REPORTING ABSENCE - Phone the Student Absence Line: 01933 231282
Contact the academy each and every day of your child’s absence. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message 24 hours a day. Please provide the following key information:
- Your child’s name
- Form Group or Year Group if you are not sure
- The reason for the absence
- How long you expect the absence to last
WHY ATTENDANCE MATTERS
High attendance lends itself to resilience, excellence and quality aspirations!
Outstanding attendance at Sir Christopher Hatton is an important focus and part of our day-to-day approach to ensure that our pupils have the best life chances.
We monitor every student’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone, text or by letter. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact parents and carers to discuss ways in which the Academy can support you and your child.
Students are given the knowledge to understand correlations between attendance and achievement; this is done through a range of Academy forums and strategies. Our ethos towards attendance is reinforced by a thorough system, with an emphasis on home-school communication. All students are expected to work towards a minimum target of over 96.5% for each academic year.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD HAS AN APPOINTMENT
All routine medical and other appointments must be arranged out of school time. 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.
The school site and canteen are open to students from 8.00am.
Students should arrive for 8.25am. The first warning bell goes at 8.30am and students arriving after the second bell at 8.35am will be marked as late. The gates to the Academy from the Hemmingwell and Cedar Way close at 8.30am. After that, entry to the school is via the main entrance on The Pyghtle only. The academy operates a ‘late gate’ and students arriving on site after 8.35 can expect to receive a lunch time detention.
Any student arriving after registration must sign in at Student reception in the Learning Zone. Students will receive a lunch time detention unless they have a genuine reason.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE (INCLUDING TERM-TIME HOLIDAYS)
Since 2013 Headteachers and Principals have not been able to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. 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 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.
All requests are considered individually, taking into account the circumstances of the request. Other factors will be taken into account, such as:
- The time of year the student will be absent
- The attendance record of the student
- The number of previous requests for leave of absence
- The student’s ability to catch up with missed work
Parents will be notified of the Academy’s decision either by telephone or in writing.
Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. The Academy are also legally obliged to apply to the Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. This may result in 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. Further legal action may also be taken if the absence persists.
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 the Academy can support you to improve this.
Parents/carers have a legal duty to make sure their child attends school regularly. The Academy are legally required to make referrals 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.
GENERAL ADVICE TO PARENTS
- Contact school each and every day of your child’s absence
- Try to make medical appointments outside of school hours.
- Provide school with copies of any medical evidence such as appointment cards.
- Inform school beforehand of an medical procedures
- Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to someone if you have a concern
- Inform us of any planned holidays. Although they will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and may incur a fine it is better that we know a child is safe rather than missing.