At Maltby Lilly Hall Academy we believe that high attendance rates are a significant factor in maintaining the quality of education that we provide. If we are to maintain the continuity of education for our pupils and maximise their potential, we must ensure that absenteeism is kept to an absolute minimum.
What is good attendance?
There is sometimes a perception that an attendance rate of 90% is good. This is because an examination score of 90% means excellence. However, as an attendance rate, 90% is unsatisfactory, it equates to missing 20 days per year. The whole school attendance target this year is 95.8%.
The impact of attendance on attainment … did you know?
Government research shows students who have less than 90% attendance (20 or more days missed in a year) achieve, on average, a whole level lower than expected in tests. All pupils need to attend to attain. A child is not in school 175 days a year – plenty of time to go shopping, take holidays, visit family or attend routine appointments during this time only. A parent/carer has a legal responsibility to ensure that his/her child attends school regularly. Failure to fulfil this responsibility can lead to prosecution/enforcement.
Why is good attendance important?
- To make new friends
- To learn and enjoy new experiences
- To develop skills that you will need in later life
- To take part in a wide range of activities in and outside of school
- To learn how to look after themselves and encourage independence
- To feel safe and listened to
- To make a positive contribution to the MLHA community
How can a Parent/Carer Help?
- Tell your child how important school is
- Praise your child for working hard and attending school
- Organise non-urgent medical appointments outside of school time
- Check that your child is organised for school (with a bag to carry their things)
- Make sure your child has a good night’s sleep and wakes up in good time for the school day arriving at least 5 minutes before the start of school.
- Take time to talk to your child about what they have done in school
- Contact the school at the first opportunity if your child is genuinely ill or unable to attend
- Talk to someone at the school if there is a problem or reason why your child finds it difficult to attend regularly
Taking students out of school for holidays is not acceptable. 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. There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days holiday per year. This is not true. From September 2013, government guidelines advise that no absence should be authorised in advance except when due to ‘exceptional circumstances’. Bereavement and life threatening illness are considered to be exceptional circumstances. The school responds to all leave of absence requests with a letter to inform parents/carers of the school’s decision. If you take your child out of school for a holiday, this will be unauthorised and you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
*This policy is to be read in conjunction with the ‘Maltby Learning Community Attendance Policy’.