave of absence during term time will be granted. Any unauthorised absence of 5 school days or more may result in a penalty notice being issued by the Local Authority.

An absent student's education suffers due to:

  • Lessons and extra-curricular activities are missed
  • Continuity of project work is lost
  • There is often no opportunity for teachers to set additional work or to assist a child in catching up on their return from holiday
  • Parents will be in breach of their legal obligation to send their child to school

Is work available for students?

Please contact your child’s Pastoral Manager for work to do during their absence.


Attendance Awards

Excellent attendance is celebrated every term with award assemblies and rewards. All students with 100% attendance are entered into a prize draw, where they can win a £50 voucher. For every term of 100% attendance students also receive an entry into an end of year prize draw for an iPad.


How can parents and carers ensure good attendance?

  • Help your child to develop a routine, sleep is important and many children do not get enough.
  • A morning routine is important, make sure your child has breakfast; it makes them more alert.
  • Make sure lunch and books are organised the night before.
  • Consider the importance of your child’s education when you book appointments or holidays. Where possible book dental and medical appointments after school. If this is not possible ensure your child attends school before and after the appointment and let school know in advance.
  • Avoid booking holidays during term time. If unavoidable you MUST ask for the schools permission 6 weeks in advance.
  • Don’t give in to your child each time they complain of feeling ill. If you are unsure send them in with a note explaining your concern and an up to date contact number should the school need to phone you. You may well find that this works and the amount of times your child feels ill reduces. It will help your child develop good habits for the world of work where absence and lateness are rarely tolerated.
  • If this continues, ask to meet your child's Pastoral Manager, it may be an indication that your child is unhappy about something at school.
  • A child with a good school attendance record is setting themselves up for a better future once they leave school. School attendance is quoted on job references. We regularly receive request for attendance history from local colleges and employers.

Help your child to be safe, if your child truants and misses school without your knowledge how do you know they are safe? They could easily become involved in crime, anti-social behaviour or drugs.

Truants are more likely to be out of work, homeless and three times more likely to offend, than non-truants. 75% of boys and 50% of girls who truant, just one day per week, have already committed criminal offences. If your child is not in school, where are they and who are they with?