Students' achievement is directly related to their attendance; if a student is not in school, they are not able to access learning and the resources presented in class by teachers. Indeed, research conducted by Teachernet in 2009 found that "failure to attend school regularly can have a major impact on young people's education, their future and their life chances".
In March 2016 the Department for Education (DfE) published a report on the link between absence and attainment in Key Stages 2 and 4. The findings for both Key Stages show that in general, the higher the absence rate, the lower the likely level of attainment. The report states that at Key Stage 4:
‘… pupils with no absence are 2.2 times more likely to achieve 5+ GCSEs A*-C or equivalent and 2.8 times more likely to achieve 5+ GCSEs A*-C or equivalent including English and mathematics, than pupils missing 15-20% of Key Stage 4 lessons.’
The report also highlights that 73% of pupils who have over 95% attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C and explains that pupils with persistent absences are less likely to attain at school, and – very importantly in terms of the future of the UK workforce – are unlikely stay in education after the age of 16 years.
We take attendance very seriously at The King's. Not attending school is a problem that affects students, families and the community. Students with poor attendance are less likely to do well in school and when students are not in school, they are more likely to get involved in illegal activities in the community.
All absences are recorded as either 'authorised' or 'unauthorised':
- Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason: illness and other "unavoidable causes"
- Unauthorised absences are those, which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no "leave" has been given. This includes truancy.
When 90% is not enough!
Though in many situations 90% sounds like a good score, in attendance terms it is not.
An attendance of 90% across a school year is the equivalent of approximately 20 days of missed learning (a month of school). If 90% attendance is maintained over a student’s secondary education, this would mean 100 missed days of learning, or over half a year of education. Unbelievable, isn't it!
The chart below shows how a 90% attendance record across year 10 and 11 could impact a student's GCSE results. 90% attendance equates 8 weeks lost (in total) across years 10 and 11 reducing a student's chances of securing 5 or more GCSEs (at grades 9-4) from 78.7% to 30.9%
when we look at the impact of 90% attendance for students here at The King's the impact is both similar and striking:
Students with attendance 90% or less are almost one and a half GCSE grades (-1.48) behind where they might typically be expected to be in each of their best 8 GCSEs. The impact can be seen broken down to different curriculum areas such as maths (almost 2 GCSE grades behind).
An electronic register is taken at the start of every lesson. This is tracked an monitored in school. Parents can see "live" attendance updates by accessing the Insight app on your smartphone, tablet or via the website.
How do parents and carers notify the school about absence?
To avoid your child having unauthorised absence, it is important that you contact the school on the first day of their absence before 8.30am and then on each subsequent day that your child is absent from school. Where we do not receive notification of absence, we are expected to make telephone contact with you directly.