Attendance at school is vital for success, and not just academic success. Achieving the best possible grades is only possible with good attendance, and this is the key to opening doors for the future. However, students who build positive habits of attendance at school become adults with a good work ethic and good attendance at work, leading to better economic prospects and a fulfilling future.
Young people who regularly miss school without good reason are missing out on this important aspect of their development, and are likely to become isolated from their friends and underachieve.
As a parent/carer, ensuring your child attends school is your legal responsibility.
What is good attendance?
Your child should attend school every day, unless they are really too unwell to attend, or when the school have authorised the absence beforehand. As you can see from the attendance wiper below, even students with good attendance risk missing important learning. For example. a student with 98% attendance has missed four days in the school year, which is 22 hours of learning that they have not been present for.
What should I do if my child is absent from school?
You need to phone school on 01289 305083 on the first day of absence, giving your child's name, tutor, the reason for the absence and the expected date of return. Please provide any medical evidence that you receive from a doctor. Please continue to update school on a daily basis.
How do I request a leave of absence from school?
If there is a reason to request a leave of absence, this must be done in advance using the leave of absence form available below. Absences may be authorised in some circumstances, such as religious observances or family bereavement. Schools are not permitted to authorise absence for holidays during term time, and an unauthorised absence could lead to a fine or other legal action being taken.
What is my child's attendance?
We will report your child's attendance to you each half term. You can also check your child's current attendance online using the School Gateway. Your child is also updated on their current attendance every Friday.
What can I do to help improve my child's attendance?
Children need to attend school on a regular basis because it is the key to them doing well at school, and sets them up with good habits from an early age through to adulthood. You can help by:
- Showing to your child that you think school is important;
- Not keeping your child off school if they are worried or have a problem - you should contact the Pastoral Lead in school for support;
- Praise your child's achievement;
- Recognise that if your child gets into bad habits from an early age, these are much harder to break in later life;
- Work with the school to improve attendance, support what is said in school.
What are the rules around a school student having a part time job?
All children from the age of 13 years who are working must be registered with the Local Authority and be issued with a work permit. It is an offence for an employer to employ children without registering with the local authority first. It is important to remember that any children working without a permit are not covered by their employer's liability insurance, which is a key safety risk.
The numbers of hours you can work whilst attending school are restricted. Children must not work before 7am or after 7pm.
Further information is available below, or by contacting the Education Welfare Service at Northumberland County Council.