What is the school policy regarding attendance?

Please make sure that your child is at school every day on time.  There is incontrovertible evidence that once a child’s attendance falls below 95%, their achievement falls. They must be in school if at all possible. 100% attendance is even better and has genuine impact upon results at GCSE and A Level. Students find it easier to understand work, the expectations of their  teachers and what is needed for success in public exams. They are more likely to learn when they are always in class and it allows them to take advantage of a wider range of additional opportunities.

  • We will contact parents and carers if pupils are not in school
  • Follow-up any unexplained absences, especially for pupils with attendance problems
  • Arrange an interview with our Attendance and Welfare Manager if attendance is a cause for concern and falls below 95%
  • Refer any concerns to the Local Authority when school led interventions have not improved school attendance and when additional needs have been identified. Unauthorised absences can lead to statutory intervention
  • Refuse to authorise any requests for leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. (Taking unauthorised leave during term time could result in Fixed Penalty Notice.)

We understand at times it may be necessary to attend a medical or dental appointment during school hours but we would encourage a pupil to come into school to get their present mark first for that session. It is always best if those appointments can take place before or after school. If your child is too ill to attend  then you must let us know before 8.20 a.m. on the first day of absence. You may do this by telephone (0191 384 3887 – choose Option 1) or by email school@durhamjohnston.org.uk . If your child is likely to be absent for a longer period of time, please keep us informed. A child should not be well enough to leave the house if they are too ill to come to school.

Amendments to the 2006 school attendance regulations came into force on 1 September 2013.  The amendments make it clear that a Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Requests for leave of absence should be made in writing to the Headteacher.  A LOA request form is published on the website and copies are available from the school office.  Experience and research tell us that children who are taken out of school often never catch up on work they have missed.  This affects test results and can be particularly harmful if your child is studying for examinations.  Some children also find it very hard to renew or keep up friendships with their classmates. Term and holiday dates are published in the student organiser and on the school website.