Dear Parent/Carer,

As we approach our third week of term, we would like to thank the many parents/ carers who ensure that their children attend school regularly and punctually. Should you have any queries regarding attendance, please be aware that our Attendance Officer is Jas Greene (jas.greene@theedgeacademy.co.uk), and that I (andrew.wakefield@theedgeacademy.co.uk) am also happy to answer any queries you may have as the Senior Line Manager for Attendance at the Edge.

 

Recently we have made huge improvements in our attendance, and we are keen to maintain these high standards moving forward so that all students aim for 100% attendance all year round and achieve their full potential. You may not be aware that even the following levels of attendance (which at face value appear positive) involve students missing huge numbers of lessons and are therefore no longer considered acceptable….

 

95% attendance = 2 weeks absence, 50 lessons missed

90% attendance = 4 weeks absence, 100 lessons missed

85% attendance = 6 weeks absence, 150 lessons missed

80% attendance = 8 weeks absence, 200 lessons missed

 

As you will know, last year’s Year 11 achieved the best ever results seen at The Edge since the academy opened, and it was clear in data analysis that the students achieving the best grades were the students with the highest levels of attendance. Put simply, students must “Attend to Achieve”!

 

Research also shows that students with poor attendance find it difficult to maintain friendships, are more likely to become involved in crime, and more likely to miss out on future opportunities in further education/ the world of work. It is with this in mind that we are fully committed to helping and supporting children/ families where attendance becomes poor.

 

We are obliged to inform all families at The Edge that requested absence can only be authorised by myself in line with the boundaries set by the Education Regulations of 2006. I am unlikely to authorise leave during term time unless in exceptional circumstances. If your child takes leave that has not been authorised by myself, it will result in the absence being recorded as unauthorised and legal action may be taken!

 

Please remember that parental illness, going shopping, visiting family, truancy, not wanting to go to school, alleged bullying (please speak to academy staff immediately to resolve the issue!) are not acceptable reasons to be absent. All of these will be recorded as unauthorised absence.

 

Family emergencies also need careful consideration. Please remember that it is not always appropriate or in the best interests of your child to miss lessons for emergencies which are being dealt with by family members. Being at school, friendship with peers, and support from staff provides students with stability- the routine of academy life offers a safe and familiar background in any times of uncertainty.

 

Please remember that it is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education. Failing to send your child to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence.  

 

Legal action that may be taken includes:

  • Issuing penalty notices: Each parent receives a penalty notice for each child who has unauthorised absence. The penalty is £60 or £120 depending on how soon payment is made. So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £480. Failure to pay may result in prosecution.
  •  
  • Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) – court can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, order payment of prosecution costs and/or impose a Parenting Order.
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  • Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) – court can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs, impose a Parenting Order and/or sentence you to a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months.

Being taken to court could result in you having a criminal record.

 

Finally, we would like to remind you that all students must be in school by 9.15am. This is important so that key messages/ employability qualifications are not missed out on during form time. We are happy to provide free breakfasts for any students that want them if they arrive in school before 9.15am.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Andrew Wakefield

Principal