Attendance and Punctuality

Introduction

Attendance is taken very seriously at Ysgol Rhiwabon and we are working hard to help students achieve our 2016 school target of 95%. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.

It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and on time. Please click here and here to see our new Attendance procedures. These pages will explain our new school procedures to improve attendance and punctuality and to reduce unauthorised absences.

Absence Procedures

If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence, preferably before 9 am;
  • Send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence if you haven’t had contact with the school.

If your child is absent we will:

  • Call you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you;
  • Invite you in to discuss the situation with our Pastoral support workers or your child’s Lead Learner if absences persist;
  • Refer the matter to Mrs Debbie Thomas, our Educational Social Worker (ESW) if attendance falls below 85% or if you fail to engage with the support offered by school.

What is Good Attendance?

What does your child’s percentage attendance mean? Parents/carers often become confused about what good attendance is. 90% sounds good but in relation to attendance it means 19 days absent from school. As a school our target attendance percentage is 95%.

Attendance Percentage

Days missed over a school year

100%

0 Days missed

95%

9.5 Days missed

90%

19 Days missed

85%

28.5 Days missed

Research has shown that 17 days absence in a year results in a drop of one grade at GCSE

If you achieve 100% attendance – 190 days – you still have an amazing 175 days of holiday.

Understanding Types of Absence

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing in the case of an on-going medical issue.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. This includes:

  • Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
  • truancy before or during the school day
  • absences which have never been properly explained
  • children who arrive at school too late (once am. registration has closed) to get a mark
  • shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
  • day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.

Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually make things worse.

Holidays during term time

Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress. A pupil who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. They will also miss 50 hours of education.
The Head Teacher has the discretion to grant up to ten days authorised absence for family holidays in term time. Parents do not have the automatic right to withdraw students from school for a holiday and, in law, parents must apply in writing, for permission in advance.
However, each application will be considered individually taking into account factors such as the timing of the holiday and the pupil’s attendance.

What does the LAW say?

All children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must receive a suitable full time education. As a parent you are responsible for making sure this happens, and you have a vital role in ensuring and promoting regular attendance at school.

You are the key person who will make a difference.

If your child fails to attend school regularly – even if they miss school without you knowing- the Local Authority may take action.

What happens if my child does not attend school regularly?

An Education Social Worker will visit or write to you to discuss the reason for your child not attending school. Prosecution proceedings may be started and parents can be fined or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly.

The Education Welfare Service

Education Welfare is a specialist support service, which works in partnership with other agencies to provide a range of services for children and their families, as well as carrying out statutory functions.

Education Social Workers 

Support schools, pupils and parents to encourage children to attend regularly.
Help children overcome problems that prevent them from attending school.
Arrange education if a pupil is unable to attend school for several weeks / months.
They can also advise parents on:

  • Education Law / Parental Rights
  • School Transport Policy
  • Children Changing Schools
  • Children in Entertainment
  • Children in Employment

Should you wish to discuss your child’s attendance please contact the Educational Social Worker Mrs Debbie Thomas at school.

Fixed Penalty Notices

From January 2015 penalty notices may be issued to parents/carers in cases of unauthorised absence, where there has been a failure to secure their child’s regular attendance or whereabouts but is not willing to take responsibility for doing so, for example where the parent/carer has:

  • failed to engage with any voluntary or supportive measures proposed
  • failed to make adequate arrangements for the whereabouts of their child.

Penalty notices may be considered appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • At least 10 sessions (5 school days) are lost due to unauthorised absence during the current term. These need not be consecutive.
  • Persistent lateness (after the registration has closed and an unauthorised absence is created). ‘Persistent’ in this case means at least 10 session of late arrival in one term; and
  • Any other cases which would constitute truancy.

The penalty is £60 if paid within 28 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days of receipt of the notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 42 day period the LA may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies or withdraw the notice.

Punctuality

Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that their son/daughter arrives at the school punctually. Students should arrive at the school no later than 8.45am. Registration begins at 8.50am where form tutors electronically take the first register of the day. Students must report to the reception office to sign in if they arrive after 9.15am. Arriving after 9.15am without a legitimate reason will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. If a student needs to leave school early they need to bring a note to show their form tutor and make sure they show the note to reception and sign out when they leave.

Click here

to read the school’s new punctuality procedure. Please read this and make sure that your son/ daughter is aware of the consequences of poor punctuality. The school will contact you if we have concerns about punctuality and ask that you support our detention procedures re: student lateness.

Minutes lost each day

Days lost per school year

5 minutes

3 days

10 minutes

6.5 days

15 minutes

10 days

20 minutes

13 days

30 minutes

19 days

Being late 10 minutes every day for one year is equal to 33 hours – approximately 6 days!

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