St Thomas More VC Academy seeks to ensure that all of its pupils receive a full time education which maximises opportunities for each pupil to realise his/her true potential. The school will strive to provide a welcoming, caring environment, whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and secure. All school staff will work with pupils and their families to ensure each pupil attends school regularly and punctually.
The school will establish an effective system of incentives and rewards that acknowledges the efforts of pupils to improve their attendance and timekeeping and will challenge the behaviour of those pupils and parents who give low priority to attendance and punctuality. Further information can be found in our Trust-wide Attendance and Punctuality policy located within the 'Policies' section of our website.
To meet these objectives St Thomas More will establish an effective and efficient system of communication with pupils, parents and appropriate agencies to provide mutual information, advice and support. The following 'quick reference' guides hope to provide our parents and carers with key messages from our Attendance and Punctuality policy:
Pupils can come into school from 8.45 am and the school day starts promptly at 8.50 am. If a child arrives at school after the register has been taken (8.50am to 9.20am) they are marked on the registers as ‘late’. Pupils arriving any time after 9.20am will be marked on the registers as an ‘unauthorised’ half day absence.
Afternoon registration begins at 1.00pm and registration closes immediately after the register is taken.
Pupils arriving late must report to the school office to be signed in by an adult and give a reason for their lateness. Any unjustifiable reason for absence will be marked as unauthorised. It is vital that pupils sign in at the office to ensure that appropriate health and safety regulations are followed and that all pupils are accounted for.
Persistent lateness may result in further action by the school or possible prosecution by the local authority.
Unexplained absences will be investigated by the attendance officer.
What we expect of parents and carers
As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, we request that parents:
- engage with their children’s education – support their learning and take an interest in what they have been doing at school
- promote the value of good education and the importance of regular school attendance at home
- encourage and support their children’s aspirations
- follow the set school procedure for reporting the absence of their child from school and include an expected date for return
- do everything they can to prevent unnecessary school absences, such as making medical and dental appointments outside school hours
- use the school as a support when they or their child are having difficulties, and work to form a positive relationship with the school so that there is easy communication when a problem arises
- keep the school informed of any circumstances which may affect their child’s attendance
- enforce a regular routine at home in terms of homework, bedtime, etc. so that the child is used to consistency and the school day becomes part of that routine (it is vital that the child receives the same message at home as they do at school about the importance of attendance)
- do not take their children out of school for holidays during term time. If parents would like to make a special request for this, they may do so to the Head of School using the following Leave of Absence request form:
What we expect of pupils
As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, we request that pupils:
- be aware of the school’s attendance rules and when and what they are required to attend. This will be communicated to them through school staff, parents and the school timetable
- speak to any member of staff if they are experiencing difficulties at school or at home which may impact on their attendance
- attend all lessons ready to learn
- follow the correct set school procedure if they arrive late. This will help the school to monitor attendance and keep accurate records for the child’s individual attendance, and is also vital for health and safety in the event of a school evacuation.