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May 2021 Standards Letter

Dear Parents and Carers,


I am writing to you with some key reminders about attendance, punctuality, uniform and mobile phones.


As a school we have been very proud of how well our pupils have returned from the last lockdown; the vast majority have returned to school keen to learn, smartly dressed and are complying with the school rules. Having a long absence from school is not easy and pupils have faced significant challenges in having their usual social freedoms and education severely compromised.


We have been very accommodating and flexible as pupils returned and I am enormously grateful to the fantastic support we have received from you as parents and carers. You have trusted and helped us by supporting our expectations and this has made the return to school very smooth for most of our children.


Now that we have established school routines and expectations again, it is important that everyone is clear about our school rules and standards. Please read the following information carefully as it sets out some key points about how school operates.


ATTENDANCE


Good attendance at school is one of the most significant influences on the academic and social success of a child. It also prepares young people for employment and gets them into good habits for adult life.


As a school we set a minimum expectation of 95% attendance for all pupils. In September I will be raising this to 96%.


From April 19th schools have been instructed to start normal procedures for dealing with poor attendance and persistent absence. These procedures can include fines for parents and carers whose children fail to attend school on a regular basis.


Whilst the last 12 months have been very challenging and unusual, I now expect all pupils to attend school every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence such as illness or self-isolation due to Covid-19. We will be instigating our attendance procedures and I will be writing directly to the parents and carers of children whose attendance is of concern. School is as safe as it can possibly be in terms of Covid-19 risk management and we continue to follow government guidelines outlined in our risk assessment.


Members of my pastoral team have been working extremely hard to support some families who are struggling with getting their children into school. However, there is only so much we can do as a school and ultimately it is the responsibility of the parents/carers to ensure their child attends school.


PUNCTUALITY


All pupils are expected to be on site for 8.40 a.m. and the gates will be shut at this time. Pupils who arrive after 8.40 a.m. will need to report to reception and you will receive notification that your child was late for school. If a child is late on 5 occasions, he/she will be placed in senior detention. Further lates will result in you having to attend a meeting with your child’s Head of House to discuss why your child is late for school and what the issues are surrounding their poor punctuality.


We will also be recording lateness to lessons and again, once 5 lates have been recorded for either being late to school or late to lessons, a senior detention will be issued.


I make no apologies for insisting that pupils are on time for school and for lessons. Again, as children leave school and go into an adult world, they will be expected to be punctual in their places of employment. Teaching children to be on time is a valuable part of character education and also helps them to organise and manage their time effectively.


MOBILE PHONES


We have a very clear and sensible policy regarding mobile phones; between 8.40 a.m. and 3.10 p.m. pupils must not use their mobile p