Whilst we understand that some level of absence is, at times, unavoidable, our aim is for every student to attend school 100% of the time.
Five reasons why attendance to school is vitally important:
1. All students have the right to access a quality education
2. All parents/carers/guardians have a legal responsibility to ensure that a child can access this right. Schools, Colleges and Local Authorities also have legal responsibilities to protect this right.
3. A student’s level of attendance to College has a direct impact on their academic progress, social development and self-esteem.
4. Good attendance and punctuality are skills necessary for life.
5. Poor attendance can potentially lead to students becoming isolated from their friends, at risk of bullying, developing poor and unsettled behaviours and could lead to anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.
“But my attendance is 97%, that’s good!”
Research suggests that 17 missed college days (85 lessons) is equal to a whole GCSE grade drop in achievement.
PLEASE BE AWARE:
We will not authorise absence for holidays.
Where a student’s attendance is 92% or below, we may not be able to authorise absences for frequent periods of minor illness without medical evidence, such as prescription, medication, sick note, unless there are known contextual circumstances.
If we have concerns regarding absence or absence patterns we may ask you to sign a Consent to Share form, as well as completing an Engaging with Absence form, so that we can write to your GP for further information and support, as well as ensuring the right support is in place in school. We are very aware of the pressures on GP Surgeries without additional appointments asking for medical evidence.
We do not authorise an absence if a student independently arranges to be collected by a parent/carer without following the school policy. The correct procedure is that
students report to Main Reception to consult with a First Aid trained member of staff. If we believe that their illness prevents them from carrying on at school we will then contact the parent/carer to inform them of their child’s illness and arrange for them to be collected.
My child is too ill to attend school - please advise the school on the first day of absence, and every day after that, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning the Attendance Officer on 01752 720053 or Main Reception on 01752 779061.
I can’t get an appointment outside school hours – Notify the school, in advance of the appointment, through email@example.com, stating the following information:
Name of student:
Date/time of appointment:
Expected return time to school: (students are required to sign-in via Main Reception)
Whole day absences for medical/dental appointments will not be authorised, with the exception for certain circumstances. If you feel your child will be unable to return to college following their appointment, please contact their Head of Year to discuss this in further detail.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY CHILD’S ATTENDANCE?
• Do not take holidays in term time. These will not be authorised.
• Do not condone absence for minor illnesses such as sore throats or colds as these will not be authorised. Please remind your child that colds always feel worse in the mornings, but they are no reason to take time off. There are many over the counter medications that can help; these should be taken before school to give initial relief from any symptoms.
A pharmacist rather than a GP can help you with minor illnesses or complaints.
The following websites may also help you to decide the right pathway of support:
• Make routine medical or dental appointments outside of the school day Where this is not possible please let the school know in advance of the appointment.
• If your child is too ill to attend school, please advise the school on the first day of absence and every day after that.
• Make sure they are prepared properly for the day with their uniform, Knowledge Organiser, equipment and PE Kit if required. Packing the night before means they start the day in an organised and calm manner.
• Ensure all home-learning has been completed, non-completion is sometimes used as an reason not to come in to school.
• Ensure that they arrive to school on time.
• Talk to them about their school day and raise any concerns with their Tutor or Pastoral Leader.
• Be aware when new releases of computer games are and ensure that your child is not finding an excuse to stay at home.
• Monitor the use of social media, especially where there are friendship disputes.
• Establish good night-time routines, including a screen time ban after a certain time. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/sleep-tips-for-teenagers/
• Establish good morning routines, planning enough time for waking up, having breakfast, preparing to leave and the commute to school. Students should be onsite by 8.35am.
In the instance that you believe your child may have coronavirus, or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please refer to the following guidance:
They were late getting up this morning, should I still send them in?
Yes, students arriving late to school need to sign-in via the Main Reception. Be aware they may be set a social time detention or be placed on punctuality report if this is a recurring issue.
They are saying they feel ill, but I don’t think they really are.
On these occasions please encourage your child to attend school. If they are anxious or concerned about something this will only become worse with avoidance.
You can always make contact with your child’s Tutor or Head of Year to discuss concerns and/or request that enhanced pastoral support be explored for them.
If you are aware of any friendship issues or recent incidents, please ensure that they are reported to the Head of Year or Pastoral Staff in The Compass in a timely manner. This allows us to deal with them promptly and prevent them from escalating into Emotionally Based School Avoidance.
I can only get a medical/dental appointment during the school day, is this allowed?
Yes, however in all cases please try to avoid booking routine check-ups or orthodontic adjustments inside of school hours. It may be that we request to see evidence of any medical appointments, if there is a recurring pattern. We are unable to authorise whole days of absence for an appointment. If you feel your child will be unable to return to school after their appointment please discuss this, ahead of time, with their Head of Year or the Attendance Officer.
What is an ‘Exceptional Circumstance’?
The following circumstances are set out by Government:
• A specified, limited period may be granted when a family needs to spend time together because of an immediate family member’s bereavement, crisis or serious illness.
• Funeral of immediate family member.
• Religious observance.
• Transport was not provided by the LA when it should have been.
• Children of service personnel about to go on deployment (permission would be considered as long as the request is accompanied by a letter from the Commanding Officer).
• One day of absence could be authorised for a wedding of an immediate family member and the invitation has been provided as evidence.
• One off sporting events/performing arts competitions, if the child is participating and is at county standard or above and a letter has been provided from the performing arts/sports regional governing body as evidence.
• One day of absence could be authorised for an immediate family members graduation ceremony/passing out parade.
• Medical appointments (parents/carers should be encouraged to arrange non-urgent medical appointments outside of school hours when possible. If the medical appointment is during the school day, evidence must be provided. Schools should not authorise a whole days absence for a medical appointment that occurs in the morning – the child would be expected to return to school in the afternoon, and vice versa.