Attendance & Behaviour
Stokesley School and Sixth Form is a successful school and college which plays an integral part within our surrounding community. As part of the Areté Learning Trust we work collaboratively and strongly believe that developing positive attendance and punctuality is vital in preparing young people for life in Modern Britain. Within school we aim to create an environment which enables and encourages all members of our community to be the best they can be in every aspect of their lives. One way in which we strive to do this is by encouraging parents/carers, students and staff to maximise the learning experience in order that all students reach their full potential. We are determined in encouraging the development of high self-esteem and for our children to take pride and ownership of their learning. For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education and develop essential life skills, it is vital that they attend regularly. Parents/Carers have a legal responsibility to ensure their son/daughter attends school, on time, every day the school is open; unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
As a school we will work closely with our parents/carers, our attendance and pastoral team and the Local Authority to support regular school attendance. This school attendance protocol is written to reflect the law and also the guidance produced by the Department of Education. This protocol sets out how we will achieve this together. Our protocol applies to all students registered within the school and college and is made available to all parents/carers of pupils that are registered with us on the school website.
Why regular attendance is so important:
- any absence (including lateness) affects the pattern of a student's schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning;
- any student’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class;
- students who attend school regularly, over 96%, are most likely to succeed academically in line with their prior attainment data;
- according to statistics, those with less than 90% are most likely to drop below their prior attainment expectations by at least two grades in each subject;
- students who have positive attendance, over 96%, will be more settled, maintain positive friendships and become more involved in the wider life of the school;
- students who establish good attendance and punctuality routines at school age will maintain these throughout life;
- ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence in law and may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (for each parent/carer) and/or prosecution.
Parents can help by:
- Ensuring your child attends school and is punctual.
- Reinforcing the importance of good attendance and the link between attendance and progress.
- Informing school in advance of any planned absences, e.g. hospital appointments that cannot be made out of school hours, and only taking the minimum amount of time off required for the appointment.
- Making all non-urgent doctor and dentist appointments outside of school hours or in the school holidays.
- Informing school by 8.30am on the morning of the first day of an unplanned absence and any subsequent days following that.
- Contacting your child’s form tutor if you have any concerns that may affect attendance.
Leave of absence and family holidays
Family holidays should not be arranged during term time. The Department for Education make it clear that there is no entitlement for parents to take their child on holiday in term time. Any leave must be only in exceptional circumstances and a request must be made to the Head of Year, in the first instance, at least 21 days in advance of the proposed absence.
Exceptional circumstances would be classed as bereavement or extreme family circumstances not cheaper holidays or issues with parental leave.
Taking a holiday during term time, persistent absence, or persistent late arrival to school will result in a referral to the Local Authority and will lead to prosecution proceedings, or a Fixed Penalty Notice. Fixed Penalty Notices amount to £60 but this rises to £120 if it is not paid in 21 days; if the fine remains unpaid, you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school. You can find more information about the legal action local councils and schools can take at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence/legal-action-to-enforce-school-attendance. Stokesley School will be consistent in its application of penalties for unauthorised or persistent absence as we have a duty of care to educate your child and can only do that if they are in school.
High standards of behaviour are expected of every student. Students move around the school in a mature way and with little fuss. Every student has the right to learn in a classroom environment free from distractions and our behaviour system is designed to support that aim.
HOW WE SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS' BEHAVIOUR A STOKESLEY SCHOOL
Our motto ‘being the best we can be’ pervades everything we do at Stokesley School, and this is underpinned by our three core expectations that students will be ‘ready, respectful and ambitious’. We believe that to be firm and clear in our expectations is kind: it enables our community to thrive and prepares the young people in our care for a future in which they will display high standards of personal responsibility, integrity and discipline.
As a staff, we work with Pivotal Education to ensure our behaviour management is the best it can be; as a result, we subscribe to the five Pivotal pillars:
- Consistent, calm adult behaviour
- First attention to best conduct
- Relentless routines
- Scripted interventions
- Restorative follow up
We want our behaviour policies to cater for the 95% of students who make positive behaviour choices the first time, every time. Therefore the most important part of our behaviour system is our positive recognition; we do this in the following ways:
- Achievement points with accumulations linked to certification and prizes. Achievement points are awarded by staff members recognising high standards of work, contribution in the classroom or wider school community.
- Going for Gold tutor group competition/House based competition
- Hot Chocolate Friday with the Headteacher
- Phone calls, text messages and e-mails home in addition to verbal praise
- School awards