Attendance and Absence
At Wolfreton we pride ourselves on our high overall attendance rate of 95%. We see high attendance as a school priority as good attendance contributes to academic success, increases opportunities for progression and enables the school to support student’s personal development. As a school, we monitor the attendance of all students closely. We recognise high attendance and report to parents through students’ reports.
We request that all parents avoid arranging medical and similar appointments during school hours. To report an absence for students in Years 7-11 please use the following number: Tel 01482 670675. This line has a 24 hour voice mail service and parents/carers may leave information about student absence at any time. However, if you have concerns about a particular attendance issue and wish to speak to a member of staff, please ring the main school switchboard on Tel 01482 659356.
If your child is in the sixth form, please ring Tel 01482 660964. Parents of sixth form students will also be able to email in to verify their child's absence (this must be using the email account they have registered with the school) on firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents should give prior notice of any extended absence during which the school can arrange work to be set by subject teachers.
It is our policy to telephone home if your child’s absence is unexplained.
Informing school of student absence due to illness
If your child is absent due to illness you must contact the school first thing in the morning informing them of the reason for the absence and how long you expect your child to be absent. It is helpful if you let us know the nature of the illness to prevent it being spread to others in school. Under normal circumstances days 1-3 of any absence are authorised as “ill”, as it is at the parents' discretion to decide that a short period at home is required for recuperation. However, in order to authorise absence of longer than 3 days, from the 4th day we request that you supply some form of medical evidence which demonstrates a pro-active approach to recovery.
This evidence can be any of the following:
Doctor’s appointment slip
Copy of prescription or medicine packaging
Receipt or packaging for “over the counter” remedies e.g. cold relief/sickness medication.
If you require any clarification regarding this matter please contact Mrs Noble, Attendance & Welfare Manager.
Absence due to exceptional circumstances
The legislation regarding student attendance changed with effect from 1 September 2013. There is no longer a provision in law for Headteachers to authorise an absence for the purpose of a term-time holiday.
Parents can request absence from school for exceptional circumstances. These would include:
- Service personnel 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
- Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child's rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue
- The death or terminal illness of a person close to the family
- To attend a wedding or funeral of a person close to the family
Absence request forms are available for students to collect from the Student Reception Office. Further information for parents about Absence from School for Exceptional Circumstances is available in the attachment below.
We advise that you do not plan for your child to be absent without speaking to the school first to obtain prior approval. Please also be aware that Headteachers cannot retrospectively authorise absence from school under any circumstance.
Please note the school day is divided into two registration periods; for example if your child is absent for one day, this equals two sessions and a five day absence equals 10 sessions.
If you would like further information, please contact Mr Carruthers on Tel 01482 659356 or the Education Welfare Service at email@example.com on Tel 01482 392146.
What the Law says
The law requires that all children of compulsory school age must receive a suitable full-time education. Once your child is registered at school, you are responsible for ensuring that he/she attends regularly. The Local Authority (LA) may take legal action against you if this does not happen. Your child’s school is responsible by law for reporting their poor attendance to the Education Welfare Service (EWS), and an Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will contact you to discuss any difficulties with regard to attendance. You may be asked to provide medical support to cover your child’s regular absences due to medical reasons or a long term illness.
Parent / Carer Responsibilities
As a parent/carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure your child attends regularly, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.
Penalties a parent / carer may face for their child not attending school
If parents/carers are found guilty, in a Magistrates’ Court, of failing to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school, they may face a fine of up to £1,000 under Section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996. This is a level 3 fine OR a fine of up to £2,500 per parent/carer and/or a term of imprisonment if found guilty under Section 444 (1A) of the Education Act 1996. Magistrates may also impose a Parenting Order on parents/carers, which means you will have to attend regular parenting classes.
Parents/Carers can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice if their child has 10 or more unauthorised absences. This includes holidays in term-time, lates after registration and truancy. The fine is £60 and if not paid within 21 days the fine is £120.
Changes to Persistent Absence Threshold for 2015-2016 - School Attendance
The Department for Education (DfE) announced that the threshold for persistent absence reduced from 15% to 10% from September 2015. The persistent absence (PA) threshold, of around 15%, meant a student had to be absent from school for around 28 days; this has now changed to 19 days absence.