At Launceston College we aim for students to be happy, successful and responsible. Regular attendance at College is a vital part of students doing well and has been shown to have a huge impact on achievement. We recognise the crucial role that you play in supporting your child to do well and would like to thank you for all that you do to ensure that your child comes to College each day.
Being absent from College too regularly has a big impact on a young person’s opportunities and results. Launceston College is working with students and families on boosting attendance so that every student can enjoy achieving their best. Excellent and improving attendance is recognised through rewards and incentives, each term and each year.
We request that parents/guardians:
- work with us to ensure their child’s attendance is the best it can possibly be and attend meetings if and when needed
- ensure that their child arrives at College on time and positively encourage punctuality to all lessons as a life skill
- phone the College office before 9 am every day of absence, giving the reason for the absence and an indication of when the student will be returning to College. If unable to phone in College hours, an answer service is available outside College hours
- contact the tutor or Head of House if the reason for absence is caused by something other than illness: e.g. worry about College work, friendship problems
- understand that Launceston College has to decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised. (Please note that the College cannot now authorise holidays in term time following Government legislation)
- support us in only allowing students to be absent for reasons that the College would authorise, e.g. illness, bereavement, emergency dental work and not allow students to stay home for reasons that that we would not authorise, e.g. shopping trip, hair appointment, birthday treat
- make all routine dental and medical appointments out of College hours or in the holidays as far as possible. Avoid whole day absences for Orthodontist appointments (which we realise are often scheduled during the school day).
Should you wish to talk to someone about your child’s attendance then please contact Mrs Cordelia Preece, Attendance Officer or your child’s Head of House in the first instance on 01566 772468.
An outline of our attendance procedures and a link to the latest government guidance is available on our website should you wish to know more.
Thank you again for all your support.
The information attached is to help those parents who may be struggling to support their child to be in College each day and where attendance has fallen below 95%. It outlines our attendance procedures and routes to support. We would urge any parent who needs support to contact us; we very much want to help.
Please find below an outline of the actions we take as a College to support you in ensuring your child’s attendance remains good or improves if necessary.
Falling attendance as a result of multiple, short term absence
- We will inform you by letter that the attendance of your child has fallen below 95%
- If attendance continues to fall, or reaches 92%, the Attendance Officer will contact you again to see what support may be needed.
- When attendance falls below 90%, your Head of House will contact to offer further support and signpost additional agencies who may be able to help if necessary.
- If, despite all the support in place, your child’s attendance does not improve, we shall issue a request to Cornwall County Council for legal proceedings to be considered to support your child in returning to College.
Medium to long term absence:
- Following a full week, your Head of House will contact you to request more information and offer support to help create a plan for your child’s return. (This will be on day 3 for repeated occurrences).
- If your child is off into a second week with an illness then medical evidence will need to be provided for us to continue to authorise.
- If your child is off for two weeks due to non-medical reasons, you will be invited to a meeting where we will form a plan, together, to support your child in coming back to College.
- If despite all the support in place your child’s attendance does not improve, we shall issue a request to Cornwall County Council for legal proceedings to support your child in returning to College.If you would like some additional support in helping your child to attend College more regularly we can refer your family for Early Help. This is a scheme that allows a number of agencies to work with children and their families in order to find solutions to barriers that are causing issues at College or in the home. We recognise the impact that the actions and behaviour of one family member can have on the whole family. The College will work with you and these outside organisations to improve your child’s attendance. Please ask the Attendance Officer, Pastoral Support worker or your child’s Head of House if you think this would be of help, we would strongly recommend this and would encourage parents to sign up to Early Help Hub.
On exceptional occasions, the College may deem it appropriate to authorise the absence of a pupil for reasons other than illness. The College will decide whether to do this using government guidelines https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence. Absences that are for reasons other than illness, that are unexplained, or that are not authorised by the College will class as unauthorised absences. If your child has unauthorised absences that accumulate to 10 or more sessions missed, a total of 5 full days, we shall issue a request to Cornwall County Council for legal proceedings to support your child in returning to College.
We do not authorise holidays in term time other than in exceptional circumstances. If we discover a child has been taken on holiday in term time without authorisation this will be classed as unauthorised absence and we shall issue a request to Cornwall County Council for legal proceedings if your child has accumulated 10 sessions unauthorised, as above.
We have a legal responsibility to inform the local authority in cases of persistent and unauthorised absence. In these cases, we will make a request to Cornwall County Council, for them to instigate appropriate legal action, these could include:
A penalty notice warning letter
Should the Local Authority be made aware of unauthorised absence, but don’t have sufficient evidence of a written warning being issued to the parent, the LA will issue a warning letter, if further unauthorised absence occurs within 12 months then a penalty notice will be issued.
A school absence penalty notice
Should a school absence penalty notice be issued; one notice will be issued to each parent/carer for each child involved and no more than one penalty notice will be issued within a 2-year period per child.
A magistrate’s summons
This could lead to a criminal record, a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 months.
Education Supervision Order (ESO)
The Children Act 1989 allows the local education authority to apply to the Family Proceedings Court for an ESO for any child of compulsory school age, whom it is felt, is not being properly educated. The intention behind the ESO is to support parents in fulfilling their legal responsibilities. The ESO is only suitable where the child and the parents/carers are willing to co-operate with the process. If the application for an order is successful the ESO will last for one year but may be extended for up to 3 years. A Supervising Officer will be appointed by the Court. The role of the Supervisor is to work with the child and family to ensure that an appropriate education is received.
Launceston College remains committed to supporting you and your child at all stages of this process. Please contact the Attendance Officer, your Head of House or Pastoral Support worker if you would like further support or advice.