Miss Chloe Doré
0333 3602210 ext. 26216
Regular school attendance is an important part of giving you the best possible start in life. Students who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and do less well in exams. Good attendance shows potential employers that you are reliable. Research suggests that students who attend school regularly could also be at less risk of getting involved in antisocial behaviour or crime. Below is a multi-flow map showing how your percentage attendance equates to the amount of school time missed.
Rewarding excellent school attendance and punctuality
To promote excellent school attendance and punctuality, we reward our students who attend school on time, every day.
Our rewards include:
- Best ‘100 club’ – This is a termly celebration for students who have outstanding attendance.
- Attendance challenge – We will hold attendance challenges during the year and students will be rewarded for excellent attendance.
- End of Year reward event – Ten students in each year with the most reward points and BEST attendance will be rewarded with an end of year celebration event.
Unauthorising Future Absences
Should your child’s attendance fall to below 96%, we will send a letter informing you of our concerns. If further absences occur, we will send an additional letter asking for medical evidence to be supplied to Miss Doré in order for any further absences to be authorised. This can be in the form of an appointment card, prescription or medical letter.
Unauthorised absences can lead to more formal legal monitoring and you could be at risk of being issued a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Should your child’s attendance fall below 94%, you may be invited into school so we can support you in improving your child’s attendance. We are committed to working in partnership with parents and carers to ensure students’ have the best possible chance of achieving their full potential.
Every Minute Counts
If your child arrives late to school every day, their learning begins to suffer. This table shows how arriving only a few minutes late each day can result in significant lost learning time.
A Reminder for Parents – Leave of Absence during Term Time
As you will all be aware, current attendance regulations stipulate a Principal may not grant a leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits. It is for the Principal to decide what they view as ‘exceptional’ and it is at their discretion if the circumstances warrant the leave to be granted. If the leave is granted, the Principal is able to determine the number of school days a child can be absent for.
The school can only consider ‘Leave of Absence’ requests which are made by the ‘resident’ parent. Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application.
If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice. Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s).
All matters of unauthorised absence will be referred to the Attendance Service at Kent County Council
Penalty Notices are issued to each parent for each child who is absent without the agreement of the Principal. Penalty Notices carry a fine of £60 per parent, per child, if paid within 21 days increasing to £120 per parent, per child, if paid between 22-28 days. There is no right of appeal against the issuing of a Penalty Notice because the authorisation of absence is the sole responsibility of the Principal.
Where Penalty Notice(s) are unpaid, the Local Authority may consider taking legal action under Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 for failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school.
If this happens, the case will take place before magistrates who could issue the maximum fine of £1000 per parent per child for this offence.
Parents are asked to respect the new regulations under which the school must work and if there is a need to take a child out of school during term-time, an application or request must be made in advance and make clear how the circumstances are exceptional.
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Promoting excellent attendance
Every lesson counts
Attending school has a huge impact on your child’s academic success starting from reception all the way through to Year 11 and into the Sixth Form. Families play a vital role in making sure that their children get to school safely, regularly and on time. Here are some useful tips to help you.
Always make school a priority
- Never make a doctor, dentist or optician appointment during school time unless this is absolutely necessary.
- If you do need to make an appointment in school time, try to ensure that your child misses as little of school as possible.
- We know that travel companies don’t make it easy for families but never book a holiday during term time (it won’t be authorised, your child will fall behind and you may be fined).
- Don’t allow your child to stay off school to make things easier for yourself – this is against the law.
- Don’t allow your child to miss school on Mondays and Fridays if you are going away for the weekend.
- Don’t allow your child to take a day off because of the weather.
- Don’t allow your child to take a day off for their birthday – this is completely unacceptable and does not prepare them for adult life.
Help your child to stay on track
- Find out if your child is coping with their work and if they are up to date – missing school will make them fall behind.
- Check your child’s attendance with school – you might not realise how much school they have missed.
- Encourage your child to stay after school to attend home learning clubs, booster sessions and extra lessons whenever they are offered.
- If your child forgets their home learning, PE kit, stationery etc. or is not in correct uniform, it will cause problems for them at school – please help your child become organised at home.
Improving your child’s attendance
We need our children to attend school so they can receive the support and guidance that they need to thrive academically. However, there may be that can make it hard for students to take advantage of the chance to learn at school. The good news is as a parent you’re in the driver seat. You make a considerable difference in whether your child gets to school every day.
- Help your child understand why going to school everyday matters. Discuss what they’re missing out on and how showing up to school every day is an important skill that will help them become successful in life.
- Create attendance goals with your child and track their progress in a notebook or calendar. Also, you can try giving them small rewards for attending school on time, every day.
- Make attendance a priority by giving your children regular bedtimes. For older children make sure they understand the connection between school success and chronic absenteeism.
- Discuss any concerns you have about your child’s attendance with our Attendance Improvement Officer.
- Work with other people in your network to reduce common barriers to your child’s attendance, such as the absence of reliable transportation or long-term health problems.
We monitor attendance to identify potential concerns at an early stage. When a concern is identified, we will contact parents and carers to seek their assistance. We have been successful in improving attendance by allocating resources to provide dedicated support to pupils and their families who struggle to engage with education. However, there are instances when, despite using a range of intervention strategies to support them, the pupil will still struggle with attendance.
When we are unable to resolve an attendance issue and are concerned or attendance has reduced to below 90%, we will seek support from the Local Authority. The Local Authority has a dedicated School Liaison Officer (SLO) who helps young people of school age and their families to get the best out of the education system. Its aim is to promote a culture of regular attendance at school.
The SLO has service level agreements with every school and each school has a dedicated SLO. SLOs work proactively with schools to raise awareness of attendance issues using agreed strategies for example, whole school assemblies, information sessions for parents/teaching staff on the role of SLO.
What is ‘persistent absence’?
If your child takes too much time off school they will become categorised as persistently absent.
A child with attendance below 90% is classed as being “persistently absent”, schools are expected to act to address this area of concern.
Missing school will make your child fall behind in lessons and will impact on their academic progress and achievement.
Don’t allow your child to become a persistently absent (PA) student.
This table shows how many days missed each half–term will make your child a PA student:
|HOW MANY DAYS OFF WILL MAKE YOUR CHILD A PERSISTENT ABSENCE STUDENT?|
|Half-term 1||3 ½ days off school from September until October half-term holiday will make your child a PA student.|
|Half-term 1-2||7 days off school from September until the Christmas holiday will make your child a PA student.|
|Half term 1-3||10 days of absence from September until February half-term will make your child a PA student.|
|Half term 1-4||Half-term 1-3 12 ½ days of absence from September until the Easter holidays will make your child a PA student.|
|Half-term 1-5||15 ½ days of absence from September until May half-term will make your child a PA student.|
|Half-term 1-6||19 days of absence for the full academic year (September to end of summer term in July) will make your child a PA student.|