Attendance

Attendance

As part of our school improvement agenda we are particularly focusing on increasing students’ attendance at school.

There is clear evidence that students who have attendance above 90% are more likely to gain five or more A*-C grades in their GCSEs.
As a school we have set ourselves a target that all students achieve at least 96% attendance.
This is a successful school and your child will play their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to reach out for excellence. For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend school regularly and that your child should be at school, on time, every day the School is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.


Why regular attendance is so important

Any absence affects the pattern of a student’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any student's absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class.
Ensuring your child is regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.


Promoting regular attendance

Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody's responsibility - parents, students and all members of school staff. As a school we will:

  • report to you how your child is performing in school, what their attendance and punctuality rate is and how this relates to their achievement;
  • celebrate good attendance by displaying individual and class achievements;
  • reward good or improving attendance through class competitions, certificates and outings/events.

Understanding types of absence

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the School (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or another unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences of those which the School does not consider reasonable and for which no leave has been given. This type of absence can lead to Norfolk County Council using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.

This includes:

  • parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily;
  • truancy before or during the school day;
  • absences which have never been properly explained;
  • children who arrive at school too late to get a mark;
  • shopping, looking after other children or birthdays;
  • day trips and holidays in term time which had not been agreed.

Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the School, the parents and the child. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually makes things worse.


Persistent Absenteeism (PA)

A student becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more of school across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child's educational prospects and we need parents’ full support and co-operation to tackle this.

We monitor all student absence thoroughly. Any case that is seemed to reach the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and you will be informed of this immediately.

PA students are tracked and monitored very carefully through our student management system and we also combine this with academic mentoring where absence affects the student’s attainment.


Absence procedures

If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence. Parents are encouraged to telephone the School, which is open from 8.00am until 4.00pm (an answer machine service is available at other times) to let us know of any student absence. To report a student’s absence is a simple 3 stage process:
     1. Telephone 822363
     2. Press 1
     3. Leave student’s name and Form and reason for absence
  • send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence - please do this even if you have already telephoned us.


The Student Services Support Officer will telephone home on the first day of a student’s absence if we have not been informed of the reason for absence.


Holidays in term time

Taking holidays in term time will affect your son or daughter’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by NOT taking children away on holidays during term time. Please remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the costs to your child’s education. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.

Parents are requested to arrange family holidays during the school holidays and NOT during term time as there is clear evidence that missing school does result in students achieving less well in public examinations. Details of holiday and term dates are included with this prospectus.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, no student holiday will be authorised in term time.

Please note that any period of leave taken without the agreement of the School, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as an authorised absence and may attract sanctions such as the penalty notice.

The minimum level of attendance for this school is 96% attendance and we will keep you updated regularly about progress to this level and how your son/daughter's attendance compares. Our target is to achieve better than this however because we know that good attendance is the key to successful schooling and we believe our students can be among the best in Norfolk.