Attendance

Heathcote School and Science College acknowledge the clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement. Government figures show that:

  • Of pupils who miss more than 50 per cent of school, only three per cent manage to achieve five A* to Cs, including English and maths.
  • Of pupils who miss between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of school, only 35 per cent manage to achieve five A* to C GCSEs, including English and maths.
  • Of pupils who miss less than five per cent of school, 73 per cent achieve five A* to Cs, including English and Maths.
  • Poor school attendance is also closely associated with crime: a quarter of school age offenders have truanted repeatedly.
  • Just under a third of young people who were persistently absent during the final year of their compulsory school education, are not in education, employment or training (NEET) at the age of 18. This compares to just over a tenth of their non-PA peers.
  • Young people who were not persistently absent during the final year of compulsory school education are far more likely to be studying for a degree by the age of 18 than their peers who were persistently absent (30% vs. 7%).
  • Young people who were not persistently absent during the final year of compulsory school education are almost three times more likely to attend a Russell Group university than young people who were persistently absent.

 

Overview

Heathcote School and Science College recognises that all parents have a statutory duty to ensure that their child is educated. You must make sure that your child gets a full-time education between the ages of 5 and 16.

The Education Act 1996 S444 states “If a child of compulsory age fails to attend school regularly his/her parent is guilty of an offence”

Non attendance

You will be contacted by either:

  • The school - if your child is enrolled and does not turn up (even if they are only absent for one day).
  • The local authority’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO) - if they think that your child is not getting a suitable education.
  • A child is defined as persistently absent (P.A.) if they miss 10 per cent or more of school time.

During an initial phase of absence the School Attendance Officer (SAO) or the Learning Manager for Attendance (LMfA) will make phone calls to verify the whereabouts of a child and enquire as to any absence which is unexplained. If required, supportive meetings and consultations may take place to assist the family in improving their child’s attendance.

If, after initial support, attendance does not improve then the Local Authority Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will issue a warning and may start legal proceedings through prosecution at a magistrate’s court.

You can be prosecuted if you do not provide your child with an education, this will be after warnings and support from the local authority have been provided.

When your child can miss school

You can only allow your child to miss school if either

  • They are too ill to attend school
  • They have obtained advance permission from the school

If your child is genuinely unwell this will be treated as an authorised absence i.e. Heathcote School has accepted and acknowledged the reason for non-attendance.

Heathcote School and Science College are also aware that on rare occasions there may be other circumstances where a child may be unable to attend school e.g. a family emergency or religious observance. When this occurs, it is expected that parents will inform the school as soon as possible.

Events such as shopping trips, looking after siblings, visiting relatives, outings, lack of school uniform or translating are not acceptable reasons for absence and will be unauthorised.

Holidays taken during term time will be unauthorised by Heathcote School.

How can you help?

  • Make sure your child attends school regularly and arrives on time each day.
  • Make sure you know and understand Heathcote School and Science College’s attendance policy.
  • If your child is absent, make contact with the school immediately and offer an explanation.
  • Encourage your child to be punctual and disciplined in their daily routines and instil resilience with regards to attendance.

Do not condone absence, if there are problems speak to the Heathcote School Attendance Team.