Excellent attendance rates and punctuality are crucial for students to succeed in their education. We would expect that all students aim for 100% attendance but recognise that this is not always possible.
If we have any concerns about attendance, we like to work in partnership with the child and their family to ensure that absence is kept to a minimum and any missed work is available for completion.
Attendance is monitored daily and any students whose overall attendance falls below 90% would be a real cause for concern and would require us to seek the support of the Local Authority Attendance Improvement Officer.
The statutory Framework and the Fixed Penalty Notice
Under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act, a pupil is required to attend regularly at the school/education provision where he/she is a registered pupil.
The school is obliged by law to differentiate between authorised and unauthorised absence.
A letter or telephone message from a parent does not in itself authorise an absence. Only if the school is satisfied as to the validity of the explanation offered by the letter/message, will the absence be authorised.
At Stevenage ESC, we would encourage parents to work closely with us to address any concerns around their child’s attendance.
If a student has had 15 sessions (1 day = 2 sessions) or more of unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous term (including unauthorised holidays) the Head Teacher may ask the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. If the penalty is not paid the Local Authority may then seek to take legal action.
Procedure for reporting absence
If your child is unable to attend for any reason, you should:
- Telephone Stevenage ESC as early as possibly, no later than 8.45am, to inform them of the reason for absence.
- If your child is going to be absent for more than one day, you should call each morning.
- If your child has not arrived and we have not received a telephone call, we will contact you by 9.00am.
Please note that the final decision of whether or not to authorise an absence rests with Stevenage ESC. Our preference is for all medical/dental appointments to be made outside of the school day and we would therefore ask that you provide evidence for appointments within the school day.
Holidays in Term Time
Holidays during term time are only permitted in exceptional circumstances and only with the explicit permission of the Headteacher. Any request for holidays during term time must be made in writing. Parents should be aware that holidays taken during term time will have a detrimental impact on a child’s learning.
Missed Learning Opportunities
Days off school add up to missed learning.
- 100% attendance = No missed learning PERFECT
- 95% attendance = 9 days of learning lost
- 90% attendance = 19 days of learning lost
- 85% attendance = 28 days of learning lost
- 80% attendance = 38 days of learning lost
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance, please contact Anne-Marie O’Sullivan, Deputy Headteacher or Heidi Nash, School Business Manager on 01438 369119.