September is Attendance Awareness Month

Good Attendance Matters

Your child will only be successful at school if they attend school.    Our aspiration is for everyone at Notre Dame to attend for more than 98% of the year. If your child’s attendance falls below 95% then research tells us that they will fall behind.  Days off add up to lost learning. 

Even if your child’s attendance is at 95% this will mean that you have missed 40 lessons in one year – the equivalent of 8 full days of lessons.

All parents and carers should know that:

  • It is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child receives an education. As you have chosen to send them to school, it is your parental responsibility to ensure they attend school.
  • Every morning that your child is absent you must contact us before 08:45 and set out a valid reason for the absence by dialling 0114 230 2356 and selecting option 3 for Y7-11 and option 4 for 6th If you do not contact us then the absence will be unauthorised which may lead to a penalty notice by the Local Authority.
  • Term Time Holidays.  High attainment depends on good attendance. Term-time holidays will have a significant impact on achievement and progress and therefore our policy is not to authorise any other than in the most exceptional of circumstances, as deemed by the school. The fundamental principles that we use for defining exceptional are rare, significant, unavoidable and short.   If parents do take a term time holiday that is unauthorised then we will refer this to the Local Authority who may decide to issue a fixed penalty notice.
  • If your child is persistently absent from school and you have not contacted us with a valid reason then our Pastoral Team may conduct a home visit to check the child is safe and well.
  • The legal requirement for students to self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 was removed on the 24th February 2022.  Students are also no longer expected to test for Covid-19.
  • A remote curriculum is only “second best” to being in school. It was there as a temporary response to a national emergency.  Your child will not be as successful if they stay off school in the long term and access a remote curriculum. ​
  • We do understand that there are legitimate health reasons why some children miss school. Our approach is not punitive.  Our first instinct will always be to work with parents and carers to support you in ensuring good attendance for your child whatever the circumstances you face.
  • Following the pandemic it is more important than ever that your child attends schoolso that they can make sure that they get quickly back on track to achieving their academic and social potential.
  • There are 175 days a year when school is not open, this is time for your child to spend on family time, visits, shopping, holidays, household jobs and other appointments.  They should not miss school for these reasons. ​
  • Parents should not keep one child off school because a sibling/friend or cousin is ill.  We do monitor this and we are unable to authorise an absence where we believe a child has missed school because a sibling/friend or cousin is off school.
  • You can view your child’s attendance by downloading the My Child At School
  • If your child’s attendance falls below 95% the Pastoral Team will send a letter to you to alert you to this.  
  • If your child’s attendance falls below 90%  we will then contact you again and will more closely monitor future attendance.  Our Pastoral Team may contact you to arrange a meeting so that we can put in place a plan to help you improve your child’s attendance.
  • If, following this, your child’s attendance continues to drop and we do not think there is a legitimate reason then we may refer you to the Local Authority who may issue you with a penalty notice or even prosecute you.
  • If you are concerned about your child’s attendance and you need support,then the first point of contact, your child’s Pastoral Manager, is listed below:
  • Attendance above 95% gives your child the best chance of success in your exams.
  • Attendance below 90% means that they have limited chance of success and are likely to fail or fall very short of target grades.

Year 7: Mrs Bower

Year 8: Mrs Cooper

Year 9: Mrs Vivian

Year 10: Mr Merrison

Year 11: Miss Madden