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Headteacher's blog

14th January 2022

Happy new year to you all!  I hope your Christmas was a restful one.  The days are slowly starting to become lighter, staff have been busy making lots of exciting plans in school for the children and people appear upbeat as schools are trying to be back to normal wherever possible.

We are all aware that unfortunately Covid has caused some children to miss school in recent times, but there are still some children whose attainment is solely impacted upon because of term time lateness and absences.  The start of a new calendar year is as good a time as any to focus on change, so improving attendance is my blog theme today.

The clear link between low levels of school attendance and poor outcomes for children and young people is well documented, but this is not just in relation to academic achievement.  Poor attendance also leaves them at greater risk of neglect, social isolation and offending, which none of us want to see happen.  Consequently, I would ask all families to consider the figures below, regarding the impact of absence over a five-year period, because they are really quite striking:

  • 100% = full attendance
  • 95% = quarter of a school year missed
  • 90% = half a school year missed
  • 85% = three quarters of a school year missed
  • 80% = one full school year missed
  • 75% = one and a quarter school years missed
  • 70% = one and a half school years missed
  • 65% = one and three quarter school years missed
  • 60% = two school years missed

Following the publication of Stockport Education Welfare Service’s Staged Attendance Process in September 2021, the school developed its own graduated response to managing attendance.  Much of the content is the same, but there are some small changes so please refer to the updated policy on the website.

Parents should be particularly aware that there is no right to time off school for a family holiday.  Leave of absence for any reason is only granted in exceptional circumstances and is very unlikely to be granted for the purpose of a holiday.  Families will be issued with education penalty notices by the Council if they take holidays in school time.  Please see section 6.3.3 in the policy for more information.

We constantly work with families to address any barriers to attendance and ensure support is offered which addresses any underlying issues.  There are lots of great services that can help, so please always make us aware of any difficulties or changes in circumstances which may affect your child’s attendance or behaviour at school, such as bereavement, divorce/separation, or incidents of domestic abuse.  As part of our kind and supportive staff we have a wonderful Pastoral Team, who are particularly skilled and experienced in helping in situations like these and always happy to help. If you feel a chat with them could be useful please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Have a good weekend.

H Mastrolonardo