How will absences from school affect my child's progress at school?
- Attainment Levels – the quality of school work and qualifications gained will be significantly lower if attendance is lower. This has been shown by data analysis and research both in Wigan and nationally.
- School Routine – your child’s learning and that of other pupils could be disrupted by the missing of vital class/coursework.
- The chances of children and young people being involved in anti-social behaviour may increase as attendance at school decreases.
- A child or young person’s general well-being and long-term life opportunities may be adversely affected by the missing of positive experiences associated with school and learning.
What is acceptable attendance?
- The School expects all pupils to aim for 100% attendance.
- 96% attendance is regarded as good and should be achieved with an average amount of illness.
- Any attendance level that creates a cause for concern would initiate intervention by the school. This could be as simple as a ‘chat’ with the form teacher or may, in more severe circumstances, lead to the involvement of agencies outside of the school.
What does the school do to promote excellent attendance?
- Rewards – Excellent pupil attendance is celebrated on a weekly and termly basis in assemblies.
- Recognition – Excellent pupil attendance is promoted through this website, the plasma information screens around school, the attendance notice board and the weekly pupil bulletin.
- Group work can be beneficial for pupils. The group may focus on attendance issues, punctuality or the link between school attendance and future attainment.
- Learning Mentors are used by the school to help pupils raise their attainment and achieve their potential.
- Attendance Staff is a range of staff who work as a team to improve attendance.
- Counselling is available for pupils. This is a confidential service and is delivered by an independent counselor from Wigan Family Welfare.
- Nurture Groups are available in school to help integrate vulnerable pupils or pupils with specific issues. Not all pupils are confident enough to spend every lesson in a classroom without a problem. The school aims to ease such pupils into appropriate learning environments with the minimum of fuss and disruption to their learning.
How does the school record absence?
- The school uses an electronic system of attendance registration that is updated within each lesson by the form teacher or subject teacher.
- The system records whether the child is present or absent.
- Absence is categorised as being authorised (agreed and accepted by the school as being appropriate) or unauthorised.
- Examples of authorised absence would be genuine illness, medical appointments etc.
- Examples of unauthorised absence would be truancy, parentally condoned absence without appropriate reason, and unauthorised holidays in term time.
- The codes used are standard codes as issued by the government.
What should I do if my child is ill?
- Firstly, decide if you child is too ill to attend school. Each day the school is attended by a number of pupils who feel under the weather or ‘a bit sick’. The majority of these pupils improve during the day and have no problems as a result of their attending.
- If your child is too ill to attend, please ring the school on the first day (and on each subsequent day) your child is unwell. (01257 422265. Press 1, when requested, in order to report a pupil absence).
- On return to school, your child should bring a letter explaining the illness.
If my child is absent from school, what can I expect to happen?
- On the first day of your child’s absence you will receive a phone call from the school to ask you to explain your child’s absence, if you have not already contacted the school.
- If your child’s absences are more frequent, you should expect to receive a letter informing you of your child’s attendance level.
- If your child’s absence is unacceptable or at a significantly low level you would be asked to attend a meeting in school to discuss support appropriate to your child.
Can a pupil take a holiday in term time?
- Due to the legal change in the Department for Education (DfE) legislation, at Standish Community High School we will only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances that are not related to holidays.
- Term time holidays/extended leave are not allowed and parents/carers are discouraged from arranging them in term time.
- If parents/carers choose to take their child out on holiday in term time the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. This will lead to an Education Penalty Notice being issued.
- Parents/carers must send in a letter addressed to the headteacher (at least 6 weeks before) requesting permission to take their child out of school during term time due to an exceptional circumstance.
If my child has an unacceptable level of unauthorised absence, what can I expect to happen?
- You will be contacted by the school, either by telephone, letter and/or visit to your home in order that the level of, and reasons for, your child’s absence can be discussed with you.
- A plan of action will be compiled that is aimed at helping you improve your child’s school attendance.
- A failure to comply with any such plan without a valid reason will, if your child’s school attendance does not improve, result in a referral being made to the Gateway Service who will aim to support you in ensuring your child attends school regularly.
- Further poor school attendance by your child may result in legal action being taken against you by the local authority.
- You may initially be issued with an Education Penalty Notice (fine). Warning letters are issued at the start of the school year.
- See the information provided below with regard to the Educational Penalty Notice.
What is an Education Penalty Notice?
An Education Penalty Notice is a fine issued to parents or carers and can be either £60 per parent or carer (if the payment is made within 21 days of receipt) or £120 per parent or carer (if paid after this, but within 28 days). Education Penalty Notices are issued by first class post to your home and will explain how and where to send your payment. You must pay the whole of the amount owing in one payment. You cannot pay in instalments or part of the amount.
How will I know when I am going to receive an Education Penalty Notice?
At the beginning of each academic year regardless of your child’s previous or current attendance school will issue each family with a warning letter. This outlines the legal duty upon all parents/carers to make sure their child regularly attends school. It also clarifies the specific criteria that if not met, would require school to request Wigan Local Authority to issue an Education Penalty Notice Fine.
What kind of unauthorised absences result in the issuing of an Education Penalty Notice?
- 10 sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absence with under 90% attendance
- 20 sessions (10 days) of unauthorised absence
- Persistently arrives late for school after the close of registration.