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“Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school”
Department for Education (2022)
The information on this page makes clear to parents/carers Belle Vue Girls’ Academy’s attendance expectations, absence procedures and responses to poor pupil attendance.
The government expects schools to:
- promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence
- ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
- act early to address patterns of absence
The government expects parents to:
- to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly
Excellent attendance at school is extremely important for learning and at BVGA we expect a minimum attendance level of 95%. Students will note their current attendance level weekly in their school planners so parents/carers can keep track of it and support high attendance.
The following reasons for absence are not acceptable:
- care for family members or siblings
- parents’/carers’ work commitments or business trips
- holidays/family visits taken in term time
- parental/carer illness
Medical/Dental Appointments: It is important all non-emergency appointments be arranged outside school hours. Where it is unavoidable to book a medical appointment outside of the school day, we ask that they are made late in the afternoon so that students can access as much of their learning as possible. Medical appointment letters must be provided to enable any absence to be authorised as ‘medical’.
Requests for absence in term-time: Permission from the Headteacher must be sought for all absences that occur during term-time. A ‘request for leave of absence form’ must be completed in advance of the absence taking place (these are available from the school office). Only the Headteacher can decide if the absence is to be authorised or unauthorised. Under current regulations, schools cannot authorise any holidays taken in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. School will require evidence of exceptional circumstances, which should be attached to the ‘request for leave of absence form’ and the judgement about what is exceptional will be made by the Headteacher.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO BRADFORD COUNCIL'S UNAUTHORISED TERM TIME LEAVE ACTION: From 1st April 2023, Bradford Council will utilise the option to start legal proceedings via the magistrates’ court, instead of issuing a penalty notice. This means that parents may be liable to receive a significantly higher fine (up to £2,500 per child, per parent) if found guilty, as well as receive a criminal record, which may be reportable to employers (for example, via a DBS Check). Please read this letter for full details.
Emergency Occasions: There are some occasions e.g., bereavements, family problems, etc. where it may be inappropriate for children to attend school and these cases will be dealt with on an individual basis. Please discuss these circumstances with your child’s Pastoral Manager should they arise.
Punctuality: Please ensure that your child arrives at school no later than 8.20am every day so that they are seated and ready for registration at 8.25am.
Absence and First Day Call: If your child is unable to attend school you should inform us on the first day of absence before 8am by telephone (01274 492341). You will need to state:
- the pupil’s name
- your relationship to the pupil i.e. parent/carer etc.
- the reason for absence.
Parents/carers are required to call each day a student is absent. A member of staff will call you back to discuss the absence every day and ascertain when your child is likely to return to school. If you a not contactable by phone, a home visit will be made.
Response to Poor Attendance
If a students’ attendance falls below 95%, we will work with parents to support the child to improve. Initially, you will be informed in writing that your child is not currently meeting the expected level of attendance and be given time to address the situation. Where no improvement is made, we will request to meet with parents in school to discuss an attendance improvement plan for your child. If there is still no significant improvement, referrals for penalty notice fines and legal prosecutions will be made. These will be administered by Bradford Local Authority.
Penalty Notice Fines: Regular and punctual attendance of students at school is both a legal requirement (Section 7 of the Education Act 1996) and essential for students to maximise the opportunities available to them to reach their full potential. It is parent(s)/carers responsibility to ensure their child/ren receive(s) efficient fulltime education. Where student attendance is poor without good reason, penalty notices and referrals for legal prosecution will be made to the local authority. Please also be aware that new national legislation regarding punctuality comes into force in September and parents can be fined for 6 or more occasions of lateness.
Why is it important?
Missing two weeks of school for a holiday might not seem like very much, but it can have a big effect on your child’s education. For example, if your child misses two weeks of school every year, this adds up to more than two terms over the child’s whole time in school. Making sure your child attends school as much as possible means:
- Your child will have the same education and opportunities as everyone else in the class
- You won’t need to worry about catching up on work, or that your child might fall behind because of missing an important lesson
- Your child won’t miss out on activities at the start and end of term, which are often a chance to develop friendships
- Children who have time off school are more likely to suffer from anxiety and can also be a greater safeguarding risk
Our team of Pastoral Managers are on hand to support students and families:
- Year 7 – Miss Bibi
- Year 8 – Miss Naz
- Year 9 – Mrs Palmer
- Year 10 – Mr Mitchell
- Year 11 – Mrs Kausir
- Year 12&13 – Mrs Mahmood
Additionally, our Lead Attendance Manager (Mrs Aziz) will work with families to ensure attendance expectations are met.