Attendance and Punctuality
Working together to ensure your child’s happiness at school is the first step to achieving a successful education life. Children will not achieve their potential if their attendance and punctuality are poor as they will miss essential learning and also find their attitude to learning changes. It is a legal requirement to send your child into school each and every day unless they are too unwell to attend. We ask that you work with us to send your child into school each day, on time, ensuring they are ready in their class for the register at 08.45. The expectation in the governments white paper issued in March 2022 states that “children with no absence at key stage 4 are almost 2 times more likely to achieve 5 or more GCSEs than children who missed 10-15 percent of lesson.” This equates to 10-15 days off school per year. Teaching your child the importance of good attendance and punctuality is one of the most powerful life lessons that we can give our children to prepare them for success in their education and future life. It is essential for your child to meet their learning needs and maximise the learning opportunities available to them.
At QEHS we expect our students to attend school at least 95% of the time and the majority of our highest achievers have attended 100% of the time, which has been reflected in their GCSE and A Level grades. Missing their education will not only have a direct impact on learning, but also have a negative impact on their self-confidence, relationships and the belonging to the class that is important to support your child’s mental health. Secondary school lessons move on from each session so every session missed will impact on lost learning and your child will need to catch up with that learning and the work missed ready to move onto the next lesson.
We have all had an unsettling few years with the Covid pandemic, working remotely, but we have resumed normal classroom education where learning from home is no longer an option. Online learning cannot replace the classroom learning that is essential not only for your child’s emotional and educational wellbeing, but also to maximise your child’s educational success. We ask that you work with us to ensure that your child is in school every day and on time.
For further guidance on our Attendance Policy, please find our behaviour-Attendance policy here.
The school calendar can be found on the website which will outline the 190 days per year that your child is expected to be in school.
Our school day is as follows for all Year 7-11 students:
08.00 – School Opens
08.45 – Registration (form time)
08.55 – Lessons start
12.30 – 13.30 – Lunchtime (Monday extended to 13.50 for mentoring)
13.30 – Registration (form time)
13.55 – Lessons start
15.35 – End of the day
The school register will be taken in registration (form time), twice per day. If your child is not in registration they will not receive a mark for attendance and will be classed as absent. Registration is essential as their form time additionally covers school notices, changes and events. It is also the time that other skills and subjects are covered and it is therefore essential that they attend. If your child must attend an appointment it would be beneficial where possible to arrange this during their lunchtime or at the end of the school day.
The law states that you must send your child to school each and every day. You are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school and you run the risk of being issued with a fixed penalty notice or being taken to court.
Punctuality is essential for the smooth running of the lessons. If your child arrives after the 08.45 start of the day, they must come into the school via the main entrance and register at Reception as they will have missed registration in form time. Arriving late to school will result in your child’s Absence being recorded as late until 09.25 and then it will be an unauthorised absence. Arriving late is disruptive to both your child and the other learners in the class.
In the majority of cases where a child has come into school feeling unwell, they have found that they have felt better by immersing themselves in the school day. However, we have excellent medical facilities and a first aid trained support team who are able to care for your child if they are unwell whilst at school. If you feel that your child is too unfit to attend school, you must contact the school on each day of their absence before 09.00, leaving a message on the school answerphone giving details of the absence:
For absence due to illness that lasts more than 3 school days, the school may ask for supporting medical evidence and may carry out a home visit.
In an emergency, absence may be granted for situations such as bereavement or for emergency medical appointments which must be in school time, provided we have received a message on the school answerphone or an email to the School Office with an explanation.
Long Term Illness
If your child is absent for a length of time due to illness, your child’s Head of Year will work with you to arrange their reintegration back into school and discuss with you how we can work together to support your child.
Where your child has to attend a medical appointment, please complete a Leave of Absence form and attach a copy of the appointment letter. Where possible, please try to reduce your child’s disruption from learning by arranging appointments around their school day if this is possible. The time required for the appointment will be coded as medical but it is expected that your child will attend school around the appointment. Absence will be coded as unauthorised where a child does not attend school around an appointment or where evidence has not been provided.
Leave of Absence
We greatly value your support in ensuring that the level of student attendance remains high but we appreciate that there will always be personal circumstances which necessitate an absence from school. Changes in the law (which came into force on 01 September 2013) make it quite clear that only in exceptional circumstances can the school authorise an absence. It is a legal requirement that your child attends school and students are currently required to be on-site for 190 days a year. Whilst we appreciate the varied reasons why families do consider taking a child out of school such as holidays during term time, the school’s policy, following Government guidelines is that holidays should always be taken during the 175 days when the students are not required to attend. Work missed during term time is always difficult to catch up with and of course, the uniqueness of the actual lesson experience can never be recaptured. The expectation for students is that they will catch up with all missed learning by attending additional lunchtime and afterschool mentoring which can impact them on their return, both educationally and mentally. For students taking in house and public examinations, any absence from school is always particularly inadvisable and cannot be authorised.
Any reason for absence must be discussed with the school on each occasion. A Leave of Absence form with supporting evidence must be completed on each occasion and sent to school at least 10 days in advance of the requested date. All absence will be coded as unauthorised unless a form and supporting evidence is provided.
To complete a Leave of Absence form, please click here.
Fixed Penalty Notices
Where a parent fails to ensure the regular school attendance of their child, the parent may be guilty of an offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The local authority have the option of issuing a fixed penalty notice and can bring proceeding before the family courts for an Education Supervision Order or prosecuting the parents/guardians under section 444 before a Magistrates court. Non school attendance includes any day when a child should be in attendance at school and they are absent without the authorisation of the school and includes unauthorised holidays during term time, persistent absence, severe absence and late arrival at school after the register has closed.
For further guidance, please click here.
A problem that may seem small and insignificant to us can be overwhelming for a child. If you feel that there is problem, please contact your child’s Form Tutor.
Regular school attendance is essential to your child’s routine and a positive school life. If this routine is disrupted this can impact on your child’s mental health and well-being as well as developing negative behaviours. Students who have poor attendance have said that once they started having time off school, they found it easier to have another day off but then found it harder to go back to school and spent more time worrying about going to school which caused them anxiety and stress. When they did return, they found it hard to catch up and fit back into school with their friendship groups and classes.
Your child’s well-being is very important to us and we work hard through a number of different lessons and subjects to promote the essential skills that will support your child in all aspects of their life, not just learning at school. Many of these are taught during registration (form time) and assemblies. You may find that you and your child may need additional support and it is important that you are aware what support is available for when you need it.