Attendance and Absence Reporting
To report a student absent please contact the school on either of the following:
Mrs V Cummings
Attendance Text Message Number:
Failing to do so will result in the Automated Attendance Alert system to activate.
Attendance for Success
The law requires all parents to ensure that their child attends school regularly; however, more importantly than that, students must have excellent attendance in order to get the most from their time at Smithdon.
The only way to experience and take advantage of all the opportunities at Smithdon High School is to attend school – all day, every day!
Additionally, since our students’ learning experience begins from the start of the day’s Form Tutor session at 8.30am, it is vitally important that students arrive at school on time – every day!
Did you know that…
- Attendance below 90% means your child is classed as a Persistent Absentee and this will also have a huge impact on their learning: only 14% of students with attendance of 90% or below will gain five 9-5 grades at GCSE (the standard expected pass rate)?
- Even being just 10 minutes late each day means that your child would lose 33 hours of learning each year?
It is for this reason that we regularly reward good attendance (96% and above) on a half-termly basis and that we monitor attendance at Smithdon daily. We will make contact with you in a timely manner if your child’s attendance or punctuality reduces, in order to work with you and offer support in addressing any concerns and rectifying their attendance levels.
Our initial interventions may simply be a quick, informal conversation directly with your child to check that there are no concerns in-school that are preventing them from attending/arriving on time, or if we need to do anything to support them after a period of illness.
However, for increasing or high levels of absence/lateness there are a series of supportive options we will consider, before following any formal routes to address attendance concerns, as expected by the Local Authority on behalf of the Government and DfE, such as Fast Track to Court proceedings.
For more detailed information regarding our attendance procedures, please see the Parents’ Guide to attendance here:
Smithdon High School - Parents Guide to Attendance
Attend Today: Achieve Tomorrow!
The Department for Education (DfE) makes it very clear that headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence, including term-time holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any absence without this agreement will be classed as unauthorised and would go down on the student’s records.
Unauthorised absences of 9 sessions (4.5 days) will lead to the issuing of a fixed penalty notice (FPN) regardless of the student’s previous attendance record and could even lead to further prosecution. (If authorised, the Headteacher is also able to set a time limit on the leave of absence).
Exceptional circumstances are described as unique or one-off events. They might include family emergencies, a sudden change in circumstances or a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.
Visits from family members, opportunities for discounted holidays or parental working commitments will not constitute exceptional circumstances, but a holiday form must still be submitted to the school in advance of the holiday being taken. Any information received by the school regarding an absence due to a holiday, after the event, will automatically be logged as unauthorised (and may trigger an FPN) regardless of circumstances.
To view the letter to parents regarding Attendance at School and Legal Intervention please click on the link below:
Documents to support this letter can be found below:
Impact of Missed School Days
Aside from the missed chances to build relationships with friends and adults, develop resilience and gain life experiences, the research clearly highlights the impact of absence on on learning and outcomes at the end of a child’s high school education. In literal terms, however, reduced attendance equates to the following days and lessons: