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Reporting an Absence

We ask that your parents notify us with the reason for your absence. In addition, you must contact your subject teachers for any work missed. A parent needs to contact us either by phone on 01480 223373 or via our email address info@astreasixthformstneots.org on each day of absence.

If you know that you are going to be absent, for example because you have a dentist appointment or you are going to a University Open Day, you need to complete, in advance, a St Neots Sixth Form Request for absence form. Students who achieve additional privileges will be able to contact us directly about any absence.

Attendance plays a vital role in student success in the Sixth Form. Your chances of attaining at least your target grades will be affected by attendance below 95%. It is important that you maximise your attendance and show commitment to pastoral events such as assemblies and presentations by staff and external guests. We shall apply the following standards to your attendance:

98%+ = excellent attendance

95%+ = good attendance

90%+ = satisfactory attendance

Below 90% = unsatisfactory attendance

Monitoring Attendance The KS5 Support team monitors all students’ attendance and as part of the mentoring process form tutors shall regularly discuss attendance. It is your responsibility to ensure that their attendance record is accurate. Your parents will be advised to sign up for the SIMS Parent App which will provide them with details of your attendance. Registration All Year 12 students are expected to register with their tutor during am registration which commences promptly at 8.45 am. As the academic year progresses, students with exemplary attendance and attitude to learning will be rewarded with additional privileges which will be explained as the year progresses. Teacher absence In the event of teacher absence either your teacher or the department will email work for the lesson to you. You must sign in for the lesson using the Vericool system. Each department will outline their expectations for these lessons which could, for example, mean that students are expected to work during the lesson in the room where the lesson usually takes place.

The Biometric registration system (Vericool) is used for two purposes: fire safety so that we know who is on site and to make sure attendance records are accurate. You would use the biometric system in the following circumstances:

  • If you have any reason to leave the site during the school day, you must use Vericool to sign out and in.
  • Arriving later in the day
  • Cover lessons

Study Periods If you study three subjects you will be allocated four study periods per week. You must use Vericool to register for each of these periods but you may then go and work in a room of your choice. The upper floors of the Sixth Form Centre provide a silent environment in which you may study during these periods. If you fail to register regularly for your study periods, you will be asked to attend compulsory study periods with a member of the KS5 team. If you do not register for your Study lessons, this will appear as an absence on your attendance and will affect your overall attendance figure.

Illness during the day If you become ill during the day you must speak to Mrs Walton or the Longsands Academy First Aider before you sign yourself out. This is so that we can assess that you are well enough to travel home on your own. Please note that this must be done during the correct hour for the lesson or Study Period in order for the mark to register.

How we categorise attendance and absences In our dealings with attendance and absence, the Sixth Form has attempted to model the practices of the work place wherever possible. We believe that students should act with due consideration to teaching staff if they know that they will be absent. Within the Sixth Form we have three categories of absence. i. Absence authorised in advance. ii. Unexpected absence. iii. Unauthorised absence.

Category 1 – Absence authorised in advance The following are examples of absences can be authorised but should be avoided/rearranged if possible. They include: · medical appointments that cannot be arranged outside of school/college hours, e.g. specialist appointments; · an occasional need to look after a family member for whom you have caring responsibilities; · observance of a religious holiday (maximum three per year); · attendance/visit to a university either to attend an open day or for an interview; · a career-related interview; · work experience that is an integral part of your studies; · participating in a significant extracurricular activity such as drama, music, sport or volunteering, whether in or out of the Sixth Form; · other unavoidable reasons including a driving test or funeral. For absences that are known about in advance, students must complete a Sixth Form ‘Request for Absence’ form and you may need to provide evidence to support your request for absence. Requests for absence must be submitted at least two days in advance. Forms are available from the Admin office and the Sixth Form Centre.

Category 2 – Unexpected absence All students are required to provide proof of the following upon returning to the Sixth Form as a reason/explanation for absence: · personal sickness or injury; · an emergency situation involving a family member or another person for whom you have caring responsibilities; · severe disruption to your mode of transport; · other emergency situation. For any unexpected absences that are to be authorised by the Sixth Form, the following expectations apply. The Sixth Form should receive notification of the reason for their absence on the day or upon return to Sixth Form at their earliest opportunity.

Category 3 – Unauthorised The following absences shall be categorised as unauthorised:

  • driving lessons;
  • shopping;
  • formal exclusion;
  • holidays taken in term time;
  • hair appointments;
  • concerts;
  • birthday outings;
  • paid work;
  • or any other event which could be reasonably avoided.

If student absence is unauthorised, this will be investigated in line with Sixth Form Stepped Interventions procedures, outlined elsewhere in the Handbook. Attendance monitoring and examination entry in Year 13 As noted above, tutors and the Key Stage 5 Support team shall monitor attendance weekly and we will discuss any concerns about attendance initially with you and then with parents if there is an ongoing concern. It is your responsibility to ensure that the register reflects your attendance at lessons and registrations. If your aggregate attendance is 90% or below (measured at the spring half-term in February/March of Year 13), we reserve to right to ask you to pay for your examination entries. Each student’s circumstances shall be reviewed on an individual basis.