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Attendance

ATTENDANCE MATTERS

A guide for Parents and Carers

Attendance: Enabling your child to be successful

Central to ensuring your child fulfils their potential is the recognition that students who attend SSA regularly make good progress. Research has demonstrated that children with poor attendance tend to underachieve compared to those students who attend regularly.

As part of our commitment to raising the achievement levels and aspirations of all students, we expect students to:

  • Attend school every day.
  • Attend school on time. Students have to be in school by 8.25 a.m. and in their form at 8.30 a.m.
  • Be punctual to lessons.

When your child is not in school the absence is recorded as either:

  1. (a)  Authorised: SSA has been given an acceptable explanation to justify an absence.

OR

2. (b)  Unauthorised: no reason has been offered for an absence or where SSA feels the explanation offered is unacceptable.

Rewarding Good Attendance

Students who achieve the 100% benchmark at half-termly intervals will access rewards such as:

  1. Attendance Celebration Assemblies.
  2. Summer Rewards Trip.
  3. Certificates and prizes.

Holidays

The school holiday policy has changed. The Headteacher will NOT authorise holidays of any length taken during term time.

While we recognise that holidays during the school term may appear less expensive, we as a school believe you cannot place a value on the ‘cost’ of missed education. There is a clear ‘cost’ to your child in terms of jeopardising their potential achievement.

There are 175 days (weekends and school holidays) available to use for holidays.

Taking a holiday in term time gives your child the wrong message that it is acceptable to miss school. We are a 100% school and that means attending school every day!

Penalty Notices

Penalty notices are issued in the following circumstances:

§ Taking unauthorised holidays;
§ Attendance below 90% or, 20 or more sessions of unauthorised absence in one full term.

Penalty notices are issued for each parent in the household. The fine is £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 28 days. Non-payment of fines will result in prosecution under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

What we expect from our parents / carers

  • Encourage your child to be in school on time every day.
  • Contact school on the first morning of your child’s absence, and on each subsequent morning.
  • Reward your child for good attendance at school – mutually agree a target and stick to it.
  • Ensure your child is only absent if absolutely unavoidable.
  • Do not book holidays in term time – remember that unauthorised holidays often result in a penalty fine.
  • Help your child to develop positive habits – colleges and employers will request pupils’ attendance and punctuality records.
  • Always try to arrange any medical appointments for outside of school hours.
  • Inform school promptly of any issues which may affect attendance.
  • Ask for help if you need it – Pastoral Leads / HOY or the Attendance Team who can offer practical advice and support.

What parents / carers can expect from SSA

Incentives:

  • Half-termly attendance celebration assemblies.
  • Monthly rewards for students.
  • Inter-Form ‘Attendance League’ and rewards at half- termly intervals.

Awareness:

  • Form tutors discuss attendance with students.
  • Attendance assemblies.
  • Pastoral Leads & HOY to offer support with students’ attendance.

Interventions:

  • Day to day – Contact from our Attendance Team.
  • 90 – 96% – Pastoral Leads and Head of Year.
  • Phone calls home/letters to make parents aware of deterioration in attendance.
  • Under 90% – Attendance Lead /AHT / PWO Phone calls/letters/meetings in school/home visits.
  • If no improvement – Attendance Panel Meeting Discussion with Head Teacher and Governors and target setting.
  • If targets not met – Referral to Court Officer for Penalty Notice or Prosecution.