Report an Absence
Absences can be reported via school comms.
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
St Bernard’s High School seeks to ensure excellent school attendance and punctuality so that students can achieve and realise their potential and have full opportunities to be involved in all aspects of school life. We appreciate that your child may be unwell from time to time and that there can be exceptional circumstances for absence but we urge you to think carefully about keeping your child out of school. There is a strong connection between poor attendance and under achievement
WHAT IS GOOD ATTENDANCE?
Attendance percentage needs to be in the high nineties before it can be considered good. We grade attendance as follows:
An attendance target of 95% for all students, and we consider attendance between 95% and 100% as regular school attendance.
100% - Excellent Attendance
98% - Very Good Attendance
95% - Good Attendance
Each year a number of students across all year groups achieve 100% attendance, showing that this is an achievable target. Any absences for students with an attendance percentage of under 90% will not be authorised unless we receive medical evidence.
Consider the following examples:
90% is the equivalent to missing one day per fortnight which equates to missing half a year of education during the course of Years 7-11.
80% is the equivalent to missing one day per week which equates to missing one full year during the course of Years 7-11.
We expect every student to achieve over 95% attendance in the school year. From September 2015, the advice from the Department for Education is that any pupil with less than 90% attendance will be classed as a persistent absentee. Any persistent absentee will be referred to the Educational Welfare Service.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT FROM SCHOOL?
If students are not in school there must be a justifiable reason and parents should report this by telephoning the student absence line before 08.45am on each day of absence on 01702 343583 – for student absence press 1. Absence can also be reported by using the School Gateway App.
If a student is absent without a reason you will receive a text or phone call. This is to ensure that you are aware that your child has not arrived at school.
If your child’s attendance drops below 95% you will receive a letter of concern and we will ask you to contact the school to discuss your child's attendance.
If your child’s attendance drops below 90% you will receive a further letter. It is likely that your child’s absence will be referred to the Educational Welfare Service and there may be statutory action taken.
If your child has more than 10 unauthorised absences in a half-term, you will receive a warning letter from the Educational Welfare Officer and if the situation does not improve you may be fined.
We want to work with you and your child to ensure optimum attendance and will do whatever we can to offer support where it is needed. We are able to refer you to a number of school and external support services that may be able to help.
REQUESTS FOR LEAVE/TERM TIME HOLIDAYS
- Request for leave forms can be collected from the main office. If a parent/carer wishes to make a request the application must be returned to your child’s Head of Year at least four weeks in advance. The application will then be considered by the Headteacher and only in exceptional circumstances will leave of absence be granted.
- As a general rule permission for holidays during term time will not be given. Please do not make travel arrangements before discussing the matter with the school.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CHILD IS PERSISTENTLY LATE FOR SCHOOL?
The school gate closes at 8.45am sharp and students must be in school by this time. Any student arriving after 8.45am will receive a late mark in the register (L). The sanction for being late to school will be the immediate loss of their break time on the day and if more than one late detention is set in the same week, the student will be referred for an afterschool detention.
If your child is going to be late for school you will need to ring the absence line to record their reason for being absent from registration. The School will make the decision on whether the reason left is valid to not issue a late detention for that day. Leaving a message does not excuse your child from being issued a detention.
If a student arrives after the registers close at 9.10am, without an appropriate reason, they will be recorded as an unauthorised absence (U).
Please contact the school's Attendance Officer, or the appropriate Head of Year, if you have concerns regarding your child’s attendance or want to discuss your particular situation.
HEADS OF YEAR ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Year 7 – Mr G Pritchard
Year 8 - Ms C Campbell
Year 9 – Miss S Hill
Year 10 – Miss O Donnell
Year 11 – Mrs S Alexander
Year 12 & 13 – Ms S Jackson
Appointments for doctor, hospital and dentist, etc. should be avoided during the school day and made during the school holidays or weekends. We do, nevertheless, understand that this is sometimes unavoidable.
Many available appointment times mean that students can attend school first and return afterwards, meaning that they minimise missed lessons as well as keeping their attendance levels as high as possible.
Therefore, we would ask that families send their child into school for the morning registration, even if they have a medical appointment in the middle of the morning. We also encourage students to return to school after their appointment wherever possible or to schedule appointments for as late as possible in the afternoon.
Should an appointment only be available during school time, pupils will only be allowed to leave the school premises if the school has received proof of an appointment, alongside a completed Medical Leave of Absence Form. Failure to provide evidence will mean the absence is recorded as unauthorised.
- The school has an appointed Attendance Officer who monitors attendance and punctuality and raises any concerns with Heads of Year and Local Authorities Welfare Office. The Attendance Officer can recommend legal action should it be deemed necessary.
- The school has an automated service which parents/carers can leave a message on either the School Gateway App or the Student absence line.