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At FSD, excellent attendance is extremely important to us. There is a direct link between a child’s attendance in school and what they achieve. Children get one chance at school, and their chance of a successful future may be affected by not attending school regularly. Regular attendance and being punctual will help students in their adult life by preparing them to enter the world of work. Good attendance at school will also help students to develop social skills, make friends, and help them to communicate well with others. 96% attendance is the minimum that we would expect. If attendance falls to 90% or below, students are classed by the government as being a persistent absentee.
Attendance: We expect every student to aim for:
Every Day in School Matters
Absence from school during the year will reduce a child’s chances of success, will lead to gaps in their knowledge and understanding, and will eventually have an impact on their exam grades. We will monitor attendance and absence carefully. For this reason:
- If a child is sick or unable to attend, parents/carers must call the school telephone number (0191 386 6628 Option 1) before 8.30am on each day of absence
- The school will contact parents/carers by text or email if a child is absent and we do not know why
- The only legally acceptable reasons for not being in school are illness and medical appointments. Other absences may be authorised by the school, such as dates of religious observance
- Wherever possible medical or other appointments should be made for times outside of the school day
- The school will not authorise any leave of absence due to family holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any parents/carers taking children out of school during term-time without authorisation by the Headteacher may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Each week our students receive a coloured dot in their planner so that parents are aware of which attendance zone their child is in. This will also help pastoral staff to monitor attendance and instigate support and intervention where necessary. Half termly letters will be issued to parents to make them aware of specific attendance totals and these will also be available on Parent App. Please note that the processes outlined here do not apply to those students with long-term health conditions, and support for them is managed differently.
The colour zones are:
GOLD: 100 – 98% (Excellent)
GREEN: 97.9 – 96% (Very Good)
BLUE: 95.9 – 94% (Good/Satisfactory)
ORANGE: 93.9 – 92% (Caution!)
YELLOW: 91.9 – 90% (Warning)
RED: Below 90% (Serious Concern)
Punctuality: Every Minute in School Counts
A child regularly arriving late to school will lose valuable learning time. For example, a child arriving:
- 10 minutes late each day loses nearly 7 days of learning each year
- 20 minutes late each day loses nearly 13 days of learning each year
Students are expected to arrive on the school site by 8.25am each day, in order to attend registration and start learning at 8.30am. If they arrive late for school, they must sign at Student Reception where they will be issued with a late slip. The students will be issued with a behaviour point and persistent lateness to school (3 incidents in a half term) will lead to an hour’s leadership detention for the next late and every late thereafter.
- Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that children attend school both regularly and on time
- The school is legally responsible for reporting poor attendance to the Local Authority
- The Local Authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil their responsibilities
- Parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to make sure that their children attend school regularly, even if they are missing school without their knowledge
- Parents/carers can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure that children attend school regularly. Magistrates can also impose a Parenting Order, which means the parent has to attend a parenting class
- Parents/carers should ensure that school is updated with new contact details for themselves and their children including addresses, phone numbers (particularly mobile numbers) and email address changes
- For enquiries about attendance or punctuality parents/carers should contact the school’s Attendance Officer, Mrs Gordon.