Attendance and Punctuality
Click here for the Student Attendance Policy 2018-19

Click here for the letter sent home April 2018: Importance of Attendance summer term 2018 with statistics and advice

Why does attendance matter?

Improving attendance is a school priority and requires the support of the whole school community. Regular school attendance is essential if children are to achieve their full potential. The DfE states that 73% of pupils who have 95% attendance achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grade A*-C.

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School is committed to providing all children with the best possible start in life and will work hard to ensure that all students attend school regularly. We believe that regular school attendance is the key to enabling children to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and to help them become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.

We will tackle attendance because…

  • Irregular attendance seriously disrupts continuity of learning leading to underachievement and low attainment.
  • Students with poor attendance will have gaps in their learning.
  • Poor attendance will hinder the child’s ability to develop friendship groups.
  • We want to make sure your child is safe.
  • We want to increase every child’s opportunities.

Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states that parents/carers must ensure that children of compulsory school age receive efficient full time education, suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs that they may have, either by regular attendance or otherwise.

Attendance Officer

The school Attendance Officer is Mr Willcock. He will work closely with the pastoral team to work on a range of strategies to avoid absence and improve school attendance. Where necessary, Mr Willcock will carry out home visits to address absence; families will receive support if this is deemed necessary. Please do not hesitate to contact Mr Willcock at school should you have any questions regarding attendance.

Parental/carer responsibilities:

  • Parents/carers have a legal obligation to educate their children and can be prosecuted if they do not meet this obligation.
  • It is the responsibility of parents/carers to ensure that their child arrives at school promptly each day: the school, in loco-parentis, is responsible for the child from the start of the school day.
  • Parents must contact the school on each day of their child’s absence.
  • Parents must avoid taking students out of school for holidays in school time or, if they cannot do so, must apply to the Headteacher for permission in advance.

Where possible, students should return to school following any unavoidable medical appointments during school hours.

Under the Education Act 1996, the Local Authority has a statutory responsibility to ensure that parents secure education for children of compulsory school age and where necessary, use legal enforcement.

The Education (Student registration) (England) Regulations 2006, requires schools to take an attendance register twice a day, once at the start of the morning session and then again during the afternoon session.

The register must record whether the student was:

  • Present
  • Absent
  • Present at approved educational activity; or
  • Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

Categorising absence

Where students of compulsory school age are recorded as absent, the register must show whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised.

Absence can only be authorised by the school and cannot be authorised by parent/carers. All absences will be treated as unauthorised unless a satisfactory explanation for the student’s absence has been received.

Absence will be categorised as follows:

Illness:  In most cases a telephone call from the parent/carer informing the school that their child is ill will be acceptable. Parents/carers may be asked to provide medical evidence where there are repeated absences due to reported illness. This will usually be in the form of an appointment card, prescription etc.

Medical/dental appointments: Parents/carers are advised where possible to make medical and dental appointments outside of the school day. Where this is not possible, students should attend school for part of the day as this will have a positive impact on attendance and allow them to attend some lessons.

Other authorised absence circumstances: This relates to occasions where there is a cause for absence due to exceptional circumstances, for example family bereavement, visiting a parent in prison or part time timetable agreed as part of a reintegration package.

Exclusions: Exclusion from school is counted as an authorised absence. The student’s Teacher/Tutor/Pastoral Leader/Progress Leader will make arrangements for work to be sent home.

Family holidays and extended leave: Parents/carers are strongly advised to avoid taking their children on holiday in term time. Parents/carers do not have a right to remove their child from school during term time for the purpose of a holiday and should be made aware that if their child is absent for 10 school days they will miss 5% of their education during that academic year. Parents/carers could face legal action. A student absent for 10 school days will miss 50 lessons and a student missing for 5 school days will miss 25 lessons.

 

Religious observance: The school acknowledges the multi faith nature of British society and recognises that on some occasions, religious festivals may fall outside school holiday periods or weekends and this necessitates a consideration of authorised absence or special leave for religious observance.

Late arrival: The school day begins with an early warning bell at 8.40am with registration taking place at 8.45am; students arriving after this will be recorded as late. There will be sanctions for students with poor punctuality and we ask for parental/carer support to ensure that this is not a regular occurrence.

The absence will only be authorised if a satisfactory explanation for the late arrival can be provided, for example, attendance at a medical appointment.

 

Unauthorised absence: Absences will not be authorised unless parents/carers have provided a satisfactory explanation and that it has been accepted as such by the school.

The school requests that parents will:

  • Talk to their child about school and engage with their education. Take a positive interest in their child’s work and educational progress.
  • Instil the value of education and regular school attendance within the home environment.
  • Try to avoid unnecessary absences. Wherever possible make any medical or dental appointments outside of school hours.
  • Ask the school for help if their child is experiencing difficulties.
  • Inform the school of any change in circumstances that may impact on their child’s attendance.
  • Support the school, taking every opportunity to get involved in their child’s education, forming a positive relationship with school and acknowledging the importance of children receiving consistent messages from both school and home.

