What should I do if my child is ill and cannot attend school?
We require parents/carers to contact our Attendance Officer before 9.00am to notify us of their child’s absence. You can leave a message on the school Absence line on 01752 402679 – option 1
When leaving a message please state:
- Your name
- Your child’s name
- Their Tutor Group
- A reason for their absence
- Their expected return date
Alternatively, you can notify us of your child’s absence via the MyEd app. If your child experiences a prolonged absence, a note from his/her doctor may be required by the school.
What happens if my child is late to school?
Punctuality is an important part of self-discipline and is essential to good time management. Pupils should make sure that they are in school no later than 8:35am each morning If a student arrives at school after 8:40am, but before 9:10am they should enter school via the “late gate” located at the Eco Exit of the school, sign in with the member of staff at the gate and make their way to the late room in Eco 4. If they arrive at school after 9:10am they must sign in at the Attendance Office located in the main hub. If you are aware that your child will be late for school, please contact the Attendance Officer on 01752 402679.
Pupils who are significantly late to school without a valid reason will be sent to RESET. Pupils who are persistently late to school may be placed on punctuality report card and parents invited into school to discuss way of improving your child’s punctuality.
Why is attendance important?
Excellent attendance at school is linked to better academic progress and attainment by ensuring pupils access a broad, balanced and knowledge-rich curriculum. It also ensures that pupils can benefit from the extra-curricular activities on offer at school that promote good social and emotional development. Recent studies show that missing only 17 days of school can lead to a drop in one whole GCSE grade. Days off school add up to lost learning.
Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child has an appropriate education. For most children in the UK this means full-time attendance at school.
How is attendance recorded?
Schools have a legal duty to take an attendance register twice a day. This is recorded on an electronic system called SIMS. Attendance is recorded each school day for an ‘AM’ and ‘PM’ mark. Where a pupil is absent from school the reason for this absence must be established as soon as possible and recorded on the SIMS attendance record.
When should pupils attend school?
Pupils should attend on all school days as set out in the term dates available on the school website. Pupils should arrive by 08.40am. Pupils should be in their tutor rooms or assembly by 08:45am. Pupils who arrive after this period will be marked as late.
Can a child miss school for a medical or dental appointment?
Wherever possible medical and dental appointments should be arranged out of school hours. Where absence to attend an appointment is unavoidable the pupil should miss as little of the school day as possible. School should be informed of the appointment in advance and the pupil should be ‘signed-out’ at the time of the appointment at the attendance office located in the main hub of the school. If the school has no information regarding the appointment then parents / carers will be contacted before the pupil is allowed to leave school site.
Can a child miss school for a family holiday?
The law only allows Headteachers to authorise absence in exceptional circumstances. These reasons are listed below. Westcountry Schools Trust (WeST) does not support the authorisation of term-time holidays. If a parent is determined to take their child out of school for a family holiday, then they should use the correct form to inform the Headteacher in advance. Should a request for holiday be refused it is likely that a fixed penalty notice will be issued to both parents. The form can be found below.
Exceptional Circumstances Include:
- Genuine illness
- Unavoidable medical / dental appointments (but these should be arranged out of school hours if possible)
- Days of religious observance
- Exceptional circumstances, such as bereavement
- Seeing a parent who is on leave from the armed forces
- External examinations
- When Traveller children go on the road with their parents, where the school is informed beforehand
Other absence from school will not be authorised, for example:
- For any type of shopping
- Looking after siblings or parents
- Minding the house
- Resting after a late night
- Relatives visiting or visiting relatives
- Because holidays are cheaper in term time
- More than one day for a family wedding
What about children from forces families?
WeST recognises that special consideration should be given to the children of members of our armed forces. Headteachers will follow government guidance when considering request from forces families for children to be absent from school.
What are Fixed Penalty Notices?
Amendments have been made to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, which came into force on 1 September 2013
Each parent must, from 1 September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions
If you feel that you have exceptional circumstances which require your child to take leave during term time, please return the absence request form on this website or collect a copy from School reception, before arrangements have been finalised. This must be returned to the Headteacher.
How long should my child stay at home with an illness?
There’s no need for your child to stay off school with the following conditions, unless they are feeling unwell
- Head lice
- Coughs and Cold
- Verruca’s (although these need to be covered with a plaster during PE)
Why doesn’t my child want to come to school?
Often a problem at school or at home can lead to a child being reluctant to go to school or completely refusing to go. If you suspect that your child is unhappy at school talk to them about it; listen to their explanation. Pursuing the reasons for school refusal is always important. There are many reasons for school anxiety and refusal. The longer your child avoids school the worse their anxiety will become. Keep an eye out for patterns. Do they always want to stay at home for a particular lesson? Do they have a test? Don’t forget, we are always happy to discuss any concerns so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01752 402679 or email your child’s Head of Year or tutor. There are many resources online to help you support your child with their mental health, such as www.youngminds.org.uk and www.nspcc.org.uk
Who is responsible for attendance at Plymstock School?
Mrs Paula Andrew – Attendance Manager
Miss Beth Evans – Assistant Headteacher
Year Group Pastoral Teams – please contact your child’s Head of Year or Assistant Head of Year