The Highcrest Academy

your Attendance Counts

“Students of The Highcrest Academy are the best ambassadors for the school.

In a conversation with the IQM Assessor, they felt free to speak their mind and showed that they are aware of the current emphasis of the staff on attendance. They echoed a central message related to attendance by saying:

It is important to be here every day to receive a good education. Teachers want us to learn, they push us and say to try our best. If you are not here, you miss also socially because you do not see your friends.” 

Inclusion Quality Mark Assessor November 2023.

Why attendance counts for you

FACT: Being in school is important to your achievement, wellbeing, wider development and mental health. 

  • Every moment in school counts, and days missed add up quickly.
  • The best place to be during term-time is in school, surrounded by the support of your friends, your teachers and other support staff. 
  • There is plenty of time for you to do other things with your friends and family. Did you know that you are only at school for 52% of a calendar year … the rest of the time is yours!

Be proactive and look on Go4Schools to find out what your attendance is…

Which category do you fall into in the table above? What can you do about it?

How does attendance affect your grades?

FACT: Research shows that the students with the highest attendance throughout their time in school gain the best GCSE and A-Level results. 

  • While an attendance figure of 90% may not sound very low, research shows that it reduces your chance of achieving good GCSE/A-Level examination grades from an 81% chance to a 57% chance.

Some other examples…

  • A student who averages 80% attendance effectively misses one whole year of education and significantly negatively impacts their chances of good grades.
  • If a Year 11 student misses just 17 days of school, it reduces their final GCSE results by one grade across all subjects. 

Are you well enough to go to school today?

FACT: Research shows that prior to the pandemic in 2019, secondary school students who did not achieve grade 9 to 4 in English and Maths missed on average 10 more days during their GCSE courses than those who achieved grade 9 to 5 in both English and Maths.  

  • We understand that sometimes you are genuinely ill and of course you and your parents must be the judge of this. However, it is vital that you do all you can to avoid having odd days of absence – for example, “avoidable absence” linked to coughs, colds and mild anxiety.  
  • The following our guidelines from the NHS and Department for Education: to help your parents decide whether you are well enough to attend school:

You should attend school, even with the following… 

  • Headache, earache and stomach ache - if these persist seek medical advice.
  • Coughs and colds - asthmatic children may need their inhaler more often.
  • Sore throat, tonsillitis and glandular fever.
  • Head lice.
  • Hand, foot and mouth, warts and verrucae, athletes foot, molluscum contagiosum and cold sores.
  • Conjunctivitis.

When am I allowed to miss school? 

FACT: The higher a pupil’s attendance, the more they are likely to learn, and the better they are likely to perform in exams and formal assessments.  

There are only a small number of circumstances where missing a school day is permitted. You must attend every day the school is open, unless: 

  • You are too ill to attend (see above for more information on how to gauge this). 
  • Your parents have informed us that you are observing a religious event. 
  • Your parents have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for you to be absent on a specific day due to exceptional circumstances only.

Where can I get support to help me attend school? 

FACT: At Highcrest, we are here to help and support you improve your child’s attendance.

  • In most cases, if your attendance level is falling, one of our attendance or well-being team will contact your parents to explore the reasons and discuss what help can be put in place.
  • If you have any concerns about anything that is stopping you attending school. Please speak with your Form tutor, Head of Learning, our Attendance Officer – Mrs J Hunt, Miss To, or any other member of staff you feel comfortable speaking with.