Attendance

**Please note - the FGS Attendance Policy is currently under review and will be presented to the school Governing Body at the next meeting in November. The updated document will then be shared on the website and an access link included on this page**

Due to COVID-19 restriction, our current school start times as of September 2020 are as follows:

Year Group Gate Opens Gate Closes Form Time Starts
7 08:15am 08:40am 08:40am
8 08:15am 08:40am 08:40am
9 08:30am 08:50am 08:50am
10 08:30am 08:50am 08:50am
11 08:15am 08:40am 08:40am
12 08:15am 08:50am 08:50am
13 08:15am 08:50am 08:50am


Any students arriving to school after the gate closes are officially late to school and will be coded with an 'L'. We advise all parents to notify the school if you believe your daughter will be late to school for any reason beyond their control to keep the school informed from a safeguarding perspective.

Parents/carers of any students missing from school after registers close at 10am will be notified by Text and Email via the school InTouch system, and we aim to have a follow up call by 11am if we have still not yet had a response.

Any students who are required to stay at home and self-isolate due to association with a positive COVid-19 case will not have their attendance affected as they are not required to attend school. Please note: if your daughter presents with COVID-19 symptoms she must be kept at home and the school notified.

Importance of Attendance

Regular and punctual attendance is an essential prerequisite to effective learning and the parent of a child of compulsory school age is required by law to ensure that the child regularly attends the school at which she is registered. FGS has, therefore, set an aspirational target of 98% attendance amongst our students and, whilst our whole school approach to attendance focuses primarily on promoting attendance, we also address the issue of absenteeism, especially persistent absenteeism, when it occurs.

At FGS we are committed to working with parents and families to help them meet their obligation of ensuring their daughters regularly attend school. In line with our whole school aims we want to empower our students to make the right decisions about their attendance and punctuality; where they fail to do so there will be consequences which impact on them and their families. The responsibility for avoiding the consequences lies with the student, and she has to be on premises by the time her allocated entrance gate closes each morning.

We positively acknowledge and praise students who maintain outstanding, or improve their attendance and we have put in place a system of praise and recognition which show the whole school community how we value good attendance and punctuality (please see our "Praise & Recognition" page ).

What to do if your daughter is going to be late to school

Please contact the Attendance Officer on 0161 912 2949 to alert her that your daughter will be late to school; this will usually prevent a "truancy call" being made. Whatever the reason for her being late, we are unable to record a 'present' mark on the register. Those who arrive in school between 8.40 and 10.00 will be recorded as present (but late) using the register code L. Students who arrive after the close of the register (10.00 and later) will be recorded as absent for the morning session, using the register code U. Persistent poor punctuality is regarded as a behaviour issue and could result in a Behaviour Panel or exclusion. When a student is persistently late without good reason and the school's efforts to effect improvement have been unsuccessful, it may be necessary to refer the matter to the Local Authority via the Senior Leadership Team.

What to do if your daughter is unable to attend school and this is unplanned

Please contact the Attendance Officer on 0161 912 2949 before 8.30 to inform her that your daughter will be absent from school and what the reason for the absence is; this will usually prevent a "truancy call" being made. Unplanned absence from school may be authorised if it is for the following reasons:

  • Sickness
  • Emergency medical/dental appointments
  • Exceptional family circumstances, such as a bereavement

What to do if you need to ask for time off for your daughter in advance

Please contact the Attendance Officer in writing at least 48hrs prior to the absence; she will process your application for leave and contact you to give authorisation, as appropriate. If the absence involves only part of the school day, your daughter will need to obtain an orange slip from her Form Tutor or Student Services; this will enable her to sign out through Community Reception at the appropriate time. Planned absence from school may be authorised if it is for the following reasons:

  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments
  • Religious observance
  • Family funerals
  • Study leave
  • A child caring for a sick or disabled family member (limited duration)
  • Involvement in an approved public performance
  • Involvement in an approved sporting activity
  • Attendance at post-16 or University interviews
  • Approved work experience

Absence from school will not be authorised for:

  • Family holidays
  • Shopping
  • Looking after brothers, sisters or unwell parents
  • Minding the house
  • Birthdays
  • Avoidable medical appointments

If parents decide to take their daughter on holiday, despite the request for Leave of Absence being declined, they are advised that this may result in the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice (Fine) under section 444 of the 1996 Act. When a student is persistently absent (attendance is less than 90%) and the school's efforts to effect improvement have been unsuccessful, it may be necessary to refer the matter to the Local Authority via the Senior Leadership Team.

