At Bassingbourn Village College we aim to provide the highest quality educational opportunities for your child. We believe regular and punctual attendance is essential for effective learning, if our students are to make the most of the education experience available to them. In our experience, absence from school leads to gaps in learning, missed preparation for assessments and lack of continuity leading to underachievement.
Research has shown that regular attendance and good punctuality are crucial factors in students achieving their full potential at school. Achievement at GCSE is directly related to attendance. On average an attendance of less than 50% reduces the chance of achieving 5+ A*-C passes to less than 3%, between 80-90% then they have a 35% chance, more than 90% then this increases to 73%. A child may only have 10 days absence for their attendance to fall to 93% for that academic year. An attendance of 90% is the equivalent of half a day off per week all year. Studies by the Department for Education have also shown that seventeen days missed equates to a drop in one GCSE grade in achievement. If your child has an attendance of 90% this is the equivalent to half a day of school missed every week of the year, or four whole weeks. Over a child’s time at the school this would mean that they would miss half a school year. All of this time is valuable learning time that cannot be easily recovered once missed.
We wish to work in partnership with Parents/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/Carers in resolving any difficulties but we are also committed to improving attendance levels at school.
The target attendance figure for all students is 100% attendance. A copy of our attendance policy can be found on our Policies page: https://bassingbournvc.net/parents/policies/
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 Bassingbourn Village College:
- Ensure your child comes to school every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Students should arrive to school at 8:50 ready for lessons which start at 8:55. Students arriving 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 that truancy or attendance difficulties are quickly identified.
- If your child is ill, contact the school (01763 242344) or email email@example.com on each and every day of absence, before 8.15am, (if your child has poor attendance or has been off school for more than 5 school days then we may ask for evidence of illness in the form of a note from your GP).
- If your child’s attendance falls below 96.9% then you will automatically receive a letter raising a concern and letting you know that their attendance is being monitored. If their attendance continues to fall then medical evidence may be required.
- 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 will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record. High levels of unauthorized absence will result in a referral to the Education Welfare Service and the possibility of being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
- Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of school time. It is accepted that Orthodontist and Hospital appointments are less flexible.
- There is no legal entitlement or right to take a child out of school for the purposes of a term time holiday. In accordance with the national policy leave of absence will not be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. This will be determined by the Principal on a case by case basis and all requests must be made in writing two weeks in advance of the student being taken out of school. Parents should be made aware that unauthorised leave of absence may lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Service which may result in a Penalty Fine, or legal proceedings in the Magistrates Court.Penalty notices will be issued by the Local Authority for single event absences of at least 3 consecutive school days or more where absences are unauthorised because they are neither exceptional nor unavoidable.
Exceptional circumstances which mean the school is likely to grant a leave of absence include:
- When a family needs to spend time together because of an immediate family bereavement, crisis or serious illness
- Funeral of immediate family member
- Religious observance
- Transport was not provided by the LA when it should have been
- Children of service personnel about to go on deployment (permission would be considered as long as the request is accompanied by a letter from the Commanding Officer)
- One day of absence could be authorised for a wedding of an immediate family member and the invitation has been provided as evidence
- One off sporting events/performing arts competitions, if the child is participating and is at county standard or above and a letter has been provided from the performing arts/sports regional governing body as evidence
- One day of absence could be authorised for an immediate family members graduation ceremony/passing out parade
- Medical appointments (please arrange non-urgent medical appointments outside of school hours when possible. If the medical appointment is during the school day, evidence must be provided. Schools should not authorise a whole days absence for a medical appointment that occurs in the morning – the child would be expected to return to school in the afternoon, and vice versa.
Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as the following:
- To care for other family members
- To interpret for other family members
- No school uniform/shoes
- Friendship problems
- Head lice
- Learning difficulties
- Family holiday
- Weddings abroad – regardless of whether it is for immediate family members
- Family Anniversaries
- Death of a pet
- Travel problems
- School refusal
- Contact your child’s Mentor or College Achievement Leader if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into school. There are many methods by which we can support your child overcome any issues with attendance – most commonly we would look at completing a Common Assessment Framework (CAF).
Each request will be considered on an individual basis and should be requested in writing to the Principal, Ms Poulter.
Thank you for working in partnership with us to achieve the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality at Bassingbourn Village College. I hope you will support us in ensuring your child does not miss school unless absolutely necessary and is making the most of every learning experience.
Ms V Poulter, Principal
Link to : Cambridgeshire County Council website for more information on term time absence and attendance.
Link to : Cambridgeshire County Council – Raising the participation age.
Cambridgeshire County Council document: 7.3 – Absence from School for Exceptional Circumstances Guidance – September 2018 (3)