Over the last few years the whole school attendance has improved year on year; it is significantly above the national average for all schools and one of the best in the region. Excellent attendance and punctuality are fundamental for students to be successful at school.
This annual letter is to remind you of the school’s Attendance and Punctuality Policy and how we ensure that students have the best attendance and punctuality record. Research suggests that for every seventeen school days missed a year, a GCSE grade is dropped. Therefore, we believe that the greater the attendance the greater the achievement. An excellent record of attendance and punctuality is one of the first things future employers or educational institutions will ask us about your child at the end of their time at Chesterfield.
From September 2016, we have been running a new Attendance reward scheme. At Chesterfield we have high expectations of our students and have set a target of 97% for attendance. Students whose attendance levels drop below 97% can expect to be subject to monitoring as per our Attendance Policy and Procedures (please see our Graduated Response Attendance Support Programme 2016-17).
Following two or more periods of absence due to illness or if requested for any other reason, parents may be asked to provide medical evidence for any future absence. This may include a doctor’s note, appointment card or a photocopy of a prescription and/or medication box/ bottle (only for short periods; excessive periods will require written confirmation from a Consultant or GP. If students are required to take medicine then this can be brought into school and left at reception. For any absence exceeding 3 days, we will ask parents to provide medical evidence on and after the 3rd day.
As you are aware, in 2013 there were changes in legislation; the government no longer allows schools to authorise family holidays during term time. Leave taken during term due to holidays will not be authorised and parents may be liable to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice. Sefton Council’s Attendance and Welfare Service may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to each Parent/Carer, for each child who is absent from school.
Payment of a penalty within 21 days of receipt of the notice is £60 payment after this time, but within 28 days of receipt of the notice is £120 (The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.) Non- payment of the penalty within the 28 day time limit will trigger the prosecution process under the provisions of section 444 of the 1996 Education Act or section 103 of the 2006 Education Act.
Attendance and Punctuality Procedures are much stricter than in previous years; Chesterfield has reviewed its Attendance Policies and practice in line with changes in Government and Local Authority policies; from September 2015, the government reduced the Persistent absentee (PA) threshold to 10%. Sefton Council also changed their code of conduct; the threshold for unauthorised absence where schools can make a request for a Penalty Notices is 10 sessions and/or 18 sessions over two consecutive terms. Please note that the same criterion applies to late arrival to school (after registration has closed.)
We encourage parents to advise the Student Support Team or Form Tutor of any issues which might prevent excellent attendance or punctuality and to work in partnership with school and other agencies where necessary to improve attendance and punctuality. Please be aware that any absence from school, authorised or unauthorised, will affect your child’s percentage attendance and this could mean that in the future they do not meet the criteria for reward events. Absence should be reported daily by calling 0151 924 6454 before 8.30am.
Mr S Penney Mr K Sexton
Headteacher Deputy Headteacher