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Attendance

If your daughter or son is unable to attend school please let us know immediately by telephoning or emailing the school:

Attendance Officer: Ms Fellowes
Telephone:  01233 624910
 

Students requesting passes for medical appointments:  

Parents should contact the Attendance Officer either by  letter/email or telephone, at least one day before the appointment is due in order for a student pass to be authorised and issued.

Attendance

It is recognised that regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and is essential if young people are to maximise their educational opportunities. Young people should be punctual to school; they should aim to get to school for 8.40am to give them time to get to their first lesson which starts punctually at 8.45am. The school is open from 7.45am every morning should your daughter/son wish to arrive earlier and go to our breakfast club, eat breakfast and be fully prepared for the day’s learning ahead.
 
Full attendance at school should be encouraged and students should be absent for genuine illness only. Following our attendance policy we request a ‘first day’ communication system whereby if your daughter/son is unable to attend school please let us know immediately.
 
Please give the following information: 
  • Your daughter/son’s name
  • Year
  • Mentor group
  • Reason for absence
  • Expected date of return if known. If unknown, please communicate daily until your daughter/son returns to school
On your daughter’s/son’s return, please confirm the reason for absence in a signed letter to the Attendance Officer.

Holidays in term time

The Governing Body of Highworth has agreed that family holidays will not be authorised during term time. The Headteacher can authorise leave in exceptional circumstances only. A letter must be sent to the Headteacher at least 2 weeks before and must be agreed to before the leave begins. This is not an entitlement and holidays taken in term time will adversely affect your daughter’s/son’s attendance record and their academic progress.
 
It is expected that all students catch up work missed during absences.
 
If your daughter’s/son’s attendance is poor and an unauthorised absence is taken anyway, the case may be referred to the Attendance and Behaviour Service who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each student taken out of school.

Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Absence

From September 2013, Kent Local Authority (LA) introduced Penalty Notices for unauthorised absence from school of at least 10 sessions (5 days) in a current term.
 
The following circumstances will be considered as appropriate reasons for the issuing of Penalty Notices:
  • Truancy, including truancy sweeps
  • Parentally-condoned absences
  • Unauthorised holidays during term time
  • Delayed return from extended holidays without prior school agreement
  • Persistent late arrival at school after the register has closed
On receipt of the Notice, the penalty will be £60 if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 42 days. Failure to pay the penalty in full by the end of the 42 day period may result in prosecution by the LA and fines issued up to £1,000.
 
At Highworth Grammar School, we consider attendance and these new legal powers so important that we are bringing this to your attention.