At Baysgarth School we believe that attendance is strongly linked to students' motivation and academic achievement. Poor attendance and punctuality threaten the rights of young people to an effective education. This Attendance and Punctuality Policy states the responsibility of the school, student and parent in securing good attendance and punctuality. All members of Baysgarth School have a role to play in improving attendance and reducing absence. Students are expected to:
- Attend school regularly and on time
- Be punctual to all lessons
- Ensure that they register for all timetabled lessons (including intervention and 1-1 sessions) and inform Student Support if they cannot be registered for any reason
- Ensure all messages and notes from parents/carers are taken to the appropriate place (as determined by each individual school).
Parents are expected to:
- Ensure their child attends regularly, punctually, dressed in full uniform and equipped to learn.
- Ensure their child attends every day the School is open unless they are too ill to do so.
- Avoid keeping their child away from school for any reason other than illness or other authorised explanation (see overleaf).
- Avoid arranging holidays during term time
- Immediately inform the Attendance Office or Student Support if their child is unable to attend before the start of the school day, including the reason for absence and expected date of return. If no indication of a return date has been given, parents/carers should contact the school on each day of absence.
- On a student's return to school an absence note should be written into a student's planner and signed
What do I do if my child is ill and cannot attend school?
Parents should immediately inform the Attendance Officer or Student Support if their child is unable to attend before the start of the school day if possible, including the reason for absence and expected date of return. If no indication of a return date has been given, parents/carers should contact the school on each day of absence. A note in the student's planner should be provided with details of the absence on their return signed by a parent or carer.
What do I have to do if my child has a medical appointment during the school day?
Medical/dental and other appointments should be arranged out of school hours wherever possible. Where this is not possible, students should, where practically possible, come to school before the appointment, sign out and return to school after the appointment. Should the school require evidence of a medical appointment, a medical evidence letter will be sent to parents/carers.
I want to take my child on holiday during term time, what do I do?
Government Legislation now states that only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence; please refer to the Department of Education for the latest guidance.
The school requires a parent/carer to complete a Leave of Absence form at least four weeks before the date of the required leave, unless this relates to a family illness or funeral, and submit to the Attendance Officer for consideration. This form will be assessed by the Head Teacher in light of the government guidance in order to make a decision.
When making a decision to authorise an absence, the Head Teacher has to assess if the circumstances are exceptional. The school considers the following to be exceptional, however each case will be assessed individually:
- A service personnel parent is returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
- An absence from school that is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue. Evidence may be required directly from the medical professional.
- The death or terminal illness of a close relative.
- Participation in activities linked to music, arts or sport, where the student is performing at an exceptional level and participation will support their development.
- Participation in activities or therapies as recommended as part of individual support plan.
- Religious observance – The Education Act 1996 S444(3) (c), states ‘’on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his/her parent belongs’’.
- To attend a wedding or funeral of a close relative.
The Head teacher can determine if the absence is authorised and the length of the authorised absence. The list above is not exhaustive and each application will be considered on the individual circumstances.
Parents and Carers are strongly urged not to take students out of school for holidays during term time. A family holiday would not normally approved unless the circumstances around the holiday were exceptional. In the event that Parents do need to request a holiday, it is expected that a Leave of Absence Form is submitted to the Attendance Officer at least four weeks in advance of the proposed absence. All factors that need to be considered must be stated on the Leave of Absence Form. The Headteacher will then consider the request and inform parents of the decision in writing. Baysgarth School has the right to serve a Fixed Penalty Notice on Parents and Carers who insist on taking their child(ren) out of school without authorisation. Download the full policy below: