Regular school attendance is essential if students are to achieve their full potential and matters more than ever given the impact of the pandemic on education.
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.
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 and 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.
Monitoring students’ attendance:
- When a student is absent, it is expected that the parents/carers will contact the school’s absenceline before 8:00am. You will then be given the option to leave a message and explain your child’s absence. You must do this for each day they are absent. Where this is not the case, the school will aim to contact parents/carers to establish the reason for absence and if the child is safe. We will also use a system where a text will be sent to alert you if no contact has been made. This 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 will be required 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.
It is important that students arrive promptly each day. 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 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.
*Please note that exceptional circumstances/cases will always be considered.
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
- Half termly bronze, silver and gold certificates
- Most improved attendance rewards
- Secret student
- Parent/carer rewards
- Tutor group competitions and rewards
- Termly and end of year rewards trips
Please see the school attendance policy on the school website for further information.