Attendance

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Good attendance is expected for all students at St Bede’s. Below is a summary of  guidance from the full attendance policy which can be found at the bottom of this page. For more information about Penalty Notices - please see the section below.

Reporting absence

What to do if your child is ill

If your child is too ill to attend school, parents/carers should contact the School’s Attendance Officer as soon as possible. In line with current COVID-19 legislation there are some circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - please click here for 'Living with COVID-19' information.

If your child is too ill to attend school, parents/carers should contact the school’s Attendance Officer as soon as possible.

In your message please ensure you give:

  • your child's name and 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 by 9.30am.)

Please note that a child who has been sick or had diarrhoea should not return to school until 48hrs after the symptoms have stopped.

On your child's return following an absence, we request that parents/carers write a brief note explaining the absence, if it has not already been reported via email or Insight. The student should hand the note in at the SIMS office or to his/her tutor.

Calls to parents/carers

We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously. Please note:

  • Parents/carers are required to notify school every day that your child is absent.
  • The Attendance Officer will call parents/carers each day if a child is not present in Period 1 (9.00-10.00am) and we have not received a notification. 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. 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 details.

Please read important information about Penalty Notices below.

Surrey guidance on attendance can also be found on the following website http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/at-school/absences-from-school

Attendance guidance for parents/carers

Attendance guidance for parents/carers

Raise your child's attendance - Raise their chances!

At St Bede's excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting good attitudes in attendance. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially. We ask for support from parents/carers to:

  • Ensure that their children are present every day (100%)
  • Arrive on time
  • Avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily
  • Avoid taking them out of school without authorisation. 

We monitor attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone or by letter. The Department for Education's threshold at which a student is defined as 'persistently absent' is 10%. Where a student's attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact you to discuss ways in which the school can support you and your child.

The school 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 impact on attainment and progress.

Punctuality

All students are expected to arrive to school on time and be ready and punctual to lessons. This is a minimum expectation. Students are expected to be in registration by 8.35am ready to start learning. After 8.45am, students will be marked as late. If a pupil arrives after 9.15am they will be marked as unauthorised absent. Afternoon registration opens at the start of Period 4. 

  • Afternoon registration in Year 7, 8 and 9 starts at 1.00pm and closes at 1.10PM.
  • Afternoon registration in Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 starts at 12.20pm and closes at 12.30pm.

Any student arriving late must sign in at the SIMS Office and persistent lateness will result in a sanction in line with the behaviour policy. We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.

What to do if your child has an appointment

What to do if your child has an appointment

We ask that, where possible, you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time. 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 the school afterwards wherever possible. Students should bring a note from home (if not previously reported by email or Insight) to the SIMS Office when it is time for them to sign out and sign back in on their return.

Leave of absence in term time

The Government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family unauthorised leave of absences as this will disrupt their education. Whilst we understand the difficulties parents/carers may have in organising unauthorised leave of absences during the school unauthorised leave of absences and the benefits to be had from cheaper term-time unauthorised leave of absences, this type of absence is detrimental to a child's education.

There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days unauthorised leave of absence per year. This is not true.

Any request should be made two weeks in advance and by completing the 'Application for leave of absence form' at the bottom of this page and returning it to Mr Blount, Assistant Head. We will consider all requests individually, although family unauthorised leave of absences will only be authorised in the most exceptional circumstances. Where a parental request has been refused and parents/carers continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. The school responds to all unauthorised leave of absence requests with a letter to inform parents/carers of the school's decision. Please contact the Headteacher in the first instance with any queries.

Changing schools

Anyone choosing to remove their child from St Bede's School must inform the Headteacher in writing as soon as possible giving the following details:

  • the dates the student will be leaving St Bede’s and starting at the new school
  • the name and address of the new school, if known
  • the home address.

Penalty Notices

Penalty Notices

In line with current COVID-19 legislation there are some circumstances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and these are detailed in this document.

The Education Welfare Service, acting on behalf of Surrey County Council may issue a Penalty Notice as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child's unauthorised absence from school and requires the recipient to pay a fixed amount.

The amount payable on issue of a Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If the Penalty Notice is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority must prosecute the parent / carer for failing to ensure regular school attendance under Section 444 Education Act 1996.

Circumstances when Penalty Notices may be issued

A Penalty Notice may be issued to parents/carers who are failing to secure their child's regular school attendance and are failing to engage with supportive measures to improve attendance proposed by the school or Inclusion Officer (formerly Education Welfare Officer).

1. Where a child is taken out of school for an unauthorised leave of absence during term time for 10 sessions or more without the authority of the Head teacher/Assistant Head, each parent is liable to receive a penalty notice for each child. In these circumstances, a warning will not be given where it can be shown that parents had previously been warned that such absences would not be authorised and that they will be liable to receive a Penalty Notice if they persist in taking the unauthorised leave of absence.

2. This also includes pupils identified by police and Inclusion Officer engaged on Truancy Patrols and who have incurred unauthorised absences.

3. Schools may also request the issue of a Penalty Notice where attendance has fallen below 90% and there are no less than 7 unauthorised sessions during the preceding 6 school weeks. The parents' failure to engage with supportive measures proposed by the school or Inclusion Officer will be a factor when considering the issue of a Penalty Notice. Unauthorised absence will include late arrival after the close of registration without good reason.

With the exception of unauthorised holidays taken in term time, parents will be sent a formal warning of their liability to receive such a notice before it is issued.

In all cases, Penalty Notices are issued per parent/carer, per child, per absence so a family of two parents and two children will receive four penalty notices.

Further information and guidance documentation is available at the school.

Punctuality

Punctuality

All students are expected to arrive to school on time and be ready and punctual to lessons. This is a minimum expectation. Students are expected to be in registration by 8.35am ready to start learning. After 8.45am, students will be marked as late. If a pupil arrives after 9.15am they will be marked as unauthorised absent. Afternoon registration opens at the start of Period 4. 

  • Afternoon registration in Year 7, 8 and 9 starts at 1.00pm and closes at 1.10PM.
  • Afternoon registration in Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 starts at 12.20pm and closes at 12.30pm.

Any student arriving late must sign in at the SIMS Office and persistent lateness will result in a sanction in line with the behaviour policy. We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.