Head teacher's comment - Attendance really matters - Julie Summerfield

ALL HEAD TEACHERS encourage excellent attendance – it is essential for a child’s education to be successful.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 11:04 am
Updated Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:47 pm
Julie Summerfield, head teacher at Horndean Technology College. Picture by: Malcolm Wells)

Whilst all schools will support pupils and families struggling with attendance issues it is ultimately the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child attends school. All schools strive to ensure children have an attendance of at least 95 per cent. Whilst 90 per cent may sound excellent in the context of exam success it falls short when looking to maximise a child’s learning.

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Attendance below 95 per cent can adversely affect the academic progress of a child and limit their social development as they have reduced access to activities that promote this.

There is a direct correlation between excellent attendance and a child’s outcomes. Those children who have 95 per cent and better attendance make significantly positive progress. Those children below 95 per cent attendance do not make as much progress as those with similar abilities across the country with the disparity of attainment levels even greater for pupils with attendance levels below 80 per cent. There are always exceptions to this but overall the statistics really reinforce and clearly show that attendance matters.

Absence from school should only occur in the extreme of circumstances and holidays should not be taken in term time – if a child is not in school, they are not learning and they get left behind.