Attendance Matters at Treviglas academy

While we have a fantastic number of students at Treviglas who achieve 100% attendance and are 100% punctual, there are too many students who fall into what is known as the ‘persistent absence’ category. The levels of attendance for these students must improve. Form Tutors, Heads of House, our Educational Welfare Officer and Assistant Headteacher with overview for attendance, are here to support improved attendance. We will make contact when attendance dips below 95% as this is a cause for concern. If you need to discuss any issues related to attendance, please do get in touch with us.  

As the attached guidance states, there is a direct correlation between attendance at school, progress, wellbeing and exam results. The government target of 97% is fixed at this for a reason, to enable students to achieve their best. 

Attendance at Treviglas

Treviglas Academy believes that attendance is a significant factor in enabling students to achieve their full potential. If students do not attend school regularly, they may not be able to keep up with school work.

The government target for attendance is 97% and it is important that students achieve this target. Therefore as parents, ensure your child understands that you do not approve of them missing school and consider carefully the impact that a holiday in term time could have upon their education.

We request that parents/guardians:

  • work with us to ensure their child’s attendance is the best it can possibly be and attend meetings if and when needed

  • ensure that their child arrives at school on time and properly equipped

  • phone the school office before 9.30am every day of absence, giving the reason for the absence and an indication of when the student will be returning to school. If unable to phone in school hours, an answer service will be available outside school hours

  • contact the Tutor or Head of House if the reason for absence is caused by something other than illness: e.g. worry about school work, friendship problems etc

  • understand that Treviglas Academy has to decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised. (Please note that the school cannot now authorise holidays in term time following new Government legislation – unless in exceptional circumstances)

  • support us in only allowing students to be absent for reasons that the school would authorise, e.g. illness, bereavement, emergency dental work etc and not allow students to stay home for reasons that the school would not authorise, e.g. shopping trip, hair appointment, birthday treat, agricultural shows

  • make all routine dental and medical appointments out of school hours or in the holidays

  • if a period of absence is requested, contact the Headteacher in advance, stating the reason. County guidance states that this should only be agreed in exceptional circumstances. This request will be discussed with Governors, who reserve the right to remove the pupil from the school’s roll if they do not attend the school for more than two weeks

  • become aware of dates of all relevant external exams e.g. GCSEs, Module Tests and assessment weeks. Parents can obtain this information by contacting the school

Treviglas recognises the importance of good attendance in developing conscientious students with the ability to achieve their potential.

We monitor students’ attendance on a daily basis, both attendance at school and at individual lessons. We use a sophisticated electronic monitoring system to ensure students are in lessons and on time.

We have dedicated staff to support students with attendance issues and in fostering a strong relationship with students, parents and the local authority.

Evidence suggests that attendance below 95% can significantly affect and result in a drop in examination results.

Strategies we use to improve attendance:

  • have a whole school approach to improving attendance

  • produce and scrutinise weekly monitoring sheet of those students below 90%

  • reward good attendance by individuals and groups of students through the house point system, letters home, assemblies and weekly competitions

  • tutor group prizes for best attendance

  • have calendared Attendance Weeks to raise the profile of attendance with students and parents

  • maintain regular contact with parents, especially when attendance falls below 95%

  • ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities for attendance and follow the guidelines set out in the school’s attendance policy

  • punish students who are repeatedly late for sessions without good reason.

  • set up truancy sweeps

  • use the electronic registration system effectively to monitor attendance and internal truancy

  • state our policy on the school website

  • publish attendance figures to governors regularly

Illness and Attendance at Treviglas academy – Guidance for Parents and Carers 

Not every illness needs to stop your child from attending school. If you make the decision to keep your child at home you must inform the school on each day of absence before 8.30am, either: 

  • Call 01637 872076 opt 2 then opt 1 to report any absence via the telephone 

  • Email db2@treviglas.cornwall.sch.uk 

  • Text schoolcomms on 01637 820021 

Parents often request guidance on keeping their child at home and we have provided some details here. If you are at all concerned about your son or daughter’s health, always consult a medical professional.  

