ATTENDANCE & ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
In the event of a student’s illness, in the first instance parents should telephone the school between 8.30 am and 9.15 am on EACH day of the child’s absence, and leave a message on the dedicated absence line (01386 765588, option 1 for students in Years 9, 10 and 11; option 2 for Sixth Form), giving their child’s name, tutor group and the reason for the absence.
Whenever possible, please make all medical appointments after 4 pm. If an absence during school time is known in advance, for example, dental/medical appointments, music examinations, prior notice should be given in writing.
When an unexplained absence occurs, in the first instance this will result in an automated truancy telephone call being sent by our Attendance Officer, Mrs Jennings, midway through the morning. Persistent absences may result in a visit from the Education Welfare Officer.
Wherever possible, the school does seek to support students’ extra-curricular interests where these have an educational value. Therefore, if a student has been invited to participate in an event during school time, eg sporting competitions, Air/Sea Cadet courses, parents should write to Dr Evans in advance to request the absence, specifying the date(s) and reason. The Headteacher will give consideration to the request and confirm his decision via the student’s Head of Year.
Holidays in Term Time
In 2012, the government announced changes to the current regulations which have allowed Headteachers to grant leave of absence for family holidays during term time up to a maximum of 10 days during an academic year. These changes came into force from 1st September 2013 and clearly state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. A family holiday is not deemed as an exceptional circumstance. Parents should therefore carefully check the list of term dates before booking holidays. These dates are shown in the News area of the school website.
I have always strongly advised against parents taking their children out of school during term time for holidays as it can be disruptive for the pupil and the classes they are in and has a detrimental impact upon exam performance. The tables below clearly demonstrate the effects of poor attendance and punctuality.
If your attendance over the year is
This is how many school days you have missed
Which is approximately this many weeks
Which is this number of lessons
Over the course of 5 school years, ie Key Stages 3-4, 90% attendance will mean the equivalent of about half a school year being missed.
Impact of Poor Punctuality
If you are this many minutes late for school each day
This is how many days teaching that you miss