At The Charles Dickens School, we believe that consistent attendance plays a vital role in fostering academic success, social development, and a sense of belonging. When pupils attend school regularly, they benefit from continuous learning, active participation in class discussions, and the opportunity to build positive relationships with their peers and teachers.
Good attendance and punctuality are important for achieving success at school and are also important life skills.
Absence from school disrupts learning and hinders progress. Ensuring regular attendance at school is a legal responsibility for parents/carers.
If pupils are not in school a justifiable reason must be provided, parents/carers should contact the attendance team by 8.40am or as soon as possible thereafter via telephone or email.
School absence line: 01843 608692
School absence email: email@example.com
Head of Year:
Yr7 L J Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Yr8 K Pluckrose email@example.com
Yr 9 D Gonzalez-Bello firstname.lastname@example.org
Yr 10 J Barrell email@example.com
Yr11 L Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
one school year
|Equal this number of
Which is approximately
|Which means this number of lessons missed|
|95%||9 days||2 weeks||50 Lessons|
|90%||19 days||4 weeks||100 Lessons|
|85%||29 days||6 weeks||150 Lessons|
|80%||38 days||8 weeks||200 Lessons|
If a student’s attendance falls below 90% they are classified by the Government as being a Persistent Absentee (PA) and are at a much greater chance of failing in their GCSE subjects and therefore damaging their life chances.
Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill, and we expect all our students to arrive in school before 8:40am. For any student who arrives after 8:40am, we operate a ‘late gate’ through reception and pupils will receive a detention on third late to school. If a pupil arrives after 8:55am they will receive a detention the same day.
We thank you for your continued support in ensuring your child attends school on time every day, so they can achieve their full potential. Arriving just 5 minutes late every day is the equivalent to missing 3 days of education over the whole year. 10 minutes late every day will mean that a child loses over 30 hours of learning a year.
Supporting your child – Parents/carers
The following advice and support has been collated from Government advice and educational bodies around the support required to improve attendance.
- Talk to your child about the importance of attending every class to support their learning.
- Help your child maintain daily routines; write out a morning and evening routine to follow, including wake up time, leaving the house, completing homework and a bedtime.
- Having a routine for getting up, getting dressed, having breakfast and leaving the house can create a sense of confidence and reduce stress.
- Prepare the night before by checking their timetable, packing bags and laying out clothes.
- Ask about their school day; learn which classes are engaging your child’s interests.
- Discuss ways to increase interest in classes your child does not find engaging.
- Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.
- Discuss feelings of pressure from other children or feeling alone at school which can lead to skipping or missing school.
- If your child is feeling unsafe, losing interest or missing school, speak to their Head of Year.
- Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while pupils without many friends can feel isolated.
- Schedule dental and medical appointments outside of the school hours.
- Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick; medical evidence will be requested.
- Communicate with the school - talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behaviour. These could be tied to something going on at school.
- Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child be successful during GCSE exams and throughout their future careers.
Each pupil starts with 5 Reward Points each day with the expectation that they will attend school, work hard, be well behaved and respectful, and make the right decisions throughout the day.
Year Group Reward
At the end of each term, Christmas, Easter and Summer, there is a local/in-school reward offered to pupils in each year group who satisfy the following criteria:
97.5% attendance and Top 30 pupils in the year group on points.
At the end of the academic year there are three types of reward trips offered. An Elite trip, local trip and in-house reward. These will be based on a pupil’s attendance and accumulation of points (Both Rewards and Behaviour Points). These are offered to pupils who satisfy the following criteria:
Elite Trip/ reward – 97.5% Attendance + Top 60 pupils on overall Points
Local Trip/ reward – 95% Attendance + Next 60 pupils on overall Points
In-House reward – 95% Attendance + Next 30 pupils on overall Points
The Head of Year will run a reward assembly at the end of every term; this must include behaviour, attendance and progress.
The Head of Year will also promote the reward system and provide score updates through the weekly CDS mail and assembly.
Whole School Rewards/Attendance Rewards
At the end of the academic year there are a number of rewards available to pupils based upon the following criteria:
Highest Points pupil in the School - £100 Amazon Voucher.
Whole School Prize Draw: 1st Prize (£100). To be eligible a pupil must have a 100% attendance and a minimum of 925 points
Year group Prize Draw: 2nd Prize (£50) and 3rd Prize (£25) per year group. To be eligible a pupil must have a 97.5% attendance and a minimum of 925 points.
In addition to the above, excellent attendance (100%) will also be recognised three times each year at the end of term with an Attendance Letter of Congratulation from the Headteacher and an Attendance Certificate to be presented in assembly. The Head of Year is responsible for the organisation of the letters and certificates. Data will be provided by the Attendance Managers.
Reward activities will be run for pupils that maintain excellent attendance throughout the school year. These activities will be set up at the end of term 1, 3 and 5 for each year group. To be eligible for these activities pupils must have 100% attendance or be in the top 10% of the year group for attendance. Pupils with incidents that do not meet expected levels of behaviour during the year may not be invited despite being in the top 10% in terms of attendance.
Supporting your child – School
The school utilises many areas of support. Additional support can be requested and made to appropriate support services within the school, including the school counsellor, SEND support and pastoral support. We also work alongside a range of external services.
The support that can be applied for includes:
ACS Time out card to access safe space
Dove Confident Me sessions
School Nursing Referral
Winston’s wish bereavement
Self-harm support (1-1 or small group)
Domestic abuse support (1-1)
Social skills (small group)
Holding on Letting Go (bereavement)
Quarterdeck – Youth Clubs
Children and Young Peoples Mental Health Service (CYPMHS)
Single Point of Access
Early help referral
Emotional wellbeing team
Helpful links for support and further information:
Authorisation of absences are at the discretion of the Headteacher.
All absences, including for holidays, must be requested as far in advance as possible. If you think your child needs to be taken out of school, you should discuss the reasons with the attendance team or the Head of Year as soon as possible.
If the Headteacher is satisfied with the evidence and the notice period, they will authorise the absence.
The school cannot be expected to authorise an absence for a holiday during term time.
Taking holidays during term time means that pupils miss important school time – both educationally and for other school activities. It will be difficult for pupils to catch up on work when they return to school. Only in exceptional
circumstances may a holiday be authorised during term time – this will be decided by the Headteacher.
Exceptional circumstances do not involve cheaper costs, family availability or weather conditions.
KCC can issues a fine if your child is on holiday during term time without permission from the Headteacher.