Why attendance matters

If students are to achieve their potential, good attendance and punctuality are critical.  The link between attendance and achievement is well documented. Figures from the Department for Education demonstrate this very clearly.

We want all our students to achieve the very best examination results that they can.  Irregular attendance, can, however, have a significant impact on student achievement.  Students with irregular attendance…

  • Get behind with work
  • Lose the thread of the topics being taught
  • Become demotivated on return to school
  • Lose friendships
  • Miss out on important careers and guidance inputs
  • Miss out on extra curricular opportunities
  • Are less likely to feel part of the school

What is good attendance?

Parents/carers and students often become confused about what good attendance is.  In discussions with the Educational Welfare Service, Vandyke has introduced the following guide for parents:

98% – 100% outstanding

96% – 98% excellent

94% – 96%

90% – 94% cause for concern

Below 90% serious cause for concern.

It should be remembered that 90% attendance is equivalent to one day of absence every fortnight.  Over an academic year this amounts to four weeks of absence (100 lessons missed!)

We will contact you if we have concerns about the attendance level of your son/daughter.  We also reward students who attend well and are punctual through our system of achievers’ assemblies and certificates.

Attendance Triangle April 2017


Parents/carers are also responsible for ensuring that their son/daughter arrives at school punctually.  School starts at 8.45am each day and students are late if they are not in their tutor base (or the  theatre on assembly day) by 8.45am.  We will contact you if we have concerns about punctuality and ask that you support our detention  procedures re: student lateness.


What parents can do

  • Ensure students arrive on time each day, well equipped and in a fit state to learn.
  • Take an interest in the education of their son/daughter by talking to them about school and by attending school events (e.g consultation/information evenings etc.)
  • Ring the school before 9am on each day of absence.
  • Be alert to any signs that might indicate bullying or other issues that may affect school attendance
  • Inform the school immediately if there are any matters that arise that may affect the attendance of their son/daughter.


You can read our full Student Attendance Policy here, but we have included some of the key information below. Please click these links to go straight to information about:

Attendance Monitoring Procedures

Holidays in Term Time

Fixed Penalty Notices

Attendance Monitoring Procedures

First Day Contact
Contact with parents/carers will be made by the Student Support and Attendance Officer on the first day of absence for any student whose parents/carers have not telephoned or sent a text message in to school.

A student who is not in school and where contact has not been made by their parents/carers is a safeguarding

Third Day Absence
After three days of unexplained absence, the school is required to consider implementing the Child Missing Education procedures as set down by Central Bedfordshire Council. We will make all reasonable enquiries to known friends and wider family to try to establish contact and may visit the family home.

Ten Day Absence
We have a legal duty to report the absence of any student who is absent without explanation for ten consecutive days and the Central Bedfordshire Access and Inclusion Service will be notified and the student will become a Child Missing Education. Staff from the service will visit the last known address and alert key services to locate the young person.

Continued or Ongoing Absence
A student with an attendance below 90% for whatever reason, is defined as a persistent absentee by the Department of Education.

This level of absence will have a huge impact on the attainment of these students and regular meetings with parents/carers, Heads of Year, the Head of Student Support and other agencies will be held, so that strategies are in place to bring improvement to attendance.

All attendance data is shared with the Local Authority and the Department of Education. Please be aware absence is monitored for the previous 12 academic weeks (including previous academic years). This information may be shared as part of the Regulation 12 Check.

Holidays Taken in Term Time

The school does not authorise holidays from school during school term-time. A two-week holiday equates to 50 hours of teaching lost.

Any request for absence must be made in writing to the Headteacher and will only be authorised in extremely exceptional circumstances.

If a student is taken out of school for a holiday which has not been authorised by the school, a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued.

The overriding concern is for a student to attend school. The school calendar allows ample opportunity for holidays outside term time.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued:

  • for an unauthorised holiday taken in term time
  • when a parent/carer is judged capable of securing their child’s regular attendance to school and does not take responsibility to do so
  • when the school believes that the sanction will lead to an improvement in attendance
  • for persistent lateness to school


Parents/carers will be alerted to the possibility of a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued in writing.

You will find further information about how the school applies fixed Penalty Notices in the Student Attendance Policy.

You will find further information about Central Bedfordshire’s processes for dealing with non-school attendance and issuing Penalty Notices on the Central Bedfordshire Council website.

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