Every school day matters. Excellent attendance promotes excellent learning and regular school attendance is essential if students are to achieve their full potential.
If your child is missing lessons, this could affect their learning in the following ways:
- Affects student’s attainment. Your child’s results and progress suffers when they are not in school
- Students suffer a break in the continuity of their learning or miss important topics.
- Students lack confidence due to the fact that they have missed midtopic information and are unable to understand or catch up – much of the work missed is never made up, which puts them at a disadvantage at exam time.
Other reasons why we want excellent attendance:
- Being Safe in school – We need to ensure children are safe and in full time education. The only way we know that your child is safe during school hours is when they are in school and where they need to be.
- Access to the full curriculum – At The King Edward VI School we offer an extensive and engaging curriculum. Students are expected and are entitled to access the full curriculum.
- Sense of belonging – School is not just about learning; we work hard to ensure all our students really feel part of a community
- Life skills – Having good attendance and punctuality is a life skill and it is one that we promote preparing your child for the future in every way. We will often talk to students about what an employer would want in terms of commitment, hard work and reliability.
- Friends – Undoubtedly friendship groups are strengthened the more students are in school. Children that miss school more than their peers often find it more difficult to maintain positive friendships.
- Future – When students apply for college placements or employment, the school will be asked for a reference which includes a history of attendance and punctuality, if poor this could affect their ability to find employment or a college placement.
At The King Edward VI School, we:
- Believe that regular school attendance is crucial to allowing children to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent young adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.
- Value all students. As set out in this policy, we will work with families in order to identify at the earliest opportunity the reasons for poor attendance and try to resolve any difficulties.
- We believe attendance is a shared responsibility, involving the whole school community and local community; Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a thread that runs through all aspects of school improvement, and is supported by our policies on safeguarding, bullying and behaviour. This policy also takes into account the Human Rights Act 1998, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Race Relations Act 2000.
We define our key levels of attendance as:
Routine is the key to success
At home, routine is the key to making simple changes for success and here is a six point plan to try with the family:
- Going to school unprepared can be a major worry for children – help by checking school bags the night before, packing P.E. bags and keeping an eye on homework progress.
- Tired children aren’t punctual and find it hard to learn, so ensure your child has a sensible bedtime.
- Help your children get into a regular routine and set the alarm at the same time every morning.
- Make time for breakfast so there are no shop stops where children can get side-tracked on the way to school. A nutritious breakfast also fuels more effective learning.
- Children can become unsettled if they have to go into school late and without their friends – getting children to school in time to meet friends in the yard prevents this.
What will we do?
- Use our pastoral systems to support – We have an incredible pastoral system here at The King Edward VI School and one we are very proud of. Communication is important to us and we will always endeavour to respond to queries within a reasonable time.
- Promote good attendance through praise and rewards – Year teams will drive rewards in their respective years, praising students for having excellent attendance, as well as making improvements to previously concerning attendance levels.
- Contact you to discuss absences – In the first instance, we will always contact you to ensure we know that every child not in school is safe. Following this you will receive a phone call. We will also communicate with you through letters and emails.
- Write to you to set targets around attendance – If there is no improvement with attendance following phone calls, then we will write to you to set targets. These may be set by Head Of Year or, where there is an escalating concern, the EWO.
Being on time to school is a life skill and one that we promote here at The King Edward VI School.
Being late makes us feel anxious, we miss the start of lessons where often important instructions are often being given and we start the day feeling less engaged than we would have if we had been on time.