At Workington Academy we are striving to improve students’ attendance. Why?
Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between attendance and achievement. It is common sense that if a student is not in class then he or she is not learning.
What do the attendance figures mean? What is good attendance?
- 90% attendance – is this good? What it means is that the equivalent of half a day of school is missed each week. Would your boss put up with that?
- 90% attendance is about a month of school missed in a year – about 100 lessons!
- 90% attendance over 5 years equates to the loss of approximately half a school year – a massive amount of learning time missed.
90% attendance isn’t so great! The DfES has reported that for every 17 days of school missed per year; a student will drop on average a full GCSE grade. We want to improve attendance so that your child’s achievements will be maximized. Single days or the odd afternoon off school can add up!
At school we can only authorise holidays during term time in truly exceptional circumstances. This is part of a government initiative to improve student outcomes in schools and we are obliged to enforce these rules. Any applications for a holiday in term time must be made in advance. A holiday request form may be obtained from year offices. We will always take individual circumstances into consideration.
At the end of your child’s time at Workington Academy (and sometimes during it), we will be asked for a reference. This may be for a full or part-time job, an apprenticeship, or a course at college or university. We are duty-bound to supply information on punctuality and attendance and it is really important that your child is not disadvantaged because of poor attendance.
Some medical appointments such as a hospital or orthodontist may be unavoidable during the school day. Could you make every effort to schedule doctor, dentist, optician or other appointments out of school hours as far as possible. Obviously there will be times when your child may be far too sick to attend school – you will know if it’s just a sniffle or genuine illness.
What to do if your child is absent from school
- Please ring the Academy on 01900 873926, before 09.30am on every day of your child’s absence. Give your name, your child’s name, form and the reason for the absence.
- A signed and dated confirmation note from a parent or carer must be sent to your child’s form tutor on his or her return. This can be written in the student planner.
- If your child is absent and we have not heard from you, you will receive a text message asking you to ring Mrs Lynn Mumberson our Attendance Officer with the reason for the absence so that we can update your child’s attendance record.
Unauthorised absences carry the risk of prosecution under section 444 or 444 (1A) of The Education Act of 1996. The Department for Education has announced that the figure for persistent absence in the academic year 2015-16 is 10%, i.e. if your child’s attendance falls below 90%. This equates to about 18 days absence. Obviously we do not wish to use legal sanctions to prosecute parents for failing to ensure regular school attendance and will support families who need help, to give your children the best possible life chances.
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance or wish to ask questions about attendance or punctuality procedures then please contact Mrs Mumberson.