Attendance & Punctuality
Raise your child’s attendance – Raise their chances!
At The Elton High School excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting good attitudes towards attendance. We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their children are present at every opportunity, to arrive on time and to avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily, or taking them out of school without authorisation. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.
We monitor student’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone, by letter and sometimes by visits home. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact parents/ carers to discuss ways in which we can support you and your child.
Our attendance target of 96% as a minimum for each student. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive effect on student’s examinations and their futures.
Persistent Absence is a serious problem for students. Much of the work children miss when they are off school is never made up, leaving these students at a considerable disadvantage.
A student defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ is one who misses 10% or more of school. The Department for Education reduced this threshold from September 2015 from 15% previously.
Schools are challenged by the Government to address the problem of persistent absenteeism. The government has strengthened schools’ ability to respond by increasing Fixed Penalty Notices (fines) to £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days.
For more information please see the links below.
What to do if your child is ill:
If your child is too ill to attend school parents/carers should contact the School Office as soon as possible:
Please give your child’s name, Year Group and the reason for the absence. We also ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent.
On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers complete an absence slip at the back of the student’s planner. The student should hand the slip in at the Attendance Office.
What to do if your child has an appointment:
All routine medical and other appointments should be arranged out of school time wherever possible. In exceptional circumstances, where an urgent appointment is required or for hospital clinic appointments that operate during the day only, we require sight of an appointment card or letter in order to authorise any absence from school. In these instances please try to arrange appointments so that children do not miss a full day of learning.
Automated calls to parents/carers:
We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and automated calls are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers if a student is absent, where the Attendance Officer has received no reason for absence. Calls are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you.
NOTE: Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending school on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up to date contact numbers.
All students are expected to arrive on time at school, ready for lessons. Students should arrive for 8.35am. Students are expected to be at their first lesson by 8.45am ready to start learning. The gates will close at 8.45am. After that, access to school is by the main entrance only.
Any student arriving after lessons have started at 8.45am must sign in at the Main Office. Students will receive a detention unless they have a genuine reason for being late. Reasons such as missing the bus, stuck in traffic, oversleeping or poor weather are not considered to be acceptable reasons for lateness.
We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.
Leave of Absence (including term-time holidays)
Amendments came into force in September 2013 and the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 now state that schools may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true. The government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education.
Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, weekends away etc.
Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence. Parents/carers should make any request well in advance and in writing. Requests for absence for reasons such as compassionate leave, special family events, sporting or musical competitions, etc., should be made in the same way.
Where a parental request is refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. This is a fine of £60 per parent for each child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 per parent for each child if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Celebrating Good Attendance
Good attendance is celebrated each term when students are invited to participate in rewards events.
Form tutors share individual attendance with students on a regular basis, certificates are given to students through termly assemblies and there is also an Annual Rewards Ceremony for students who achieve outstanding attendance.
Support for Attendance
We monitor students’ attendance and punctuality very closely. We follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers by telephone and/ or by letter.
Where a student’s attendance reaches a concerning level, we will contact you by letter, telephone, or home visit to discuss ways in which we can work together to support you and your child. We may invite you to a meeting in school to discuss your child’s attendance and how school can support you to improve this.
Parents/carers have a legal duty to make sure their child attends school regularly. The Academy can make a referral to the Local Authority where parents/carers are failing in their legal duty. The Local Authority has the power to enforce school attendance where this becomes problematic, including the power to prosecute parents/carers who fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school. If found guilty, parents/ carers could be fined up to £2500 and/ or imprisoned for 3 months.
Penalty notices are fines of £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 12 and 28 days. They are an alternative to the prosecution of parents for failing to ensure their child attends school regularly.
BBC News Article “School truancies lead to rise in prosecution of parents”.