Regular school attendance – why it is so important
Going to school regularly is really important. Those who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work; which means they may not achieve the best they can in assessments and exams. This could affect their ability to get a go into further education, get an apprenticeship or a job. Students who don’t attend school regularly often have fewer friends and are more likely to feel unhappy. When you don’t come into school, you don’t just miss out on an education, you miss out on the fun social side too.
As a parent or carer you can help your child attend regularly by:
- making sure they understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality
- taking an interest in their education – ask about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities
- discussing any problems they may have at school – inform their Head of Year or Year Manager about anything serious
- not letting them take time off school for minor ailments – particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work
- arranging appointments and outings after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child’s education and to the school
As a student, you can improve your attendance by:
- Speaking to a trusted adult about the reasons why you might not want to come to school
- Trying hard every morning to get up and get to school, unless you are really unwell
- Getting an early night, feeling tired on a morning can make getting to school harder
- Make sure you get to school on time every day
What do I do if my child is not well enough to come to school?
If you feel that your child isn’t well enough to come to school, you need to phone and leave a message on the
Student Absence Line (0113 3807940)
with your child’s name, Year group and the reason why they are not in school.
Medical appointments should be made for after school wherever possible. We may ask to see evidence of medical appointments, if your child’s attendance is poor.
What does authorised and unauthorised absence mean?
As an academy we must follow national legal guidelines which means that holiday requests during term-time cannot be authorised. Because of this, absences or persistent lateness which are not agreed with us, can incur a penalty notice. These penalties are through the local council and we have no control over how they are given.
We cannot guarantee that we will authorise a student’s leave of absence during term time, as this is only done in exceptional circumstances. If you don’t get permission from our Principal, the absence is classed as ‘unauthorised’ and this includes lateness. If you want to see if an absence can be authorised, you must contact school in advance and get permission from the Principal.
What will happen if my child misses school?
We keep parents up to date with their child’s attendance and confirm absences with them; this makes sure students are supported in their progress at the Academy.
On the first day of absence, if we have not received a phone call, we will contact home after the close of morning registration to confirm why a student is not in the Academy. Unexplained absences may will be followed up with a visit from one of our Attendance Improvement Officers. We do this to make sure we are giving families all the support we can.
We will also contact home about persistent lateness and unexplained absences from lessons as these affect a students attendance record. DFRs are also given for this behaviour, you can read more about this in our Behaviour Policy.
Our Attendance Team work really hard to support students and often identify patterns of non-attendance. They will always work with parents and carers to understand these patterns, and see how they can be improved.
Help! My child is not attending school regularly
If you are concerned about your child’s school attendance, it is always best to talk to us first. We have a dedicated Attendance team who are here to help students and families.
Students with attendance of less than 95% are monitored by the Head of Year and Year Manager and may be referred to the Academy Attendance Improvement Officers for extra support.
Leeds City Council offers a range of services to support families who encounter difficulties in ensuring their children attend school regularly. Intervention work is done to avoid students reaching Persistent Absentees (PA) status. And we work with parents, carers, staff, agencies and pupils to prevent children from falling into this category.