At Brine Leas School, we aim to build a working relationship between ourselves and families to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to learn.
We believe that if students are to gain the greatest benefit from their time at school, it is essential that they attend regularly. Many parents may not realise the effect that absence or lateness has on their children. Any child who misses school runs a serious risk of being left behind in their progress.
We operate a traffic light system to highlight attendance;
|Red||Below 98%||Requires Improvement|
Education is important
Students should be at school, on time and ready to learn, every day the school is open, unless the reason for absence is unavoidable. All research shows that students who attend well achieve well.
It is the expectation of the school that all students will achieve at least 98% attendance. There are a variety of reasons for students missing school. Some are unavoidable but we would ask that you support us in ensuring that your child’s attendance meets both the school and the government’s expectations.
Any problems with regular attendance, especially any concerns about possible bullying or learning difficulties are best sorted out by the school, the parents and the student at an early stage. We closely monitor your child’s attendance and will contact you if we feel there is an issue. The school undertakes a wide range of measures to support students where attendance at school is an issue.
If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance or wish to speak us regarding any issues, please see our Pastoral page for further information on who to contact.
Regular attendance at school is the responsibility of parents and carers.
Under the 1996 Education Act parents commit an offence if their child does not attend school regularly.
If your child cannot come to school because of illness you should advise the school on each morning of absence by telephone or email:
Telephone: 01270 625663, Option 1
If no message is received we will assume that your child is absent without your permission. We will contact you to request information regarding their absence via email and or text. For this reason, it is essential that the school is kept informed of changes of contact details such as phone numbers and addresses. The details we hold for you can be checked or amended via My Child at School.
Any absences where a reason is not supplied will be marked as unauthorised.
In cases of continuous absence where we receive no communication from you and we have reasons to be concerned we may make a ‘home visit’ or request the police to undertake a ‘Safe and Well’ visit.
Registers are marked in the morning between 8.50 and 9.10am and an afternoon register is marked during period 4. It is essential that all students are registered on both occasions. School starts at 8.50am and all students should be in their form room in preparation for the register being taken. At this time they should collect items for the day and make sure that they are aware of any changes / arrangements to the day’s lessons.
It is a legal requirement that a register is taken at the start of the day. Not only does the process allow us to monitor attendance but also acts as a student checklist in respect of health and safety issues. Students who arrive late for registration will be issued with a lunchtime detention. Calculated over the school year, if your child is 5 minutes late to school every day, they will have lost the equivalent of 3 school days. Please note that fines may be issued to parents whose children are persistently late.
Whilst we recognise that it is not always possible, we do encourage parents/carers to book non-urgent medical and dental appointments outside of the school day or during the holidays. Where this is unavoidable, we request that evidence of the appointment is supplied to our Attendance Officer. Your child can hand this in to Student Reception when they sign out for their appointment or you can hand details to our receptionist.
We would like you to think carefully before making any request to take your child out of school.
Students will from time to time miss school because of illness, but their learning is compounded significantly when parents arrange other reasons for absence. We are aware of the rising cost of family holidays and that this can be greatly reduced if taken during term time. However, we ask you to consider the following points:
- Your child’s learning will suffer as a result of extended absence. New topics may have been covered during this time and it may be difficult to recover this lost ground.
- Your child may experience socialisation problems after an extended absence, particularly if they have missed key moments which their friends are talking about.
- Students already enjoy 14 weeks away from school during the year; additional absence will not help your child’s progress.
At Brine Leas School, we are aware that there will be exceptional circumstances where leave of absence may need to be given. The Headteacher may grant special permission but this must be requested in advance and you should be prepared that some may not be authorised.
If you make the decision to take your child out of school without permission, then the absence does have to be recorded as unauthorised and a Fixed Term Penalty notice may be issued.
A Fixed Penalty Notice results in:
- A cost of £60 per parent/adult for each student/child. This will require payment being made to the Local Authority within 21 days.
- The cost increases to £120 per parent/adult for each student/child if payment is not received within 28 days.
- If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period, the Local Authority will instigate Court proceedings and the outcome of the prosecution could be up to £1,000 per parent/adult
If you are requesting an absence due to exceptional circumstances, a covering letter will be required, although this will not guarantee authorisation.
Exceptional circumstances do not include family holidays but may include:
- Death or funeral of a close relative
- When a health professional recommends an absence from school
- Attendance at events, exams or performances related to extra-curricular activities
- Religious observance