Hetton School Attendance

Attendance is linked to attainment and we care passionately that a commitment to attend will lead to higher levels of attainment.

As your child’s attendance is so important to them succeeding at Hetton School we have a dedicated pastoral team who track, monitor and intervene to ensure all pupils’ attendance meets our expectations. To ensure we do this we have;

• Our Attendance Officer and team, monitor and intervene as required. They also support and offer strategies to improve attendance.
• Systems in place to monitor pupils’ punctuality and attendance and contact parents and carers when required.
• A dedicated member of staff (Attendance Officer) who monitors punctuality and attendance and follow-ups with individual families.
• Partnership with the local authority, who engages with families when attendance becomes a concern.
• A sophisticated online systems used to support, share and track pupils’ attendance.
• A weekly update for pupils indicating their attendance. Where appropriate, targets are set and shared with parents and carers so that all staff; pastoral, academic and support staff, are aware of an individual’s attendance as well as other learning targets.
• Attendance expectations are clear to parents and carers, including procedures for authorised absences and holidays and any action that Hetton School may take, including legal action, where attendance is an on-going concern.

Hetton School is committed to improving attendance and we firmly believe by engaging the pupils in the process we can positively affect the individual attendance of pupils.

Lateness To School

According to DfE guidelines, registers must be closed after a certain time in the morning. Therefore, if a student arrives after 9.15am, they cannot receive a late mark but have to be marked as absent for the whole morning session. If the lateness is due to a legitimate reason e.g. a medical appointment, the absence can be authorised. Otherwise, the session is marked as an unauthorised absence. A letter is sent home to parents informing them of this and the fact that they could be liable for a fixed penalty notice if the child receives 10 or more unauthorised absence sessions.

Parents’/Carers’ Support For Good Attendance

We would ask parents to support us in maintaining good attendance by:-

• Ensuring that their children get up in plenty of time to be ready and prepared for school.
• Ensuring their child has organised their bag and equipment the night before so that this does not delay departure in the morning.
• Discussing any issues of lateness to ensure this does not become a habit.
• Monitoring their child’s attendance record when it is sent home and looking for patterns of lateness.

Parents And Carers: FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why has my child been marked as absent for the whole morning when they arrived at 9.30am?

As stated above, DfE guidelines state that the register must be closed after a reasonable time in the morning. If arriving after 9.15am, a child will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session.

Could I receive a fine if my child is persistently late?

If your child receives 10 or more unauthorised absences, you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

My child was only a couple of minutes late. It seems harsh that he/she should get a late mark.

The school has to abide by the rules and expectations laid down for all schools. Lateness for school (or work) is a failure to arrive on time and will be marked as such. We would encourage students to set off in good time so that any small delay does not cause them to be late.

Our whole family overslept and it is not my child’s fault that he/she is late. Will they receive a late mark?

This cannot be taken as an acceptable reason for lateness so a late mark or unauthorised absence would be recorded, depending on the time of arrival.

My child has to catch the bus to school which is sometimes late. Will they receive a late mark?

Any lateness is recorded as thus on the register. We would advise that the child leaves earlier so that even if the bus is late, they will still arrive on time. If the bus is sometimes late, then it is not a reliable way to ensure arrival in good time.

Would you make any allowances for lateness if, for example, there were major traffic problems in the area perhaps because of an accident, so my car/the bus was unavoidably stuck in traffic?

The school cannot make allowances for the individual problem (however genuine it may be). However, it does make allowances when there are known reported major problems that effect a large number of people; very heavy snowfall would be one such example.

What if I phone up/email to say my child is going to be late? Would he/she still get a late mark?

Yes, they would still be marked late, but it is very helpful to know that you are aware and for us to know the expected time of arrival and reason for lateness.

If I know my child is going to be late, do I need to ring/send in a note?

It is very helpful if you do this. If your child is very late, they will be marked as unauthorised absence and your note may give an alternative acceptable reason to allow us to authorise the absence.

What do I do if I don’t agree with your policy on punctuality?

Much of our attendance policy is designed to satisfy DfE regulation but as always, if you feel an approach is unfair or unreasonable, then you can write to the Headteacher and/or Governing Body asking for a review. However, whilst any such policy is in place, the school will operate as stated.