Excellent attendance at school is vital to help children achieve and get the best possible start in life. Children who frequently miss school often fall behind. There is a strong link between school attendance and achieving good results.
Students with an attendance below 80% will have missed 37 days in a school year, this is 185 lessons. Over five years this works out to be one full year of education missed. Only 12% of pupils with below 80% school attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades 9 - 1 including English and Maths, compared to 68% for pupils with attendance greater than 95%.
Good attendance at school shows potential employers that a young person is reliable. Young people who are frequently absent from school are more likely to become involved in, or be a victim of crime and anti-social behaviour.
At Beckfoot Thornton we want every student to attend school every day. Our rewards scheme within school is designed to encourage students to attend every day, with different incentives for students that have attendance over 97% and 95%. Students with attendance of below 95% will be unable to access our whole school rewards.
Our focus on attendance means that we monitor the attendance of every child, every day, and every student is asked to record cumulative attendance in their student planner weekly. Every four weeks every student is placed on an attendance challenge, the challenge being to maintain high levels of attendance or improve attendance. Those students with an attendance of below 90% fall into the persistent absence category and are placed on an attendance contract.
If we have concerns regarding a child’s attendance we will contact parents/carers to see what we can do to support them in ensuring their children attend school regularly.
Responsibilities as a Parent
All children aged between 5 and 16 are required by law (section 444 of the 1996 Education Act) to attend school and it is the legal requirement of parents and carers to ensure that they are supported to do so.
Children sometimes have to miss school because of illness or if they have long term medical issues. If this is the case, parents and carers should contact school on each day of absence to let them know the reason that their child is not in school.
If your child is off school for 5 days or more medical evidence will be required such as appointment cards, prescription medicines or notes from a pharmacist in lieu of a sick note in order to authorise the absence.
Term Time Holidays
From 1 September 2013, a change to government legislation means that schools are no longer allowed to authorise requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time.
Requests for leave can only be granted by schools if there are exceptional circumstances, and holidays are not considered exceptional. Requests for leave must also be made to the school in advance, as the Department for Education has told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken.
A penalty notice is a fine to parents or carers if they fail to ensure that their child/ren attend school regularly. Bradford Council is responsible for issuing penalty notices on behalf of schools in the city.
If a penalty notice is issued it is £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. If the fine is not paid, parents will be reported for prosecution.