Absence Procedure

Absence Procedure

The school applies the following procedures in deciding how to deal with individual absences:

1. Illness and Other Legitimate Reasons

If a student is unfit for school parents/carers are asked to contact the school on each day of absence by 9.10am. Other reasons for absence must be discussed with the school on a case by case basis. Notes will not necessarily be accepted as providing a valid reason for absence. It is not appropriate for the school to authorise absences for shopping, looking after younger children, day trips, hairdressers appointments, etc. Leave may, however, be granted in an emergency (e.g. bereavement) or for medical appointments which take place during school time.

 When the student returns, he or she must bring a written note, signed by the parent/carer, for each period of absence (pre-printed Absence Notes are included in the Student Planner). These should be handed into the Attendance Officer who is located in the main Reception office. Absences will not be authorised without this procedure. In exceptional circumstances further evidence of a student’s illness, such as a doctor’s note, may be requested.

2. Absence Without Explanation

If a student is absent at morning registration and the school has not received an explanation by 9.10am the Attendance Officer will contact the parent/carer the same day by text, telephone or email.

 3. Holidays

The school is proactive in discouraging parents/carers from taking students out of school for holidays during term time. We consider this action inappropriate and harmful to the education of the students.

With effect from 1st September 2013 there has been a change in the School Attendance Regulations. Where there used to be the option for Headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during the term time in “special circumstances” this has been removed.

Headteachers are now only allowed to authorise any leave of absence when an application has been made in advance and it is felt to be for an exceptional circumstance; an annual family holiday is not deemed an exceptional circumstance, nor is cost or convenience.

4. Lateness

Students must attend on time to be given a mark for that session unless the lateness is unavoidable (e.g. late bus or medical appointment). Parents/carers are expected to ensure that students are on time for registration.

Students arriving after 8.50am will be marked as late.

Students arriving after registration has closed at 9.10am will be marked as absent/late after registration has closed.

5. Truancy

Truancy from school is treated as a serious issue and will always be communicated to parents/carers.

 6. Attendance Monitoring

The Attendance Officer monitors students’ attendance on a regular basis and may contact parents/carers if attendance falls below 96%.

The Education Welfare Officer (EWO) monitors attendance weekly, meeting with House Leaders and the Attendance Officer to identify any particular causes for concern. Where a student’s attendance drops below 90% the EWO will contact the parent/carer. If non-attendance continues the Local Authority may prosecute or issue a fixed penalty fine.

Parents/carers are required to inform the school of the reasons for their children’s absence. Failure to provide a reason for absence will be followed up by the Attendance Officer who will contact parent/carers requesting the reason for absence.

The School Attendance policy can be found in the ‘About’ section under Policies for further information.