We expect your child to be in school every day. There is a clear correlation between achievement and attendance and we want to work with you to ensure our students reach their full potential. In some instances, student attendance does not meet our high expectations.
Good attendance at school is the single most important factor in ensuring your child will maximise their learning opportunities. By attending school every day your child takes an important step in reaching their full potential. Research completed by the Department for Education found that every day missed was associated with a lower attainment outcome at both KS2 and KS4. The more time your child spends around other children, the more chance they have of making friends and feeling included, boosting their social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Promoting positive school attendance is therefore everyone’s responsibility.
You may be aware that school absence in Doncaster is one of the highest in England and schools have been working with Doncaster Council to look at how we can ensure all children attend school as much as possible. We want your child to have the education and skills they need to live a happy and fulfilling life. With this in mind, Doncaster Council has made two major changes in how it will respond to requests from schools when schools are considering enforcing poor attendance.
Unauthorised Leave (Holidays in term time)
You will be aware that no leave of absence from school for a holiday in term time can be taken without the authorisation of the Headteacher, should you take your child out of school for a holiday you may be issued with a Penalty Notice. Since September 2018 Doncaster Council continues to issue Education Penalty Notices to each parent for each child they take out of school for a holiday.
Irregular Attendance at School
The school may write to you to advise there are concerns with your child’s irregular attendance at school. It is very important that you work closely with the school to ensure your child is able to attend school every day wherever possible.
If your child’s attendance is not at the expected level the school will offer support to you and your child to ensure an improvement in attendance is made. However, should the support not have the required improvement in attendance we may send you a penalty notice warning letter. If there are any further unauthorised absences in the following 15 school days the school may request Doncaster Council to issue you with an Education Penalty Notice. The penalty notice is a fine of £120 but reduced to £60 if you pay it within 21 days. Doncaster Council will decide if a penalty notice can be issued but may decide to prosecute you instead. Where Doncaster Council decide a prosecution should take place, they will write to you offering you to attend a meeting with an Enforcement Court Officer. Following this meeting, the Enforcement Court Officer will decide if a prosecution will take place and a summons will be requested from Doncaster Magistrates Court.
If you are experiencing any difficulty with your child’s attendance, please contact us immediately so we can work together to ensure improvements are made.
Students arriving late to the academy after 8:30 am must sign in at Reception, giving their reasons for the lateness.
When a student is absent:
Parents/carers must phone the academy before 8:25 am to report that their child will be absent from school and to provide the reason for their absence. If the child is absent for a number of days, parent/carers must phone the academy every morning to provide an update.
If a child does not arrive at school, and the academy has not been informed of their absence, a text message alert will be sent asking the parent/carer to contact the academy to explain the reason for the child’s absence. If there is no response to this message, if appropriate or necessary, members of staff will complete a home visit.
What to do if your son/daughter is unwell:
We assume that if you have sent your son/daughter to school, you have judged them to be well enough to attend. The priority is to ensure students stay in school in order to learn but if the pastoral team/first aiders deem your son/daughter to be unable to continue in school you will be contacted to ask for advice on whether you wish your son/daughter to stay in school. Academy staff will contact you to confirm arrangements before your son/daughter is sent home. We do ask that students do not contact parent/carers themselves.
If your son/daughter is not well enough to attend, please contact the academy following the Attendance Procedures detailed above.
Leave of Absence/Holidays in term time:
In line with government legislation, no requests for holidays can be authorised except in exceptional circumstances. For the academy to consider exceptional circumstances, parents must submit a letter to the Headteacher requesting the absence, a minimum of four weeks before the holiday, before booking the holiday. For the academy to consider this, the request must be put in writing together with any supporting evidence. All holidays are classed as unauthorised unless you receive confirmation in writing from the academy that the holiday has been authorised. There are no exceptions.
PLEASE NOTE, IF YOU TAKE YOUR CHILD ON HOLIDAY DURING TERM-TIME, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DISALLOW THEIR PARTICIPATION IN REWARDS ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS FOR A PERIOD OF 12 MONTHS FOLLOWING THE HOLIDAY. THIS INCLUDES ATTENDANCE AT THE Y11 PROM.
Where ever possible medical appointments should be made out of school time.
If your son/daughter has a medical appointment during the school day then please inform the Attendance Officer of the date and time of the appointment and wherever possible provide written evidence of the appointment in order for your son/daughters absence to be authorised.