On Time: First Time, Every Time
Receiving a good full-time education will give your child the best possible start in life. Attending school regularly and punctually is essential if children are to make the most of the opportunities available to them.
Government research suggests that 17 missed school days a year = 1 GCSE grade DROP in achievement.
What you can do to help
- Make sure your child arrives at school on time. This encourages habits of good timekeeping and reduces any possible classroom disruption. If your child arrives after the register has closed without a good reason, this will be recorded as an ‘unauthorised’ absence for that session.
- If your child has to miss school, it is vital that you let the school know the reason for his/her absence on the first morning of the absence by 10am.
You can do this by contacting St Aldhelms Academy attendance officer Caroline Kelly on the absence line (01202) 305158. If you have any other concerns or questions regarding your child’s attendance, you can also contact the following:
- Simon Atkins (Assistant Vice Principal for Inclusion): 01202 305157
- Natalie Bourne (Family Liaison Officer): 01202 305175
- Alternatively, you can contact the relevant Head of Year, It is better to do this sooner rather than later, as most problems can be dealt with very quickly.
Authorised and Unauthorised Absence
If your child is absent and school either does not receive an explanation from you, or considers the explanation unsatisfactory, it will record your child’s absence as ‘unauthorised’, that is, as truancy.
Most absences for acceptable reasons will be authorised by St Aldhelm’s Academy
- Unavoidable medical or dental appointments
(if possible, arrange these for after school or during school holidays)
- Days of religious observance
- Exceptional family circumstances, such as bereavement
- An interview with a prospective employer or college
Your child’s school will not authorise absence for the following reasons:
- Shopping during school hours
- Holidays which have not been agreed
- Looking after brothers, sisters or ill relatives
Parents/Carers have a legal duty to ensure that their child receives an education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude and any special needs.
Most parents fulfil this obligation by registering their child in a school.
If your child’s attendance is unsatisfactory and not improving despite support from the school, a referral will be made to the Attendance Officer, either of the local authority or the in house Attendance Officer.
The Attendance Officer may write to you or ask to meet with you and your child at home or at school to discuss these difficulties. The Attendance Officer will then agree with you a plan of action to improve your child’s attendance. This may involve further support in school or from other agencies such as Health and Social Care.
Leave of Absence
Due to the disruptive effect on a child’s education, no holidays will be authorised.
Parents do not have any right or entitlement to take their child out of school for a term-time holiday.
Any unauthorized leave of absence could result in a Penalty Notice fine being issued.
Any leave of absence will be considered by school in exceptional circumstances and will look at each request individually.
It is extremely unlikely that leave will be authorised if:
- A child’s attendance is already poor
- It is near or during exam or test times,
- It coincides with the start of the school year
- The school believes that it may have a harmful effect on the child’s education
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT……
Attendance Statistics over One School Year
98% = 4 days absent from school.
95% = 10 days absent from school.
90% = 4 weeks absent from school.
85% = 6 weeks absent from school.
80% = 8 weeks absent from school.
Attendance Statistics over 5 Years (Years 7-11)
85-90% = About half a year off school
80% = 38 weeks off school.
(This equates to one whole school year missed!!!)
WHY IS REGULAR ATTENDANCE IMPORTANT?
- Students who attend classes are more likely to succeed.
- Frequently absent students often slow down classmates.
- Missing classes increases the risk of falling behind.
- Truancy is linked to higher dropout rates