Attendance & Punctuality
We all know that good attendance is directly linked to high achievement and that when children/young people miss valuable lesson time, it can have a negative effect on their progress and attainment, as well as their wellbeing. Children who go to school regularly might be less likely to get involved in antisocial behaviour and/or crime. All schools must record details of learners’ attendance and absence at school. They do so at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions. For secondary-aged learners in particular, good attendance and punctuality shows potential employers that they are reliable.
The law relating to school attendance is detailed in the Education Act, Sections 445 – 447; the Children Act 1989, Section 36; the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 (February 27th 2004), Section 19. In summary:
- Parents/Carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child/children receive an education appropriate to their age, aptitude and ability, either by regular school attendance or otherwise;
- Parents/Carers are responsible for ensuring that their child/children attend school each day and arrive on time;
- Parents/Carers must not allow their child/children to work during school hours;
- Parents/Carers can receive up to a 3-month imprisonment or £2,500 fine as a result of not ensuring their child/children’s attendance at school;
- Parents/Carers can receive a Penalty Notice (up to £120) for a period of unauthorised absence (i.e. unauthorised holidays in term time);
- Parents/carers can receive a Penalty Notice if a child is out in a public place unsupervised while excluded from school.
Only the headteacher is permitted to authorise absence from school, and only within the framework provided by the Department for Education.
On the first day of absence, and subsequent days, parents/carers must contact the office to explain the reason for their child’s absence. If this contact is not made, the child’s absence will be marked as unauthorised until an acceptable reason is given.
For all appointments (medical, interviews etc.) unless a copy of an appointment card/letter is handed into the school reception, we are not be able to authorise the absence. All holidays taken in term time will also be logged as unauthorised. If learners are feeling unwell during the school day, they must see their pastoral manager who will contact home. Learners must not contact home themselves.
Learners with improved/good attendance and punctuality are rewarded in celebration assemblies that take place a number of times across the academic year.
Almost all our primary learners have good punctuality and arrive to school via taxis before their school day begins. This is not always the case for our secondary learners who travel from across the borough, often on multiple buses. Unless on bespoke timetables, all secondary-aged learners should be in school by 9:00am ready for a 9:05 start. Learners will be recorded as late if they arrive to their class after registers close. Sanctions are in place for learners who are frequently late.
It is our policy to work with learners and their parents/carers to improve attendance and punctuality. Our Attendance Manager is Mr D Heyes, and he works closely with the Attendance Enforcement Team at Wigan Council, and with the mainstream schools of our dual-registered learners. He is also available for families to chat with and offer suggestions to support getting your child into school, and on time. This may include:
- home visits;
- meeting learners in school to offer support and advice;
- liaison between home and school to improve communication links and resolve any difficulties that have hindered progress.
- working in partnership with other agencies to promote the child’s welfare and gain appropriate support e.g referrals to Startwell.
With the Headteacher and deputy head he also ensures that our statutory duty in relation to school attendance is carried out. This includes:
- weekly register checks;
- prosecuting parents who fail to secure their child’s attendance at school;
- supervising an Education Supervision Orders;
- enforcing a School Attendance Order;
- issuing a Penalty Notice.
What can you do to support your child to attend school regularly, and on time?
- Tell us if your child has to be off school (preferably prior to absence or on the first day of illness) For further guidance on flu-like illness and diarrhoea/ vomiting in schools, see link https://htcs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/doc04078720191128102239.pdf;
- Chat with your child about their school day;
- Attend our Review Days and Celebration events with your child;
- Familiarise yourself with our Attendance Policy and Procedures;
- Check our website for term dates and any school closures;
- Do not allow your child to be absent without good cause;
- Arrange family holidays during the school holidays not in term time;
- Arrange visits to the Doctor, Dentist, Opticians etc for outside of school hours whenever possible;
- Let your children know you care and that if they are experiencing any difficulties, that they can talk to you;
- Do not allow your child to be absent for birthdays, haircuts or shopping;
- If there are any problems, speak to your child’s class/form teacher, Head of House or our Attendance Manager.