Attendance & Punctuality

Rationale

Reducing absence and persistent absence is a vital and integral part of schools’ work to:

  • Promote children’s welfare and safeguarding 
  • Ensure every student, regardless of race, social class or disability has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled
  • Ensure that students succeed whilst at school
  • Ensure that students have access to the widest possible range of opportunities when they leave school.

Poor attendance at school vastly diminishes students’ chances of fulfilling their potential and, in turn, their life chances.

Aims

  • To highlight the importance of good attendance and punctuality and keep the issues at the forefront of day-to-day practice
  • Establish a consistent set of protocols, which all staff use across the school
  • Work in partnership with all agencies and parents/carers to promote good attendance
  • Establish a staged system, which supports parents/carers and challenges those whose attendance causes concern
  • Use data effectively to identify groups of students with attendance issues and put strategies into place to support them (vulnerable groups such as those on free school meals).

Completed forms should please be returned to the Admissions Officer at the schoo

rights & responsibilites

Improving attendance at The Whitby Sixth Form is the responsibility of everyone in the school community – students, parents and all staff.

Students – All students are expected to attend school and all of their lessons regularly and punctually.  Students who do experience attendance difficulties will be offered prompt and sympathetic support.

Parents/carers – Under ‘The Education Act 1996’, parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly and in a punctual manner. In addition, the school expects that students are properly dressed and equipped and in a fit condition to learn.  Parents/carers will be informed promptly of any concerns which may arise over a student’s attendance.  Students whose attendance is a cause for concern will be placed on The Whitby Sixth Form’s ‘staged system’.  Parents/carers should inform the school, via the main switchboard, of absences and reasons before 9am each day.

School – Staff will endeavour to encourage good attendance and punctuality through personal example.  Attendance is the responsibility of all school staff (not just teaching and pastoral staff).  The school will employ a range of strategies to encourage good attendance and punctuality and will investigate promptly all absences, liaising closely with parents/carers.  Staff will respond to all absences firmly and consistently.

We expect our students to have an attendance rate above 96%.

We make no apology for raising the issue of attendance with parents/carers

The staged system for attendance

The Department for Education classes any student with an attendance rate of less than 90% as ‘persistently absent’.

The school has a clear set of procedures to monitor attendance. Should a student’s attendance fall persistently below 95%, a series of letters will be sent out and different procedures put into place:

Stage 1   There is a general concern about a student’s attendance and this letter is designed to alert both them and you to this. Attendance will be monitored monthly. You may be asked to attend a meeting with your son/daughter and one of the Sixth Form team.

Stage 2 This means your son/daughter’s attendance is becoming a concern – it is persistently below 90% or shows no signs of improvement. A high number of broken weeks also triggers Stage 2 intervention. You will be informed by letter that your son/daughter is at stage 2 and will be invited in to meet with the one of the Sixth Form team. Support will be offered.

Further absences will not be authorised without medical evidence (this can include a prescription or medicinal packaging). Attendance targets will be set and if there is no improvement students will move to stage 3.

Stage 3 It is clear that all of the strategies outlined above have failed to improve the attendance of your son/daughter and there is no ‘reasonable excuse’ for absences. At this stage, you will be notified in writing that your son/daughter is not meeting the expectations of The Whitby Sixth Form and they are at risk of removal from the Sixth Form.

We recognise that students in the Sixth Form will inevitably need time away from school for interviews, open days etc.  These absences will be approved when students complete an absence request form.  Most universities offer open days at the weekends and during holidays.  Students should try their best to minimise time out of school.  Routine medical appointments should be made outside of lesson time if possible.

Punctuality

Sixth Form students are expected to attend registration each day at 8.30am this is a condition of their place.  Form time is essential for students to get to know and build a positive relationship with their form tutor, to attend assembly (when they resume), to receive pastoral support as well as support with university/apprenticeship applications and to get updates about the day-to-day business of the Sixth Form. With the introduction of Unifrog, students will be asked to keep their profiles up to date as well as engage in MOOCs. These are online courses that will encourage students to delve more deeply into aspects of subjects they are studying and areas of interest for future study / employment.

Consequences for late marks – i.e. late for registration

Students will be required to attend the Sixth Form study room at 3pm the following day to complete a detention.  A message will be sent home informing parents/carers.  Failure to attend this detention will follow the usual school procedures.

Repeated lateness

  • Step one – Warning letter sent to students and parents/carers
  • Step two – Removal of 12.35 privilege, second warning letter sent to students and parents/carers
  • Step three – Parental interview and possibility of removal of student from the Sixth Form

Please remember that the key reason for focusing on attendance and punctuality is to support your son/daughter to achieve their best in the Sixth Form.  We cannot teach and support them if they are not with us.  We understand that some absence may be unavoidable but securing good patterns of attendance is vital for success in the Sixth Form and in the future.