Dear Parent \ Carer
You will have received a copy of your child’s attendance record with their Autumn Review. We are delighted that 274 students in Year Seven to Year Eleven have 100% attendance so far this term.
However I am writing to remind you that the Government raised the Persistent Absence threshold from 85% to 90%, last year. This means that any student whose attendance falls below 90% at any point in the school year will be placed in this category and a school attendance action plan will be put in place to improve the situation.
The table below summarises the Department for Education expectations and the impact of absence on days and hours of learning lost. The expectation at Chauncy is that every pupil maintains an attendance level of above 96%.
May we also take this opportunity to remind you that the current law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term-time. The law makes it clear that Headteachers are not allowed to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Family holidays are not considered exceptional circumstances.
Attendance has a direct impact on achievement. Recent government advice highlights the importance of excellent attendance:
We appreciate that children are unwell from time to time. If your child becomes unwell in school the procedure is for your child to attend Reception where we have trained first aiders who will assess if your child needs to go home or is well enough to stay in school. Reception staff will then contact you if your child needs to be collected from school.
Our expectations regarding absence are similar to a place of employment. If your child is too unwell to attend we ask you to notify Reception at the earliest opportunity. However, in many cases parents can administer appropriate pharmaceutical remedies and send their child in so that learning is unaffected. If your child is too sick to attend school we will require formal medical authorisation.
If your child’s attendance falls into the Cause for Concern category you will be contacted by their form tutor in the first instance. If attendance continues to be a concern we will follow this with formal meetings in school. If attendance fails to improve it could result in the Local Education Authority considering legal proceedings.
Punctuality is very important to us too. We start the school day promptly at 8.50am and any child arriving to school after this time is considered late. They will receive an ‘L’ on the register and this is recorded in their school record which we share with employers, colleges and other schools when we write references. If a child is late to school we issue an automatic 15 minute detention at lunchtime that day. We do not consider traffic problems, dropping off siblings at primary school, shopping for lunch at ASDA or the weather to be mitigating circumstances for an individual’s lateness when the vast majority of students have arrived promptly. If there is a genuine reason why your child may be late the school office should be notified in the first instance.
Mr S Walton (Deputy Headteacher)