Attendance, Punctuality and Absence
Attendance and Punctuality
For information about whether to keep your child off school please visit the NHS Choices website.
In line with government guidelines from September 2013 the school will not sanction ‘holidays' in term time. We will honour commitments previously agreed.
Good attendance and punctuality is essential if students are to take full advantage of school and gain the appropriate skills which will equip them for life.
The school aims to achieve good attendance and punctuality by operating an attendance policy within which staff, students, parents/carers, local community and the Education Welfare Service can work in partnership. The school will monitor attendance/punctuality and ensure quick and early intervention if a problem is identified.
The SAW/Family Outreach Worker works closely with Corfe Hills and on occasions may need to meet with students at an informal meeting regarding attendance.
We are all aware of genuine health reasons that can affect attendance but where possible we hope that students would make every effort to attend at all times. It is now widely recognised that missing 17 school days a year (ie attending approximately 91%) can result in a grade drop in GCSE results and we wish to avoid this where possible The student support staff will encourage good attendance/punctuality and liaise with home and other agencies when this is appropriate. Good attendance/punctuality will be seen as an achievement in its own right and recognised as such by the school.
In order to stress to your children the value of high attendance/punctuality and the importance of their education we expect parents/carers to:
- Contact the school when your child is unwell using the attendance lines that are available for each year group. These telephone numbers are printed in the Student Diary and in the box below.
- Provide a written note explaining your child's absence if the Attendance Lines have not been used.
- Provide an appointment card or note if a child has to sign out during the school day for unavoidable medical treatment.
- Contact their child's Tutor or Head of House as soon as possible, if they have any concerns about their child's attendance.
Every morning we will endeavour to contact the parent/carer of any student in Years 9, 10 or 11 who is marked absent from registration unless we have been notified by telephone or in writing. Please note that it is your child's responsibility to ensure that they attend registration and if they are late, to sign in at the Student Support Managers Office. We check if a student is in a lesson but failed to attend registration/sign in, but we will still expect you to discuss this with them on their return home.
EWS/JOINT Audit of Attendance
The school works closely with the Education Welfare Service, particularly in the areas of attendance and punctuality. A joint audit of attendance will be undertaken with the EWS every 4-6 weeks, based on the following information:
- % attendance for each year group
- students with attendance below 95%
Following each audit appropriate action will be taken by the school and EWS.
Please note that the school operates the “Fast Track to Prosecution” framework, which aims to ensure that attendance cases are dealt with quickly and in the most effective way to get the child, back into school. Further details can be obtained from the EWS or your child's Head of House.
Attendance and Punctuality in the Sixth Form
Whilst sixth form students are subject to the same requirements and checks set out in this policy they are given the privilege of self-certification. However parents will be informed if:
- the explanation given is not acceptable
- a student is unofficially absent from lessons with no suitable excuse
- they regularly leave the premises without signing out
Sixth form students must remain on school site until 1.20pm when, if they have no further lessons, they are allowed to leave.
Absence from Learning in Term Time
Due to a change in Government Advice and Guidance the school will no longer be able to authorise Absence from Learning (Holiday Requests) during term time.
Why is regular attendance so vital?
There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and low achievement. Government figures show that:
- Pupils who fall below 50% attendance, only 3% will achieve 5A*-C grades at GCSE (including Maths and English)
- Pupils in the 80%-90% range, only 35% will achieve 5A*-C grades at GCSE (including Maths and English)
- Pupils below 95%, only 73% will achieve 5A*-C grades at GCSE (including Maths and English)
Leave during term time
The Department of Education, in 2013, removed references to family holiday, extended leave and the 10 school days absence.
The School may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If students are to reach their potential they need to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Regular, uninterrupted school attendance is a key factor in helping pupils reach their potential. Every effort should always be made to avoid disruption to a student’s education.
Following amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into effect 1st September 2013, schools are only allowed to grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.
The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are, rare, significant, unavoidable and short; ‘unavoidable’ should be taken to mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.
In considering whether or not to authorize a request for exceptional leave of absence in term time the School will look at each individual case and only grant authorization if the circumstances are truly exceptional. Additionally, any request should be made prior to the leave of absence and should be submitted to the school using the Request for Leave of Absence Form. Parents/Carers may be asked to provide additional information/evidence or meet with the school to discuss the circumstances.
Parents/Carers will be notified of the decision at the earliest opportunity. If the circumstances are not considered to be exceptional then parents/carers will be informed of this and made aware that the Local Authority may be asked to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if a child fails to attend school and if attendance for the previous 12 month period (to include the leave of absence) is not considered to be regular.
The Request for Leave form below MUST be completed and then returned to your Student Support Manager
These requests will only be considered under exceptional circumstances.
If the leave of absence is taken without authorisation, it will be recorded as unauthorised. Parents may also be subject to a fixed penalty fine by the Local Authority, in line with government directive.
Examples of Exceptional Circumstances
- Return of parent from active service (Forces)
- Death or terminal illness of a parent, step-parent, sibling, grandparent
- Young Carers
- Disability or Respite Leave
Please note, this list is not exhaustive and if you feel your circumstances should be regarded as exceptional please contact your Student Support Manager directly.