Attendance & Punctuality
Good attendance is not beneficial, it is essential.
Each year the school sets an attendance target of 96%, and the expectation is that all students achieve, at least this, which equates to no more than 7 days absence per academic year. Students’ attendance will be monitored daily by our Attendance Officer, if concerns are raised, parents/carers will be invited into school for a meeting to discuss interventions. Persistent, poor attendance may be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer and can result in penalty notices and prosecution.
Students with good attendance and punctuality are regularly rewarded at Thornhill Academy and success is always celebrated.
Why is attendance important?
Research proves that there is a very clear relationship between excellent school attendance and academic achievement.
Year after year, the students with the best school attendance achieve the best results. The table below shows the achievement made by students in the 2022 cohort. Students with 95% attendance on average exceeded their target grades by almost half a grade in every subject. Students with 80% attendance made, on average, two and half grades less progress in every subject. We are passionate about providing students with the best possible life chances and as such, know they have to ‘be here to get there.’
Parents/carers and families are therefore asked to ensure that their young person is in school every day of term.
The law states that students can miss school if they are:
- Too unwell to attend school*.
- It has been authorised in advance by the Headteacher (such as a religious observance including attending the wedding of a family member, funeral or a competitive sporting event).
* Schools may ask for medical evidence to authorise periods of absence or when attendance is below 96% or there is an existing pattern of poor attendance. Advice on whether a child should be sent to school if ill can be found here: Is my child too ill for school? - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Lost learning has a significant impact on a child and catching up after a period of absence can be challenging and overwhelming. 90% on a test is a great achievement, but 90% attendance means that a child is a persistent absentee and has missed 20 days of school that year, and 100 hours of lessons.
Parents/carers should inform the school of the reason for absence on the first day, by telephone or the school messaging service, and on each subsequent day of absence. Failure to do so will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
All medical appointments must be verified by an official notification. E.g., appointment card, hospital letter, text.
Tel: 0191 5007981
Family holidays should not be arranged during Term Time. The Department for Education announced that from 1st September 2013 that there is no entitlement for parents to take their child on holiday in term time. Any absences for leave must be, only in, exceptional circumstances and a request must be made to the Headteacher. For more information regarding this go to www.dfe.gov.uk. Exceptional circumstances would be classed as, a bereavement or extreme family circumstances. Taking a holiday during term time or persistent late arrival to school (after the registers have closed) or a minimum of 10 unauthorised absences, can result in an initial Fixed Penalty Fine for each parent of £60.
Being late to school can have a significant impact on students’ attendance and learning. All students are expected to be in school by 8.30am and registration starts at 8:40am. Any student arriving after this time will have to enter school by the main entrance and will sign in there via reception.
Being late to school adds up to lost learning
- Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over three days lost each year
- Arriving 15 minutes late every day is equal to being absent for two weeks of the school year
- Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days of the school year
Registers close at 9:10am, students who arrive after this time will be given a U code which is classed as an unauthorised absence for the morning. 10 unauthorised absences can result in a Fixed Penalty Fine.
What can you do as a parent/carer to support your child’s attendance?
- Having a routine and sticking to it.
- Making sure they understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality.
- Making sure they arrive to school on time
- Making sure they understand the possible implications for themselves, and you as a parent/carer if they do not attend.
- Taking an interest in their education – ask about schoolwork and encourage them to get involved school activities.
- Discussing any problems, they may have at the school and letting us know how we can support.
- Not letting them take time off for minor ailments or holidays