At The Highfield School we believe that good attendance is essential.
Students need to attend school every day so that they are able to meet their target grades and have choices in life. Colleges and future employers look closely at academic achievement, attitudes to learning and attendance and punctuality - students with poor attendance are damaging their school leavers' reference and the choices open to them. We aim to have an overall school attendance target of 95% or above.
All requests for absence from school during term time should be in writing and addressed to the Headteacher. Please be aware that, from September 2013 the government has made significant changes to how absence is authorised within schools, effectively removing the ability for Headteachers to authorise absence from school unless it is for truly exceptional circumstances. It is for this reason that absences from school will not usually be authorised.
Should you still decide to take your child out of school then this will unfortunately be marked as unauthorised on their attendance record. Please be advised that 15 unauthorised sessions or more may lead to the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice without any further warning. A session equals either a morning or afternoon away from school.
Research has shown that 17 school days missed in a year results in a drop in one GCSE grade.
Did you know...
- 90% attendance and below is equal to missing 19 days of school per year, which is five months of school over five years
- 94%-91% attendance is equal to missing 15 days of school per year, which is 75 days over 5 years
- 95% - 96% attendance is equal to missing 10 days of school per year, which is 50 days over 5 years
- 97% attendance and above is less than 6 days absence per year, which is 30 days over 5 years.
Each term students with excellent attendance are rewarded with House Points.
We expect students to achieve at least 95% attendance and we will not authorise any absences for students with an attendance level of 95% or below unless their absence is supported by medical evidence such as appointment cards, texts, letters or copied of prescription or prescribed medication labels; or if their absence has been previously agreed by the Headteacher.
Term Time Holidays
We would like to stress that no child will be allowed to take a holiday during school term time except where there are exceptional circumstances. All parents should send a written request to Mrs Miles if they want to take their child out of school for any such circumstances.
Please be aware that it is Herts county council Policy to issued Fixed Penalty Notices for unauthorised holidays taken in term time. This is regardless of the overall level of the student's attendance, and whether the unauthorised absence relates solely to a holiday or other unauthorised absence.
Fixed Penalty Notices
15 or more unauthorised absences in the previous or current term may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued. The penalty notice requires you to pay a fine of £60 within 21 days, if this fine is not paid within the time limit; the penalty rises to £120 which must be paid within 28 days.
How you can help
In cases of unavoidable absences please phone the school on each day your child is absent on the schools dedicated absence line (01462 705104) or email the school on firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out about your child’s attendance regularly and ensure that the absence record matches your records. Your child's attendance is discussed regularly with them in Tutor time and assemblies and, for your information, is detailed on their Progress Reports including any unauthorised sessions they may have accrued. We aim to write to you as soon as possible after their attendance drops below 95% to inform you that medical evidence is required to authorise any further absence.
If you have any concerns or require any support with your child's attendance please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can speak to your child's Tutor, the Pastoral Team or Attendance Officer.