Attendance

We want your child to achieve to the best of their ability and to enjoy their time at Homewood College.  For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be in school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for absence is unavoidable.

PROMOTING REGULAR ATTENDANCE
Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any student’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class. Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility – parents/carers, students and all members of the school staff.

UNAUTHORISED ABSENCES AND FINES
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents/carers), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing. Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause. Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.


Unauthorised absences include:

Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
Truancy before or during the school day
Absences which have never been properly explained
Children who arrive late at school after the close of registration
Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
Day trips and holidays in term time


Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually make things worse.


PERSISTENT ABSENTEEISM (PA)
A student becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parents/carers’ fullest support and co-operation to tackle this. We monitor all absence thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and you will be informed of this immediately. PA pupils are tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system and we also combine this with academic mentoring where absence affects attainment. If a student’s attendance falls below 93%, parents/carers will receive a letter informing them that their son/daughter’s attendance is below the expected level and that that the school will not be able to authorise any absence due to illness unless documentation from a health professional is received to verify this. This can be a doctor’s note, hospital letter, and appointment card, copy of prescription or packaging from prescribed medication. All our PA pupils and their parents are subject to an Action Plan and the plan may include: allocation of additional support through a key member of staff, individual incentive programmes and participation in group activities around raising attendance. All PA cases are also automatically made known to the Attendance Lead.

ABSENCE PROCEDURES
If your child is absent you must:
Contact us as soon as possible on the day of absence.
Send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence – you must do this even if you have already telephoned us;
Provide documentation from a health professional as outlined above if your son/daughter’s attendance is below 93% and you have received a letter informing you that their attendance is being tracked.

Please ensure you phone the school or report via studybugs as early as possible to let us know if your child is going to be absent, giving us the reason why.

LATENESS
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a student misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their Mentor getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving students also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.


HOLIDAYS IN TERM TIME
Our policy is not to authorise any family holiday during term-time. Taking holidays in term time will affect your son/daughter’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents/carers to support us by not booking holidays during term time. Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday. All applications for any other absence must be made in advance to the Head Teacher. In making a decision the school will consider the circumstances of each application individually. Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and will be referred to the Local Authority for the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice fine.

IF you have any questions regarding attendance please call the Attendance lead or the school office on 01273 604472.


Absences can be reported using the phone number above or via studybugs;

Get the app or register now (https://studybugs.com/about/parents)