School target: 96.5% for all pupils
Attending school on a regular, punctual basis is one of the most important ways of making sure students get off to the best possible start in life.
We encourage every student to attend school on time every day, and aim for 100% attendance, with no less than 96.5%, to ensure that they gain the most from their education. We want every student to benefit from the learning experience at Wales High School. We want to work with parents/ carers to enable our students to achieve this and offer families the support to avoid any unnecessary absences.
For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Wales High School is committed to ensuring that every child reaches their full learning and development potential. One of the most important aspects of gaining a great set of results and learning how to succeed in life is to ensure that you have a good record of attendance and punctuality. These two areas are tools for life and are two of the most important skills we acquire when at school. We feel confident that through maximum attendance, students will have a greater educational experience.
In a perfect world every school would like all students to have 100% attendance as this would appear achievable when you consider the amount of school holidays that the children are entitled to. However, Wales High School recognises the fact that sometimes children are sick and cannot come into school or there may be a family emergency that the child has to attend.
If you require further information, or indeed any additional support in ensuring your child’s attendance is on or above target, please contact your child’s Tutor or Head of Year in the first instance. Remember every day counts!
Every day counts!
Wales High School enjoys celebrating success in every area. To celebrate good attendance and in recognition of improved attendance we have a range of competitions and rewards for students who show a commitment to excellent attendance. At the end of every half term there is a draw for children who have attained 100%. In addition, we have prizes to celebrate students who maintain an attendance in line with our school target of 96.2%. As we progress through the school year the value of the prize will increase and by the time we reach the summer term students can expected to be entered into a prize draw for a sum in excess of £50!
Winning a voucher, football, or one of the other prizes is fantastic, but what is more important is to remember that getting the grades your child deserves is the biggest prize. Every child needs to be in school every day that they are fit and well. Excellent attendance is important for your child to succeed.
Home / School Partnership
To enable us to work as a team and focus on this we will:
- Inform you of any unexplained absences
- Report to you at least termly on how your child is performing in school, what their attendance and punctuality rate is and how this relates to their Attitude to Learning
- Celebrate good attendance by displaying individual, Tutor Group and Year Group achievements
- Reward good or improving attendance through class competitions, post cards, certificates, rewards vouchers and outings/events.
- Punctuality is essential. It is imperative that members of the school arrive in time for tutor group and pupils need to be at school by 8.25am
- The school day starts at 8.30am and we expect your child to be in tutor group at that time
- Registers are marked by 8.35am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time
- If your child has 3 ‘late marks’ without an acceptable reason, in any one half term, they will be expected to make up this time by serving a detention with their form tutor
- Each morning, members of the Senior Leadership Team will be available at the school gates and in the school car park.
- Children who arrive late to school – after 8.30am will have their name taken. This may result in sanctions depending on the number of times a child has arrived late to school.
Being frequently late for school adds up to lost learning:
- Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year
- Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year
- Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year
- 19 days lost a year through being late = 90% attendance.
The school will work periodically with the Police and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) to run an organised ‘Punctuality Sweep’. The initiative involves a team of people working within the local area and at the front of the school to monitor any late arrivals. Wales High School values the support of the Police and Police Community Support Officers and evidence highlights that this initiative has impact and has led to improved punctuality. It is vital that you understand that you can approach any member of staff at Wales.
Procedures to follow if your child is absent
If your child is absent from school please email [email protected], or telephone 01909 775700 leaving the following details:
- Student’s name
- Tutor Group
- Nature of illness/reason for absence
- Expected date of return
- Caller’s name and relationship to student
If your child is absent you must:
- Contact the attendance (as above) as soon as possible on the morning of each days absence
- Send a signed note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence – unless you have already made contact with school (providing medical evidence if you have been identified as having a history of ongoing absences)
- Or, you can call into school and report to student reception where you can talk directly to a member of the attendance office team
If your child is absent we will:
Endeavour to telephone or send you a text on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you.
Attendance and Absence Notes
Wherever possible, the school should be notified on each morning of the student’s absence. The Attendance Officer can be contacted via email [email protected] or 01909 775700 and an answering machine service is available before and after school hours.
Dental and other appointments
No pupil may be absent, for reasons other than illness and medical treatment, without first obtaining the approval of Head of Year. If a child needs to leave school to keep a dental or hospital appointment they must bring the appointment card to show their tutor and Attendance Office staff and must report to the office on leaving and returning to school. We hope parents will be able to restrict dental appointments to school holidays or after the school day ends. Absence from exam classes in particular can seriously affect attainment.
Holidays during Term Time
The Government’s (Pupil Registration) Regulations expects, in general terms, that families will be able to arrange to take their holidays when schools are closed. Where the annual holiday is not possible at those times, the Headteacher may – under exceptional circumstances – consider giving permission for a child to be absent from school for a maximum of 5 days in any one school year. Unnecessary absence should be avoided as it is bound to affect a child’s educational progress and attainment.
Under the current legislation Headteachers are not permitted to authorise any absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. When it is deemed that there are exceptional circumstances absence will still be refused in the following circumstances:
- A leave of absence has already been taken during the Academic Year
- The request is within the Summer term between the Easter Holidays and up to the end of May.
- The request is at the beginning of the School Year in September
- The attendance of your child would fall below the 96.2% target required by our school.
What happens when your child’s attendance falls below 96.5%?
- Parents may receive a letter advising them of their child’s attendance figure. This letter includes information regarding the legal implications of poor attendance. Parents are invited to make an appointment with their child’s Head of Year to discuss their child’s attendance and the way forward to improve.
- If attendance falls below 96.5%, we will consider asking your child to join an attendance group (90% equates to 1 day’s absence per 2 weeks or 1 year’s absence over the full period of schooling)
- Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution. Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning.
What happens when your child’s attendance continues to drop below 90%?
- With an attendance percentage at or below 90% a child is classified as a Persistent Absentee.
- Parents will be invited in to attend a School Attendance Panel. Attendance at this meeting is compulsory. Non-attendance by the parents could lead to the school completing a formal referral to the Educational Welfare Officer for further support and for consideration of legal escalation.
- When a child’s attendance is a cause for concern the school will refer parents/ carers to Rotherham’s Early Help Service and the Local Schools Attendance Panel. For further details please see our Attendance Policy or speak to a member of the pastoral team.