What does it meant to be a 'Persistent Absentee'?

Throughout the school year, if attendance drops below 90%, you are considered to be persistently absent from school. As a result, these students are known to be a 'Persistent Absentee' from school. This 90% attendance minimum expectation is a benchmark is set by the government and is the same for all schools across the country, not simply a minimum expectation of FGS.
Over the course of the year, any student missing 19 days of school (38 sessions) would achieve a maximum attendance of 90%. Therefore, any further day missed beyond 19 days would mean a student would end the year as a Persistent Absentee. This would also mean that the student had missed enough lessons to reflect approximately 114 hours of learning.

As an approximate guide, this equates to the following measures as the year progresses:

Half Term School Sessions School Days Hours of Learning Missed (Approx)
1
(September - October)
7 3.5 21
2
(November - December)
14 7 42
3
(January - February)
20 10 60
4
(February - March)
26 13 78
5
(April - May)
32 16 96
6
(May - July)
38 19 114

 

As such, the government expect schools to gather evidence and follow up on any families not adhering to these minimum expectations. At FGS we have a series of internal procedures, such as Attendance Contracts and Attendance Panel meetings, we follow before exploring any external support from Trafford Local Authority, which may come in the form of a Fixed Penalty Notice. Schools are inspected and judged on their accurate record keeping and evidence of appropriate follow up with students who are Persistently Absent from school, so we therefore kindly ask for your support to ensure the absolute minimum of attendance expectations are met unless there are personal circumstances which must be taken into consideration, such as medical or other issues (please refer to the Attendance Policy for further details).

At FGS we pride ourselves on being able to explore and implement appropriate alternative provision that meet the personal needs of our students where possible.
We make decisions based on individual cases and circumstances, so itis important we have full details of any medical appointments or disabilities to ensure we have the full picture to inform our approach to poor attendance.
If you are unsure whether your daughter's personal circumstances should be taken into consideration, we encourage you to make direct contact with your daughter's Head of House or the Attendance Officer on 0161 912 2949 at your earliest convenience.

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Fixed Penalty Notices are fines issued by the Local Authority to Parents/Carers of persistently absent students, after a review of evidence and documentation provided by schools.

In addition, Fixed Penalty Notices are expected to be issued for holidays taken during term time. It is at the discretion of the school as to whether to support a holiday request during term time, which may receive authorisation depending on the personal circumstances surrounding the trip - please read the Attendance Policy for further details.

I am unsure the school have been fair in their decision making about our situation.

As a school we work in collaboration with Trafford Local Authority and we are proud of this working partnership. However, Trafford LA are their own advisory board and would be happy to work with you to discuss your queries should you feel the need to seek advice about the way the school has handled your own personal situation.
If you feel you would benefit from additional advice or guidance from Trafford LA, please contact the Trafford Pupil Absence Team using the contact details on their website.

Attendance Contacts - Key staff Roles & Responsibilities:

• Mr R Coultas - Assistant Headteacher - Pastoral (Senior Lead for Attendance)
• Mrs E Flett - Attendance Officer
• Mr Ashurst - Head of Anne Frank House
• Mrs Croniken - Head of Helen Keller House (Part-time)
• Miss Collier - Head of Helen Keller House (Part-time)
• Mrs McGougan - Head of Rosa Parks House

Please note: The latest DfE guidance for schools recording COVID-related absences during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found HERE