Important Information regarding Attendance

Good attendance in school is essential for a child’s education.  At Hedingham School, we strive to ensure that children maintain a 100% attendance to maximise the learning opportunities extended to them.  Maintaining a perfect attendance record is most certainly achievable but in the unavoidable event of your child being away from school, it is essential that the school is informed of the reasons for absence.  From September 2015, the Government will now class a student with attendance below 90% as a persistent absentee (previously 85%) regardless of whether the school has authorised or unauthorised the absence.  This equates to 38 sessions or 19 days of absence across the year.

There is a clear link between attendance and school achievement.  A student who maintains a 90% attendance record throughout Years 7-11 will miss an incredible sum of six months of education over the duration of their school life.  Research suggests that 17 missed school days a year equates to 1 GCSE grade drop in achievement.  Attendance issues can also have a detrimental impact on friendship circles and self-esteem.

Support of parent/guardians is an essential ingredient in this equation.  Preventing lateness and avoiding medical/dental appointments during the school day are examples of where your support can have a direct impact on your child’s learning opportunities. 

Minor ailments, such as a headache or slight cold, are not acceptable reasons for failing to attend school.  Repeated absences may require the school to request that you obtain medical evidence from your doctor’s surgery or local pharmacy as recommended by the Government.

We would also remind parent/guardians that the law does not give any entitlement to parents to remove their child from school during term time for the purpose of a holiday.  Headteachers may only grant leave of absence where an application has been made in advance and the Headteacher considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.

The School’s Attendance Officer maintains a log of instances of absence and lateness and shares this with Form Tutors and Heads of House.  Where concerns arise and instances persist, initially a letter will be posted to alert parent/guardians of our concerns.  Subsequent action will follow if the situation remains persistent.  This may include school based meetings and potential involvement from the Educational Welfare Service.  If there are medical or personal circumstances that parent/guardians would like to discuss with the school, then please do not hesitate to do so.

We are confident that parent/guardians will be keen to work with the school to ensure that students maintain good attendance since it is clear that this will have a positive effect on their learning and we will continue to celebrate good attendance through House points, rewards and certificates. parent/guardians help and support in this matter is much appreciated.

Mr P Finch
Deputy Headteacher