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Absence and Attendance

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE: EVERY DAY COUNTS. SUPPORT YOUR CHILD TO ACHIEVE THEIR BEST
 
Attend Today

Achieve Tomorrow

In Term 1, all students received an attendance assembly, which explained the relationship between high attendance and academic results.

We analysed our 2018 GCSE results and were able to share this with students.

Headlines:

  • Top 20 students with highest progress, all had an attendance of 95%+
  • Top 10 students with highest attainment, all had an attendance of 95%+
  • Average attendance for those students gaining 9-5 GCSE grades in English and Maths was 95%

These figures are supported by the DfE publication ‘The link between absence and attainment at KS2 and KS4’ (2016) which reports that:  

‘For pupils at the end of KS4 as the level of overall absence increases, the percentage of pupils achieving the three KS4 attainment measures decreases.’

We are extremely keen to support students in having the highest possible attendance to school, to ensure the best possible outcomes both socially and academically for each individual student. Throughout the academic year we will be regularly reporting to students their attendance levels, praising those with continued high and improving levels of attendance and looking how to best support those students and families who find regular attendance to school difficult to achieve.

To continue to support our students and families in having the best attendance possible, we’d like to remind parents and carers that:

A family holiday taken in term time may result in a warning and Penalty Notice being requested from the Local Authority. Due to changes in legislation there is no entitlement to holiday during term-time. Any request for leave of absence during term-time must be done using the ‘Absence request form’, available on the school website or at school reception. Applications will be considered individually and will only be agreed under ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Any medical appointments which result in students missing a whole day of school, will require additional evidence to be provided to authenticate the length of student absence. We appreciate that some medical appointments/procedures can take multiple hours to perform, but the expectation is that students return after their appointments or attend school to then later leave for a medical appointment.

Mr James Barnes – Assistant Vice Principal with responsibility for Whole School Attendance  

Reporting Absence

Illness

In the case of illness please telephone or e-mail school on the morning of each and every day of absence on 0117 952 7101If this is not possible, write a note in the student’s planner to explain absence on the students return to school. Sign and date the note and ensure students show their tutor.

In cases where there are prolonged instances of illness or repeated periods of illness we will require a medical note. We will not authorise more than 7 days illness over the year except in extreme circumstances. This means that following the 7th day of absence all subsequent absences related to illness will be unauthorised.

Medical

Try to make medical appointments outside of school hours. If this is not possible, only remove the child from school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment. Please ensure students show their Tutor their medical appointment card so they can be given permission to leave school. Provide School with copies of any medical evidence such as appointment cards, prescriptions or medication packets so that medical absences can be authorised. If you do not the absence will be classed as unauthorised.

Medical absences will not be authorised for a full day unless they relate to hospital or specialist appointment and we must receive a copy of the appointment letter as evidence.

Religious Observance

We will authorise absence for legitimate religious observance for the maximum of two days. They will be authorised on dates exclusively set apart for this purpose by the religious body to which the parents/carers belong. Any additional days taken will be classed as unauthorised and may incur a penalty notice

Attendance at FHS

FHS and Local Bristol City Council are working together to issue warnings and Penalty Notices under Section 444(A) of the Education Act 1996 (amended regulations 2013) for students with high levels of absence

A Penalty Notice is a fine up to £120. It is £60, if paid within the first 21 days but then £120 past the 21st day / within the 28 days. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period, the Local Authority will instigate Court Proceedings and the outcome of a prosecution could be up to £1,000 per parent/adult. This is an alternative to the prosecution of parents/carers/guardians for failing to ensure the regular attendance of a compulsory school age (age 5-16 years) student where they are registered or at a place where alternative provision is provided.

Other criteria (than those listed above) for Penalty Notices include where an excluded student is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable explanation or following a truancy sweep.

Term-time holidays

We are unable to authorise absence from school except in exceptional circumstances. Therefore we would ask you to avoid taking holidays during term time.

If this is unavoidable parents must apply in writing to the Principal, Mr Nick Lewis, via lthompson@fairfield.excalibur.org.uk. Although holidays will be recorded as an unauthorised holiday, and may incur a fixed penalty notice if it reaches the threshold, it is better that we know a child is safe rather than missing.

If there are unavoidable family circumstances, please complete an authorised absence request form (available from school reception or on the website), and/or arrange a meeting with the Assistant Vice Principal for Attendance.

School Attendance advice

FHS has produced an information leaflet which details what parents and carers need to know about school attendance:
  1. Absence Request March 2017
  2. Absence Request March 2017
  3. Attendance and Punctuality Policy 2017
  4. Attendance Leaflet March 17
  5. TRANSFERRING SCHOOL NOTIFICATION V1 January 2018
  6. TRANSFERRING SCHOOL NOTIFICATION V1 January 2018

If a parent requires a paper copy of the information on the school's website, please contact us and this will be provided free of charge