The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74 “One who treads a path in search of knowledge has his path to Paradise made easy by God…” – Riyadh us-Saleheen, 245 “A servant of God will remain standing on the Day of Judgment until he is questioned about his (time on earth) and how he used it; about his knowledge and how he utilized it; about his wealth and from where he acquired it and in what (activities) he spent it; and about his body and how he used it.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 148.
The school follows the Department for Education (DfE) regulations and guidance. Regular school attendance is a legal responsibility on parents. The School is required by law to record absences and late arrivals on a pupil’s annual report. We expect our pupils to have an attendance percentage record of over 95% as the norm. Independent schools must notify the Local Education Authority if a pupil does not attend regularly. The School will notify the appropriate local authority if a pupil has a low attendance of 85% or below, or if they are absent continuously without the School’s authorisation for ten or more school days. Non-emergency medical and dental appointments should be made outside school hours.
Appointment letters for specialist or hospital treatment should be shown to the Form Tutor and Admin Office in advance of the appointment. All pupils are expected to stay on the school premises during break and lunchtimes. Authorised absence procedures Authorised absence is where the School has either given approval in advance for a pupil to be absent, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards by parents as satisfactory justification. All other absences will be classified as unauthorised. Acceptable reasons for absence would normally be only illness or bereavement. Absences for interviews are authorised by the School only if advance notice is given and a letter of invitation shown.
Parents are asked to telephone the School Office on every morning of absence, between 8am and 8:30am. A member of the Administrative Staff will try to contact parents if the school has not received a reason for the absence. If the Administrative Staff are unable to contact parents by telephone, a text message will be sent. Absence will remain unauthorised until contact has been made. If a pupil is absent for ten days or more, the parent must provide the school with a medical certificate from the GP, or from the practitioner who is providing medical treatment.
A risk assessment will be carried out for any pupil who returns after a prolonged period of absence. If a pupil has been absent with an infectious illness that has to be notified to public health authorities, a parent should send in a medical certificate on his return. This should state the nature of the illness and certify freedom from infection. All cases of infectious illness in the home should be reported to the School immediately by telephone to allow school to make a decision on whether to inform other parents of the risk, should there be more than three cases in school. Leave of absence for holidays The School does not authorise absence for holidays in term-time and strongly discourages parents from making such requests.
Parents must be aware that leave of absence will not be authorised if the pupil’s attendance is low. Leave of absence will not be authorised at any time for pupils in Years 10 and 11 or for any pupils during the school examination period. Requests for leave of absence will only be considered on receipt of an Absence Request Form, which can be obtained from the school office. Each request will be considered individually. Requests must be received by the Head Teacher before bookings are made, and at least two weeks (during term time) before the absence. All absences, over the number of days requested, will be classed as unauthorised and can lead to the pupils name being taken off the school register. Absences taken without consent will also lead to pupils name been taken off the school register. Unauthorised absence The School is bound by DfE regulations. The DfE regards all absence which has not been authorised by the school as truancy. Absence is classified as unauthorised in the following cases:-
- If the reason for absence is unacceptable to the School
- If the pupil does not bring a written explanation of absence from a parent (or a phone call)
- If the pupil misses a lesson without the permission of the teacher
- If the pupil leaves the school site without the advance written permission of a parent, authorised by the relevant Head of Year or Form Tutor. Attendance Policy
- If a pupil takes leave of absence (e.g. holiday) without obtaining prior written permission
- If a pupil fails to return to school on the agreed date following an authorised leave of absence. – this includes unauthorised extension of authorised holidays.
The above scenarios will result in the pupils name being taken off the school roll.
Punctuality is regarded by the school as an important indicator that a pupil is learning self-discipline and good time management. We are frequently asked to comment on punctuality for employment, Further Education and Higher Education references. Pupils must make every effort to avoid lateness. Pupils who are late to school may be issued an after school detention.
The first registration takes place at 8.15am. If a pupil arrives after the register has been taken, they will be marked ‘late’ in the register. If a pupil arrives in school after 8:25am, they must bring a letter of explanation from a parent. (The only exceptions are pupils who may be travelling from outside of Bradford and who may be affected on the odd occasion by traffic conditions). These pupils are marked present and not late if their journey is delayed, as this is beyond the pupils’ control. If a pupil arrives after the end of the registration period, they should sign the ‘Late Book’ at reception and proceed quickly to his lesson. Pupils who are regularly late will be dealt with as follows: On the first occasion they will be given a warning, each occasion subsequent to this they will be given an after school detention. Parents of pupils who are persistently late will be invited in to discuss the reasons for their child’s punctuality.
PROCEDURE FOR MONITORING ATTENDANCE
a) First day contact
The purpose of first-contact is to:
- Provide a way in which parents can let the school know that a pupil is unable to come to school, the reasons for this and the expected date of return
- Enable the school to contact parents/carer to notify them their child has not arrived in school
A designated member of the office staff will be responsible for contacting parents on the first day of absence.
- Registers to be checked at 8.30am and pupils who are first day absent are identified Attendance Policy
- The office member contacting parents by phone to query the absence (ensure correct phone/ mobile number is used) If contact is not possible then a text message will be sent
- A note is made for reason of absence
- A pupil will have their absence authorised once contact has been made with parent and suitable reason for absence has been given
b) Following up absences:
- Parents must contact the school in person or via telephone call to explain their child’s absences on the first day they return back to school.
- If the pupil is absent for two consecutive days and the office failed to contact parents, then on the third day of absence, staff will make attempts to contact parents or emergency contacts via phone call, text message, email etc urging them to contact the school and notify the school of the reason for their child’s absence.
- Within three school days of the date of the letter, if the parents have still not contacted the school, the Headteacher must contact the DfE/Local Authority (attendance section) to seek advice. All phone calls must be recorded.
- Attendance monitor to follow up persistent punctuality
c) Actions to be taken for pupils whom attendance is a cause for concern & Strategies to improve attendance
- Absence on a certain day on a regular basis, staff to contact parents to discuss their concern.
- Too many absences on a certain day due to medical appointments
- Pupils who fail to return to school at the end of an authorised leave of absence
- Pupils who go on holiday without gaining school permission: – removed from school roll. Local authorities immediately informed.
- If a pupil’s attendance falls below 90% the parents are called in for a meeting with Senior Management to discuss the matter.
- If a pupil’s attendance does not improve once the parents have been brought in, the parents may be asked to withdraw their child from the school. This is at the Head Teachers discretion.
- Regular meetings with parents of pupils for whom attendance and punctuality is an issue.
- Chid Welfare Officer to speak to pupils
- Timetable for home / checklist to be provided for pupils to help them get organized in the morning
- After school detentions for those pupils who arrive late