School responsibilities:

  • The school will enable all students to achieve their full potential and expect regular attendance to best prepare them for life after school.
  • The school will inform parents/carers in cases of known truancy.
  • The school will make contact with parents/carers if a student is absent when no initial contact is received.
  • In the case of absence due to prolonged illness the school will provide work in liaison with parents/carers.
  • When the number or frequency of absences gives cause for concern the appropriate intervention will take place between school, parents/carers and the Local Authority.
  • Persistent lateness will be challenged and parents/carers will be contacted regarding the concerns.

 

The school will:

  • Actively promote the importance and value of good attendance to students and their parents/carers.
  • Form positive relationships with parents/carers and students.
  • Ensure that there is a whole school approach which reinforces good school attendance.
  • Ensure effective teaching and learning experiences take place to encourage all students to attend and to achieve.
  • Ensure that attendance data is collected and analysed frequently to identify causes and patterns of absence.
  • Interpret the data to devise solutions and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Ensure that systems to report, record and monitor the attendance of all students, including those who are educated off site, are implemented.

 

The school requests that students will:

  • Attend school every day.
  • Arrive in school and to class on time.
  • Remain in class unless given permission to leave.
  • Remain in school unless given permission to leave.
  • Catch up with missing work following absence.

 

The Health Protection Agency advises that there is no need to keep your child away from school if they have:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Cold sores
  • Warts and verrucae
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Glandular fever
  • Head lice
  • Tonsillitis
  • Headaches
  • Coughs and colds

There are many illnesses that require time off school. However, we appreciate it if parents/carers consider whether their child’s illness is serious enough to warrant time off school. None of the advice above over rules professional medical opinion, however, further advice and guidance can be obtained from school directly and www.hpa.org.uk.

Medication

We are not able to provide students with pain relief without consent from parent/carers. Any regular medications may be taken to the Main Office; they must be in the original packaging with your child’s name on.

Tips to improve student attendance and punctuality:

  • A student should have a regular bedtime.
  • They should have their own alarm clock.
  • They could ask a reliable friend to call for them in the morning.
  • A student should prepare their equipment and bag in the evening ready for the next day.
  • A student should have a regular study time each evening.

It also helps if parents/carers:

  • Take an interest in school work.
  • Work with and support the school.
  • Praise their child’s efforts.
  • Check their child’s school planner regularly.

 

There are 365 days in a year. Children have 190 school days.

Attendance:   In one term your child    In a year your child will

                          will have missed:             have missed:

90% =   1 week        2 days                    4 weeks (20 days / 100 lessons)

80% =   2 weeks      4 days                    8 weeks (40 days / 200 lessons)

70% =   4 weeks      1 day                     12 weeks (60 days / 300 lessons)

60% =   5 weeks      3 days                    16 weeks (80 days / 400 hours)

What absences are not appropriate?

You should not keep your child from school or allow him/her to be absent:

  • To look after the house or other members of the family.
  • To go shopping or to visit relatives.
  • To go shopping for uniform.
  • Persistent illness that is not covered by medical evidence.
  • Holidays taken in term time.
  • Because it’s raining.
  • Because you/they got up late.
  • Because they missed the bus.
  • Because they don’t want to come to school or you do not feel like accompanying them.
  • For family birthdays or to go on family outings.

If you have any queries regarding attendance please contact the Attendance Officer Mr Willcock, or Assistant Headteacher Mr Leonard.

What is acceptable attendance?

The school expects all students to aim for 100% attendance.

Above 98% attendance is good attendance and should be achieved with an average amount of illness. Satisfactory attendance is 95% and below 95% requires improvement.

What happens if a student misses too much school?

If a student does not attend every day, this is what happens:

  • He/she does not know how to complete the work set.
  • He/she feels a bit left out and gets left behind.
  • He/she has to re-establish friendship groups.
  • It can create anxiety for your child.
  • Absence becomes a bad habit.

The student will also risk becoming a persistent absentee. From September 2016, a persistent absentee will be a student who has attendance which is below 90%.

Rewarding good attendance The school recognises the importance of celebrating good attendance and motivating all students to improve their attendance. A number of initiatives and reward events will take place throughout the academic year and will include:

  • Attendance raffles
  • Attendance lottery
  • 100% attendance certificates
  • Half termly bronze, silver and gold certificates
  • Most improved attendance rewards
  • Secret student
  • Celebration in the Boteler Bulletin
  • Parent/carer rewards
  • Tutor group competitions
 
Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB