Attendance

Approved by the Board of Directors: 28 January 2020

Introduction

Regular and punctual attendance at school is important. It underpins high achievement and it is one of the main factors in determining your child's future and opportunities in life.

Attending school ensures that pupils receive a coherent education programme. It supports the development of good social relationships, ensures students are safe and their welfare is being monitored. It supports health and well-being, builds confidence and offers a sense of belonging as a member of a community. Children who are absent from school regularly do less well in achieving their academic potential and have fewer career choices. At Bishop Luffa School, we aim for every pupil and Sixth Form student to attend at least 96% of the school year as a minimum.

Aim

The aim of our attendance policy is to encourage and foster a positive attitude towards attendance by pupils, parents, staff and Directors in order to generate and maintain the highest possible level of attendance by ensuring:

  • all pupils attend school punctually and regularly
  • pupils’ good attendance is celebrated
  • poor attendance is identified, addressed and improved by working in partnership with parents and outside agencies to resolve any difficulties which underpin poor attendance

What is the responsibility of parents and pupils?

Parents have legal responsibility for ensuring their children attend and stay at school. Parents will endeavour to ensure their children arrive at school on time, properly dressed and in a condition to learn. Pupils increasingly take on this responsibility as part of their own personal development.

(See Appendix 3: Role of parents)

What should I do if my child is ill?

If your child is ill, please contact the school (absence line 01243 832681) on each day of absence. When your child returns to school, ensure they give a letter from you to their form tutor confirming the circumstances.

What should I do if my child is late to school?

We are keen to promote punctuality. A pupil arriving late may not only disrupt the continuity of his/her learning but also that of others. Parents and pupils are responsible for ensuring that pupils are on the school site by 8.00am in time for registration at 8.05am every day. Pupils who are late for school but arrive before 8.23am must attend registration/assembly. Pupils who arrive on school site after 8.23am should sign in at reception. Lateness normally results in a lunchtime detention.

What is the School’s responsibility?

The School has responsibility to support attendance; we take seriously any problem that may lead to non-attendance. We will contact parents whose child is absent and for whom we have not already received notification from home. This will be done as soon as is practically possible.

(See Appendix 1: Practice and Appendix 2: Roles). If absence from school is persistent then the school will need to take steps to address this issue. If the persistent absence is unauthorised, then this may lead to a referral for a Fixed Penalty Notice.

What is the responsibility of Pupil Entitlement: Investigation?

(PEI, formerly Education Welfare Service)

West Sussex County Council (WSCC), our Local Authority (LA), is charged in law with enforcing school attendance. The LA can in cases of irregular attendance, apply to the courts for an Education Supervision Order or where necessary, the LA can prosecute parents. Pupil Entitlement: Investigation Officers (PEIO, formerly Education Welfare Officers) are employed by WSCC to help them carry out their statutory duties. There is also the possibility for parents to be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). Heads of House liaise with the PEI and monitor pupils’ attendance. The School will actively and routinely pursue FPNs for unauthorised absences and seek advice from and refer poor attenders to PEI where necessary.

What impact does attendance have on a child's education?

Use the tables below to check both your attendance and your punctuality.

If your attendance over the school year is ... this is how many school days you have missed which is approximately this many school weeks which is this number of lessons missed

95%

90%

85%

80%

75%

70%

65%

60%

55%

50%

45%

10

19

29

39

49

58

68

78

88

97

107

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

19

21

60

120

180

240

300

360

420

480

540

600

 

Here is what happens if you are regularly late for school!

If you are this many minutes late for school each day This is how many days teaching that you miss

5 mins

10 mins

15 mins

20 mins

25 mins

3.2

6.5

9.7

13

16.2

How do we recognise excellent attendance?

The School is keen to celebrate good attendance through its reward system. We do this by:

  • Praise to individual pupils from form tutor, Head of House, and Leadership team
  • Certificates and letters of praise
  • Attendance figures published on pupil progress reports
  • Good attendance references to Universities, Colleges and Employers
  • House competition for attendance

What about special occasions and reasons for absence?

Students are only in school for 190 days each year. There are 175 other days for holidays and other activities. For this reason, holidays in term time will not be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are where requests are rare, significant, unavoidable and short, eg parent returning from a Tour of Duty with the Armed Forces or Police annual leave embargoed over school holidays.

On 26 April 2017 the Government made it clear you can only allow your child to miss school if either:

  • they are too ill to go in, or
  • you have permission in advance from the school

You have to get permission from the Head Teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time. You can only do this if you:

  • make an application to the Head Teacher at least a month in advance for all requests except those linked to bereavement
  • there are exceptional circumstances. It is up to the Head Teacher to decide how many days a child may be away from school if leave is granted. Examples when we may authorise absence:
    o close family funeral or close family wedding
    o public performances by pupils and music courses
    o representative sports

Other points

  • We shall authorise absence for participation in a day set aside exclusively for religious observance as set out in the particular religious doctrine
  • We will support children from Traveller families to attend school as frequently as possible whilst adopting a sympathetic and sensitive approach to their lifestyle and cultural traditions
  • Fixed Term Exclusions: In the very rare instance of a pupil being temporarily excluded from school, the absence will be recorded as authorised

For further information

Please contact your child’s Head of House or Assistant Head Teacher Key Stage 3/ Key Stage 4/ Head of Sixth Form