Attendance & Punctuality
At Greatfields we are committed to ensuring the best for all our students. We do this by working closely with parents and carers to support good attendance of students at school.
Good school attendance improves a young person’s chance of success in life and helps establish positive attitudes to life-long learning. There is clear evidence between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement. Only 35% pupils who have less than 90% attendance achieve five or more good GCSEs, but 73% of pupils who have an attendance of 95% or more will achieve this.
If a child has an attendance level of 90% they will have missed one day a fortnight in school. Over a school year, this will represent four weeks of absence. If this level of absence were maintained for, a five-year period, it would mean half a school year would have been missed.
At Greatfields school if we are concerned about your child’s attendance we will go through the following stages:
Stage 1 – attendance below 95% – Head of Year will write to you with our initial concerns.
Stage 2 – attendance below 90% – we will invite you into school for a meeting with one of our Pastoral team to discuss ways we can support you and your child’s attendance.
Stage 3 – attendance below 85% – we will invite you to a formal meeting with the borough attendance officer where you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice, a parenting order or told that formal proceedings for prosecution (court warning letter) will be taken resulting in a fine of £1,000 and a criminal record.
As you receive your child’s attendance on every school report, if you notice that the attendance record is incorrect, please do call us and we will happily make any necessary changes.
At Greatfields, we are determined to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to achieve success and have an excellent record of attendance. Where there is a cause for concern you will be contacted and attendance will be closely monitored. If attendance does not improve because of support, we are required by law to take further actions (as outlined above).
Please also note that the school is required by law to apply directly for a penalty notice in two situations (not using stage 1-3 outlined above):
- If you take an unauthorised holiday of 5 days or more
- If you have 5 days of unauthorised absence in a 12-week period
Please note that penalty fines are payable by both parents and for each child in the school.
It is also important that students are in school on time each day. Timekeeping is not only important in obtaining maximum benefit from education, it is also a key skill for adult life. Lateness is monitored by the school and also contributes to absence rates. The school is also entitled to take action (as outlined above) against students who are persistently late to school.
Whilst we understand that children do become ill on occasions, children who lose a lot of time at school can suffer in the long term from significant gaps in their learning. If your child is ill, it is your responsibility to inform the school on the day of your child’s absence. Greatfields operates a ‘two call’ system which means the office will make contact with you to ask why your child is not in school and when they are expected to return. On the second call, someone from the Pastoral team will check in for an update for the next school day. We require medical evidence for any illness of longer than 3 days. Without this medical note, we will not be able to authorise the absence and you may then be liable for a penalty notice.
The attendance process above is designed to identify poor attendees quickly and address the issues that are affecting their attendance. We hope that for most students their attendance will remain above our target of 97.5% and so the processes outlined above will not be necessary. We want our students to be happy and successful in school and we recognise that good attendance is central to this.
- Weekly form attendance award
- Annual form attendance award
- 100% attendance badges termly
- Annual rewards trip
- Invitation to attendance celebration event (most improved attendance)