Our attendance target of 96% is the minimum that we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive effect on student’s examinations and their futures.
What to do if your child is ill:
If your child is too ill to attend school, parents/carers should contact the school Attendance Office as soon as possible by telephone on 033 332 390 80. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message 24 hours a day.
Please give your child’s name, year group, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent. Please be aware if your child is absent from the school a member of the attendance team may carry out a home visit.
On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers complete an absence slip at the back of the student’s planner. The student should hand the slip in to their VMG tutor.
What to do if your child has an appointment:
We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, we require notification in advance. Please telephone, email or provide a note from home or appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment.
In most cases, your child should attend school before the appointment and return to school afterwards wherever possible. In most cases the school will only authorise half a day for an appointment. They should bring a note from home to the front reception desk when it is time for them to sign out. They should sign back in at the front reception desk on their return.
Automated calls to parents/carers:
We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and automated calls are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers if a student is absent from Period 1 (8.45am to 9.45am), where the Attendance Office has received no reason for absence. Calls are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you.
NOTE: Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending registration on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up to date contact numbers.
All students are expected to arrive on time at school, ready for lessons. Students should arrive for 8.35am. The first bell goes at 8.40am. Students are expected to be at their first lesson by 8.45am ready to start learning.
Any student arriving late must sign in at main reception. After 8.45am, students will be marked as late and will receive a C4 detention for the next available day, this will usually be the following day. Parents/carers will receive notification of this via the C4 detention sticker in their child’s planner. We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.
Holidays in Term Time:
The Government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education.
Whilst we understand the difficulties parents/carers may have in organising holidays during the school holidays and the benefits to be had from cheaper term-time holidays, this type of absence is detrimental to a child’s education:
· lessons and enrichment activities are missed,
· continuity of project work is lost,
· the class is disrupted and other children may suffer as a result of teachers having to go over work again for the benefit of absent students,
· teachers cannot be expected to offer additional opportunities for catch-up work or extra tuition on a child’s return from holiday.
There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true. Parents are entitled to request leave of absence from the school.
Any request should be made well in advance and in writing. We will consider all requests individually, although family holidays will only be authorised in the most exceptional circumstances.
Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. This is a fine of £60 per parent for each child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 per parent for each child if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Leave of Absence for Other Reasons:
Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, etc. If parents/carers wish their child(ren) to be absent for other reasons, such as compassionate leave, special family events, or to participate in sporting or musical competitions, etc., application should be made in writing, in advance where possible, or by telephone/email to the Attendance Office.