Attendance and Punctuality

The key to success in advanced study is full attendance, a genuine commitment to study and the belief that meeting the demands of their studies should be a top priority in their lives. Parental contribution to assisting them in adopting this approach can make a significant difference and so, for example, we ask for your assistance where possible in ensuring that your son or daughter leaves home promptly in the mornings and arrives punctually at school.

It is very difficult to ‘copy up’ work when missing a lesson means not just missing information, but failing to take part in an important debate on a topic or to conduct an experiment. Nothing is more damaging to their prospects than missing lessons and arriving late causes substantial disruption to both their studies and the work of others.

Students are registered electronically for every timetabled lesson with an Attitude to Learning Grade. The grades are awarded as follows:

Just as in years 7-11 our ‘Behaviour for Learning system’ provides a BFL grade in every lesson. The Grades range from 1 to 4. The minimum expectation is a 2 and within that lesson, through behaviour and attitude to learning, the teacher may move the grade up to a 1 or perhaps move it down to a 3 or 4 if a students approach to a lesson becomes unacceptable.

In addition to the BFL grades the students are also eligible for fortnightly ‘Subject Star’ nominations and rewards including postcards home and vouchers for the Sixth Form Bistro.

These grades are aggregated over a period of a month and taken into account along with attendance and achievement grades when reviewing students’ performance and awarding rewards.

Students in receipt of the 16-19 Bursary need to check their weekly attendance record regularly as their payments could be affected by any inaccuracy in the recording of an absence.

We are asked to comment on attendance and punctuality in references. In an increasingly competitive Higher Education and employment market the value of a good attendance record cannot be stated highly enough. Obviously where there are mitigating circumstances surrounding a student’s absence these will be explained in the reference.

  • Lessons begin promptly at 8.40 am. All students are expected to arrive at 8.35am every morning, whether they have lessons or not, allowing them to respond to the bell at 8:38am to be in the their lesson or study period by 8:40am. This punctual approach to the day allows them to get into a routine and establish good study habits. All students are expected to attend their daily tutor sessions, at either 12:05pm or 12:40pm.
  • In Year 12 students are expected to be using all of their timetabled sessions, whether these be taught lessons, independent study sessions in the Sixth Form study suite or non-registered study sessions to support them in making the best possible start to their sixth form studies. Approaching these sessions with focus allows students to complete homework and engage in the necessary independent learning activities, for example engaging in wider academic reading or completing consolidation and revision activities in preparation for assessments and exams.
  • Year 13 students are permitted to have the flexibility to leave site if they do not have timetabled sessions from period 4 onwards. We see this as a way of preparing them for the self-discipline and decision-making skills they will need to develop for Higher Education and employment. Such permission to work from home will be revoked if circumstances change at any stage.
  • Students who arrive at school during a study period must sign in with their ID cards so that we know who is on site. They should also sign out if they leave site so that we know that they have left the premises. In line with all other adults in the school they must wear their identity badges at all times whilst on site.
  • Students must not take on any part-time work during the school day (8.40am until 3.10pm) and are asked to be careful not to make any unauthorised external commitments which are dependent on leaving school before 3.15pm as there may be times when their presence in school will be required, as above. We advise them that their first priority must be their study commitments; other demands must come second to these and we would expect them to cancel unauthorised arrangements, if required to be in school.
  • Driving lessons must not be arranged during teaching time but we will authorise absence for driving theory or practical tests, providing documentary evidence is available and the student is meeting their commitment to study.

Procedure for reporting an absence:

For absences known in advance such as medical/dental appointments and university open days/interviews/driving tests parents or carers should inform the absence team as soon as they are able to do so. For medical/dental appointments and driving tests students will be expected to show an appointment card or letter. However, where possible such appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours. Students should also contact their teacher(s) of the lessons that they will miss and arrange to catch up missed work.

If a student is ill or if there is a family emergency we also ask a parent or carer to phone the dedicated absence line on 01270 871100 (option 2) or email before 9.30am on every day of the absence. If students are absent due to these unforeseen circumstances it is their responsibility to contact their teacher(s) of the lessons they will miss as soon as they are able to and request the work they need to complete to ensure they minimise the impact of their absence.

Parents/carers of students in receipt of the 16-19 Bursary should note that unless students keep to the conditions as listed on their bursary application, their payments will be wholly or partially withheld.

Examples of absences that would be authorised:

  • A medical or dental appointment which cannot be arranged outside school hours.
  • A one-off caring responsibility for a close family member.
  • A religious holiday.
  • A visit to a university either to attend an open day or for interview, or a career-related interview.
  • A work experience placement.
  • Participating in a significant extra-curricular activity, such as drama, music, sport or volunteering, which has been agreed in advance.
  • Attendance at a funeral of a close family member.

Holidays during term time

We urge you to consider very carefully the impact of taking a family holiday in term-time upon your son’s or daughter’s chances of success. Please be aware that we are unable to authorise requests for absence due to family holidays.

Please note that regulations about holidays apply throughout the two years of post 16 study as any time out of lessons in this period will mean that they will miss essential examination work which will have an impact on their studies and final grades.

It is also strongly recommended that students come into school on A Level Results Day (or at least make contact with us) in August as essential guidance and advice is available which will assist them in any decisions that have to be made.


Procedure for dealing with attendance concerns

  • The absence team reviews attendance on a daily basis and emails the parent of any student who has an unauthorised absence from any lesson throughout the school day.
  • Where the absence team has concerns about persistent absence or patterns of absence they will either contact home directly or report the concern to Mr Rayner or Mr Evans who will then contact home.
  • We also review attendance on a monthly basis when reviewing student performance and awarding rewards.
  • At each Assessment Point students who have an attendance figure of less than 95% will receive a letter/email home (unless there are known mitigating circumstances).
  • Where there is no improvement in attendance following parental contact both the student and parents will be invited in for an interview with the Director of Sixth Form
  • In cases of very poor attendance (below 95% across the whole academic year) the school may ask the student to pay their own exam entry fees.
  • In cases of extreme and prolonged absenteeism from school without genuine reasons the student and parents will be required to meet with Mr Rayner, Director of Sixth Form and Mrs O’Neill, Head Teacher in line with the Escalation Policy which can be found on the website.
Mr Middlebrook
An Achieving School; A Caring Community” underpins our approach in education.
Alsager School
Mr Middlebrook
An Achieving School; A Caring Community” underpins our approach in education.
Mrs O'Neill
Alsager School is a fantastic community where we foster kindness and respect.
Alsager School
Mrs O'Neill
Alsager School is a fantastic community where we foster kindness and respect.
Alsager School