Attendance & Punctuality
At St Damian’s we gave high expectations for all our pupils regarding school attendance and attainment. currently the attendance at St Damian’s has been consistently high and our whole school target is 97%. We would like ALL pupils to achieve 100% attendance, but recognise that there are times when pupils are genuinely ill. We have a legal duty to promote good attendance.
We have a responsibility to reduce the number of children whose attendance is below 90% over the school year. The attendance of your child can impact on the grades they finish heir school life with. There is a very strong correlation between attendance and attainment; if pupils are not in school they can’t learn.
Equally, parents have a duty to make sure that their children attend regularly and punctually. All staff at St Damian’s RC Science College are committed to working closely with parents as the best way to ensure the highest possible levels of attendance.
REMEMBER EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT – MISSING SCHOOL MEANS MISSING OUT!
We monitor attendance very carefully and have a team of people who meet regularly to look at the attendance and progress being made by our pupils and if there are any concerns they will contact you.
Responsibilities of Parents
Parents have the prime responsibility for ensuring that registered pupils of compulsory school age attend school regularly and punctually. If a child does not attend regularly, parents should work closely with the college.
Reporting an absence
If your child is ill or has a very good reason to be absent from school, you MUST contact school before 9am 0161 330 5974;
Please leave a message if indicated to do so, or E-Mail; firstname.lastname@example.org
We require a written note explaining the reason(s) for absence for every period of absence recorded by a child. Where a note is not provided when a child returns to school, we will send an ‘unexplained absence letter’ home.
Absences from school
Parents are not allowed to keep their children off school for any reasons such as holidays in term time, birthdays, visiting relatives, watching sports events, looking after siblings or other family members; these will be classes as ‘unauthorised absences’.
If you need to take your child away from school, your child must request a Leave of Absence Form from the school office. You must use this to seek permission from the Headteacher, at least four weeks in advance of the absence. If you take your child out of school without permission, you may be given a fixed penalty notice.
Holidays in term time:
From 1st September 2013 Department for Education legislation gives no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. The Head teacher will not grant any leave of absence during term time (unless there are exceptional circumstances).
Parents must ask the Head teacher for permission in advance in writing who will decide whether the absence will be authorised or not and also how many days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
Parents who ignore the law and take their child out of school on holiday, if the holiday has been denied, will be issued with a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice per child per adult. Parents will have 21 days to pay or the fines will be doubled. If they are still not paid, parents could face court proceedings.
The school day starts at 9am and pupils MUST be in school ready for the bell. All pupils are expected to register at 9am. Any pupils arriving after 9am will receive a late mark (L); and will also be given a 30-minute lunchtime detention supervise by a Head of Year; unless they have a valid reason for their lateness.
The registers will remain open until 10am. Any pupil arriving after this time will be marked as having a ‘U’ mark – this is an unauthorised absence unless an explanation given is accepted as grounds for authorising the late arrival.
Pupils who are not present for am/pm registration MUST report to reception on arrival.
Routine dental / medical appointments MUST be made after school or during the school holidays.
Absence note MUST be given to Mrs Greenhalgh, Attendance Officer (in the admin office) on the day of return.
Parents MUST inform school on the first day of absence - before 9:00am.
Days off school = Lost learning
Please find below important information from the Local Authority that we are required to share with all parents concerning absence from college.
It is for information only and outlines the actions that could be taken against parents/carers re: attendance.
Penalty Notices for non-school attendance:
Section 444(a) of the Education Act 1996 empowers the local authority to issue Penalty Notices in cases of unauthorised absence from school. This means that when a pupil has unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more, in any 12 week period (where no acceptable reason has been given for the absence) or if their child persistently arrives late for school after the close of registration, their parents or carers may receive a Penalty Notice fine of £60, which must be paid within 28 days. If payment is made after 28 days but within 42 days, the penalty is increased to £120. Where a fine remains unpaid after 42 days, the matter will be referred to the Borough Solicitor, who will consider instigating criminal proceedings.
In law, an offence occurs if a parent or carer fails to secure a child’s regular attendance at school. Tameside Education Welfare Service, in conjunction with schools and Greater Manchester Police, will use these powers as an early deterrent to prevent patterns of unauthorised absence developing.
Parents may also receive a Penalty Notice without a warning letter for the offence of failing to secure regular school attendance for the following reasons:
If their child is stopped on a truancy sweep more than once.
If they go on holiday in term time without school’s permission or are late returning from an extended holiday.
If they have not co-operated with the Education Welfare Service following a referral from school after they have taken steps to address the absences with the parent/carer and pupil.
If their child fails to return to school following a fixed term exclusion.
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 also makes it an offence if a parent fails to ensure that their child is not in a public place during the first 5 days of a fixed term or permanent exclusion. Penalty Notices may be issued in relation to this matter.
The Local Authority and schools are committed to providing the best possible future for your child. If you have concerns about your child’s attendance at school or if you are experiencing any difficulties, contact school and ask for help.
Support is also available from the Education Welfare Service on telephone number 0161 342 2297.