Good school attendance gives your child the opportunity of success and helps develop skills for life.
Your child should attend school every day unless there is an unavoidable cause such as illness. Missing school damages a student’s learning and grades (research shows that missing school often leads to a drop in grades), disrupts routines and can make children vulnerable to crime. Missing school can seriously impair learning and affect life opportunities.
Absence and Attendance
Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
The DFE have made it clear to Principals that they may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
These exception circumstances are defined as:
a) for service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil’s education; and
b) when a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.
In making a request for an authorised absence from school you will need to explain why the circumstances are exceptional. Please note there is no general right to authorise absence for a family holiday and if you take your child out of school without permission the absence will be unauthorised. If you wish to apply for an authorised absence please complete the relevant form that is available from the Academy office.
You may be asked for medical documents or an appointment card if your child is regularly absent due to illness or dental/medical appointments. Where possible, please support us by making doctor, dentist and medical appointments outside of school hours and ensure your child arrives at school on time.
If your child has an ongoing diagnosed illness you are advised to inform the school and keep copies of letters from health professionals and also appointment cards or prescriptions.
If your child is absent from school please telephone (01642) 883030 by 9.30am each day your child is absent.
Further details on absence and attendance is available from the Government website by clicking on this link: School attendance and absence: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Arriving at school on time and ready to learn is the best start to the day for our children. Even being 5 minutes late per day can add up to 3.4 school days missed.
5 minutes late per day = 3.4 school days missed a year
10 minutes late per day = 1.4 school weeks missed a year
15 minutes late per day = 2.6 school weeks missed a year
20 minutes late per day = 2.8 school weeks missed a year
30 minutes late per day = 4 school weeks missed a year
There are a number of rewards available to those students who have consistently high attendance figures. These rewards currently include:
- Entry into the Attendance Draw every two weeks to win "Westies"
- End of Term Attendance Draw to win prizes that have included sweet hampers, gift vouchers and special "Reward Lessons".
- Winsday rewards lessons - based on good behaviour and great attendance
There is also a direct link between performance with our in-house points SHAPE points scheme and good attendance (you have to be in to get the points). High points lead to extra rewards such as the Games Room Pass, priority Enrichment lesson choice and End of Term reward trips.
It is the responsibility of every parent and carer to ensure the their student:
- Arrives at school on time, in uniform and in a condition to learn.
- Are absent only for reasons that can be authorised
If your child is struggling to attend school, you must:
- Talk to your child - try to find out why.
- Meet with a member of Academy staff to discuss the situation and look for solutions.
- Try to understand what is happening for your child and help them resolve the problem.
Education is key to your child’s future success so it is important to solve issues as quickly as possible. It is very important that you speak with the Academy at the earliest opportunity if you have any worries at all about securing your child’s attendance. Request a meeting with the Parent Support Advisor, Lauren Martin or your child’s Form Tutor.
The Attendance Team at Westlands is made up of the following staff:
- Adam Harewood – Assistant Vice-Principal – Attendance Team Lead
- Lauren Martin – Parent Support Advisor – Attendance Team
- Karen Burke – Senior Administrator – Attendance First Day Response
- Donna Blackwell – Administrator/Exams Officer – Attendance First Day Response
- Jan Leonard – Vocational Support Mentor – Alternative Provision Attendance Lead