All students at Lady Manners School are expected to aim for 100% attendance to fulfil their learning potential. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents and carers have a vital role in promoting positive attitudes towards attendance. We ask for your support to ensure that your child is present at every opportunity, arrives on time and that you avoid taking them out of school without authorisation. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.
If your child is unwell and unable to attend school
You must make sure that any absence is clearly accounted for by using the ‘Absences’ tab on the ClassCharts app by 8.30am each day. A guide to reporting absences on ClassCharts is available here. Alternatively, you can call the school 01629 812671 (option 1) and leave a message on the appropriate year answer phone stating your child’s name, tutor group and a brief explanation for the reason for absence.
If an explanation for an absence is not received, it will be recorded as unauthorised. An email will be sent from the school, followed by a phone call, if no response is given. A home visit may occur as a follow up action. Please respond to the email/phone call.
A student’s attendance is monitored closely, and we will follow up unexplained absences with parent and carers.
If parents and carers have a concern about their child’s attendance, please contact the year group pastoral team who will discuss ways to support your child.
Where a student’s attendance record reaches below 96%, we will write to parents and carers and offer support to help improve attendance.
We ask that a child’s routine medical and other appointments are made out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, we ask that we are notified in advance. This can be done by telephone, on the ClassCharts absences app or by email including a copy of the appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment. It is important that students attend school directly before/after the appointment, where this is possible.
Persistent absence is a serious problem for students. Much of the work students miss when they are absent from school is never made up, leaving these students at a considerable disadvantage. A student defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ is one who misses 10% or more of school.
The following table shows the amount of learning missed as a result of absence over time:
one school year
|The number of lessons missed in one year
|The number of hours of learning missed over 5 years
|30 lessons missed
|150 hours of learning missed
|48 lessons missed
|240 hours of learning missed
|95 lessons missed
|475 hours of learning missed
|190 lessons missed
|950 hours of learning missed
|285 lessons missed
|1425 hours of learning missed
|380 lessons missed
|1900 hours of learning missed
If your child has had absences and their attendance level is falling, we will contact you and, depending on the reasons for the absence, we will:
- arrange an attendance meeting with the Head of Year to discuss an action plan to provide support for your child. (Review meetings will also be arranged and recorded to monitor attendance)
- request medical evidence in relation to the absence
- make a referral to other appropriate external agencies for support if required
The legal framework in relation to pupil absence
We should inform you that 10 or more unauthorised absences during a term may result in you receiving a Penalty Notice Warning Letter. If unauthorised absences continue within the monitoring period (15 school days), there will be a penalty of £60 per parent/carer per child, to be paid within 21 days. If not paid by the 21st day, the penalty increases to £120 per parent/carer per child, up to the 28th day.
If full payment is not received, then the Local Authority will prepare the case for prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.
School begins at 9.00am each day and arrival after this time is classified as late. Any student that arrives at school after registration closes will also be marked as unauthorised.
Holidays during term time
We aim to work in partnership with parents and carers in all aspects of school life. There is a strong correlation between those students who attend school most frequently, and those who make the most progress. Inevitably, students away from school miss out on important work and they can find it very hard to catch up; there is no doubt that this can damage progress, particularly when the absence affects all subjects. In addition, by attending a holiday during term time, we are concerned that students will pick up the message that holidays are more important than attending school and this can undermine the importance which they need to attach to their education.
Schools are not allowed to authorise holidays unless there are very exceptional circumstances. Such absences, should they occur, would need to be recorded as unauthorised (and therefore a form of truancy) and reported to the Local Authority.
Any requests made for a holiday to be taken in the academic year which are not considered to be exceptional circumstances by the Headteacher will be coded as unauthorised and a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued by the Local Authority. Parents and carers served with a penalty notice must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. The fine will apply to each parent/carer and for each child. For example, in a family where there are two parents or carers who fail to ensure proper attendance of their two children, the fine would be £240 for each adult within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices in line with other types of penalty notices and allows Local Authorities to act more quickly regarding prosecutions.
Having considered this information, if you wish to apply for your child to have a period of absence during term time, download the form below for completion and return to your child’s pastoral year team for consideration by the Headteacher.