Attendance, Absence and Punctuality
Regular and punctual attendance maximises your child’s learning potential. Evidence shows students who attend school regularly make better progress academically and socially, but it also prepares them for adulthood and working life. Good attendance is also linked to a student’s happiness and at Thirsk School & Sixth Form College, we want all our students to attend school every day so that they give themselves the best chance of being successful.
Percentage Attendance : Above 98% : Less than 4 days absence a year.
Excellent attendance! These young people will almost certainly get the best grades they can leading to better prospects for college, university or work.
Percentage Attendance : Between 95% and 97% : 10 days absence a year.
Average attendance. These young people are likely to achieve good grades and have opportunities for college, university or work, but could still improve their attendance.
Percentage Attendance : Between 90% and 94% : 19 days absence a year.
Below Expected National Standard of Attendance. Young people in this group are missing a month of school per year; it will be difficult for them to achieve their best and attain their full potential. Their attendance has already fallen below the national average.
Percentage Attendance : Below 90% : Persistent Absentee.
Young people in this group are missing six weeks of school per year; which adds up to missing a year of school over the five years of secondary education; it will be almost impossible to keep up with work. Parents of young people in this group could be prosecuted.
Our aim is that all students have at least 96% attendance. Take a look at our Why Attendance Matters Leaflet from December 2020.
As a parent/carer, it is your responsibility to make sure your child is punctual and attends school. We monitor all student’s attendance and punctuality closely. We aim to follow up any unexplained absence by contacting those with parental responsibility on the morning of a child’s first absence by text. We take our safeguarding responsibilities in school seriously. This first contact is not aimed to cause offence but to clarify the whereabouts of the child. A follow up email maybe sent if we have not had a response.
Should your child’s attendance slip to a level that is concerning, you will be contacted in a timely manner by letter. At the end of each term, we aim to inform you about your child’s current attendance for the academic year to date, so that praise can be given, or early interventions can be made, and any issues addressed before attendance letters are issued.
Thirsk School & Sixth Form College is an NYCC school and has adopted, and follows, the NYCC Attendance Pathway. This ensures we follow compliance and appropriate guidelines to ensure your child attends school. More information can be found at www.northyorks.gov.uk
You are able to check your child’s attendance by logging on to MCAS, (My Child At School).
Reporting a Student Absent
There are some circumstances where disruption to regular attendance is unavoidable. However, we ask that parents/carers adopt a resilient approach to illness. Please only keep students off school when it is absolutely necessary. In these situations, effective communication with the school is essential.
If a student is unwell and cannot attend school, we ask that a parent or carer call the Attendance line 01845 522024 ext 134 or option 1 from the main switchboard and leave a message or email email@example.com
Where a student is absent for 3 days or more, it is advised that parents/carers call school to discuss the absence and also to seek medical support.
Students are expected to arrive at school on time and be in Tutor Time at 08:45 am. If a child arrives late, all entrance gates will be locked and they will be required to sign in at reception. Good punctuality is also essential for progress. Students who are late for school miss learning and develop bad habits resulting in them being unprepared for the world of work. If students are persistently late, parents will be informed. Under Department for Education regulations, students who miss registration are regarded as absent.
Students arriving after 09:30 am without an acceptable reason, will be marked with a U code. Ten or more could lead to a fixed penalty notice.
All routine appointments medical or dental should be, where possible, arranged outside of school hours. Where this is not possible, this will count against the child’s attendance. However, it is appreciated that parents have little control over appointments with a consultant and this will not count against the child. We request that an appointment card or letter is brought into school to confirm all appointments. Students are required to be collected from reception and will not be allowed to sign themselves out without evidence. It may be required for us to contact you if in doubt.
Holiday in Term Time
The Department of Education strongly urges parents/carers to not take their child out of school for family holidays during term time and, as such, the law gives no entitlement to do so. Headteachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional. Therefore, Headteachers will only be able to grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and this will still be at the discretion of the Headteacher.
No parent/carer can demand leave of absence as of right. The Education Regulations state that applications must be made in advance by a parent/carer with whom the child lives and can only be authorised by the school in exceptional circumstances. Each leave application is considered individually by the school taking into account any factors presented by the family.
Where a child is taken out of school for the purpose of leave of absence in term time without the permission of the school, the absence will be coded as unauthorised and as such may result in a Penalty Notice. Penalties are issued and applied by the Local Authority and as such are not at the discretion of the Headteacher. If a Penalty Notice is not paid, the matter may be taken to prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
We ask all parents to be mindful that taking a student on leave during term time interrupts teaching and learning and will disrupt your child’s educational progress.
A holiday request form can be downloaded from the Downloads section below.
Persistence Absence (PA)
The Department of Education states any student attendance which falls below 90% in the academic year is considered a Persistent Absentee (PA).
Children are less likely to achieve their educational potential as such low attendance is shown to directly correlate with underachievement and it can have a serious impact on their future career plans and aspirations.
Attendance Policy – September 2022