You will be as aware as anyone that we are rapidly approaching the end of our first half term of this academic year. As always attendance at the academy is a priority and after several discussions with different groups of pupils and their parents or carers I thought it would be wise to write to you to remind you of some key points around attendance. The academy has a target for all pupils of 95.5% overall attendance although we would like all students to attend the academy for more than 98% of the time. We know that high attendance at the academy and achieving target grades are linked. Punctuality is also very important at the academy. All students must arrive on time and be ready for learning with the correct equipment, e.g. pencil case, PE kit and planner (Key Stage 3 only). For students who have not had breakfast, this is available for purchase in the dining room from 7.50 every day
The start of the academy day
All students should arrive on the academy site by 8:20am – any student arriving between 8:30am and 9:20am will be marked as late. Any student arriving after 9:20am will be marked as Unauthorised Late; this is when the academy closes its register. All students arriving late will make up the time by attending a 20-minute lunchtime detention. Text messages will be sent out informing parents/carers if their child is late.
Should your child be too ill to attend the academy, would you please contact us on the first day of absence, wherever possible before 8:30am on 0116 2881228. Please keep us informed of your child’s progress. If your child is required to provide medical evidence into school this can be in the form of medication prescribed by your doctor or hospital. If you know your child will be absent for medical reasons (an operation or dental surgery) please provide us with evidence in advance.
Holiday leave in term-time
The academy closes for 70 days of holidays each academic year and we expect all parents/carers will take their family holidays whilst the academy is closed. Any parent wanting to take their child on a leave of absence from the academy should inform the academy in writing. The application, in the form of a formal letter, will be looked at on an individual basis and you will be informed by letter of the outcome. However amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 make it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any holiday or leave taken without permission from the Headteacher will be unauthorised and the Local Authority will be informed.
Whilst the academy embraces all faiths and cultures it also recognises the importance of education, wherever possible we will try and accommodate all religious celebrations within the working day. However, as with all leave of absence this must be applied for in advance to the academy. Absence without authorisation on these occasions will be unauthorised.
If your child’s absence is a continuing concern and has fallen below 90% it may become necessary to class it as Persistent Absence. This could be reflected in the following absence figures:
- By end of half-term 1 Autumn; 11+ sessions* (5 days)
- By end of half-term 2 Autumn; 22+ sessions (11 days)
- By end of half-term 3 Spring; 30+ sessions (15 days)
- By end of half-term 4 Spring; 38+ sessions (19 days)
- By end of half-term 5 Summer; 46 +sessions (23 days )
*session equivalent of a half-day in the academy
It is very likely that by this point we would have contacted you to meet at the academy and the academy would have involved the services of their education welfare partners.
Ultimately behind all of this is a want for our learners to be the best they can and achieve as well as they can. If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance please do not hesitate to contact me via the academy’s reception.
Mr C Tongue