Attendance

ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY

The key to academic success is very good attendance

Attend and achieve!

Note to Parent/Carer

Please contact the Academy on the first morning of any student absence by telephoning 01503 262625 then option 2 and leave a message.

Please send in a note to Student Services explaining the absence if your child is absent for more than one day, unless you have contacted the Academy on every day of their absence. If you sign the planner your child will need to show it to the Attendance Officer in Student Services.

If you have any concerns regarding attendance or punctuality, please contact the Attendance Officer on the above number. We work very closely with the area Education Welfare Officer who liaises closely with the Academy and home.

One of the most obvious factors affecting the success of a student at school is his/her attendance. If you are not in school, you are not learning the skills, facts and concepts which you need in order to achieve success. Evidence clearly shows that the students are more likely to succeed in achieving a minimum of 5 good passes at GCSE with high attendance rates.

Regular absences from school will cause you a number of problems. For example:

  • You will be denied access to the continuity of learning which is so vital if you are to make good progress.

  • You will have a great deal of catching up to do when you return; this puts you under even more stress and can lead students to produce poor work or feel overwhelmed.

  • In many subjects (eg Drama, in which work is based on group co-operation), your absence may have a real affect on the progress of other students, who work collaboratively with you.

  • You may become isolated from your school friends as you see them less. Of course, some absence is unavoidable - we all get ill from time to time! However, it makes sense to keep your absences to the absolute minimum.

  • Appointments to visit the doctor or dentist should be made before or after school whenever possible, or during the holidays. (If students are not in school before 9.30am regulations mean they are recorded as absent)

  • Students will be disadvantaged if they accompany parents/carers on annual holidays in term time. The current law does not give any entitlement to parents/carers to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must be in exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of time away from school. Permission needs to be sought in writing and in advance from the Headteacher. Holidays taken without authorisation could result in a referral to the Educational Welfare Officer.

Under normal circumstances, we would expect a student to achieve an attendance rate of 97% or more. Without doubt, problems will begin to arise if attendance falls below 95%.

Students who are late for registration without good reason will be given a detention at break time and/or lunchtime on the same day. Persistent lateness for lessons will mean loss of break and/or lunchtimes. Students have an obligation to let Student Services know they have arrived late for tutor registration. Truancy is taken very seriously and students will have to make up time missed in their own leisure time or after school detention.

At the academy, we recognise that there are occasions when it is appropriate to authorise an absence, such as when a student is genuinely too ill to attend school, has a medical appointment that cannot be taken outside of school hours or a request for leave has been agreed in exceptional circumstances. However, the Government does not support parents/carers taking children out of school unless the school agrees this is appropriate under ‘exceptional circumstances’. Any request for leave should be made in writing to myself.

If you decide to still take your child out of school, without permission, you will be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996. We may refer the matter to Cornwall Council who may decide to take legal action against you. A penalty notice can be issued under Section 444A and 444B of the Education Act 1996. This carries a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after this but within 28 days. Failure to pay the penalty notice may result in Court action. Persistent absences not authorised by the school may result in a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court, leading to fines up to £2,500 and/or custodial sentences. The Council may also apply for the costs incurred in taking the matter to Court. You are welcome to contact the academy to discuss any concerns you may have regarding this or if you feel you would like advice or support in helping your child attend more regularly. The academy is committed to maximising the education of all its students and aims to work with parents and carers to ensure this can be achieved.

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