Good attendance at school is extremely important for learning. However, there will be times when absence is unavoidable.
Types of Absence
Each absence is classed as authorised or unauthorised, both of which affect a student’s attendance percentage to reflect the lost learning. Absences are coded as authorised where reasons are considered valid and unauthorised where no explanation or unacceptable reasons are given. Students with attendance of 95% or below may be expected to provide medical evidence for absence relating to illness/ injury such as a copy of a prescription or a medical appointment card etc.
The following reasons are not authorised:
·         Days out to theme parks or to attend concerts/shows.
·         Parents’ work commitments or business trips
·         Holidays taken in term time (including long weekends taken on Fridays and/Mondays)
·         Parental illness
·         Passport appointments
Absence and First Day Contact
If your child is unable to attend school you should inform us on the first day of absence before 8.30am via the Studybugs app or Voicemail, you will need to state the pupils name, your relationship to the student i.e. parent/carer etc. and the reason for absence. Parents/carers are required to call each day a student is absent. Ashlawn’s attendance telephone number is 01788 532831– select option 1 for the absence line.
Medical Appointments
Where possible, appointments should be made out of school hours or in school holidays. However, we realise this is sometimes not possible. Students should come into school before and after appointments to ensure they miss as little lesson time as possible. If possible, we ask that if these appointments have to be made during the school day, then to avoid period 1 (08:45-09:45) and PM for time for your year group. (12:15 – 13:15)
Please ensure that your child arrives at school so that they are present and ready for lesson 1; this starts at 08:45am each day. School gates close at 08:40am, students arriving after 08:40am will enter through the Late gate. If this happens parents will be notified via email that their child was late to school.
What is considered as poor attendance?
Anything below 95% is weak, under 90% is poor and if attendance falls below 85% we will have serious concerns. Below 90% is regarded as persistent absence by the DFE. In this school, we are aiming for every student to achieve attendance levels of at least 95%. We monitor attendance and provide termly reports on each student’s attendance. Throughout the terms, we identify all those students whose attendance has fallen and issue a Stage letter and/or make a telephone call informing parents. We then monitor the student’s attendance on a weekly basis and hope to see a pattern of improving attendance. Failing to improve on this, this can lead to prosecution, which schools want to help families avoid.
If you have any Attendance queries throughout the academic year you can speak to the Attendance Officer, Welfare Lead, your child’s Form Tutor, Head of Year or Key stage Lead. We are here to support you and your child whilst at Ashlawn. We want to make sure that we can support each student’s education in the best way possible, including looking into how we can help them to address gaps in learning due to absence.