Attendance   

When you join The Polesworth School Sixth Form @ Tomlinson Hall  you sign up as a full-time student for a one or two year course of study which gives you considerable flexibility and control over your own learning.

Attendance at lessons, Personal Tutor Time (10.30 – 10.55am daily) and PSHE Enhanced Learning Days for Y12 & 13 A Level students are compulsory and essential if students are to achieve their full potential.

All post-16 courses are intensive and students can not afford to miss valuable teaching time. However, as well as timetabled lessons students also have non-contact periods on their timetables for private study, homework, social time and enrichment activities. Students are granted the privilege of studying at home if these times fit in with other timetabled demands but this privilege may be withdrawn if a student is not meeting his/her work/study commitments. In such cases students will be scheduled to work in the Sixth Form Study Centre.

A minimum of 95% attendance

Sixth Form students should strive to achieve consistently good attendance and not simply because if you miss lessons you will miss essential curriculum content - although poor attendance WILL affect academic attainment. Students should therefore aim for at least 95% attendance for the year. An exemplary record of attendance says a huge amount about you as a person: that you are dedicated, well motivated, organised and someone who takes their responsibilities seriously.

Signing in and out

If you are on site first thing in the morning, or arrive in school after 8.30am and are not timetabled for a lesson, eg. you have a non-contact lesson P.1, then you must sign in with Mrs Knight in the Sixth Form Study Centre. Similarly, if you leave the school site before the end of the day at 3.00pm., you must sign out. These are legal health and safety requirements.

Authorising absences

As in the main school and in the world of work, any absences must be explained or authorised. In Years 12 & 13 parents/guardians should authorise student absences either by email or in writing.

Mrs Knight, KS5 Student Support Manager, is also the KS5 Attendance Officer.

The following guidance notes explain our policy on attendance and absence for all students in Years 12 and 13.

As a Sixth Form student in The Polesworth School Sixth Form @ Tomlinson Hall you are expected to:

  • Attend 100% of lessons and PSHE Enhanced Learning Days when the normal timetable changes to a full morning of activities.
  • Attend Personal Tutor Time with your tutor punctually. This is a legal requirement and part of health and safety procedures.
  • Sign in when you arrive after 8.30am and before the start of the next lesson and sign out if you leave the site before the end of a morning or afternoon session.
  • Seek written permission in advance for any time that you know you need to take off and inform any subject teacher(s) concerned.
  • Get a parent or guardian to contact the school either by telephone or email before 9.30am (b.knight@thepolesworthschool.com) if absence is unavoidable or bring in a letter signed by a parent or guardian on the first day back after an absence – otherwise this will be counted as unauthorised absence on your record. Although you are a Sixth Former, parents still have responsibility for you and we shall contact them if your absence is unexplained or if your pattern of attendance, authorised or not, is giving overall cause for concern. We also use Truancy Call, an automated phone alert home for students absent without a reason.

The school is expected to:

  • Keep records of your attendance both in lessons, PSHE Enhanced Learning Days and registration periods. This is a legal requirement for the school.
  • Monitor your attendance, contacting home if there are concerns about absence or when unauthorised absences are identified.

Getting permission in advance of a known absence:

It is understood that there are occasionally reasons why you may need to be absent from a lesson or registration time. In such cases of known absence you must seek permission from or notify your tutor/subject teacher(s) at least 2 days in advance of your absence.
The following list indicates the occasions when absence may be agreed:

  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments such as hospital appointments; an ordinary doctor’s appointment should be taken if non-contact time where possible
  • Driving test
  • Official study leave
  • Visit to a university to attend an open day or interview
  • Job interview
  • Careers interview
  • Work experience placement
  • Participation in a significant extra-curricular activity e.g. regional or national event in sport, drama, music or workshop or masterclass
  • Educational visits
  • Attendance at a funeral
  • Religious holiday
  • School Council meeting or interview panel
  • If you are officially the responsible carer for a child or family member and an emergency arises.

Other kinds of absence

The following reasons for absence are not acceptable and can not be authorised by school:

  • Employment/employment training which is not part of your programme of study
  • Long weekends
  • Leisure activities
  • Birthdays or similar celebrations
  • Baby-sitting younger siblings
  • Driving lessons.

Holidays

Holidays during term-time can not be authorised.

Government regulations on holidays in term time have been tightened up considerably from September 1st 2013. Amendments to the 2006 regulations stipulate that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. As such, our previous system of issuing holiday request forms is no longer permitted and therefore these forms are no longer available.  Any request for leave of absence due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ must from now on be made in writing to the Headteacher as early as possible before the requested dates.

For further information regarding the new regulations please se

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/attendance/a00223868/regulations-amendments

If you are ill or have to miss lessons/registration time

School should be contacted by a parent or guardian on the first day of absence (or where part of a day is to be missed) and before 9.30am. This can either be by telephone on 01827 702205 or email at b.knight@thepolesworthschool.com . If this is not possible then you should bring in a note signed by a parent or guardian as soon as you return to school to give to your tutor.

Identifying problems

We recognise that, like everyone else, students fall ill or are sometimes injured and may have to take time off school as a result. For most students this should not happen more than once or twice in a year and provided work is caught up once a student returns to school, then academic progress should not be affected. In the case of a prolonged absence (of more than a week) parents may wish to contact school in order for work to be sent home.

We monitor student attendance on a daily basis and aim to notify parents when lessons, tutor time or whole days have been missed and no explanation provided. Should a student’s attendance overall continue to give cause for concern without a satisfactory explanation, then the student will be given a warning to improve and ultimately may be asked to leave the course.

Attendance and the transition from Y12 to Y13

The transition from Y12 AS courses to Y13 and the new demands of A2 is not automatic. Not only must students achieve a pass grade at AS, they must also have maintained a good record of attendance.

Once the AS examination modules have been completed (usually just after the May/June half term holiday) Y12 students return to school and normal lessons are resumed. This is when teachers start the A2 programmes of study and students who do not return to school are considered to have left the Sixth Form.