Research shows that children who attend school regularly are likely to be more successful. A pupil who misses a day of school a week misses an equivalent of two whole years in their school life. This obviously leads to gaps in their knowledge that become difficult to fill.
Wyre Forest School works hard to ensure pupils are attending school as often as possible and we are passionate about all pupils achieving 100% attendance. It is our belief that learning can be impacted on negatively by pupils who are absent and we work collaboratively with parents and pupils to ensure attendance can be maximised.
We celebrate pupils who attend regularly by rewarding pupils with 100% attendance with a voucher each term and also allocating bonus points for pupils who achieve 100% attendance on a weekly basis. Class teachers monitor attendance rigorously and will also celebrate attendance within their form/tutor group as well as identifying when a pupil is absent.
We do respond quickly to absence in school and our procedures for absence are as follows -
First day of absence:
- When a pupil is absent from school and no contact has been made by parents/carers, administration staff will send a text message home to determine the reason for absence. They will then log the appropriate absence code. This will be classed as a FIRST INTERVENTION and will be recorded as such.
- If parents/carers do not respond and no reason for absence is provided, a code of N (“No reason yet provided for absence”) will be recorded. This code will affect the overall rate of the pupil’s attendance until a reason is provided.
- If by the end of the week in which the pupil has been off no reason has been provided by parents/carers, a letter will be sent home with a return slip for parents to be able to provide the reason for the absence. Parents/carers will also be given a number of alternative ways of contacting school to provide a reason for absence.
- If after 1 week, parents have still not provided a reason for absence, a permanent code of Unauthorised Absence will be recorded which will permanently affect the pupil’s overall rate of attendance.
Attendance falling below 95% (school target):
- If a pupil’s attendance falls below 93%, administration staff will inform the class teacher/form tutor who will then consider the need to contact parents/carers to share the school’s concern regarding their child’s attendance. Staff should inform parents that a letter of information is being sent. This FIRST LETTER - Attendance Below 95% (1.1) will be classed as a SECOND INTERVENTION.
- In this letter parents need to be informed that should attendance fall below 90%, this will be classed as Persistent Absenteeism and the school will commence formal proceedings to investigate levels of attendance and a formal letter will be received inviting them to a meeting.
- After 3 weeks, if attendance has not improved, a SECOND LETTER - Meeting Invite (1.2) will be hand delivered to parents/carers inviting them in for a meeting to discuss attendance. This letter will be classed as a THIRD INTERVENTION. In this letter parents/carers will be asked to contact school if they cannot attend this initial meeting so the meeting can be re-scheduled to a more convenient time. This letter will also inform parents that failure to attend or contact school may result in a referral to the Education Welfare Service.
- During the meeting, attendance and the implications of persistent absenteeism will be discussed. Parents/carers will be informed that attendance will be closely monitored for 3 weeks to ensure attendance percentage improves. Failure of this happening after 3 weeks will mean a SCHOOL ATTENDANCE - FIRST NOTICE (1.3) letter will be sent to parents/carers. This letter will be classed as a FOURTH INTERVENTION.
- Failure to make contact with school or attending the meeting will always result in a SCHOOL ATTENDANCE - FIRST NOTICE (1.4) letter being sent home. This letter will be classed as a FOURTH INTERVENTION.
- After 3 weeks, if attendance has not improved, an IRREGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE - FINAL NOTICE (1.5) letter will be sent to parents/carers. This letter will be classed as a FIFTH INTERVENTION.
- After 6 weeks, if attendance has not improved, an IRREGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE - PENALTY NOTICE MONITORING(1.6) letter will be sent to parents/carers. This letter will be classed as the SIXTH INTERVENTION.
- Attendance will be monitored for 15 school days from the issue date of this letter. During this period, the child must have No Unauthorised Absence.
- If unauthorised absence is accrued during the 15 school day period of the Penalty Notice, a referral will be made to the Local Authority Prosecution Officer for consideration of legal enforcement action and a Penalty Notice may be issued.
- Any pupil whose attendance is below 90% is requested to provide medical evidence for all absences.
- Any pupil whose attendance is below 95% and is open to attendance procedures is requested to provide medical evidence for all absences.