Three Rivers Academy is committed, in partnership with parents/carers, students, governors and the Local Authority to ensuring that students attend school regularly.
For full details, please refer to the THPT Attendance Policy.
If your child is unwell or unable to attend school, please call us on the main school number (01932 242994) and select option 1 or email TRAAttendance@threerivers.thpt.org.uk Please do this as early as possible on each day of absence, and by 08.25am at the latest before registration is closed, clearly stating your child's full name, tutor group and only the reason for their absence.
At Three Rivers Academy we actively seek to reward students who consistently do the right thing. We encourage all our students to aim for 100% attendance and regularly reward students who maintain good standards of attendance.
Attendance, Safeguarding and Attainment
Students may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly. Safeguarding the interests of each child is everyone’s responsibility. We often conduct home visits for students who have not been in school for a period of time.
Any absence affects learning and regular absence will seriously affect a student’s ability to get good grades. For example, a student who has above 95% attendance has a 75% chance of meeting their target grades. When attendance falls below 88% they have less than a 30% chance of achieving a good set of GCSE results. A student who has 4 days off each half term would have an attendance percentage of less than 88%.
Having a good education helps to enable students to realise their full potential, increases the chance of future economic stability, builds confidence and resilience and is a factor in ensuring good mental health.
For students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital they attend school regularly and be at school on time every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Attendance over One School Year
Weeks of lost learning
Days of lost learning
Hours / Lessons of lost learning
Less than 2 weeks
Less than 10 days
Less than 50 hours
If a student maintained an attendance percentage of 85-90% during years 7 to 11 they would miss the equivalent of approximately half a year of school, this equates to 487.5 hours of lost learning. If a student’s average attendance was 80% during years 7-11 this would be the equivalent of missing a whole year of school.
- It is expected that all students will maintain excellent standards of punctuality.
- The school day starts at 8:30am.
- When a student is late to school they must report to Student Services and sign in. Failure to register results in a detention. A note must be provided to explain the lateness.
- At 9.25am the registers will be closed. If a child arrives after that time they will be marked as unauthorised absence (U code). A Penalty Notice may be issued if the problem persists.
If a student is absent from morning registration the school will telephone or text the parent/carer on the first day of absence, if we have not already heard from the parent/carer. The school will continue to try and contact parents/carers if there is no response to the truancy call. Where there has been no response, the Attendance Office will inform the Tutors/ Year Lead and if necessary, the Child Protection Officer. When truancy is confirmed, parents will be informed and asked to make contact with the student. Students that truant will receive a school sanction. The school will telephone or text parents every day of absence unless the school has been contacted by parents/carers to say that the students will not be attending. The school will also text parents each time students truant a lesson to make sure they are aware of the safeguarding issue.
Ten days of absence: Any pupil who is absent without an explanation for 10 consecutive days will be referred to Educational Welfare. If the absence exceeds 20 days, your child’s name will be removed from the school roll and you will have to reapply for a place upon your return.
Students leaving school during the day: Students are not allowed to leave the school site without prior permission from school. Parents/carers should arrange medical appointments outside school time (especially routine appointments such as dental check-ups and GP visits). If it is not possible to schedule a medical appointment outside of the school day, please ensure that the student is in school for as much of the day as possible before and after the appointment.
Parents need to send in a note for any planned absence, stating the time of leaving, the expected return time and whether the student is being collected or will make their own way to their destination. Students must sign out on leaving the school and sign back in on their return.
If students are ill whilst they are in school, student services will contact parent/carers to make them aware. Students should not arrange for collection themselves and all communication must go through the school. If students do contact home, parent/carers must contact the school first before they arrive to collect their child.
Exceptional Leave of Absence
There is no automatic entitlement in law for a leave of absence from school. Leave of absence in term time will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. All applications for leave must be written and made in advance using the school’s leave of absence form, which can be found here.
It is important that parents/carers understand the circumstances when leave in term time will not be agreed:
- When a pupil is just joining the school. This is very important as a child needs to settle into their new environment as quickly as possible.
- Immediately before and during assessment periods, GCSE or any other public examinations.
- When a pupil’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence.
- Where a pupil’s attendance rate is already below (95%) or will fall to or below that level as a result of taking a leave of absence.
Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in addition to what is already agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and the Educational Welfare Service will be informed. A Penalty Notice may be issued.
We are aware that the pandemic has had an effect on families, but the expectation is still that every child should now be attending school full time. If you consider that there are exceptional circumstances relating to your request, please let the school have full details. Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Penalty Notices to Address Poor Attendance at School
A Penalty Notice may be issued as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child’s unauthorised absence from school (absence without the agreement of the school or not covered by a medical note) and will be used by Surrey County Council in the following circumstances: -
- Pupils identified by Police and Inclusion Officers (formerly Education Welfare Officers) engaged on Truancy Patrols and who have incurred unauthorised absences.
- Leave of absence in term time (5 days or 10 sessions or more).
- Please be aware that The Education (Pupil Registration)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013 state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- The Headteacher is also required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.
- In such cases the Headteacher/Governing Body must decide whether there are exceptional circumstances. They may request that the Local Authority issue Penalty Notices when the absence is not authorised.
Warnings will not be given where it can be shown that parents have been notified that such absences will not be authorised.
- Finally, the issuing of a Penalty Notice will also be considered where it is judged that a parent is failing to ensure their child's regular school attendance.
This will be considered when a pupil has incurred 7 or more unauthorised sessions in the previous 6 school weeks, which may include a pupil arriving late after close of registration.
If you believe at any stage that your child’s absence from school may leave you liable to receive a Penalty Notice, it is extremely important that you act without delay to secure their regular attendance.
If you have any questions or require further support to achieve an improvement in your child’s attendance, please contact your child’s school or the Inclusion Officer.
Penalty Notice relating to Exclusions
If a child is excluded from school, Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 places a duty on parents/carers to ensure that their child is not in a public place without justifiable cause during school hours.
This duty applies to the first five days of each exclusion. Failure to do so will render the parent/carer liable to a Penalty Notice. (Alternative education provision will be made available from the sixth day of any exclusion.)
Amount Payable for a Penalty Notice
The amount payable for a Penalty Notice issued in any of the above circumstances is currently £60, if paid within 21 days of receipt of the Notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.
If the Penalty Notice is not paid, the local Authority must consider a prosecution in the Magistrates Court for the offence for which the Notice was originally issued.
Please be aware that each parent is liable to receive a Penalty Notice for each child who incurs unauthorised absences, for example, if there are two parents and one child, each parent will receive one Penalty Notice.
If there are two parents, and two children incur unauthorised absences, each parent will receive two Penalty Notices, which in this case would amount to £120 each if paid within 21 days.
Advice and support is available from an Inclusion Officer by contacting your local Education Office as follows :-
North West - Tel: 01483 518130 South West - Tel: 01483 517179
North East - Tel: 01372 833588 South East - Tel: 01737 737777