It is important that students attend school regularly in order to make the most of the learning opportunities provided by Cathedral Academy. Regular attendance helps to form good habits which prepares students for the world of work. It has also been proven that poor school attendance and academic underachievement are linked. Parents/carers have a vital role to play in promoting good attitudes towards attendance.
To report an absence:
Please contact us as early as possible on the first day of your child’s absence from school, and again on any subsequent days. In order to safeguard your child, we need parental confirmation for every day of absence.
If we do not receive notification of your child’s absence from school, an automated system (Truancy Call) will contact you throughout the day.
According to government legislation, schools are not required to authorise absence unless medical evidence is provided. It is important to note that a parental phone call does not necessarily guarantee that an absence will be authorised.
Cathedral Academy operates an early intervention approach to attendance, and if your child has six unauthorised sessions in eight weeks, you may receive an Initial Warning letter. If your child’s attendance does not subsequently improve, this may be followed by a Final Warning letter, after which the Local Authority may consider issuing a Penalty Notice or pursuing a Parental Prosecution.
Our Education Welfare Officer undertakes regular visits to the homes of absent students in order to offer support and to confirm that absences are genuine. Please contact him on 01924 330640 if you require any support with your child’s attendance.
We understand that children get ill, but there are many minor ailments which do not require an absence from school. These include colds, and issues which can be managed with painkillers, such as headaches, stomach aches, sore throats, and period pains. We do not ask that students stay off for 48 hours following an episode of vomiting that is not due to infection, and that they show good personal hygiene and wash their hands regularly on their return to school.
We ask that appointments are, where possible, arranged outside of school hours. On those occasions where this proves impossible, we will allow students to leave school to attend their appointment (if an appointment card or letter is provided), but we ask that they return to school afterwards.
Please do not keep your child off school due to uniform issues. The Academy has spare uniform to lend to students on a short-term basis to allow parents/carers to rectify the situation.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) 2006 Act states that “head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.” Cathedral Academy will request penalty notices for unauthorised term time holidays. (Penalty amount per parent, per child is £60 if paid within 21 days, £120 if paid after this date but within 28 days. Please note that this money does not go to the Academy but to the local authority. Failure to pay a Penalty Notice could result in a parental prosecution for non-attendance.)
Occasionally it has come to light that illness has been given as a reason when a holiday has actually been taken. Please note that in line with Government guidance on school attendance the Academy are not obliged to mark a student as “ill” unless we have some sort of medical proof for this. Failure to provide this evidence could result in a Penalty Notice being issued for unauthorised absence.
Just think …
Although 90% attendance might sound high, it really isn’t! The Government’s minimum attendance level is 97%. If a student has average attendance of 90% then they are missing:
- Half a day’s education every week
- Four teaching weeks (20 days) every year
- Half a school year during their five years of secondary education.
To report an absence: