Regular school attendance is essential if students are to achieve their full potential.
Here at Hanson, we believe that regular school attendance is the key to enabling students to ensure better exam results. This in turn, can lead to better job prospects with potential increased earnings, as well as making school work is easier to cope with as students will feel safer in their learning environments.
We expect all students to arrive on time and achieve at least the DfE minimum target of 96% attendance over the school year. All students should arrive no later than 8.20am. Lessons start promptly at 8.30am.
We will reward all students for their good attendance with: Certificates for 100% attendance, letters/postcards home and possible vouchers at select outlets. All of this culminates in end of year reward presentations for students who have achieved outstanding and most improved attendance.
Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a strand that runs through all aspects of school improvement, supported by our policies on safeguarding, bullying, behaviour and SEN.
What is an unauthorised absence?
Some absences are allowed by law. For example, child illness or there is a family bereavement. However, there are times when students are absent which are not permitted. We ask you as parents and carers to support us in decreasing this kind of absence, such as: looking after siblings, unable to come to school due to light snowfall or having a day off after receiving a medical vaccination.
Hanson values all students and we will work with families to identify the reasons for unsatisfactory attendance. Please let us know so that we can try to resolve any difficulties sympathetically.
Maintaining Excellent Attendance
Parents must advise the school by telephone on the first day of absence and provide the school with an expected date of return. This should be followed up in the form of a written note from the parent/carer, though verbal explanations may be acceptable where this is considered appropriate.
Leave of Absence in Term Time
90% attendance means one half day per week, 4 weeks per year, and half a year off over 5 years in high school. We are proud of the high standards we set for attendance and are keen to encourage all our students to achieve the best possible attendance records.
There is a very clear link between a child’s attendance and their success in learning. Research shows that the equivalent of 17 days absence from school can equate to achieving a grade lower at GCSE, meaning a 4+ would become a 3.
Parents/carers do not have a legal right to take children out of school during term time. Each application is considered individually by the Headteacher. Permission for a leave of absence during term time must be requested 4 weeks in advance of the required date, unless circumstances do not allow for this. A special leave of absence document must be completed prior to any absence of this nature. This can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
Penalty Notices may be issued:
- If Parents/Carers have not sought permission from the Headteacher before taking their child out of school for a leave of absence in term time
- If the Headteacher has refused the request but the absence occurs anyway
- If the pupil has not returned to school by the agreed date with no satisfactory explanation
- Where the leave of absence has been recorded by the school as unauthorised in the attendance register on at least 10 sessions (5 school days) during the current term
Where Parents/Carers continue to take unauthorised leave of absences in term time, despite having previously been issued with a Penalty Notice, the local authority will consider a prosecution under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
The penalty notice is £60, for each parent of each child, if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid after this date but within 28 days. Non payment of a penalty notice will normally trigger a prosecution (under the provisions of section 444 of the Education Act 1996 or under the provisions of S103 (3) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006). The prosecution can only be for the original offence and NOT for the non-payment of the Penalty Notice.
You also need to be aware that if your child fails to return to school following 20 days of absence he/she is at risk of losing their school place.
If you still feel that you wish to apply to take your child out of school during term time due to exceptional circumstances, please request a ‘Leave of Absence Request Form’ from your child’s Head of Year or download the form below. The form should be received by the Headteacher 4 weeks in advance of the proposed date.