Attendance and Punctuality

Why does attendance matter?

Regular school attendance is essential if students are to achieve their full potential.

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School is committed to providing all students 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 students to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults. We will endeavour to provide an environment where all students feel valued and welcome, allowing individuals to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.

We aim to:

  • To promote good attendance and punctuality for all students with all stakeholders
  • To enable all students to have full access to the curriculum through regular attendance
  • To intervene and challenge all students who require the necessary support to achieve good attendance
  • To meet targets set by the LA regarding attendance and to drive school attendance beyond national averages.

We are committed to tackling poor 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 students’ ability to develop friendship groups
  • We want to make sure students are safe
  • We want to increase students’ opportunities.

‘Through God, We Care’ and values all students; we will work with families to identify the reasons for poor attendance and try to resolve any difficulties.

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.

The school requests that parents will:

  • Talk to their child about school and what goes on there. Take a positive interest in their child’s work and educational progress
  • Instil the value of education and regular school attendance with 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 in cases of known truancy
  • The school will make contact with parents/carers on the first day of absence 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 and the Local Authority
  • Persistent lateness will be challenged and parents will be contacted regarding the concerns.

The school will:

  • Actively promote the importance and value of good attendance to students and their parents
  • Form positive relationships with parents 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.

Monitoring students’ attendance:

  • When a student is absent, it is expected that the parents/carer will contact the school. Where this is not the case, the school will aim to contact parents/carers by 9.30am establish the reason for absence and if the child is safe. We will also use a system called ‘Truancy Call’ on a student’s first day of absence if no contact has been made. Truancy Call is a text messaging system which parents/carers can respond to.
  • If it is the case where a member of staff cannot make contact home and the school is unsure whether the child is safe, a home visit for specifically identified students may be arranged.
  • Should absence continue and patters emerge, then the Attendance Officer will work with the Pastoral team to develop a strategy to improve attendance for specific students.
  • If truancy is identified, parents/carers will be notified via a phone call and/or letter.
  • If there are punctuality concerns, parents/carers will be contacted and intervention will take place.

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.

Holidays and extended leave in term time

Parents and carers are strongly advised to avoid taking their children out of school for a holiday during term time. A holiday or leave of absence will only be granted by school in exceptional circumstances.

All parents and cares who make an application for holidays and leave of absence will be required to attend a meeting to discuss the circumstances surrounding the request before a decision is made. Should parents and carers take students out of school in term time without completing an application, then this period of absence will be categorised as ‘unauthorised’. As a result of unauthorised absence, legal action will be considered.

 

Punctuality

It is important that students arrive promptly each day. The school day begins at 8.45am, with a movement bell sounding at 8.40am. Students arriving after the bell at 8.45am will be recorded as late. Students who arrive late must register their lateness with a member of staff who will be present at the student entrance. Students who are late after 9.05am must enter via the main reception and sign in at the office. Students who are late without an appropriate reason will be sanctioned on the same day where possible. We ask for the parents support to ensure that this is not a regular occurrence.

The consequence system for punctuality is:

  • 1st Offence late to form time: Break time detention
  • 2nd Offence late to form time for the second occasion during the week: 30 minutes after school detention
  • Late between 9.05am – 9.15am: 30 minutes after school detention
  • Late after 9.15am: 1 hour after school detention

*please note that exceptional circumstances/cases will always be considered*

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.
  • Do not use electronic devices just before bedtime.

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 will have missed:          In a year your child will have missed:
90% =   1 week 1 day  4 weeks (20 days / 100 lessons)
80% =   2 weeks 2 days 8 weeks (40 days / 200 lessons)
70% =   4 weeks 3 days 12 weeks (60 days / 300 lessons)
60% =   5 weeks 4 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.

What happens if a student misses too much school?

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

  • they do not know how to complete the work set.
  • they have to re-establish friendship groups.
  • It can create anxiety for your child.
  • Absence becomes a bad habit.

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 and rewards
  • Termly and end of year rewards trips

Ed Lounge

Where a student cannot attend school but is well enough to complete school work, they can access a high quality virtual learning platform called Ed Lounge. The school has purchased this package which provides students with live online tutoring. Providing the student accesses the online tutoring they can be registered with a B code which indicates alternative education has been put in place. Please speak to our school Attendance Officer if you require further information.

Please see the school attendance policy on the school website for further information.

If you have any queries regarding attendance please contact the Attendance Officer Mr Willcock (dwillcock@boteler.org.uk), or Assistant Headteacher Mr Leonard (jleonard@boteler.org.uk).

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB