Welcome to the “Attendance & Absence” page of the Tytherington School website. This page is intended to provide you with information about and links to ‘Attendance’ and ‘Absence’. Please use the contents table for quick links to information.
It is widely acknowledged that attendance has a direct impact upon achievement, success and welfare. Strong evidence shows that where any individual pupils’ attendance percentage is below 96% it will have a detrimental effect on their achievement, becoming increasingly damaging as their attendance percentage becomes lower. It can also impact upon welfare and standards of conduct, where a pupil’s low attendance leads to them falling behind in their learning and subsequently to further disengaging from learning when in school. Non-attendance is one of the single biggest blocks to achievement and to the school carrying out its function in safeguarding the welfare of children. Whether absence is due to term-time holidays, illnesses or truancy, not being present at school disadvantages children.
It is your responsibility as a parent/carer to ensure that your child attends school and, if they fail to attend, provide the school with “reasonable justification” (Education Act 1996) at the time of absence.
If your child is absent from school
If your child is unwell and not able to attend school there are a couple of things that you are required to do as their parent/carer in order to provide the “reasonable justification” mentioned above:
- On each day of absence, make contact with the relevant Key Stage Office of your child to inform them that your child will be absent for the day. This is done by calling the school on 01625 610220, selecting option “1” and then the option number corresponding to the relevant Key Stage Office (i.e. “1” for Key Stage 3, “2” for Key Stage 4, and “3” for 6th Form).
- When your child returns to school, provide them with a written note that they can hand to their Form Tutor that:
- States the dates that they were absent for, and;
- Provides an explanation for their absence.
This note will then be kept on file for you as evidence of your providing “reasonable justification”.
Absenteeism and “Persistent Absenteeism”
Any attendance percentage below 96% is considered “low” and “persistent absenteeism” is recognised as of absence of 10% or more (i.e. <90%). Therefore, any pupil with “low” attendance (i.e. less than 96%) and especially with an attendance percentage of 90% or below (i.e. “Persistent Absence”) leaves parents/carers open to the implications of the Education Act 1996: Section 444 (please see Legal implications within the Implications of poor attendance section below).
The following table shows estimated cumulative absent session thresholds for around 10% absence (i.e. the time that pupils would be off for each half-term if all half-terms were of equal length):
|Half Terms||10% Absence (i.e. “Persistent”)|
|Half-Term 1||7 or more sessions|
|Half-Terms 1-2 (Autumn Term)||14 or more sessions|
|Half-Terms 1-3||20 or more sessions|
|Half-Terms 1-4 (Autumn and Spring Terms Combined)||25 or more sessions|
|Half-Terms 1-5||32 or more sessions|
|Half-Terms 1-6 (Full Academic Year)||38 or more sessions|
|Each “session” is equivalent to a half-day of school|
There is a moral imperative to focus on persistent absentees, because this is a group of young people who are unlikely to attain well at school, unlikely to stay on in education after the age of 16, and significantly more likely to engage in self-harming activities and anti-social behaviour. By focusing on good attendance we can make a significant impact across the range of outcomes for pupils.
The promotion of a strong triangular relationship between the pupils, their homes and the school, and involving partner agencies where appropriate, is important in reducing persistent absenteeism. Offering our pupils an exciting curriculum and ensuring that school is a safe and enjoyable place are equally important ingredients. In this way we hope that the school environment and ethos will foster a coherent and effective approach to tackling the problem of persistent absenteeism.
Holidays during term time (i.e. “Leave of absence”)
Any school attendance figure that is below 100% has a negative effect upon the education and development of any child (please see the “Implications for your child” section below). There is a direct correlation between poor school attendance and the lower achievement and future opportunities of children. The 2013 amendments made to the regulations governing holidays in term time remove any right of parents to take their children on holidays during term time and do not allow schools to authorise absence for them, unless in “exceptional circumstances”.
Pupils receive the equivalent of 14 weeks of holiday time during the course of an academic year split between bank holidays, INSET days, half-term and end of term and summer holidays (please see the links below for details of term dates). If any parent/carer is planning to take a holiday with their child/children in term time they must write a letter to the Headteacher explaining the reasons why the holiday needs to take place in term time. Those circumstances will be considered and a response made which could include the warning of referral for a “Fixed Penalty Notice” fine through the Local Education Authority (i.e. Cheshire East Council) owing to unauthorised leave of absence from school.
