Dear Parents & Carers,
As part of our on-going review of processes and procedures for attendance and punctuality, I would like to share our findings and action points with you. Quite recently, you will be aware that our visit from OFSTED have given us a target to work on in relation to both attendance and punctuality:
“Pupils do not attend school regularly enough and too many pupils are late to school in the morning. Leaders know that if pupils do not regularly attend, they will not make the progress that is expected of them. Leaders need to continue to develop strategies to improve attendance and punctuality and embed those actions that are already having an impact.”
Ofsted and we ourselves in school have found three issues we will be continuing to address as we move forwards;
- Overall attendance needs to increase for pupils
- Lateness to school for some students
- Lateness to lessons for some students
The government places a significant importance post-covid on increasing attendance percentages for all pupils nationally. We as a school are absolutely in agreement, the importance of striving for 100% of time in school is the ideal standard. Both we as a school and the government places great importance on high standards and expectations for attendance and communicating these expectations to you as we go forward.
The importance of attendance is vital when achievement and attainment is considered. We are fully aware of the statistics where those who have high levels of attendance reach their best in terms of examination results. If children are absent for long periods or even regularly have days off, this can significantly impact their attendance. We need students to be in each day to drive their own levels of achievement. We will be striving to reward students for continued good attendance and for those who are improving their attendance.
Students whose attendance dips below 90% fall into a category of concern, called Persistent absence. This requires a greater level of monitoring and intervention when required. We have monitoring procedures in school where key staff who know your children well will be looking at all levels of attendance going forward in a focussed way. The team involved will work in a systematic way with those at worrying percentages requiring in-depth consideration. If this applies to you we will write to you separately to explain. Form tutors will continue to keep a close eye on the day to day matters regarding attendance. Along the way we will have support and intervention from external agencies working in partnership with school and we will write to you when we are concerned and when we are acknowledging improvement. If issues persist you will be invited to attend meetings to discuss this formally and unfortunately, if absence issues persist then we will look to seek further external actions via a legal route.
Punctuality to school
A prompt start to the school day is vital for accurate records of attendance, pastoral matters and safeguarding your child in school. Form time is a vital part of the distinctive Catholic nature of our school, it is a time for prayer and reflection, delivery of key intervention strategies to support our student’s wellbeing to name but a few things. Expectations for being punctual are also high on our agenda, our expectations are that students arrive on time for school, the school site is open early and we have breakfast club for students to attend if they so wish. Students should be ready in or at their for room for a prompt 8:40am start to the day. By way of encouragement and support here are the timings for the school day;
|Form time||8.40am – 9.05am|
|Period 1||9.05am – 10.05am|
|Period 2||10.05am – 11.05am|
|Break time||11.05am – 11.25am|
|Period 3||11.25am – 12.25pm|
|Period 4||12.25pm – 1.25pm|
|Lunch time||1.25pm – 2.00pm|
|Period 5||2.00pm – 3.00pm|
Actions on going to drive punctuality improvements are:
- Every child who arrives to their form room after 8.40am will continue to be marked late (using L code).
- The main gate will continue to be locked now in January and students will be brought into school via the side gate and names taken in the dining room.
- Sanctions for this are planned if improvements are not seen.
- Further information on this will be shared soon.
- Staff will be posted clearly on our main route along Darlaston Lane outside of school and will be encouraging swift movement into school to enable them to be punctual. I have been conducting my own research for the last few weeks and walking could be faster I must say.
- If punctuality persists in being an issue then the students causing most concern will be referred to our external attendance officer or the school attendance support team in Walsall.
- Parents will be invited to attend punctuality meetings within school with key members of the Leadership Team on attendance and our Governing Body.
Punctuality to lessons
Our own knowledge of students in and around school tells us that the majority of students are punctual to lessons and are able to immediately engage with their learning, even more so since we have begun a school wide teaching and learning strategy called “do now”. There are however, a small number of students who are not prompt to lessons and this does not allow for a crisp and effective start to each lesson. By being late they are missing learning time and this means achievement can be affected. We will be insistent on high standards here and being on time from lesson to lesson and on the return from break time and lunch time. Actions in the short term are;
- Students will continue to be marked late by teachers to lesson, along with minutes they are late and what reason given (if any).
- Data on lateness to lessons will be analysed and those causing us the most concern will be targeted in the first stage.
- Parents will be alerted to the number of late marks given.
- Sanctions for arriving late to lessons a number of times in one day will be given.
- If punctuality persists in being an issue then our students causing most concern will be referred onwards to specialists working with us.
- If concerns persist parents will be invited to attend punctuality meetings within school with key members of the leadership team on attendance and our governing body.
We are aware that there will be occasions where your child is unwell and this may affect their attendance, however, if in doubt please send them into school and we can assess them through the day and send them home if they become too unwell. We are acutely aware that there will be one-off situations that might cause them to be late for school, please inform us if there is a genuine reason. It is sincerely hoped that with being a new year, the renewed agenda and focus on attendance and punctually trends will naturally rise. The re-establishing of our expectations and standards, alongside the timings of the day is in support of families and to help you to help us work together.
In summary; BE HERE EVERY DAY, BE ON TIME AND BE THE BEST YOU CAN!