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There are many common conditions that children suffer from and here are some helpful guidelines in dealing with them: 

Chicken Pox – Children should be kept at home for 5 days from the onset of the rash. 

Tonsillitis – Children can be quite unwell with this, at least for the first 48 hours. Consult your doctor for further guidance. 

Coughs & Colds – A child with a minor cough or cold can attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness they should stay at home and you should seek medical attention. 

Earache- A child with an earache does not normally need to be absent from school. Earaches may be part of the cold virus and can be treated with paracetamol. If the earache is more severe and accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek medical advice. 

Headache – A child with a headache does not normally need to be absent from school. If the headache is more severe and accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek medical advice. 

Rashes – Rashes can be the first sign of an infectious disease. If your child has a rash consult a pharmacist, practise nurse or GP before sending them into school. 

Toothache – School attendance should be maintained until your child can be seen by a dentist.  

Vomiting and/or diarrhoea due to gastroenteritis – Children with these symptoms should be kept at home for 24 hours AFTER their symptoms have gone. If symptoms persist or reoccur medical advice should be sought.  

There is no reason for your child to be absent from school for minor ailments such as: 

  • Athlete’s Foot 

  • Ringworm 

  • Cold Sores 

  • Slapped cheek 

  • Conjunctivitis 

  • Sore throat 

  • Head lice 

  • Period pains 

  • Warts and Verrucae 

You should however, seek treatment for the above ailments.  

Medical appointments should be kept to a minimum and routine appointments/check-ups should be arranged where possible in the holidays. However, we are able to authorise absence for medical or orthodontic treatment when supported by a hospital or surgery appointment letter.

Regular attendance is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable students to fulfil their potential. The attendance pattern for all children is monitored weekly, with the school seeking to work with and actively support parents to ensure regular attendance is maintained.  

The Department for Education has published data on their website that clearly shows the link between attendance and attainment. This illustrates the fact that there will be an impact on your child’s education and exam results if their attendance is not consistently above 95% throughout their school years.  

Each year there are only 190 statutory school days, 380 registration sessions, one each morning and afternoon. This means that there are 175 ‘other’ days of the year for holidays, birthday treats, non-urgent medical and dental appointments! If a child misses a day a week (or equivalent) for his or her entire school career, they will have lost 2 years of the education that their peers will have received. 

 

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Schools are no longer judged solely on their overall attendance figures but also on the number of students who fall into the persistent absence category. From the 1st September 2015 the government reduced the threshold for this category from 15% to 10%. Any student with an attendance below 90% is a persistent absentee.  

Minor ailments, such as a headache or slight cold, are not acceptable reasons for failing to attend school, there are supporting guidelines on this website for parents to access if you are unsure as to whether to send your child to school or keep them at home. Repeated absences may result in the school requiring medical evidence from your doctor’s surgery to enable us to authorise the absence. If a student falls below 90% attendance and has 10 or more sessions (half days) of unauthorised absence in a given period a penalty notice may be issued by the Local Authority. 

Term-time Absences

The Government has decided that in order to reach 97% attendance as a minimum target, absences during term time can only be authorised by the Headteacher if they are taken due to exceptional circumstances – for example, where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical issue or the death or terminal illness of a person close to the family. 

Full guidance can be found at: www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/attendance  and there are associated links on this page which you might find useful. Every case is considered individually and there is no set criteria defining ‘exceptional circumstances’.  The law dictates that each child’s current attendance figure and educational level is considered in each case, and detailed records will be required to be kept so that absence over a child’s time in education can be examined.

Any unauthorised absence due to holidays taken in term time may mean that parents/carers will be receiving a penalty notice.  Under section 444(A) of the Education Act 1996, the Local Authority may issue Penalty Notices to parents of children with unauthorised absences from school.  The fines are issued to each parent, for each child, and are £60 if paid with 21 days, rising to £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days.  Only in very limited circumstances can a Penalty Notice, once issued, be withdrawn.  Failure to pay the fine will result in a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.  Should a child be absent for 5 days or more due to holidays taken in term time, a designated officer of the Education Directorate will issue a penalty notice on behalf of the school.

Thank you for your help and support in securing the very best attendance for your child.