Ark Greenwich Free School is among the 25 top performing schools nationally. We know that any child attending the school will receive an exceptional education, outstanding pastoral care, and will leave with amazing outcomes which will open many doors for their future and give them lots of choice over their future academic pursuits and careers.
Scholars are only able to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them at Ark Greenwich if they attend school regularly.
Recently, we have seen the vast majority of scholars attending school and we have spoken to scholars about the importance of being in everyday in assemblies and tutor time.
We have introduced our new Attendance Bus. Scholars that are absent from school, can expect staff to come to their house in the Attendance Bus and pick them up.
In an ideal world, all scholars would attend 100% of the time. We know however, that there are times when scholars need to remain off school, for example, if they are severely unwell.
The government state that 95% is the minimum attendance any scholar should have. If a scholar has 95% attendance, that means they will have missed 10 days of school across the academic year.
90% attendance means 4 weeks of school missed.
85% means 6 weeks of school missed.
80% means 8 weeks of school have been missed.
Please closely monitor your child's attendance using MCAS and please ensure that they attend school every day except in exceptional circumstances such as severe illness. If there is an exceptional circumstance which requires your child to be absent you must ensure that you inform the school via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0208 319 3692.
Section 444 (1) (1a) Education Act 1996 states that it is the legal responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure that their child attends school regularly. Failure by the parent/carer to ensure regular attendance could results in legal action being taken by the Local Authority which could result in a Penalty Notice fine or a summons to attend the Magistrate’s Court.
Why is Attendance Important?
Every day of education and indeed every lesson matters. In the National Curriculum where there is built in progression, children who are persistently late or absent soon get behind with learning and then do not understand current lessons when they return.
The introduction to a lesson and to the school day is crucial to the child’s understanding of their own learning. Children who miss school frequently will undoubtedly have gaps in their learning which will impede their progress and future ability to engage in lessons. This in turn has a knock on effect for their ability to concentrate and for their behaviour.
Frequent absence has a profound and cumulative effect on achievement.
Why does Attendance matter?
There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement, in a nutshell – how can our scholars learn if they are not here?
- A scholar with less than 90% attendance will have missed more than 114 lessons per year, almost an entire half-term
- A scholar who is absent a day of school per week misses an equivalent of two years of their school life
- Of scholars with less than 50% attendance, only 3% manage to achieve five or more GCSE’s at grade 9-5 including Maths and English
- Poor examination results limit young people’s options and poor attendance suggests to colleges and employers that these students are unreliable
- Poor school attendance is also closely associated with crime - a quarter of school-age offenders have truanted repeatedly
What are we doing?
At AGFS we are working hard to identify early concerns and issues which may be affecting a scholar’s attendance.
- We continuously promote the importance of good attendance throughout the school as a part of our culture; specifically through assembly and tutor time.
- We have robust monitoring processes with corresponding action plans in place as outlined below.
- We ensure extensive support is offered to those who experience difficulties with punctuality and/or attendance.
- We reward scholars with 100% attendance but also rewarding for the most improvement to ensure everyone who prioritises attendance is rewarded.
Attendance Monitoring Process
If a scholar’s attendance falls below 95%, you will receive letters triggering this concern and asking you to ensure your scholar attends school. Should your scholar’s attendance continue to deteriorate, the Attendance Officer will meet with you and your child. If no improvement occurs your case will be passed onto the Education and Welfare Service Officer who will then take further action to bring about prosecution for non-school attendance/unsatisfactory school attendance.
- Your scholar has excellent attendance
Monitored by Tutor and School Attendance Officer
Scholars’ who achieve 100% attendance and punctuality on a weekly basis receive 10 golden tickets which can be traded for items in the stationery shop and canteen.
Scholars who achieve 100% attendance and punctuality for the entire term receive a special certificate in recognition of their efforts
Your scholar has good attendance
- Added to the watch list and monitored by school office and Attendance Officer
Your scholar’s attendance is a concern and you will receive a letter to say we are monitoring it. This is the equivalent of between ½ a day to 1 day absent per fortnight
- A meeting is set up with the Attendance Officer and Head of Year with the objective to improve attendance. If there is improved attendance, scholars are rewarded in Head of Year Assemblies.
- If there is no further improvement, a concern letter is sent to parents/carers (reflective of what their scholar’s attendance is).
- When a scholar’s attendance falls below 92%, parents meet with the Attendance and Welfare Officer to set an action plan to improve attendance.
- Scholars who show improved attendance are nominated by the school’s Attendance Officer and receives a reward in the fortnightly rewards assembly
- If there is no improvement, the Education Welfare Services will follow up with a pre-court meeting which may result in a fixed penalty notice.
Your scholar’s attendance is a serious concern. Your scholar is classed as a ‘Persistent Absentee’. This is the equivalent of more than ½ a day absent per week
- A pre-court meeting with the Attendance Officer and/or Education Welfare Officer takes place
- An Attendance Support Plan is set up in school
- Fixed Penalty Notice (where appropriate)
- Court Action (where appropriate)
If your scholar is unable to attend school, you must notify us by 8:00am using one of the methods below. The school should be updated on each and every day of absence.
Please use the scholar Absence Line on 0208 319 3692 and select Option 1 to leave your message – you must clearly state your scholar’s name, class and reason for absence. This line is not manned, you do not need to speak to a member of staff to report an absence.
Absence related emails should be sent to email@example.com (this includes notifying the school of appointments)