4 January 2022
Attendance and punctuality at SJP
At SJP, we value the support and cooperation that we receive from our parents in ensuring that our students fulfil their potential. As you are aware, parents are responsible for ensuring full time, regular and punctual attendance of their child, who is of compulsory school age, suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special needs they may have at school or otherwise. Regular and punctual attendance of students at school is both a legal requirement and essential for students to maximise their educational opportunities.
Whilst it is inevitable that students will be ill from time to time, repeated absence can have a significant and negative impact on students’ learning and progress. I also recognise that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and the challenges this poses, so please be assured that our aim is always to support families. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the strategies that were introduced last year to manage students’ absences.
Medical evidence - We may request medical evidence from you if your child is absent for a period of time, or when their attendance falls lower than 90%. The DfE calls this ‘persistent absence’. Medical evidence may take the form of a copy of a prescription, a doctor’s letter, or similar.
Back to school - Once a student is back at school, we will conduct a short meeting with them and one of the pastoral team (either HOL or LC). This will enable us to look at any work they have missed so that class teachers can ensure they can catch up. We know that this is a worry for many students when they return (even after a short absence); hopefully this will ensure a smooth transition back into lessons.
Medical appointments – We expect students to have routine medical appointments outside of school hours. While we recognise that it can be very difficult to schedule medical appointments outside of school hours, I would again ask you to always attempt to do so. We would expect students to return to school after the appointment, and to attend before it, unless there is a good reason why this cannot be so.
Holidays - Again, I draw your attention to the fact that authorised holidays in term time are subject to them being noted as exceptional circumstances – ‘rare/significant/unavoidable/short/cannot be scheduled at another time‘. In general, term time holidays will not be authorised. The form for holiday requests can be found on the website (it will only be accepted in this format, although you can add additional information separately if you wish) and should be handed in to the main office at least two weeks prior to the date requested.
Please be aware that parents of students who take unauthorised holidays, or those whose attendance falls below the required 90% are at risk of receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice. Further information can be found on the Wirral Council website, the College Parental Handbook and the attendance policy on the College website:
A child who is absent one day of school per week misses an equivalent of two years of their school life; 90% of young people with absence rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades at GCSE, and around one third of this cohort achieve no GCSEs at all.
As always, we seek your support to ensure that students attend school when they are well, and return to school as soon as possible after an illness with a note in their planner to explain the absence.
Punctuality - In order to maximise learning, it is important that all students arrive at school and to lessons on time. However, some students are unacceptably late and arrive after the lesson has begun, disrupting the lesson and the learning of students who were on time.
As you would expect, we are taking measures to address this. We expect our students to arrive on time. From Tuesday 18 January 2022, if a student is late to school, they will be issued a detention that night with a Senior Leader. The detention will be for 30 minutes. Should a student fail to attend this detention, it will be repeated the following day and last for 1 hour. We will, as always, endeavour to let you know if this applies to your child via school text so that you know to expect them home later than normal from school.
Further information can be found on the government website – school discipline section at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/school-discipline-exclusions
Thank you for your continued support in your child’s education.
Ms Maria Sharratt