Attendance Matters – Every School Day Counts
St Matthew Academy aims to work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure regular attendance and good punctuality. We seek parents and carers support in ensuring that their children attend school every day and welcome the opportunity to work together in resolving any difficulties. We are committed to improving attendance levels at the Academy.
School starts at 8.40am, all pupils need to be at the Academy by 8.35am to start the day promptly.
Children learn new things at school every day and missing school puts them behind their classmates. There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a pupil misses can affect their educational outcomes.
Attendance patterns are established early – a child who is regularly missing days in the early years of school miss out on learning the fundamental skills that will set them up for success and will often continue to miss classes in the later years which will directly affect their GCSE results.
Absence from School
If your child is unable to attend, we expect parents/carers to contact the school by 9.00am on the first day of absence and every day thereafter, giving the reason for absence and where possible, an expected date of return. You can notify the school by either calling the main school number, calling the absence line and leaving a message, texting the Academy or emailing the Attendance Officer.
Absence Line (voicemail): 0208 853 6252
Text: 07860 027916
If you have not contacted the Academy and your child is absent, you will receive a personal call/text.
We would also ask that parents/carers either send a note explaining the pupil’s absence or write in their planners for the teachers to see on the day of their return to school.
The Academy will decide if the reason provided for a pupil’s absence is reasonable and if the absence is authorised or unauthorised. Medical evidence of illness or appointments may be requested in cases of poor attendance.
Examples of Authorised Absence
- Genuine illness, medical evidence will need to be provided if this is long term
- Unavoidable medical appointment
- Religious Observance
- Death of a close family member
Examples of Unauthorised Absence
- Illness of parent
- Refusing to attend
- Birthdays or anniversaries
- No clean uniform, damaged uniform or buying school shoes
Medical appointments should be made before or after school, or during school holidays.
Term Time holidays and arrangements for requesting exceptional leave of absence
Holidays must not be taken during the school term. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If leave is unavoidable, an Application for Leave of Absence form should completed well in advance of leave being taken and sent to the Attendance Officer. As much detail of the reason for absence should be included to enable the Head of School to make an informed decision about authorising the leave – ‘family emergency’ is not deemed an adequate explanation without further details. Evidence, such as death certificate or funeral program, may be requested before leave is authorised.
The Headteacher will take into account a pupil’s previous record of attendance when making decisions. It is also important to note that the Headteacher can determine the length of any authorised absence.
If leave is taken without request or the authorisation of the Headteacher, a Penalty Notice will be issued.
For further information on our Attendance and Punctuality Policy please click here
Who to contact about your child’s attendance or punctuality
Parents with concerns about their child’s attendance or punctuality should contact:
Primary Phase – Class Teacher, Family Support Worker or Attendance Officer
Secondary Phase – Form Tutor, Director of Learning or Attendance Officer