Give your child the best start in life – every school day counts.
Attendance Line – 01889 571685
Email Address – Attendance@hartschool.org.uk
When contacting the school, please provide the following information:
- Your name
- Your child’s name
- The reason for absence
If we have not received a message from you by 10.00am and your child fails to attend you will receive a text message asking you to contact the school
Give your child the best start in life – every school day counts.
We can, we will, we do.
Our aim is that all children will have an attendance percentage of at least 98%.
Why are attendance and punctuality so important?
Excellent attendance at school is important to allow a child or young person to fulfil their potential both socially and academically. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. The Hart School seeks to ensure that all its students receive a full-time education which maximises opportunities for each student to thrive.
We expect outstanding attendance for all; however, we do recognise that there are times when students we will absent from school. All our parents and carers are responsible for reporting reason for absence. Failure to report will result in unauthorised absence unless there are extenuating circumstances.
If attendance drops below 97% the school will work with parents and carers immediately to put a plan in place to make improvements. As a school we work relentlessly to support students and families.
The table below sets out our definitions of attendance:
All staff regularly communicate the following mantas to ensure the profile of attendance and punctuality is high across the school. Visual displays throughout the school also reinforce the importance of attendance and punctuality.
Furthermore, we expect all our staff to communicate the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality, referring to the visual below which can be seen in all learning environments across the school.
Over a period of five school years, a student with 90% attendance will have missed half of a whole year of schooling. Similarly, students with poor punctuality miss valuable lesson time and, if it happens regularly, progress will be jeopardised.
What can I do to help?
Parent or carers – you can help by:
- ensuring your child understands the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality
- taking an interest in their education – asking about schoolwork and encourage them to get involved in school activities including extra-curricular
- discussing any problems, they may have at school and inform their Form Tutor to pass on concerns quickly
- not allowing them take time off school for minor ailments – particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work
- arranging appointments after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child’s education and to the school
- being open and willing to work with us to improve your child’s attendance
Students – you can improve by:
- speaking to a trusted adult about the reasons why you might not want to come to school
- trying hard every morning to get up and get to school, unless you are unwell
- getting an early night, feeling tired on a morning can make getting to school harder
- make sure you get to school on time every day
What does authorised and unauthorised absence mean?
As a school we must follow national legal guidelines which means that holiday requests during term-time cannot be authorised. Because of this, absences or persistent lateness which are not agreed with us, can incur a penalty notice. These penalties are through the local council, and we have no control over how they are given.
We cannot guarantee that we will authorise a student’s leave of absence during term time, as this is only done in exceptional circumstances. If you don’t get permission from the Principal, the absence is classed as ‘unauthorised’ and this includes lateness. If you want to see if an absence can be authorised, you must contact school in advance and get permission from the Principal.
What will happen if my child misses school?
We keep parents up to date with their child’s attendance and confirm absences with them; this makes sure students are supported in their progress at school.
Our Attendance Team work hard to support students and often identify patterns of non-attendance. They will always work with parents and carers to understand these patterns and see how they can be improved.
School Attendance and the Law
What does the law say about school attendance?
All parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child receives an education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude and any special needs.
Children must legally be in education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16. The Education and Skills Act 2008 increased the minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning. Raising the participation age means that your child will have to stay in some form of education or training until the end of the academic year when they turn 18.
School attendance order
Should you fail to register your child at a school and not make suitable alternative education arrangements, the council may issue a School Attendance Order requiring you to register your child at a named school.
Non-attendance at school
Failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school is a criminal offence and if, with support from the school/academy your child’s attendance fails to improve, the council will consider one of two courses of action:
1) Penalty fine of £60 (if paid within 21 days), rising to £120 (if paid after 21 days but before 28 days have elapsed). Failing to pay the fine will result in prosecution and being summoned to appear at the Magistrates Court.
2) Start a criminal investigation which could lead to you being prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court.
A Penalty Notice can be issued if:
- A child has poor attendance (five sessions (half days) or more of unauthorised absence in the last six weeks)
- 10 sessions / 5 days or more of absence due to an unauthorised leave of absence during term time
- A child who has been excluded from school is seen in a public place in the first five days of an exclusion.
It is the responsibility of each parent to ensure regular school attendance and failure to do so will result in each parent being charged with the offence. If convicted, both parents will be punished by the courts, resulting in a fine of up to £2,500 for each parent and / or up to three months custodial sentence.
If you are concerned about your child’s school attendance, it is always best to talk to us first. We have a dedicated Attendance team who are here to help students and families.
Students with attendance of less than 97% are monitored closely by the Pastoral Team (attendance and year group teams) We also have the specialist support of a Wellbeing coach and Community Support Attendance Officer who will be able to offer intensive support guidance to students and families to help to improve attendance.