Every day at school matters.
We expect students to attend school for 100% of the academic year.
The basic principles of high levels of attendance are:
- Ensure your child arrives on time for school every day. Arriving after registration is recorded as an unauthorised absence. Students must be in school by 8:25 am.
- Avoid taking holidays during term time.
- If your child appears to be only slightly ill, send them in to school. We have staff who will contact you if their condition worsens.
- Book any ‘medical appointments’ outside of school hours. If this is unavoidable then book for as late in the afternoon as possible. Inform your child’s House Team of appointments in advance.
- Supply a copy of appointment card or hospital letter if your child has an appointment during school hours.
- If your child becomes reluctant to go to school, contact the school immediately.
‘On the day’ absences: what should I do if my child is not ‘fit’ to go into school?
On each day your child is unfit to come to school, please call the Attendance line on 01582 436100 (Option 1) before 8:30 am to let us know. In the message, you must leave your child’s name, house group and give the reason why they are off school. Please also write a letter to your child’s house parent on return to school. The information will be used to authorise the absence on our official register.
As the parent you are legally responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly and punctually. Children whose attendance does not meet our expectations of 97% minimum attendance will be referred the House Support Assistant (HSA) or the Education Welfare Officer (EWO). The school will issue parents with a penalty notice warning if a child is absent on 8 occasions over a period of 12 weeks. It is the EWO who has the authority to prosecute the parents of poor attendees; any court action could incur a fine of up to £2,500.00, or in persistent cases, a prison sentence.
From 1 September 2013 the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 have been amended, and Headteachers are not able to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The new regulations do not class family holidays as exceptional circumstances and they will generally not be authorised.
The regulations state:
“School days are precious; children only attend school 190 out of 365 days. There are 175 days a year which parents can use for any activities other than school.”
All requests for exceptional leave must go through the Headteacher, as only the Headteacher can authorise leave during term time. Any unauthorised leave will incur a fixed penalty notice of £60.00 per parent per child. Please do not book travel and/or accommodation for your child without exceptional leave of absence being authorised. A leave of absence request form is available from reception or the school’s website.
Is 95% attendance a success?
A child who has 95% attendance over their five years at Ashcroft will have missed one quarter of an academic year of education throughout their High School career. The minimum expected attendance for Ashcroft students is 97%.
Persistent Absenteeism (PA)
The government defines a Persistent Absentee as a student who has an attendance of 90% or below. Students who are PA, or at risk of becoming PA, must provide official documentary evidence of illness and medical absences.
Why is it important for children not to miss school?
Most parents want their children to succeed in life. It is more important than ever to have a good education behind you if you want opportunities in adult life. If children do not attend school regularly, they will not achieve their potential. Research has shown that children who are not in school are most vulnerable and are more easily drawn into crime. Those children who play truant are more likely to offend than those who do not. High levels of attendance are essential if students are to take full advantage of school and gain the appropriate qualifications and skills which will equip them for life. We know from research that every day at school does indeed matter. Every extra day missed at school is associated with a lower attainment outcome for children. As overall absence levels increase, the average percentage of students’ attainment levels decreases at the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11).