Good attendance at school is important for all children. Those regularly absent from school are not only missing out on parts of their education, but they are also missing out on all the other social and life skills that schools have to offer.
Our students have all experienced a significant time away from the classroom. Therefore, we ask parents to consider absences carefully; mild illness is not a valid enough reason to miss a full day's education. If your child has a headache, cold symptoms is tired or feels anxious, please send them in. Our medical team can administer pain relief if required, and our pastoral team is always available to speak too; if it is felt that your child would benefit from going home, we will contact you.
Similarly, if your child is absent due to injury, a risk assessment can be undertaken to support and enable their return to school. They are also able to work remotely in one of our quiet spaces if they are unable to move between classrooms.
To report an absence, illness or planned appointment
Please complete the relevant (Absence Today or Future Absence) form in the Operoo Form Library as soon as possible on each day of absence. An Operoo Form must be completed for each sick day unless in the case of something like an operation where a medical letter has been provided. Further information about Operoo can be found here and copies of letters sent home are in the folder at the bottom of the page.
The Attendance Policy can be found on the Ridgeway Learning Partnership website.
WHAT TIME SHOULD MY CHILD BE IN SCHOOL?
All students are expected through the school gate by 8.30am. As a large school, it can take a few minutes to travel across the site, so this arrival time ensures that all students are present in Tutor Time for morning registration at 8.35am.
If students are not present for morning registration, they will be marked as late for the school day; for persistent lateness, the school will issue a sanction, such as a lunchtime detention to make up the time.
Some students travel to school via public transport, however, it is the school's expectation that they use earlier transport if required to ensure that they arrive on time.
IF YOUR CHILD FEELS UNWELL DURING SCHOOL HOURS
Students should ask for their teacher's permission to go to the Medical Room (located via the Reception) where the office staff are qualified in first aid.
The teacher will generally only allow students out of the classroom if they deem them unwell. Students will be advised to attend the Medical Room at break or lunch if they require a paracetamol or similar.
The First aider will decide if a child is well enough to return to lessons after a rest or needs to go home. Should it be necessary for a student to be sent home or if further treatment is required, the medical administrator/first aider will call the emergency contact(s) in order of priority.
It is essential that one named contact is available and able to collect your child at any time during school hours, the school must be able to easily contact you, or another designated adult, should the need arise. Please inform the School in writing immediately if there are any changes to your address or home/work/mobile telephone numbers.
Students must not call home themselves and ask to be collected - there is a procedure that all students must follow, without exception. Sanctions will be issued to students who do not follow the school rules.
If your child develops any condition that requires medical or long-term treatment e.g. allergies, asthma, diabetes or epilepsy, please inform the School as soon as possible. This can be done by updating Operoo. Please also feel free to speak to your child’s Head of House or the Medical Administrator.
A list of all students who visit the Medical Room (along with times) is kept every day on a database and this will highlight recurrent visits. The appropriate action is taken; either by talking to parents or the Head of House as this can identify problems a student may be experiencing which we can then help to resolve.
First aiders in school are trained to assess which steps should be taken should an accident occur or when a pupil is unwell. First aid treatment may be given for cuts, abrasions and suspected broken limbs. If necessary, hospitals will be contacted and where possible, parents telephoned, though it may be necessary to carry out emergency measures before this is possible.
If we have a completed parental/carer consent in place, we will give students paracetamol for minor conditions such as headaches. By giving your consent, you are giving your permission for the school to act on your behalf in administering pain relief and accept that we will do so without contacting you first.
Whilst medical appointments are authorised, we would ask that they are booked outside of school hours whenever possible.
As this is not always an option, we ask parents to bear in mind the impact that absence from lessons may have on a students education; students should only be absent for the time required to travel to and attend the appointment and should be present in school before/returned after wherever possible.
For those students with ongoing medical or mental health conditions, these should be brought to the attention of your child’s Head of House and the Attendance Manager as soon as they are known. Medical documentation should also be provided for your child’s records. Please be assured that this information will be treated as strictly confidential, and will allow the school to work with you in managing and authorising ongoing absences as appropriate.
Why do I need to share the reason for absence?
School is legally obligated to classify every half-day of absence as either Authorised or Unauthorised.
This is not a decision that a parent or carer has the legal responsibility to make. This is why we ask all parents and carers to complete an Operoo Form for every absence. If you do not complete an absence form, or if the reason given is not deemed as a sufficient reason for absence, Tring School has a right to ask for additional details, or to record the absence as unauthorised.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY CHILD’S ABSENCE DROPS TOO LOW?
The vast majority of our students have excellent attendance records and are in education full time.
One way that this is supported is by our Attendance Manager keeping a detailed oversight on all students' attendance and flagging those students whose attendance is beginning to become a concern. Where possible the Attendance Manager, alongside the Pastoral Team, will look to work with the families to improve attendance, however in some cases this is not possible and the school would need to refer to the Attendance Improvement Officer at the Local Authority.
For the Local Authority, a student whose attendance is 90% or lower, without a known and authorised reason, is classed as a ‘Persistent Absentee’. If a student should become a Persistent Absentee, the school has a legal obligation to follow the central processes set in place. This includes, but is not limited to, only authorising further absences if they are due to illness, and only on the receipt of valid and dated medical evidence.
If unauthorised absence continues, the school will request that a Fixed Penalty Notice is raised, whereby the Local Authority will issue a fine, or, when necessary, undertake legal action against a parent. Should this occur, a parent could be left with a permanent criminal record.
TERM TIME HOLIDAYS
The school does not authorise family holidays unless there are very exceptional circumstances, and this is at the discretion of the headteacher. You may receive a fixed penalty fine for any unauthorised absences.
Term Dates can be found here.