If your daughter or son is unable to attend school, please let us know immediately by emailing (or telephoning) the school:
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 currently open from 7.45am until 4.00pm to allow for additional cleaning to take place at the end of the day. Students should not be on site after this time unless by prior arrangement.
Full attendance at school should be encouraged and students should be absent for genuine illness only. Following our attendance policy, we request that parents/carers let the school know of reasons for absence on the first and subsequent days of absence by email (or telephone).
Please give the following information:
- Student's name
- Mentor Group
- Reason for absence
- Expected date of return if known. If unknown, please communicate daily until your child returns to school
Parents/carers who contact the school by telephone are requested to follow up by email (or final letter) on return to school.
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.