At Ash Hill Academy, excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting good attitudes in attendance. We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their children are present at every opportunity, arrive on time and to avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily, or taking them out of school without authorisation. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.
We monitor student’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone or by letter. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact you to discuss ways in which the academy can support you and your child.
Our attendance target of 95% is the minimum that we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive effect on student’s examinations and their futures.
The Department for Education is changing the definition of ‘Persistent Absence’, to deal with the reality of pupil absenteeism in schools and its impact on their learning. The Department is reducing the threshold at which a pupil is defined as ‘persistently absent’ to 15% absence now, down from 20% previously.
Reporting Absence - What to do if your child is ill:
If your child is too ill to attend the academy, parents/carers should contact the Academy Attendance Office as soon as possible:
- by telephone on (01302) 840961 then OPTION 1. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message 24 hours a day.
Please give your child’s name, Year Group, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent. On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers write an absence note. The student should hand the note in at their Year office.
We operate a 48 hour visual policy during absence, after this timescale a student must be seen by a professional, which includes Academy staff. Therefore the Academy will conduct a home visit in these situations. If we are not able to physically see the child, a call to 101 or appropriate police contact will be made.
What to do if your child has an appointment
We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, we require notification in advance. Please telephone, email, provide a note from home or appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment.
In most cases, your child should attend the Academy before the appointment and return to the Academy afterwards wherever possible. They should bring a note from home to the attendance office when it is time for them to sign out. They should sign back in at reception on return.
Automated calls to parents/carers
We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and automated calls are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers if a student is absent from Period 1 (8.25am to 9.25am), where the Attendance Office has received no reason for absence. Calls are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you.
NOTE: Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up-to-date contact numbers.
Punctuality - All students are expected to arrive on time and ready for lessons.
Students should arrive between 8.00am and 8.20am. Students are expected to be at their first lesson by 8.25am ready to start learning. After 8.20am, students will be marked as late and will receive a C4 Late detention.
We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.
How do I request leave of absence for a family holiday?
All requests should be made on an Application for Leave of Absence for Annual Holiday, which is available from the academy, and should be submitted no later than 21 days before the start of the holiday.
Will the school authorise taking my child away during term-time?
Parents cannot demand leave of absence be granted for a family holiday. The Principal will consider the following exceptional circumstances prior to responding to your leave of absence request:
- Where it is company/organisational policy for an employee to take leave at a specific time in the year, and there is no opportunity for a family holiday in school holidays. This must be evidenced by production of the organisation's policy document.
- Service personnel returning from/scheduled to embark upon a tour of duty abroad.
What happens if the Principal does not agree my request?
Your child’s absence will be marked as unauthorised absence.
If you take your child on holiday, the academy may request the Local Authority issue a Education Penalty Notice. The Penalty is £60 per parent per pupil and if not paid within 21 days this will increase to £120. Failure to pay the full amount within 28 days will result in a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court on the grounds that you have failed to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school.
Every school day counts towards your child’s future.
Days off school add up to lost learning.
In total there are 175 non-school days a year. This gives families the opportunity to:
- Spend time together
- Go on family visits
- Go on holiday
- Go on days out
- Attend routine appointments
The law says that parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for holidays during term time. If you take your child on holiday during term-time without the academy's permission, this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and may result in parents being issued with a Education Penalty Notice.
Why shouldn’t I take my child on holiday during term time?
Many parents and carers think it is okay to go on holiday during term time - this has a negative affect on their children’s learning and ability to achieve. If your child goes on holiday during term time, they are absent.
- 10 days absence = 95% attendance
- 19 days absence = 90% attendance
- 29 days absence = 85% attendance
- 38 days absence = 80% attendance
- 47 days absence = 75% attendance
Children with over 90% attendance are more likely to gain 5 or more A-C GCSE’S or equivalent qualifications.