Students at Chesterton Community College have the right to education that is ‘excellent as standard’. Receiving a full-time education will give your child the best possible start in life. Therefore, we closely monitor and review the attendance of every student.
Research commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), shows missing school can mean a child is less likely to achieve good outcomes, which can have a damaging effect on their life chances. At Chesterton Community College our aim is to work with parents/carers to ensure that all of our students receive the most from their education and reach their full potential.
Expected attendance at Chesterton Community College is 100% and regular attendance is a minimum of 96%; this is equivalent to students attending school for 182 of the 190 days possible in a school year. This would mean having no more than 8 days of absence in an academic year. Low attendance impacts outcomes; attend less and you will achieve less.
The impact of attendance on time missed at school can be summarised as shown here:
|Attendance percentage||Days of school missed||Attendance rating|
|98% and above||4 days||Outstanding|
|96% and above||8 days||Good|
|94% and above||12 days||Requires improvement|
|Below 94%||More than 12 days||Inadequate|
At Chesterton Community College, attendance is monitored on a daily basis and we expect every child to attend every day unless there are mitigating circumstances. A child will be classed as absent if they are not in school or if they arrive after the register for each school session has closed. It should be noted this this includes absences for medical appointments that are made during the school day. Additionally, the Local Authority advise that a child should have no more than one or two broken weeks in a school year; a broken week occurs every time a child is absent and misses part of the school day. Regular broken weeks are a cause for concern and will trigger attendance monitoring processes.
If a student’s attendance becomes a concern, contact will be made with the family and if there is no improvement, the family may be required to attend a meeting at the school to discuss the issue. Parents/carers are legally required to ensure their children attend school, and those that fail to do so may be liable to further action from the school and Local Authority.
Chesterton Community College offers support when attendance becomes a concern. This may include meetings with your child’s Tutor, Head of House or the school Attendance Officer or the Deputy Headteacher responsible for attendance. These meetings can vary from simple discussions through to formal parent contract meetings. The aim of all such meetings is to identify the causes of attendance issues and to put in place the support needed for each child to be able to attend school more frequently.
Reporting an Absence
At Chesterton Community College, we understand there are occasionally legitimate reasons why your child may not be able to attend school, such as due to illness or unforeseen family circumstances. If your child is unable to attend school, please inform school by 8:30am each morning your child is absent, using one of the following methods:
- Edulink – e-mail via Edulink, the College’s secure communication portal (this is our preferred method of contact)
- Absence line: 01223 712648 (please leave a voicemail)
When reporting an absence, please ensure that you provide:
- Your child’s name
- Their year group and tutor group
- The reason for the absence
If the student is absent and a notification of absence has not been received from the parent/carer, the school will record an unauthorised absence.
Please ensure your child(ren) arrive on time for morning sessions, with registration at 8.50am.
Persistent late comers will be monitored and action will be taken; parents/carers can be prosecuted if students are persistently late.
Registers officially close at 9.20am. After this time, latecomers will be recorded as an unauthorised absence for that particular session.
It is expected that absences for medical and dental appointments will, where possible, be arranged for outside of the school day. Where this is not possible, we expect students to attend for part of the day. We will only authorise half a day of absence for standard medical/dental appointments. Evidence is required to authorise absences due to medical or dental appointments – please e-mail via Edulink and attach a copy of the appointment letter, slip, email or SMS reminder.
Students leaving the school premises during the school day
If a student is required to leave the school premises during the day (for a medical or other appointment) the parent/carer should notify the school via Edulink, giving at least 48 hours notice and should include a copy of the appointment letter, slip, email or SMS notification. If you are unable to attach the appointment slip. Please bring it to reception where it will be scanned for our records.
Year 7 students are not permitted to leave the school unaccompanied during the school day and therefore will need to be collected from reception.
Students in Years 8 – 11 may leave unaccompanied however you are required to confirm in your Edulink/email notification that you have given your permission for your child(ren) to leave by themselves and that you take full responsibility for the safeguarding of your child(ren) once they have left the school premises. If we do not receive permission for them to leave unaccompanied, we will assume that you will be collecting them from school reception.
All students must ‘sign out’ (at reception) before leaving the school premises so we have a record of them being off-site in the event of a fire evacuation or other emergency. The student must ‘sign in’ (at reception) upon their return.
Requesting Term Time Absence
The Government remains very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must continue to take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment. Parents/Carers are strongly discouraged from taking students out of school during term time but we appreciate that under some circumstances this is unavoidable.
The DfE policy document entitled, ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ states:
- Only exceptional circumstances warrant a leave of absence. Schools should consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request.
- If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the Headteacher to determine the length of the time the student can be away from school.
- As Headteachers should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
If you do seek to withdraw your child(ren) from school during term time full details will be required and you must complete a Leave of Absence Form.
When submitting the form please ensure:
- The form is submitted at least two weeks prior to the planned absence.
- All sections of the form are fully completed
- It must be signed by all persons with parental responsibility.
If the school does not receive a leave of absence form, the Headteacher will be unable to consider your individual circumstances and the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. There will be no obligation on the Headteacher to reconsider authorising the leave if an application has not been made in advance. Incomplete forms or forms submitted late or after the event will not be considered.
If permission is not granted and the absence occurs you will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.
If a fixed penalty notice is issued, the arrangement for the payment will be detailed on the notice. The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. A parent may receive more than one separate penalty notice resulting from unauthorised absence. When penalty notices are issued each parent will receive one per child. Therefore, each parent could receive multiple notices if they have more than 1 child who has been absent. You should be aware that failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken. In some circumstances, the Local Authority may choose not to issue a further penalty notice in the same academic year and may instead choose to prosecute a parent under the Education Act 1996 S444. There is no right of appeal by parents against a fixed penalty notice.