Why Attendance is Crucial at Sandy Secondary School

At Sandy Secondary School, our primary commitment is to deliver top-tier education for all our students. We recognize that the most straightforward pathway to academic excellence is consistent access to education. By providing a secure and enjoyable learning environment, we aim to ensure our students can reach their full potential. Evidence consistently shows that attendance correlates directly with academic achievement. This is why our Attendance Policy focuses on fostering a positive attitude toward attendance and has several interventions to ensure maximum participation. However, if traditional measures fail, we might resort to more stringent actions, including legal ones, to ensure consistent attendance.

If your child must be absent, we request you to inform our Attendance Officer by 9:00 am each day of the absence. Call 01767 680598, Ext 243, and leave a detailed message explaining the reason.

It’s essential to understand the importance of attendance. National data underscores that schools with high attendance rates are more likely to have students excel in their exams. Sandy Secondary School sets the bar at 100% attendance, with exceptions only for unavoidable circumstances. Just to illustrate: a mere 96% attendance can lead to a student missing out on 45 lessons. Similarly, 19 days of absence in a school year, which translates to 90% attendance, means half a year’s absence over the student’s secondary education. Alarmingly, with an attendance rate of just 80%, students risk underperforming by two full grades in each subject.

Achieving excellent attendance is a collaborative effort. We request parents to ensure timely student arrival, report illnesses promptly, and address any concerns about their child’s attitude towards school. On our end, Sandy Secondary School promises to communicate proactively about absences, address parental concerns, assist students in rejoining school after extended absences, and continuously highlight the significance of consistent attendance.

To emphasize our commitment, we offer various rewards for exceptional attendance. These include certificates, celebration events, and acknowledgment letters that can significantly bolster a student’s further education or job application.

It’s also crucial to understand which absences are authorized. While we adhere to the Department for Education’s guidelines on valid reasons for absences, we also practice professional discretion in unforeseen circumstances. Remember, for unique circumstances warranting leave, apply six weeks in advance to the Executive Principal. Regular appointments, like dental or medical ones, should ideally be scheduled outside school hours.

Regarding holidays during term time, we align with the government’s stance against it. The Executive Principal usually doesn’t grant leaves unless under exceptional circumstances. Unauthorized holidays during term can result in penalties.

In conclusion, attendance isn’t just a number; it’s an indicator of a school’s effectiveness and the well-being of its students. Consistent attendance is pivotal for successful learning, and we hope you prioritize it as much as we do.

Julie Devereux, Behaviour and Attendance Manager

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