For details of term dates and planned INSET days for this academic year please click on the following link:
Further information from our Local Authority about “Taking children on holiday during term time” can be found through clicking here.
Support for you in your parental role
“First Day Calling” Service
We provide a service through a mobile phone texting and email system that alerts you to your child’s absence from school each day that they are absent. This asks you to make contact with the school and acts as a reminder to provide element 1 of your “reasonable justification” (please see If your child is absent from school above).
If you are receiving a lot of these messages then it is worth you tracking your child’s attendance more closely…
The “MyEd” App
In order to track your child’s attendance more closely you can take advantage of our “MyEd” App service that we provide. If you have not yet signed up for the MyEd App then please contact the school office.
As mentioned above, the promotion of a strong triangular relationship between the pupils, their homes and the school, and involving partner agencies, is important in reducing absence and persistent absenteeism. That is why our Form Tutors, Heads and Assistant Heads of Year, Student Support Officers wish to work with parents/carers in order to support them getting their children to attend school regularly and benefitting from the education that we provide.
If things are difficult and getting your child to attend school regularly is particularly tough then the opportunity to have an Attendance Panel Meeting where you can discuss the causes of the absence and formulate an action plan in order to improve the situation is provided by us.
You are also able to contact the Local Authority’s Education Welfare Services and access the advice and guidance of an Education Welfare Officer (EWO). Please click here for further information from Cheshire East about school attendance.
Implications of “poor attendance” (i.e. any figure below 96%)
Implications for your child
The following are interconnected effects of absence from school that studies have shown any pupil are likely to experience owing to poor attendance:
- Academic underachievement
- Difficulty making friends
- Loss of confidence and self-esteem
- Engagement in premature sexual activity [and other issues that lead to concern for a child’s safety]
- Impaired socialisation for work
From “Absence from School: A study of its causes and effects” (DfE, 2003)
This is why our school attendance target is 96% as it helps to prevent the above negative effects and gives pupils the best opportunity to achieve, be happy and have better opportunities in the future.
All of the above interconnected effects will also impact upon, and possibly stem from, other factors, including:
- The effects on other pupils – e.g. friends feeling deserted, disruption in class when absent pupils return, resentment amongst those pupils with good attendance, etc…
- The effects on teaching – e.g. attention has to be diverted from the whole class owing to disruption and poor attenders having to catch up, impaired ability to build teacher-pupil working relationships, difficulty in being able to accurately assess and track absent pupils, etc…
The following are quotes from pupils that regularly attend school:
“Teachers spend time looking after kids who truant when they should be looking after those who do come to school.”
“I wouldn’t want to be friends with them afterwards. There’s no point if you don’t see them.”
“If you are a partner with them in class, you have to do all the work on your own. I don’t like it, but I don’t mind. Sometimes we keep the same partners throughout the term. For instance, in IT if you don’t know the password to get the work you have start all over again … I would like to get a better partner that I can trust.”
The Education Act 1996: Section 444 states that “If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his/her parent is guilty of an offence.”
It is your responsibility as a parent/carer to ensure that your child attends school and, if they fail to attend, provide the school with “reasonable justification” (Education Act 1996) at the time of absence. This responsibility is not met when:
- Holidays are taken within term time.
- “Reasonable justification” for absence at the time of non-attendance is not given.
- Absence is “persistent”, despite “reasonable justification” being given, therefore contravening your child’s right to an education and damaging their progress in achievement and future opportunities.
Implications if attendance does not improve
As you have already read, any attendance below 96% can have a damaging effect on your child and if it is below this threshold and does not improve then any of the following may occur:
- The Local Authority’s “Education Welfare Service” is notified about your child’s absence.
- The school and/or a Local Authority “Education Welfare Officer” will arrange a home visit.
- A legal meeting is held.
- Legal proceedings are brought against you. These legal proceedings may include:
- Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN fines)
- Prosecution in the Magistrates Court
- Application for an “Education Supervision Order” in the Family Proceedings Court
- Issuing of a “School Attendance Order”
- Issuing of a “Parenting Order”
Further information from our Local Authority about “Taking action to improve attendance – explaining legal action which may be taken” and other related information can be found through clicking here.
Please also see our “Attendance and Absence Policy & Procedure” by clicking here.