Attendance at City Academy Whitehawk is crucial. All the information that you need regarding absence and attendance can be found here. This is a new page on our site and will be updated over the next few weeks!
Mrs Storey is our Attendance Officer and can be found in the school office every morning until 11.00am. If you have any worries or questions about absences, punctuality or attendance please speak to Mrs Storey.
Good attendance and punctuality are so important as research shows that children with better attendance achieve more at all stages of their education. Particularly given the difficult couple of years we have just been through, it is going to be more important than ever to make sure that all children are at school as much as possible and do not miss any school unless this is completely unavoidable.
Attendance figures at City Academy have been improving year on year and are very close to national averages. We are extremely proud of this achievement and grateful for all the support from parents and carers in ensuring that children are not absent from school unless absolutely necessary.
Please contact the school office by phone before 9.00am on 01273 681377 on each day that your child is absent. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
If we have not received a reason for an absence we will send parents/carers a text message and an email and will then follow up with a phone call. If absences are “unexplained” we are required to record them as unauthorised.
If children have an allocated social worker we will also inform them of the absence.
Absence Due to Illness
The vast majority of absence from school is due to illness. It is completely normal for all children to become ill from time to time, but where there is a high level of illness we will inform parents/carers by email that their child’s attendance is being monitored, and invite them to contact us to discuss any health concerns that they may have or support that is needed to help their child attend school more regularly. These emails are usually triggered if a child’s attendance falls below 93%.
“Low Level” Illnesses
Generally speaking, if your child is slightly unwell – for example a tummy ache, headache, sore throat etc then they can still come to school. If you would like the office to administer any medication during the school day please go to the office and sign a form which enables us to do this.
Longer absences due to illness
Parents/carers are asked to provide “medical evidence” to support any absences due to illness of 3 days or more. This does not have to be a formal doctor’s note or certificate but can be an appointment card, hospital letter, copy of a text message appointment confirmation, dated prescription or packaging of prescription medication etc.
Concerns Around Attendance
If we have ongoing concerns about your child’s attendance you may be invited to attend a meeting in school to discuss this. These meetings do form part of a legal framework, as under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 it is parents/carers’ legal responsibility to ensure that children attend school regularly.
We work so hard with families to help improve attendance. If there is a problem or your child is reluctant to come into school please let us know, as there is almost always something we can do to help.
If there is ongoing unauthorised absence parents/carers are at risk of fines and/or legal action from the Local Authority.
Medical Appointments During School Time
We ask that any medical/dental appointments are made outside of school time, wherever possible, unless it is an emergency. Please ensure that copies of any appointment cards/hospital appointment letters or text messages etc are shown to the office so that any absence from school can be authorised. We expect children to attend school before and after appointments in the middle of the school day.
The gates open to all children from Reception – Year 6 at 8.30am and close at 8.45am. Please aim to arrive at 8.30am so that children can settle into their classes and start the day in a calm way.
Any child arriving after 8.45am will need to come into school via the office and will be recorded as “late” on the registers. Children who arrive late after the close of the registers will be recorded as such. This is a type of unauthorised absence and can lead to Fixed Penalty Notice fines from the Local Authority.
The vast majority of children arrive on time every day. If children arrive regularly and/or extremely late to school we will inform parents/carers of our concerns via email, and if concerns persist we may need to hold meetings to address this.
Nursery children should come into school at 8.40am.
Requests for Absence during Term Time
We do have a form to request authorisation for a term time absence in the school office which must be completed and returned at least 2 weeks before any planned absence. Schools are required not to authorise any requests for leave in term time for family holidays. If you do take your child out of school for a family holiday you should expect to receive Fixed Penalty Notice fines from the Local Authority.
The Fixed Penalty Notice is £60 per parent (or other person with parental responsibility) per child if paid within 21 days rising to £120 per parent per child if paid between 21 and 28 days. If the Penalty Notice is unpaid, the Local Authority will consider taking legal proceedings and this can lead to prosecution in the magistrates court.
If you feel that there are exceptional circumstances in your own case please provide full details on the form and we will look at each case on an individual basis.
Celebrating Excellent Attendance
Each week in assembly we celebrate the classes with the best attendance for the previous week – these classes get to look after the Attendance Trophy and often get a mention in the school newsletter.
We also communicate with individual children and families where attendance is excellent or improving – look out for special text messages, certificates, stickers and prizes at the end of each term.
As a school we are committed to following Brighton & Hove City Council’s protocol on school attendance and absence. More information can be found on their website: