Kings Norton Girls’ School recognises that punctual and regular school attendance is essential for students to flourish socially and academically, in order to achieve our vision of ‘Opening a world of opportunities’ for all.
When attendance is excellent:
- Most students will establish and retain strong friendship groups;
- Most students are happy and enjoy school;
- Students’ personal development improves and they flourish socially;
- Students flourish academically enabling them to progress to a high-quality college or sixth form, university or apprenticeship place of their choice.
We understand that there are occasions when students are unwell, but frequent absence and lateness can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage a student.
At the start of each school year, the school Governors, along with the Headteacher set an attendance target for the school; our target is 96% for 2022-23.0
Why strive for 100% attendance?
Evidence shows that even a few days absence from school has a negative effect on attainment. All students must strive for 100% attendance and we ask our parents/carers to work in partnership with the school to achieve this.
A report with 95% attendance at the end of the year might sound high, but it just isn’t as 95% equates to 9 days of absence over the year.
These 9 days are equivalent to 45 lessons a year and this learning is very hard to catch up with.
Over a 5 year school journey at 95% attendance, 225 lessons or 9 whole weeks of learning are lost!
So, striving for 100% attendance is important to ensure good academic and personal progress.
|Attendance: What do these attendance % mean in reality over a year?|
|Attendance %||Number of lessons lost||Number of days and weeks of learning lost|
|90%||100||4 weeks (20 days)|
|85%||150||6 weeks (35 days)|
What you can do as a parent/carer to support your child
- 100% attendance is our expectation for every student. We appreciate that serious illness and occasional unavoidable medical appointments can require an absence from school however, for the benefit of your child’s learning arrangements, appointments outside of school hours are preferred where possible.
- Unless your child is really unwell or infectious, you can encourage them to come into school. If they are really unwell in school, we will contact you straight away.
- We will contact you if we are concerned about your child’s attendance and punctuality dropping below 98%, but if you have concerns and have noticed barriers to attendance or punctuality, please get in touch with your child’s form tutor in the first instance, so we can support and help overcome any barriers as quickly as possible.
- Even if your child’s attendance is very good, it is helpful if you continue to talk to them about the importance of maintaining excellent attendance and punctuality.
- If your child is unavoidably absent, all absences must be notified to the school by telephone on the morning of every absence, prior to 8:20am, and a signed letter stating the dates and reason for absence must be given to your child’s Form Tutor on the day of their return.
The school telephone system is fully automated and very easy to use:
- Dial the school number: 0121 675 1305
- Press 1 for Student Absence
- A short message follows explaining how to use the system (you will need to leave a message detailing student name, form and reason for absence)
- End call
If school are not informed of a child’s absence this will be followed up by phone calls, text messages or emails from school on the day of absence and in some circumstances a home visits to ensure that the child is safe and well; this is to ensure your child’s safety
Medical and dental appointments
We hope that your child will not need to miss school for medical or dental appointments. However, should this be unavoidable your child’s Form Tutor should be notified in writing prior to the appointment. If extended absence is required, we can arrange for work to be sent home. When leaving to attend, or returning from an appointment, your child will need to sign in at out at the main school reception.
Mrs Twyford is our Attendance Clerk and is based in the main school office. Proof of appointments must be provided either as a paper copy or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org Your child’s attendance mark will only be recorded as medical once proof has been provided, otherwise it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
Holidays in school time
In line with boundaries set by the Education (Pupil registrations) (England) Regulations 2006, absence can only be authorised by the Headteacher during term time where there are exceptional circumstances and unauthorised absence in term time can lead to prosecution. Holidays in term time are not permitted.
Parents/carers may request an absence from school for their child on the day of the religious observance, so that families can enjoy celebrations together. The school is unable to sanction leave of absence for longer than is required as we follow the advice of the Local Authority. Parents/carers taking their children out for more than one day will have the absence recorded as unauthorised.
KNGS values excellent attendance
- We will use praise and reward full attendance and punctuality and improvements in attendance and punctuality.
- Form Tutors will speak to students who have been absent to check they are ok, the reason for absence, barriers to attendance and to identify any concerns they have about their return, whether these be social or academic. They will also support your child to make sure they catch up on any work missed.
- A letter will be sent home to parents/carers asking for your support in helping to improve your child’s attendance, or in helping your child in returning to school after unavoidable absence.
- If attendance continues to be a concern, a more detailed discussion will take place in school with your child to help identify whether there are any barriers to their attendance or support they might need.
- Following this, if attendance continues to fall, parents/carers will be invited to attend an informal meeting to discuss the reasons for absence, address any concerns that they or the school may have and to identify whether there is a need for early help. It is hoped that with the offer of early help and support at this stage, attendance can improve thus avoiding the need for the process to continue further with legal intervention.
- We fully support parents/carers in encouraging full attendance and punctuality. On rare occasions this support may not improve attendance, in such cases the school will fine and prosecute parents/carers using the Local Authority’s Fast Track to Attendance and Punctuality process.
- Any absences which can not be authorised by the school can affect references and applications to college when applying for their next steps post 16.
In the event that attendance does continue to fall, parents/carers will be invited to a further meeting which will be the first stage of the legal process. Again, this will offer the opportunity to discuss any concerns and explore any early help that may be beneficial/required to help improve attendance.
We hope that no child’s attendance goes past this point however, the next steps are a legal formal warning notice issued to the parents/carers which is followed by a request to the Court Referral Section at Birmingham City Council to issue a penalty notice (fine).
- Punctuality is important to ensure a good start to your child’s school day. Form time is an essential part of the day as tutors are able to support students and share important messages and updates with their tutees.
- If a student arrives late to school after 8.25am, they will sign in at reception. Students who arrive late to school or lessons will receive a 30 minute detention after school on the day of the lateness; parent/carers will receive a text before 2.30pm to inform them. Failure to attend the 30 minute detention will result in a one hour detention being issued and if students also fail to attend this then a two hour detention will be issued on the next Thursday available with escalations thereafter in line with our Behaviour for Learning policy.
- Equally, punctuality to lessons is important and, if expectations are not met, the school behaviour sanctions apply. It is important that you let us know in advance of any potential unavoidable lateness by providing an explanatory letter from you.
- If your child is persistently late, we will support them, creating a punctuality support plan. We ask for your support in this, including attending a meeting with the school. In rare circumstances of persistent lateness, we do use legal action.
The evidence relating to absence and the impact on your child
According to a report published by the Department for Education (DFE), missing school for just a few days a year can damage students’ chances of gaining good GCSEs. The research shows that overall absence had a negative link to attainment, with every extra day missed associated with a lower chance of achieving 5 or more good GCSEs or equivalent. The DFE carried out detailed analysis and the drop from no days to 4 days absence showed a dramatic drop in attainment outcome for both students with authorised absences (still absences) and unauthorised absences, see graphs below taken from DFE research.
School Attendance & Punctuality Letter
An updated version of this letter (below) from Birmingham City Council will be sent to all parents/carers in September 2023.
Being punctual is important
If a child arrives late to school every day, their learning begins to suffer, anxiety can increase and even friendships can start to struggle.
Below is a graph showing how being late to school every day over a school year adds up to lost learning time over one academic year.
Attendance and the fast track to attendance (legal) process
Most parents/carers encourage full attendance at school as they realise it has a large impact on their child’s education and exam results. We need to work together, school and parents/carers, to help your child flourish academically, socially and to develop the skills they need to take full advantage of the opportunities that life presents them. Attendance at school is vital in developing these skills as a learner, and as such, at KNGS, we are striving to make sure that all students have the best attendance possible.
Each year, we send out information to all parents/carers regarding our processes of supporting attendance concerns which includes our legal actions on attendance. The legal aspect of the process is referred to as ‘Fast Track to Attendance’. We are legally required to share the Birmingham City Council’s ‘Fast Track to Attendance’ process with all parents/carers. This is the link to current guidance is here: BCC_FAST_track_to_Attendance_Guidance_Sept_2022_AF
School Attendance in Partnership with Birmingham City Council Letter, sent to parents/carers on 20th September, 2022: https://www.kngs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/WHOLE-SCHOOL-ATTENDANCE-LETTER-20.09.2022.pdf