The link between attendance and success in school is irrefutable. The Department for Education (DfE) published research in 2016 which found that:
- The higher the overall absence rate in school, the lower the likely level of attainment at the end of primary and secondary school.
- Pupils with no absence are 2.2 times more likely to achieve 5+ GCSEs 4-9 or equivalent including English and mathematics than pupils that missed 15-20% of secondary school lessons.
- 73% of pupils who have over 95% attendance achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grades 4-9.
Our aim is to encourage, support and enable all of our students to be in school as often as they can. We aim to work with parents, carers and other professionals to help all of our pupils to attend and succeed.
We recognise that almost everyone will have challenges at some point and large secondary schools are never perfect. School is not easy for everyone. Through working collaboratively with parents, carers and others, we can often find solutions and help our young people to attend and succeed.
Please find detailed information about our approach, support and what to do if your child is unable or is struggling to attend school in our online brochure and policy documents here:
Another aspect of attendance which can be overlooked but is also of critical importance is punctuality. Being on time is an important habit for life, not just school.
Our day begins at 8.50am with tutor registration. Students should be in school for 8.45am ready for this. Students who arrive after 8.52am will receive a late mark and those who arrive after 9.10am (when morning registration closes) will receive an absence mark for the morning.
In combination with monitoring lesson attendance, latecomers are also marked and those who are repeatedly late to lessons receive a sanction which comes in the form of a detention in the first instance.
Holidays and Avoidable Absences in Term Time.
As of September 2013, an amendment to the Education (England) Regulations 2006 came into force and greater clarity was introduced to the issue of schools authorising absence requests. These changes reinforced the Government’s view that every minute of every school day is vital and that pupils should only be granted authorised absences by the school in “exceptional circumstances.”
A family holiday is not considered by the Government to be an “exceptional circumstance” and therefore may not be authorised.
If you would like to request ‘leave’ to be considered for authorisation due to exceptional circumstances, please follow the Babcock link below and request, complete and return the S2 form at least three school weeks before the intended absence.
If the request is unauthorised by the school, a penalty notice may be issued by Devon County Council. A penalty notice offers a parent the opportunity of dealing with a potential offence without going to court, but paying a penalty. If parents can’t afford to pay, or for any other reason do not take the offer of paying the notice within a set time, then the case will proceed to a magistrates court. The provision of penalty notices is set by Regulations and the amount of the penalty timeframe for payment or payment method are not able to be varied by Devon County Council
Parents should note that only one penalty notice per parent per child will normally be issued within a two year period. Any second ‘offence’ within a two year period will be referred straight to court. More information on School Absence Penalties can be found by clicking on the click below.
Schools are required to notify Devon Local Authority if a pupil has 5 days of unauthorised absence in a school year.
In the event of a holiday, unauthorised absences can be acquired when;
- Leave of absence has been requested and the circumstances are such that the school is unable to authorise the leave but it is taken anyway.
- Leave is not requested and/or the school has the grounds to believe that the child has been taken out of school for an avoidable reason, e.g. a family holiday. In this circumstance, parents will be asked to provide medical evidence to confirm absence due to illness.
- Insufficient time is given to consider the absence request.
If you have any questions about taking holidays in term time, please contact our Attendance Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice and links
Please find links to wider support and agencies below: