As the courses students are studying grow increasingly more challenging and the expectations of students are greater it is imperative that students have excellent attendance. There are only 190 school days in the year and students need to ensure they utilise these fully to offer them the best opportunity for future success. Fulston Manor is committed to working with parents and guardians to ensure as high a level of school attendance as possible and as I am sure you will appreciate, where attendance falls below 100%, this impacts on a student’s ability to achieve their potential and becomes a cause for concern.
There is a clear link between good attendance and academic achievement. Government research indicates a significant negative link between overall absence and attainment, with every day missed associated with lower attainment outcomes. Students at Key Stage 4 with no absence were found to be 1.6 times more likely to achieve level 4 or above, and 4.7 times more likely to achieve level 5 or above, than students that missed 15-20% of all sessions. At Fulston Manor School we expect students to have 100% attendance and at a minimum to meet 95%.
Below are some reminders regarding how the school will approach attendance concerns and the obligations on parents/guardians to ensure that we are aware of reasons for absence.
A number of students have 90% attendance and appear to believe this to be of no concern. However, 90% attendance is the equivalent of one half day off each week and is regarded as a student having persistent absence by the Government. A student with 90% attendance from Year 7 to 11 will miss 20 weeks of schooling (3 terms or half a year).
Please could parents try wherever possible to arrange Doctor/Dentist and other appointments outside of school hours. If this is not possible then students should not take the whole day off and should attend school around the appointment time.
Students should be in school by 8.40am and any student arriving to the school gates after 8.40am will have their responsibility card signed. Tutor time starts at 8.50am, if a student arrives after 9am then this is an unauthorised late and can result in a Penalty Notice being issued.
Attendance letters to parents/guardians:
As a school we have a duty to ensure all students attend regularly. The school sets a minimum level of attendance for all students of 95% which is endorsed by the Department for Education and the Local Authority. Any student whose attendance falls below 95% will automatically be sent a letter stating the attendance and outlining further actions that may have to be taken should the attendance not improve. This is monitored fortnightly and students may be spoken to. Where we know of medical reasons for this absence we may not send this letter, however, this will not always be the case.
We will normally authorise up to 3 days of absence if we have been informed as to why the student is off, anything beyond this may result in letters being sent home and absences being classed as unauthorised. We ask for parents to make daily contact to inform us of absences via the House office, in certain medical cases some continued absences will be authorised.
Informing us of absence due to illness does not automatically guarantee it will be authorised, this will be determined by the school depending on the student’s current attendance levels and whether medical evidence has been provided. We do not require letters from a GP, any medication packaging or an appointment card would be enough.
If your son/daughter receives unauthorised absences, a Penalty Notice warning letter may be sent. This will state how many unauthorised absences there are. If a student has 10 unauthorised absences (5 days) in 2 consecutive terms a second Penalty Notice letter will be sent explaining a fine may be issued.
No holidays are authorised. We do expect to be informed if parents have booked a holiday. Penalty notices will be issued if a student takes an unauthorised holiday. If there are exceptional circumstances with regards to a request for leave of absence this is to be made in writing to the Head of House with 3 weeks notice. This will be discussed with the Deputy Headteacher/Headteacher who may authorise the absence but this is very rare.
We thank you for your ongoing support and assistance in ensuring that students are in school. Please do not hesitate to contact your son’s/daughter’s Head of House for our support should you be experiencing any difficulties in persuading your son/daughter of the vital importance of regular attendance; teenagers do not always recognise the value of education when balanced against the temptation to stay in bed! We are committed to ensuring all students achieve the best possible attendance levels and hope you can continue to encourage students to focus on the importance of being in school and of making the most of the opportunities available to them.