The Boswells School Attendance – A Guide For Parents
ABSENCE LINE: 01245 264451 Press 1
Mrs Brooks, Attendance Officer - WBS@Boswells-School.com
If your child is going to be absent:
You are required to inform the school that your child will be absent before 8.00am on the first day of absence, and any subsequent days thereafter. You must provide a reason for the absence, however, we may require medical evidence to justify repeated absences. Please note we DO NOT have a 48 hour policy for sickness.
Please ensure you speak clearly stating students name, tutor group and reason for the absence.
If we do not receive an explanation for the student’s absence, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we may not authorise the absence and will mark this on their attendance report. This is to ensure that sickness absence is not misused, and to promote good levels of attendance.
If we do not receive communication from a parent/carer you will be contacted by the attendance team via a phone call and text for a reason for the absence. If we are unable to gain contact, the absence will be marked as ‘O’ unauthorised. Continued unexplained unauthorised absences will be followed up with a welfare check from our Pastoral Team.
Why is good attendance important?
Good attendance and punctuality are vital for success at school, and to establish positive life habits that are necessary for future success.
Through regular attendance, pupils can:
- Build friendships and develop social groups.
- Develop life skills.
- Engage in essential learning and other school social events.
- Achieve to their full potential.
- Minimise the risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour and becoming victims or perpetrators of crime.
- Provide the best opportunity to achieve good academic outcomes
- Employers look for reliability and attendance and punctuality are good indicators of this
All parents should promote good attendance and work in partnership with their child’s school to provide a cohesive approach. You have a legal responsibility to ensure your child regularly attends – by law only the school can approve absences and not parents.
Lateness and truancy
Good attendance doesn’t just involve being present in school – it also involves punctuality. You also have a responsibility to ensure that your child arrives to school on time and stays in school during the day. All students are expected to be in their tutor rooms by 8.35am.
How can I help?
You can help in the following ways:
- Encourage good attendance by making sure your child goes to school regularly
- Take an interest in your child’s school work
- Make sure that your child understand you do not approve of absence from school
- Support our school in our efforts to control inappropriate behaviour
- Inform us on the first days of your child’s absence and keep us updated throughout the absence period
- Provide us with more than one emergency contact for your child, to ensure that if we receive no response form one number, we can try the others that you have provided
- Cooperate with our school to make sure your child overcomes any attendance problems
- Discuss planned absences with the Head Of Year and apply for permission well in advance
- Only take your child out of school during term time where the absence has been authorised
Don’t underestimate the importance of 100 percent attendance. Even one day missed can have an effect on learning:
- 98 percent attendance means four school days missed
- 95 percent attendance means 10 school days missed
- 90 percent attendance means 19 school days missed
- 80 percent attendance means 38 school days missed
- Five minutes late each day means three school days missed
If you would like further information regarding attendance at the Boswells School, please see our Attendance policy
What does the law say?
All children of compulsory school age – between aged 5 to 16 – must receive a suitable full-time education. As a parent, you are responsible for ensuring that this happens, either by registering your child at a school or by making appropriate alternative arrangements.
Once you have registered your child at a school, you are also legally responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly. If you fail to do this – even if your child misses school without you knowing – legal action can be taken against you by the LA. It is a legal offence to fail to ensure your child attends school regularly.
Legal action can involve a penalty notice or being taken to court.
Parents also face the risk of imprisonment and parenting orders. Parenting orders involve attending a counselling and guidance programme, usually a parenting class.
A penalty notice of £60 may be issued as an alternative to prosecution, but this will rise to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days. Failure to pay a penalty notice will usually lead to prosecution.
You can read more about this on the Government website https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence and the Essex County Council website https://www.essex.gov.uk/school-attendance-and-absence
Can my child ever be absent?
When a pupil is absent from school, this will be classified as either ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’.
The governing board and Headteacher decide which absences are granted as authorised. Authorised absences are only permitted for valid reasons such as:
- Medical or dental appointments.
- Religious observances.
- Family bereavement.
Wherever possible, parents should always try to arrange medical and dental appointments during school holidays or after school hours.
What are unauthorised absences?
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider essential or reasonable.
Unauthorised absences can include:
- Forgetting school term dates.
- Absences which have not been explained.
- Arriving at school after the register has closed.
- Leaving school for no reason during the day.
- Truancy before or during the school day.
- Keeping pupils off school unnecessarily or without explanation.
- Day trips or family outings.
- Problems with uniform/clothing.
- Birthdays and holidays.