• Abbey College, Abbey Road, Hollow Lane, Ramsey Cambridgeshire PE26 1DG

Attendance Matters

Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success, both in school and in life. When you make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better chance of achieving their full potential.

Students who attend school regularly also feel more connected to their community, develop important social skills and friendships, and are significantly more likely to leave school with good qualifications, setting them up for a strong future.

The target attendance figure for all students is a minimum of 96% attendance.  96-100% is the ‘Excellent Attendance’ group.

At 96% attendance – 73% of students achieve five good grades at GCSE (9-4) including English and Maths, however even at 96% attendance a student would have missed 45 hours of learning.

19 days off per school year means that a pupil has approx. 90% attendance. At 90 % attendance your child will have missed 97 lessons in one year! If this trend went throughout the 5 years a child is at secondary school, this would equate to half a year of missing school time in total.

The research shows that for every 17 days missed from school a child is likely to drop one GCSE grade in EVERY subject. Only 35% of those with attendance between 80-90% will achieve five good grades (9-4) at GCSE including English and Maths.

We wish to work in partnership with parents and carers and so are seeking your full support in ensuring that your child attends school every day and on time. We are always pleased to work together with parents and carers in resolving any difficulties as we are committed to improving attendance levels at school. 

We offer a large range of rewards for students who have good attendance.

Your child can see their attendance percentage by checking the Attendance Notice Boards.  You and your child can also see your child’s attendance percentage by checking www.Go4Schools.com. Your child will discuss his or her attendance weekly with their Form Tutor.

If your child is absent for any reason we expect them to check up on and complete the classwork and homework for that period of time.  The Form Tutor will discuss this with your child and may also call you at home if the attendance has fallen further, to discuss how to ensure your child does not fall behind his or her peers.

Please note this important information which will help you work with us to ensure that your child has the very best chance of success at Abbey College:

  • Ensure your child comes to school every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn.  Students should be sat down ready to learn by 8.40am, when Lesson 1 begins. Students should be in the building by 8.35am. Students arriving very late will be marked absent and will require an explanatory note or the absence will remain unauthorised.
  • Ensure the school has up to date addresses and telephone numbers. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the school. This ensures your child’s safety and any truancy is quickly identified.

Key Points for Information

  • Students should attend school for 190 days per year.
  • If your child is ill, contact the school on each day of absence, before 8.40am.
    **Please note Abbey College does not operate a 48 hour return to school policy following an illness/sickness bug.  Your child should return to school at the earliest opportunity**
  • If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You must to provide medical certificates or evidence of appointments if you wish us to consider them, or if your child has a poor attendance record.
  • Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of school time.
  • Holidays should not be taken in school time (please see the case below). 
  • We will on occasion need to send you letters to let you know about potential effects of your child’s attendance, should it drop below 96%.  In each of these letters there is specific legal wording which has to be used.  Please respond to letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality as required by the content of the letter or if you wish to discuss the impact of attendance further. 
  • Contact the Attendance Team if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into school.
  • All requests for leave of absence in term time must be made in writing on the leave of absence request form at least two weeks in advance of the required date (see Leave of Absence below).
  • As a parent or carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to achieve the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality at Abbey College.

Court Case and the Law

In April 2017 the Supreme Court upheld the ban on parents taking their children out of school for family holidays during term time. We have been advised by the Local Authority they will be reverting back to their original code of conduct and will be issuing Penalty Notice Fines.

Delivering the judgment, the deputy president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said: “Unauthorised absences have a disruptive effect, not only on the education of the individual child but also on the work of other pupils.

“If one pupil can be taken out whenever it suits the parent, then so can others ... Any educational system expects people to keep the rules. Not to do so is unfair to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the costs or inconvenience to themselves.”

Penalty Notice fines for unauthorised term time leave / holiday - updates

From 1 September 2013, the Department of Education changed the regulations regarding requests for family holidays during term time.  The changes to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 mean there is no legal entitlement for parents to take their children on holiday during term time.  The new regulations also make it clear that Head Teachers may not authorise leave during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Head Teachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.

The Local Authority have amended their Penalty Notice code of conduct to take into account the Supreme Court Judgement (Isle of Wight v John Platt) which clarified the meaning of “regular” school attendance as outlined in Section 444 Education Act 1996. Abbey College expect attendance at school to be 100%, unless there are exceptional or unavoidable reasons for absence, which would then be authorised.

In light of this judgement, the Local Authority have removed the criterion of “historical holiday taken” as one of the criteria used to issue a Penalty Notice. 

In short, the change is that the Local Authority will now accept requests for Penalty Notices to be issued for single event absences of at least 3 consecutive school days or more where these absences are unauthorised because they are neither exceptional nor unavoidable. This took effect from 1st September 2017.

Attendance Support Files