Schools are required to maintain 95% attendance and above. As of September 2015 Local Authorities and their relevant Education Welfare Officers (EWO) are now paying particular attention to those students whose attendance falls below 90%.
Reasons for this decrease could include genuine illness but in some instances it can and does include holidays taken during term time. In consultation with Walsall Local Authority, our school EWO and our chair of Governors we have taken the decision to move in line with our fellow Walsall schools, both Primary and Secondary, and exercise the option to fine parents/carers via Walsall L.A. who remove their child(ren) from school for any unauthorised period of time e.g. holidays. This will be with immediate effect. We are aware that this situation does not apply to the majority of parents/carers whose children attend regularly and experience very little if any absence and if so only for genuine reasons of illness.
We are also acutely aware of the significant cost brought to bear on families should holidays be taken during school holidays. However, we are also acutely aware of the impact on children’s learning in terms of their attainment, progress and future prospects should time be lost from school for any sustained period of time. Below is a brief outline of the potential impact absence can have on your child’s education.
- 1 day off per school year = 99.5% attendance
- 10 days off per school year = 94.7% attendance
- 20 days off per school year = 90% attendance
- 17 days of absence = 1 GCSE grade dropped (on average)
This means that if you are on the border of a grade D-C, B-A, A-A* and you only have 95% attendance, then your grades could be pulled down just because you did not attend school. We appreciate you may have certain, for example – how much does a fine equate to? How is it issued and by whom? To discuss these matters further please contact Mrs B Plummer our Pupil Support Officer. Alternatively please refer to information regarding attendance and punctuality found on our website, or refer directly to Walsall L A – 01902 650000.