School Absence Line: 01245 504504
School Attendance And The Law
You have a legal responsibility to ensure your child is in regular school attendance and we expect parents to support the school in all attendance issues. By law; only the school can approve absences, not parents. It is for the school to judge whether the explanation given is a satisfactory justification for the absence.
Why is Regular Attendance Important?
- A good education will help give your child the best possible start in life. If your child does not attend school regularly, he/she will not be able to keep up with the work and will miss out on other aspects of school life such as friendship groups and life skills.
- Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child's educational progress. A student who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. 10 days absence also means the student will miss 50 hours of education.
- Employers look for reliability and good school attendance is an important indication of this. Children who have not attended their school regularly have less chance of getting a good job.
- Young people who are absent from school for no good reason are at risk of becoming victims of crime or abuse. They may also be drawn into anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.
If Your Child Is Late
Morning registration is at the beginning of period 1 at 9am and afternoon registration is from 2.00pm to 2.25pm.
If your child arrives late for school or for registration, they should report to their Form Tutor. They will be given a late mark (L), which will be noted alongside the amount of minutes they were late.
If your child arrives outside of registration, they should sign in at Student Services. They will be given a late mark (L), which will be noted alongside the amount of minutes they were late.
To assist administration, we operate an official closure of registers at 9.35am and 2.25pm. After this time, any students not registered will be given an unauthorised absence/late mark.
If Your Child Will Be Absent
You are required to inform the school that your child will be absent before 9am on the first day of absence, and any subsequent days thereafter. You must provide a reason for the absence, however, we may require a medical certificate to justify frequent or extensive absences.
If we are not informed of your child's absence, we will contact you in order to ensure their safety and confirm their reason for being absent.
If we do not receive an explanation your child's absence, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we may not authorise the absence and will mark this on your child’s attendance report. This is to ensure that sickness absence is not misused, and to promote attendance levels for all students.
Leaving During The School Day
If possible, appointments (including medical, dental, and optician) should be made out of school hours or during the school holidays. Where this cannot be arranged, we ask that the student is out of school for the minimum amount of time possible.
Students who need to leave school during normal school hours for an appointment must sign out at Student Services, where they will be expected to show an appointment card or a letter from you, countersigned by your son/daughter's Pastoral Manager or Standards & Progress Leader. Students should also sign in again on return.
Please note that if you contact us via telephone, email, or the school app to advise us of student absence for medical appointments, this does not replace the letter from home that is needed to be shown by students at the point of signing out to leave school.
Term-Time Holiday Applications
There is no entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term-time, however, you may apply to the school for leave of absence if you believe there are exceptional circumstances.
Leave of absence may only be granted by the Executive Headteacher or Attendance Officer. Leave of absence may only be granted where an advanced application has been made by the parent with whom the pupil normally resides, and the school considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.
If the absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken, the case will be referred to the Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.
You can read more about penalties for truancy and exclusion in this document from Essex Schools.