Attendance & Punctuality

The mission of The Holy Cross School is that our students “may live life to the full and joyfully share this with others”.  As a school dedicated to inclusivity, we wish to ensure that every child receives her full entitlement and that no-one is disadvantaged.  In order to accomplish this mission we recognise that it is vital that children attend school at all times, unless there is a serious reason which prevents them.  We recognise that for the majority of our students, good attendance is a well established habit; however it is crucial that parents understand clearly their responsibilities for their child’s attendance.  The Holy Cross School works in partnership with parents/carers and in promoting and encouraging 100% attendance and punctuality.

Good attendance is essential to success in school.

Example of impact of absence:

  • 90% attendance = ½ day missed each week
  • 1 year at 90% = 4 whole weeks of missed lessons
  • 90% attendance over 5 years = half a school year missed

Parents/Carers’ Responsibilities

  • To ensure regular attendance at school
  • To ensure that their children arrive at school by 8.30am for registration at 8.40am, properly dressed and equipped ready to learn
  • To inform the school by 9am, either by phone or email on the first day of absence if their child will not be present
  • To provide adequate reason/proof if their child has been absent (either via note/text/email).  If the student has been absent more than 3 days, parents/carers will need to provide medical evidence.

School’s Responsibilities

  • To alert parents/carers if a child is not present at morning or period 1 registration
  • To inform parents/carers of their child’s percentage attendance on all reports
  • To inform parents/carers if their child’s attendance is a cause for concern and to provide support and intervention
  • Recognise good attendance
  • Only the school may decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised
  • To liaise with and facilitate the work of the EWO in cases of irregular attendance
  • Will notify parents/carers if a student has persistently poor attendance (below 90%), or who are consistently late arriving to school (Directors of Year will issue detention for persistent tardiness).

Extended Leave of Absence from School

Headteachers are no longer able to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a holiday in term time.  Headteachers must not grant leave of absence in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

“Leave” in relation to a school means leave granted by the Head of School or Deputy Headteacher. A request by parents for extended Leave of Absence should be exceptional.  The school has a formal procedure whereby parents/carers must apply for permission to authorise a term-time absence in advance. Permission will not be granted after the absence has been taken.  All requests should be made in writing by using a designated ‘school’ standard form obtained from the School Office. All decisions are recorded and parents/carers informed immediately.  The school is committed to a policy to minimise unavoidable absence from school during term time. School does not expect children to take leave of absence or a holiday during term time.

Leave of absence must be discussed and agreed with the Head of School/ Deputy Headteacher before leave is taken. In cases where leave is taken without permission or when the school is informed after the event, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised absence (G).

The Head of School/Deputy Headteacher will not authorise any leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances; factors such as previous attendance records (90% or higher), limited authorised absences and proximity to exams will be considered.  LOA is not permitted during examination sessions.

School Lateness Policy

Poor punctuality is not acceptable as it forms bad habits for working life and disadvantages students.  If a student is late for Registration, tutors will record the number of minutes late in SchoolPod.  Pupils arriving after 8.45am will receive a ‘L’ (late) code. Students should report to the School Office to sign the Late Book with the time and reason for their late arrival to school.  Any genuine reason for lateness must be supported by a parental note, text or email. A student who is regularly late for school will receive an after-school detention, and if lateness is persistent they will be expected to “recoup” the missing learning minutes after school and their punctuality will be closely monitored by the Tutor, DOY and SLT; they may also have to serve a Saturday Morning detention.  The school recognises that poor punctuality may constitute a reluctance to attend school and therefore will work with parents and students to resolve any social-emotional issues.

Persistent Absenteesim (PA)

A student becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they fall below 90% attendance at any time in the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parent’s fullest support and cooperation to tackle this. We monitor all absences thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached or is at risk of moving towards the PA mark is given priority. PA students are tracked and monitored carefully through our tracking procedures. All PA cases are also automatically dealt with by the Director of Year and the Inclusion Co-ordinator. AHT may become involved if the situation persists.  Parents are expected to contact the school at an early stage if their child is experiencing difficulty in attending school and to work with the staff in resolving the problems together.

 Tracking Procedure

The DOY, in discussion with the AHT, monitors students’ progress in attendance and the tracking procedure can be classified as follows:

  • Stage 1: 97% and above
  • Stage 2: 95%-96.9% (risk of underachievement)
  • Stage 3: 93% – 94.9% (serious risk of underachievement)
  • Stage 4: less than 93% (severe risk of underachievement)

If a student’s attendance falls below 90%, a letter will be sent home requesting the parents to contact the DOY/Inclusion Co-ordinator to arrange for an Attendance Support Meeting in order to set up strategies for support and reintegration.  Parents should be aware that failure to facilitate the regular attendance of their child could result in a Penalty Notice from the EWS (Education Welfare Service).