It is vital that students attend school as regularly as possible and therefore regular attendance at school is expected. This is important to avoid missing valuable lesson time and falling behind. It is clear from research that students who have better attendance make better progress. Employers place great emphasis on consistent attendance and good punctuality.
Students must by law attend school every day and be present for registration at 8.40am (KS3) and 8.50am (KS4).
It is vital that students aim for 100% attendance. All absence therefore should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Students are placed in bands for their attendance that will include rewards for good attendance and support from the attendance team for poor attendance. At Ridgeway High School we consider poor attendance to be below 97%.
The table below illustrates why we consider anything below 97% to be poor attendance.
Is 95% attendance good? It actually means that a student has still missed nearly ten school days in one year. Over five years that would be nearly 50 days — almost an entire school term. Research from the Department for Education (DfE) suggests that eight missed school days a year equals a drop of a grade in GCSE achievement.
Since September 2013 the school has not authorised holidays in term time (in line with DfE changes) except in exceptional circumstances. The school also requests that as far as possible medical and dental appointments are made out of school hours. The school takes student absence extremely seriously and strict new measures have been outlined in our Attendance and Punctuality: Information and Guidance for Parents booklet to combat persistent poor attendance.
Students are only not to attend if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or have had a positive test result. Students will then be coded accordingly by the attendance team.
Students are expected to be in their holding area at 8.35am (KS3) and 8.45am (KS4) each morning; the school gates will be closed shortly after this. If a student arrives late to school, the form tutor keeps them for 10 minutes at the end of the day. Repeated lateness will result in a head of bubble detention.
The school has invested in ‘Keep Kids Safe’. Each morning the parents/carers of any student who is absent will receive an automated text requesting them to provide a reason for the absence. This is followed up by a phone call if we do not receive a reason for absence. The school also has an attendance team which works closely with students and with pastoral leads.