Attendance & Behaviour
Maintaining a high level of attendance for all students is one of our priorities. Our aim is that all students have at least 96% attendance. When a child's attendance falls below 90% they are classified as being persistently absent (PA), attendance below 90% is shown to directly correlate with underachievement which is why it is such a high priority for students.
Nationally, there is a clear link between good attendance and achievement. On average for students with 95% or above attendance, 73.4% of them achieve 5 or more good GCSEs including maths and English. For students with 85-90% attendance (persistent absentees), this figure drops to 41%. For students whose attendance is only 50% or worse, only 3% of students nationally achieve 5 or more good GCSE passes, including maths and English. ‘Being the best we can be’ starts with attending school regularly and being punctual. We request that whenever possible unavoidable pre-planned medical appointments are at times that minimise impact on the school day, i.e. early in the morning or late in the afternoon so that students can remain in lessons for as much of the day as possible.
Attendance is monitored on a daily basis by the pastoral team, overseen by Mrs Helen Causley. If you need to report your child absent, this should be done on a daily basis. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring school: 01609 773340 (there is an answerphone messaging facility for this purpose). Support for individuals and their families is offered when attendance becomes a concern i.e. it falls towards or below 90%.
Parents can help by:
- Ensuring your child attends school and is punctual.
- Reinforcing the importance of good attendance and the link between attendance and progress.
- Informing school in advance of any planned absences, e.g. hospital appointments that cannot be made out of school hours and only taking the minimum amount of time off required for the appointment.
- Making all non-urgent doctor and dentist appointments outside of school hours or in the school holidays.
- Informing school by 8.30am on the morning of the first day of an unplanned absence and any subsequent days following that.
- Contacting your child’s form tutor or head of year if you have any concerns that may affect attendance.
Leave of absence and family holidays
Family holidays should not be arranged during term time. The Department for Education makes it clear that there is no entitlement for parents to take their child on holiday in term time. Any leave must be only in exceptional circumstances and a request must be made to the Head of School, in the first instance, at least 21 days in advance of the proposed absence.
Exceptional circumstances would be classed as bereavement or extreme family circumstances not cheaper holidays or issues with parental leave.
Taking a holiday during term time, persistent absence, or persistent late arrival to school will result in a referral to the Local Authority and will lead to prosecution proceedings or a Fixed Penalty Notice. Fixed Penalty Notices amount to £60 but this rises to £120 if it is not paid in 21 days; if the fine remains unpaid, you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school. Northallerton School & Sixth Form College will be consistent in its application of penalties for unauthorised or persistent absence as we have a duty of care to educate your child and can only do that if they are in school.
High standards of behaviour are expected of every student. Students should move around the school site in a mature, safe way. Every student has the right to learn in a classroom environment free from distractions and our behaviour system is designed to support that aim. Our motto ‘being the best we can be’ pervades everything we do at Northallerton School & Sixth Form College and this is underpinned by our three core expectations that students will be ‘ready, respectful and safe’ alongside our values of ‘Excellence, Friendship and Respect’. We believe that to be firm and clear in our expectations is kind: it enables everybody in our community to thrive and prepares the young people in our care for a future in which they will display high standards of personal responsibility, integrity and discipline.
As a staff, we work with Pivotal Education to ensure our behaviour management is the best it can be; as a result, we subscribe to the five Pivotal pillars:
- Consistent, calm adult behaviour
- First attention to best conduct
- Relentless routines
- Scripted interventions
- Restorative follow up
We want our behaviour policies to recognise students who work hard at making changes and those who make positive behaviour choices the first time, every time. Therefore the most important part of our behaviour system is our positive recognition; we do this in the following ways:
- Reward points are awarded by staff members recognising students displaying our expectations and values, high standards of work, safe conduct, contribution in the classroom or wider school community
- Celebration assemblies are held every half term with Subject and House Awards Certificates
- Star Cards and phone calls / emails home in addition to verbal praise
- Head of School Award - fortnightly, which is 'Hot Chocolate Friday' with the Head of School