Attendance

Holidays and Leave of Absence – points to consider:

  • Term-time absence is a significant factor in children’s under-achievement
  • Children have approximately 12 weeks a year of school holidays – please consider taking them away during this time
  • Children who find English or Maths difficult often find it even harder to catch up on work missed
  • Parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for holidays in term-time.  Should you feel that there are exceptional circumstances that require you to take your child out of school during term-time, a Leave of Absence Form is available to download.  Hard copies are available from Student Services and Reception
  • If Leave of Absence is granted, the absence is recorded as Authorised. Since September 2013, the government has viewed absences for holidays as Unauthorised
  • If the school refuses a request for term-time Leave of Absence and the child is still taken out of school anyway, this will be recorded as an Unauthorised Absence on the child’s attendance record and school report, and a Penalty Notice may be issued.

On September 1st 2014 Suffolk County Council made amendments to the Penalty Notices Code of Conduct. Please read the attached letter and information leaflet for more information.

Click here to download a Leave of Absence form.

Medical Appointments:

Orthodontists and other medical professionals should be able to accommodate appointments outside school hours. Please aim for either early morning or late afternoon appointments. This will ensure that your child is able to complete at least a portion of their school day, and it minimises the impact of their absence on their attainment.

Please inform the school by writing a note in your child’s planner, emailing or leaving a telephone message on the Absence Line (01284 761393, option 1).  Where applicable, please provide us with a copy of the medical card or letter regarding your child’s medical appointment.

Holidays:

We recognise that it is more expensive to take a holiday during school breaks and that is why many parents request term-time Leave of Absence for their child. It is important, however, that parents fully consider the implications of taking their child out of school on their child’s education. If an absence is not authorised we may issue a Penalty Notice or begin legal proceedings.

Attendance Record:

It is also important to remember that students should attend school every day that school is available.

‘Authorised Absence’ is likely to constitute:

  • Illness
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment
  • Day of religious observance
  • Family bereavement
  • Attending an interview for employment, school, university
  • Extended family visits abroad (only when prior approval has been given).

Except in the case of illness, absence permission must be sought well in advance of the intended date(s). If your child is absent for 4 days or more, you may be required medical evidence. In the case of absence owing to chronic/recurring illness, you will be asked to provide a medical certificate.

‘Unauthorised Absence’ is likely to constitute:

The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, family holidays (see note below), birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters e.t.c..

 

F.A.Q.s

What time must my child arrive at school?

Students should arrive in their tutor rooms by 8.55am.

What happens if my child is late?

Registration finishes at 9:15am in the morning and at 2:20pm in the afternoon.

  • If your child arrives after 9.00am he/she will be marked late
  • If your child arrives after 9.15am he/she will be marked absent
  • If your child arrives after 2:15pm he/she will be marked late
  • If your child arrives after 2:20pm he/she will be marked absent.

Students who arrive after registration should report to Reception where they must sign in and record the reason for their lateness.

How do I report my child’s absence?

You must contact us by 9am every day that you child is absent.  You can do so by emailing ( or by leaving a telephone message (01284 761393, option 1).

Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

The school has an automatic ‘Truancy Call’ system.  This means that parents will be contacted by telephone, email or text when a student is absent if no explanation for the absence has been received.

If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality we will contact you to discuss the best way forward. Every child’s attendance is monitored fortnightly by our Attendance Officer and your child’s Head of College.  It is discussed with our Educational Welfare Officer if it falls below target.

What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

Make sure your child gets enough sleep and is up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in full school uniform and properly equipped. Show you value his/her education by showing interest. Your child will bring home a school planner each evening. Look at this with your child and sign it weekly. Keep an eye on your child’s attendance in the planner, discuss it with them and encourage them to attend school even on days when they may feel under the weather. Contact your child’s form tutor to discuss the support that can be offered.

My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?

Contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of College to discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems or family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem. We have a number of staff on the pastoral team who would be able to help and advise you.

See also Attendance – a guide for students.