Attendance

Attendance at school is of utmost importance. If a student is not here, they cannot learn. Poor attendance has been shown to impact on overall grade outcomes by two grades.

  • Government attendance targets are 96%
  • Good attendance is 95%
  • Persistent absence is defined as less than 90%

We want to support families in maintaining good attendance and will work with you to achieve this. We are aware that sometimes there are individual or extenuating circumstances, and that no two students are the same.

Absence must be reported via phone call to the Attendance Officer on 01787-375131 (option 1) or via email to absence@ormistonsudbury.co.uk by 9.00am.

Absence is authorised based on parental information and supporting medical or other evidence.

Holidays will not be granted in term time and can incur a fixed penalty notice (FPN) – a fine of £60 per parent – as with other unauthorised absences. The Principal, Mrs Wilson, must be contacted when a term time holiday is planned. Exceptional circumstances may allow a holiday to be granted.

Unauthorised absence is recorded when a student’s absence falls rapidly and/or with no reason or insufficient evidence, or through refusal.

Click on the table below to enlarge.

Absence outcomes

Change of regulations regarding holidays in term time

We are committed to giving our students the best education available to them and to continue to raise our standards, this can only be achieved through regular attendance. Therefore we want to assure you that by following these guidelines (September 2013) we are helping your child fulfil their potential by ensuring that they attend the Academy every day. We value the support of our parents/carers and we hope that you will continue to support both the academy and your child by taking all holidays outside of term time.

The new regulations are as follows:

  • The Education (Pupil Regulation)(England) Regulations (2006) currently allow headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday in special circumstances, of up to ten school days leave per year. Headteachers can also grant extended holidays for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.
  • The amendments to these regulations mean that from 1 September 2013 headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances do not include family holidays, visiting relatives or friends, to be a spectator at sporting or other events, looking after unwell family members, baby sitting younger family members, birthdays or shopping etc.
  • If parents/carers choose to take their child out of school during term time without leave of absence being granted, then it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence on the school register.
  • If parents/carers consider that a request for leave of absence during term time is for exceptional circumstances then a written request should be made to your child’s Head of House. (This must be done by completing our updated Leave of Absence form which is available from the academy or can be downloaded here.  When completed, the form must be returned to the Principal (via the House Office) for consideration.
  • Parents/carers who fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance can be fined £60 (per parent, per child). If the payment is not made within 21 days this increases to £120.

On September 1st 2014 Suffolk County Council made amendments to the Penalty Notices Code of Conduct. Please read the attached information leaflet for more information.

Medical appointments

Orthodontists and other medical professionals should be able to accommodate appointments outside school hours. Please aim for either early morning or late afternoon appointments. This will ensure that your child is able to complete at least a portion of their school day, and it minimises the impact of their absence on their attainment.

Please inform the Academy by writing a note in your child’s planner, emailing absence@ormistonsudbury.co.uk or leaving a telephone message on 01787-375131 (option 1). Where applicable, please provide us with a copy of the medical card or letter regarding your child’s medical appointment.

Holidays

We recognise that it is more expensive to take a holiday during school breaks and that is why many parents request term-time Leave of Absence for their child. It is important, however, that parents fully consider the implications of taking their child out of school on their child’s education. If an absence is not authorised we may issue a Penalty Notice or begin legal proceedings.

Attendance record

It is also important to remember that the accepted level of attendance is 96.4%, and that a ten-day holiday would lead to a maximum of only 94.8% attendance during the year (40 lessons would be missed). This percentage could fall lower still as a result of absence through illness.

Authorised absence is likely to constitute:

  • Illness
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment
  • Day of religious observance
  • Family bereavement
  • Attending an interview for employment, school, university
  • Authorised sporting activity
  • Extended family visits abroad (only when prior approval has been given)

Except in the case of illness, absence permission must be sought well in advance of the intended date(s). In the case of absence owing to chronic/recurring illness, you will be asked to provide a medical certificate.

Unauthorised absence is likely to constitute:

The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, family holidays (see note below), birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters etc.

FAQs

What time must my child arrive at school?
The register will be called at 8.50am.

What happens if my child is late?
Registration finishes at 9:10am in the morning with the second session of the day being recorded at 12.00.

  • If your child arrives after 9.00am he/she will be marked late
  • If your child arrives after 9.10am he/she will be marked absent

Students who arrive after registration should report to Reception where they must sign in and record the reason for their lateness.

How do I report my child’s absence?
You must contact us by 9am every day that you child is absent. You can do so by emailing absence@ormistonsudbury.co.uk or by telephoning Mrs K Coleman on 01787-375131 (Option 1).

Will the academy contact me if my child is absent?
The academy has an automatic Truancy Call system. This means that parents will be contacted by telephone when a student is absent if no explanation for the absence has been received.

If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality, we will contact you to discuss the best way forward. Every child’s attendance is monitored fortnightly by our Attendance Officer and your child’s Head of House.

What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?
Make sure your child gets enough sleep and is up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in full school uniform and properly equipped. Show that you value his/her education by showing interest.

My child is trying to avoid coming to the academy. What should I do?
Contact your child’s form tutor or Head of House to discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems or family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem. We have a number of staff on the pastoral team who would be able to help and advise you.

Academy expectations

  • Make attendance a priority
  • Parents should email or call the academy to advise us when their child is unwell
  • Parents should work with the academy to support their child in achieving positive attendance
  • Positive attendance is 95%+

What the attendance figures mean in real terms

  • 90% attendance = 10% absence. This means 1 session lost per week.
    Over 5 years this means 6 months of school lost.
  • 85% average attendance =15% absence . This means 3 sessions lost per 2 week cycle.
    Over 5 years this means 9 months of school lost
  • 80% average attendance = 20% absence. This means 1 day lost a week
    Over 5 years this means a whole year of school lost

What Does The Law Say?

  • The parent is responsible for ensuring their child receives a full-time education.
  • The parent is responsible for ensuring their child attends school regularly.
  • The Local Education Authority is responsible for making sure that parents fulfill their responsibilities.

When Things Go Wrong A Penalty Notice May Be Issued

  • When a pupil has taken holiday during term time and the absence is not authorised by the academy.
  • Where a pupil is stopped with parents/carers during a truancy sweep and the absence is not authorised by the academy.
  • Where a pupil has missed at least ten sessions (five academy days) due to unauthorised absence during term time.

At Key Stage 4

It is important to know that research shows 17 days lost at KS4 (Years 10 and 11) can make the difference of a grade at GCSE.

  • 17 days = 51 lessons = 5,100 minutes
  • Too much learning lost
  • Unlikely or difficult to catch up
  • Future prospects damaged
  • Number of subjects may have to be reduced