At The Academy Selsey we affirm that high attendance will have a positive effect on achieving the best exam results possible. Therefore we use a daily text system, whereby parents and carers of students who have not arrived at school, and for whom we have had no reason for absence, are sent a text message detailing that their child has not turned up for school as expected. It is vital that parents communicate with The Academy regarding all reasons for absence so that we can authorise the absence accordingly and offer advice and support.
Please phone The Academy as soon as possible on the first day of absence on the dedicated attendance line:
Our Expectations of Parents / Carers
In line with government guidelines, we expect parents and carers to:
Ensure your child attends every day the school is open except when a statutory reason applies
Notify us as soon as possible when your child has to be unexpectedly absent (eg: sickness)
Only request leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and do so in advance
Book any medical appointments around the school day where possible
Why is good attendance important?
Good attendance at school is vital for students to achieve their full educational potential and enhance opportunities for further education and work placements.
As well as good attendance being a legal requirement, research has also proved that students with good attendance records benefit in the following ways:
Improved performance in coursework tasks
Enhanced performance in examinations
Continuity of relationships and friendships
Good references for further education or employment
Good habits are formed for later life
less likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour
less likely to become NEET
What constitutes good attendance?
Attendance percentages are not like examination results: an attendance percentage needs to be in the high nineties before it can be considered good. Consider the following examples:
An attendance record of 90% might seem good but is equal to 1 day missed per fortnight. If this continues from Years 7 to 11, a total of six month’s education will be lost.
An attendance record of 80% might seem acceptable but is equal to 1 day missed per week. If this continues from Years 7 to 11, a total of one year’s education will be lost.
In order for an attendance record to be deemed good it must be 96% or above:
100% = Outstanding Attendance
95+% = Good attendance
95% -90% = Concerning Attendance
Below 90% is a serious cause for concern
What is The Academy’s position on granting leave for family holidays?
Parents must avoid taking holidays in term time. Absence from school can seriously impact on student learning. Whilst there may be occasions when a student is unable to attend school e.g. due to illness, all other absences should therefore be kept to a minimum and if at all possible avoided.
The Headteacher is not able to authorise holidays in term time for any student.
Regulations do, however, permit a Headteacher to agree to a request from a parent for a student to be granted ‘leave of absence’. Leave of absence can be granted in special or exceptional circumstances only.
The regulations make it quite clear, however, that parents do not have the right or an entitlement to take a child out of school for the purposes of a family holiday during term time.
An application form to request authorised absence from School can be downloaded here.
What can parents do to support their child to achieve good attendance levels?
Parents play a very important role in ensuring the good attendance records of their children. Below is a list of suggested strategies:
Encourage full attendance
Stress the importance of full attendance to your child
Do not allow your child to have time off for minor complaints or illnesses: if they are well enough to be up and about they are generally well enough to attend our Academy
Monitor your child's attendance report carefully
Try to book any medical or dental appointments in out of Academy hours or make them from the very end of the day
Ensure your child is punctual (lateness can lead to legal action)
Inform the Academy of any absence on first day of absence and subsequent days
Take any vacations in school holidays, not during term time
If your child seems unwilling to attend, contact the Academy as soon as possible: do not let your child stay at home as this could set a precedent for the future. For more information on whether you should keep your child at home click here
What is an unauthorised absence?
Only the Academy can authorise an absence. An explanation given by a parent is not, necessarily, sufficient for the Academy to authorise an absence.
According to guidelines to schools an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:
"Leave" given by the Academy (this commonly includes medical appointments, interviews, and other similar special circumstances)
The Student being unable to attend due to unavoidable causes
Religious observance where applicable
Absences which the Academy is NOT able to authorise include:
Looking after a relative, pet etc.
A shopping trip, even if this is for uniform
Lateness after the register has closed i.e. after 8.45am
Being unable to participate in a school activity e.g. Games or a school trip
Remaining at home to wait for deliveries, repairmen etc.
Does it matter if my child has recorded unauthorised absences?
It is the law for parents to ensure that their child has the benefit of regular education. Recorded unauthorised absences show that parents are in breach of this law. In addition, unauthorised absences, including truancy, are recorded on the register in the same way. Thus, future employers, colleges or universities will not be able to differentiate between different unauthorised absences and may decide that the attendance record shows a lack of commitment to education and authority.
What can I do if my child is starting to present attendance difficulties?
These difficulties can show themselves in a number of different ways e.g. a reluctance to go to school, feigning illness, failure to attend school even though the child is sent, missing lessons whilst in school. If a problem seems to be emerging parents should:
Talk to the child to try to ascertain if there are any problems or worries at school, on the journey to or from school or at home
Contact the Academy as soon as possible
Consider seeking advice from appropriate websites
What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?
The Academy Selsey never takes such action lightly and would far rather work with parents/carers to improve attendance without having to resort to any enforcement actions.
Under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 a penalty fine will be issued. The cost of the fine is £60 payable within 21 days. If this remains unpaid it increases to £120 within a further 7 days. If this remains unpaid then we being proceeding to court action that can lead to higher fines, possible custodial sentences, parenting orders and community orders