The Ridgeway School & Sixth Form College Parents & Students

COVID-19 Related Attendance Expectations from September 2020

The government have recently updated their guidance so we are now able to inform parents of our expectations for attendance. Attendance is mandatory and usual expectations and guidelines for attendance will resume:

  • It is the parents’ duty to ensure that their child of compulsory school age attends regularly at the school where the child is a registered pupil.
  • It is the schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence.
  • Schools have the ability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.

We expect students to aim for 97% attendance (or no more than five days of absence in the academic year). Regular attendance means students have a much better chance making good academic progress. There may however be statutory reasons or exceptional circumstances where students are not able to attend and we have outlined these below to help:

What should we do if...ActionWhen to return to school
Child has coronavirus
-Child should not come to school.
-Parent please contact school (daily).
-Arrange a test for the child and inform school of the result.
The coronavirus test result comes back negative.
Child tests positive for coronavirus.-Do not come to school.
-Self-isolate (for at least 10 days from onset of symptoms* as per government guidelines)
-Contact school (daily).
Child feels better (after 10 days).
Guidelines state children can return to school even if they still have a cough or loss of sense of taste/smell as these symptoms can last for several weeks even after the infection is gone.
Person in the same home has coronavirus symptoms.*-Child should not come to school.
-Parent please contact school (daily).
-Member of the household should get a test and inform school of the result.
The household member’s test result for coronavirus is negative.
Person in the same home tests positive for coronavirus-Child should not come to school.
-Parent please contact school (daily).
-Self Isolate (for 10 days).
After 10 days of self-isolation.
NHS Test and Trace have identified my child as a close contact of someone who has symptoms or confirmed coronavirus-Child should not come to school.
-Parent please contact school (daily).
-Self Isolate (for 10 days)
After 10 days of self-isolation.
Child required to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine following overseas travel-Avoid taking holidays in term time.
-Refer to FCO guidance if booking
-Inform school in advance of any intent to travel.
If returning from a country where quarantine is needed:
-Child should not come to school
-Parent please contact school (daily).
-Self Isolate (for 10 days).
After 10 days of quarantine.
Child is extremely clinically
vulnerable (in a future local
lockdown scenario only).
Received government letter
informing them they are
required to shield
Child should not come to school
-Parent please contact school (daily).
-Share government letter with school
-Shield until you are informed that shielding is paused again and restrictions are removed.
School contact you to inform you that restrictions have been removed and child can return to school.

*Symptoms refer to those defined by Public Health England guidance as follows:
A high temperature
– this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
A new, continuous cough
– this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes
in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
– this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

To ensure schools are recording absence relating to coronavirus consistently, the government have made some changes to the regulations for marking registers. For this reason, if a student is not able to attend through circumstances related to coronavirus this may not be reflected in their attendance figures in the usual way. However, we are committed to promoting positive wellbeing and academic success, so where a student is not attending the school regularly (for any reason) meaning they are missing vital learning, we will work closely with parents and carers to support students as best as we can, primarily through the use of our VLE. Of utmost importance to us is that regular communication with parents is maintained so we can continue to support our students learning and emotional needs if they are not able to attend.

What we ask of parents:

  • To ensure their child attends the School on time and every day, dressed in full uniform and equipped to learn.
  • To inform the School of any reason that will prevent their children from attending.
  • To follow the guidelines for coronavirus related absence outlined in the table above.
  • To ensure that they contact the school by 8.30am on each day their child is unable to attend and understand that medical evidence may be requested if a students’ attendance means they are missing a significant amount of learning.
  • Where possible, arrange appointments outside of the school day and if this is not possible, inform the School of any forthcoming appointments.
  • Provide at least two up to date contact telephone numbers to ensure the school are able to contact you (parent/carer/family member).
  • To avoid arranging holidays during term time. Holidays will not be authorised and only leave of absence in exceptional circumstances can be authorised at the discretion of the Principal. Parents should make any leave of absence requests in advance.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to help your child fulfil their potential. If your child is anxious about returning to school or you have any concerns that you would like to discuss with us please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Head of Year.

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