At EEHS we want the very best education for every child, to give them the greatest chance of success in their later life. We appreciate that the past two years have been unprecedented, but it is now imperative that as a community we come together to foster exemplary attendance values and habits in our young people. The target for all students at EEHS is 100% attendance.
As a school we have seen first-hand the impact the global pandemic has had on our students. To move forward from this, we have reshaped our school day, adapted our curriculum and increased the student support provision. We truly believe the systems and support we have in place in school will help our students develop both academically and socially. In order to be able to benefit from these it is vital that your children are in school every day and that you communicate openly and regularly with us.
The government have been clear with schools on the expectations for student attendance and we want to be transparent in communicating these clearly to you as parents/guardians.
- The morning register is at 8.40am. Any student who arrives late to form will receive an L late mark and will be issued a negative point/detention. Any student who arrives to school after 9am will be given a U code late mark – these are unauthorised, and fines may be issued from Surrey County Council if a student reaches 15 or more unauthorised sessions.
- Absences due to illness are not automatically authorised as in line with public health guidance students are expected in school, even if taking medication. This includes colds/period pains/allergies/feeling sick/sprains/anxiety/depression and covid-19.
- It is expected that appointments will happen outside of term time/school hours. Medical evidence must be provided for all emergency appointments that happen during school hours. The attendance officer must be made aware of the appointment in advance.
- Changes to legislation have made it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. As a matter of policy, Epsom and Ewell High School will not authorise leave of absence for holidays in term time. Any requests for leave of absence for exceptional reasons during term time must be in writing to the Headteacher via the form below and handed in to the school office for the attention of the attendance officer. Applications must be made at least two weeks before the date you want the period of absence to start. Regulation does not allow schools to give retrospective approval. If a parent/carer does not apply for leave of absence in advance, the absence must be recorded as unauthorised.
- As part of the government initiative to improve attendance nationally, unauthorised absences will be declared to the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine will be imposed. Students with attendance under 90% are persistently absent and support may be sought from the Local Authority to improve attendance.
- Absences must be reported before 8.40am on each day of your child’s absence.
- You can report through Studybugs (Studybugs), or by calling Miss Blanc-Viejo on 020 8974 0400 and selecting the attendance line.
- You must give your child’s full name, year group and a reason for the absence. You must give sufficient information behind the reason for your child’s absence, lack of clarity or detail will result in unauthorised absences being recorded.
- Please note just because you have informed us your child is not in school, does not mean the absence is automatically authorised.
- Please expect to receive an email/text or follow up call if your child is absent and you have not notified the attendance officer.
- If you have been asked to supply evidence, it should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Every student should aim for 100% attendance and punctuality. We encourage and reward excellent attendance and punctuality through achievement points which may contribute towards whole school rewards. We also offer attendance rewards such as trips, prizes, treats and assembly awards.
We are very fortunate as a school to have such an experienced and devoted pastoral team. Attendance is monitored daily by Form Tutors, Heads of Year, Assistant Headteachers and the Attendance Officer. We have a wide range of internal and external support options if you have any concerns for your child (see support strategies document). We only ask that you communicate openly and honestly with us so we can work together to give your child the best support available.
We work closely with the Local Authority to ensure every child has the support they need to attend. Should a child’s attendance fall below 90%, they are then described as a ‘Persistent Absentee’. These students are reported to the Local Authority who consider if further support can be offered. If a student’s attendance/punctuality does not improve the Local Authority will consider whether to pursue legal action against the child’s parents/guardians.
Frequently Asked Attendance Questions
- How do I report my child’s absence?
Please report an absence before 8.40am on each day of your child’s absence. You can report through Studybugs (Studybugs), or by calling Miss Blanc-Viejo on 020 8974 0400.
- What should I say when reporting an absence?
You will need to state your child’s name and year group alongside an actual reason for them missing school. If you just tell us the student is ill/unwell/not well/poorly etc this will not be classed as an authorised absence. If we do not hear from you in the morning the whole day will be marked as unauthorised.
- Can I take my child to a medical appointment during school hours?
If your child has an urgent medical appointment that cannot be taken out of school hours, he/she will still be required to be in school both before and after the appointment where possible. If your child is not in before/after their appointment
this will be classed as an unauthorised absence. You must provide an appointment card/letter for your child’s absence to be classed as medical otherwise your child will be marked in as late or as an unauthorised absence.
- Will my child’s absence be authorised?
Absences due to illness are not automatically authorised as in line with public health guidance students are expected in school, even if taking medication. This includes colds/period pains/allergies/feeling sick/sprains/hay fever and anxiety.
- What is medical evidence?
Medical evidence may be required from families, particularly those where student attendance is below 90%. Parents/carers will need to provide medical evidence to the school for the school to be able to authorise time off.
Medical evidence for non-minor illnesses can be:
• Hospital letter
• Signed note from the GP or nurse
• Medicine with the prescribed sticker on it.
• Appointment card with name and date on it (to authorise appointment times only) Please check with Miss Blanc-Viejo if you are unsure about the evidence you have or need.
- Is there support available for my child?
We have several different options of support for families regarding attendance. Please see our student support document for further information.
- What is classed as persistent absence?
Persistent Absence is classed as any absence that equates to over 10% of the academic year at any given time. Any pupil who appears on the persistent absence list may be monitored formally by Surrey County Council Inclusion Services.
- Should I send my child in if they feel unwell?
We recommend that you send your child in to school if they can attend. If they feel unwell during the day, we can provide them with paracetamol or Calpol with your permission. If your child calls you and you come and collect them this will not be authorised. Should your child call you please advise them that they should not be using their phone and need to go to reception to be seen where a member of staff who will assist and access if the student needs to go home.
- What should I do if my child is late to school?
Please message us with a valid reason and evidence for example, if it is an urgent medical appointment so that we can authorise the lateness or prevent a negative point/detention.
Students should be in school by 8:35am. Students arriving after 8:40am but before 9am will be given an L code late mark. Students arriving after 9am will be given a U code late mark.
These are unauthorised and fines from Surrey County Council can be issued if the student reaches 15 or more unauthorised sessions.
- I’m worried that my child may be having issues in school, what can I do?
We will make every effort to support your child in school. To be able to do so, we need to be informed of the situation. Please contact your child’s tutor with any concerns. If you choose to keep your child out of school while issues are being resolved this will be classed as unauthorised unless it is agreed with by a member of senior leadership. If you feel there is an issue that must be resolved before your child can attend, you must contact he school straight away so measures can be put in place.
- Can I take my child on holidays during the term?
Any requests for leave of absence during term time should be in writing to the Headteacher. Via our leave of Absence form. It will be the decision of the Headteacher as to whether the leave is authorised. However, as a matter of policy, EEHS will not authorise leave of absence for holidays in term time. Depending on the length of the holiday, a Fixed Penalty Notice or even a fine could be imposed.
- What if my child is anxious?
Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly common in young people. The school is here to support, we have counsellors, mental health professionals and experienced staff in the Wave to support, to avail of this you must send your child in. The school can only authorise anxiety and mental health in students with evidence from CAMHS or a GP. We cannot accept just being told by a parent that their child is not fit for school. If your child is suffering with anxiety or their mental health is low, it is important that you take them to the GP for discussion and referral.