A good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life. Children need to go to school regularly and punctually to make the most of their educational opportunities and you, as parents and carers, have a vital role to play in making that happen.
The best for your child
The Knights Templar School wants to support all parents and carers in making sure their child gets the best possible education. The law is strict to reflect the crucial importance of regular and punctual school attendance. The Knights Templar School will always try to work as closely as possible with parents and carers to resolve any difficulties, but will take legal proceedings if there are no exceptional circumstances for the absences and attendance has not improved.
Punctuality to school
It is our expectation that students arrive at school by 8:30 for an 8:35 start, and we ask for all parents and carers for their support in ensuring that all students meet this expectation. Our gates close at 8:35, as students should be in their form room, with their form tutor, by this time.
Tutor time each morning is an important part of the day, as it gives students a chance to focus on the day ahead, get organised, and also is the point in the day when important messages are shared. Unsurprisingly, students who attend school on time have better outcomes than those who arrive late on a regular basis. We also value punctuality as an important personal quality and it is essential that we teach this to all of our students.
We want to support students in attending school on time. Therefore we do monitor their punctuality, and where we spot changes or persistent issues, we will seek to find out the reason for this and put in place support, where appropriate.
Reporting reasons for lateness
We do recognise that there are occasions when lateness is unavoidable. Therefore, if there is a good reason, a parent/carer should phone the school or use the absence form on Edulink One by 9:30 on that day, to give the reason. We may then remove the 'late to school' record.
If there is a short-term reason why you child may have a problem attending school on time, please contact their Year Leader, who will decide whether a temporary Late Pass may be issued.
Consequence for lateness
If a student is late on two occasions in a week, they will receive an hour’s after-school detention the following day. A student’s form tutor will contact home in the event of further lateness in the same week.
Our registers close at 9am and any student in Years 7-11 who arrives after 9am, without a legitimate reason, will be recorded as an unauthorised late in the register. In this scenario, the student would receive a 1-hour detention for this lateness, and, additional unauthorised lateness could result in Hertfordshire County Council issuing each parent or carer with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Working with parents and carers
If there are any concerns, we will try to solve these problems first. However, if we cannot solve the problems, then you may be invited to a meeting at the school or we may visit you at home.
The school will always try to help parents and carers, and work with them to resolve any difficulties that are preventing a child's regular attendance. However, the law is quite clear that parents and carers are responsible for making sure their child goes to school regularly and on time.
There may be good reasons for attendance problems, such as illness. However, if it becomes clear that this is not the case, and despite every best effort to work out a solution the child's attendance does not improve, we may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice or begin legal proceedings.
What does the law say?
All parents and carers of children aged 5 to 16 who are on a school roll must, by law, make sure that their child goes to school both regularly and punctually. That means you have a duty to make sure your child is in school when they should be and that they arrive at school in time for both morning and afternoon sessions.
You should be aware that records of meetings, both paper and electronic, copies of letters and details of telephone calls with the school will be kept and may be used as evidence in court if legal proceedings are taken. In the first instance, a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued if a child has 15 unauthorised sessions. Requests for authorised absence will not normally be granted for the purpose of a holiday. Any parent or carer taking their child out of school for the purpose of a holiday may be subjected to a Fixed Penalty Notice.