Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential, is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education.
Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.
The government expects our Academy to:
• Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence.
• Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled; and act early to address patterns of absence.
• Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.
• All pupils to be punctual to their lessons.
Department for Education – excerpt taken from the ‘School Attendance’ document: Click Here
Our School Aim
At Whittle Academy we expect children to attend school every day, as long as they are as fit and healthy enough to do so.
Our goal this school year is to achieve an overall school percentage of 96% or above.
Why is Attendance important?
There is a strong link between regular school attendance and achievement and if your child is frequently absent from school they will not meet their full potential.
Regular attendance helps children to develop their confidence and to make lasting friendships. 90% attendance sounds good, but means that your child misses on average:
• One half day nearly every week
• Nearly four weeks every school year
• Over one school year in a school career
Missing School is Missing Out
• Ensure your child is in school on time every day
• Contact school on your child’s first day of absence at the earliest
opportunity to let us know why your child is going to be absent
• Try to make appointments outside of school hours where possible
• Holidays during term time should be avoided
School Support and Monitoring
• We monitor attendance weekly through the year and aim to meet with parents when attendance falls below 90% to offer support in order to improve attendance where possible.
• Some families may require an individual plan, to encourage their child to attend school regularly.
• Children whose attendance continues to cause concern will be placed on a six-week attendance action plan in liaison with our Pastoral team.
• If Attendance does not improve parents will be requested to attend a meeting with the Headteacher and Attendance Officer.
• If a child’s attendance becomes very poor, below 85%, they will be referred to the Children and Families First Team.
Authorising absence for:
• Medical reasons (Where a doctor’s note or prescription is provided, if attendance is below 90%)
• Illness, if authorised by an adult (and attendance is really good)
• Other circumstances (only agreed by the Head Teacher)
Absence will NOT be authorised if:
• No explanation is given by parent/carer
• The child’s attendance is below 90% without medical proof
• The child is on holiday in term time
Taking a 2-week holiday during school time, even without any other absences, means that your child will only have 95% attendance.
PLEASE NOTE: IN LINE WITH COUNCIL POLICY, SCHOOL WILL NOT AUTHORISE HOLIDAYS. Penalty Notices will be raised against unauthorised Holidays & absence.
Our Attendance Initiatives
We believe in rewarding good attendance and with this in mind, we undertake several initiatives which take place during each school half term, giving all of our children a chance to contribute and gain rewards for good attendance and punctuality.
In order to improve attendance, we recognise the weekly achievement of the highest-class attendance and most improved by in class in our weekly merit assembly. We also have half termly and termly awards for good attendance for example lollipops, vouchers, hot chocolate, certificates etc.
At the end of the academic year, all children across the school who have attendance above the National (96%) receive a certificate to reflect their ongoing strive for good attendance and enter a raffle for a special prize.
Please view our Attendance Policy for more information.