Studies have shown that frequent absence from school can have a serious negative impact on your child’s education.
Students who have 90% attendance think this is good – their parents also think this is good. Unfortunately, 90% attendance is the equivalent of one half-day off every week!
Westlands School expects every student to have at least 96% attendance. We want all our young people to achieve their full potential and to progress into their chosen career. Barriers such as poor attendance will hinder, delay or stop their progress.
Your child should be in school by 8.30am every day as lessons start at 8.35am. Any student arriving at school after 8.35am is deemed late and a detention will be given at lunch-time. If a student arrives after 8.45am when the register closes, this is recorded as an Unauthorised Late and an after-school detention will be issued.
Please can parents try wherever possible to arrange medical appointments outside of school time. If this is not possible then please can we request that students do not take the whole day off. We will also ask that you provide appointment documentation in order for the absence to be authorised.
Last year students lost 965.5 days of the academic year due to medical appointments!
Attendance Reporting for Parents
As a school we have a duty to ensure that all students attend regularly so they achieve their full potential. The School sets a level of 96% attendance for every student, which is endorsed by the Department for Education, Ofsted and the Local Authority.
If a pupil’s attendance drops below 96% it is brought to the attention of the SEAAS Attendance Advisor who supports attendance at Westlands School. They will liaise with you and your child’s Community in order to encourage good attendance.
We normally authorise up to 5 days of absence per academic year, if parents have informed us of a just reason why their child is off. Further absences may be authorised, providing medical documentation is provided to support the reason for absence. If we are not informed of absences, you will be contacted to ascertain the reason why. Unauthorised absence marks will be given for all absences we are not made aware of. We encourage parents to make daily contact to inform us of continued absences.
Parents informing us of an absence due to illness does not automatically guarantee the absence will be authorised. This will be determined by the school, depending on the current attendance levels and whether medical evidence has been provided. We do not require letters from GPs, but any appointment letters and/or cards or prescribed medicine labels will be acceptable.
Last year pupils lost 8,557 days due to illness!
No holidays during term-time will be authorised. We expect parents to notify us if they have booked a holiday, using the Leave of Absence Form. This form will need to be downloaded from the school’s website, completed fully and returned to the Attendance Office at least 3 weeks prior to the holiday taking place. This will then be passed onto the Head of School and you will be contacted by the Attendance Officer with the Head of School’s response. If there are exceptional circumstances the Head Teacher may agree to authorised the absence, but this is very rare.
Penalty Notices will be requested for unauthorised holidays. The fine is £60 per parent, per child to be paid to Kent County Council within 21 days. If this is not paid in the time frame, it will be increased to £120.
There are 190 school days a year - that leaves 175 days for:
- Family holidays
- Shopping trips
- Medical appointments
- Household Jobs
- Visiting family and friends
- etc, etc.
- 5% attendance lost (e.g 95% attendance) = 1 academic grade lost, e.g. 4 to a 3.
- 10% attendance lost (e.g 90% attendance) = 2 academic grades lost, e.g. 4 to a 2.
A 90% attendance from Yr 7 to 11 is the equivalent of missing...
- 100 days, or 20 weeks, or 3 terms, or half a year!