Year 11 Attendance Letter

Strood Academy building

Dear Parents/Carers

Year 11 attendance at Strood Academy continues to be a key priority.  The Department for Education (DfE) recently published their findings on the link between absence and attainment at key stage 4. The findings show that in general, the higher the absence rate, the lower the likely level of attainmentWhile an attendance figure of 90% may not sound very low, it reduces a child’s chance of achieving 5 or more 9-5 grades at GCSE from 81% to around 57%. A child who averages 80% attendance during their secondary school career effectively misses one whole year of education and significantly reduces their chances of securing good outcomes at the end of Year 11.

Even for high-achieving students poor attendance has a significant negative impact on their grades. It has been shown that missing just 17 days of school in Year 11 reduces final GCSE grades by one level across all subjects. This could easily be sufficient to prevent a student getting on to the sixth-form course, apprenticeship and ultimately the university or career of their choice.

Attendance graph

Lateness also has a negative impact on learning. Being just 5 minutes late every day equates to 3 whole days of learning lost; 30 minutes late every day is equivalent to 19 days or in excess of one grade less for each subject your child takes at GCSE. Students need to understand not only the impact that persistent lateness and absenteeism has on their current studies and examinations but also in adult life and the workplace.

We understand that sometimes children are genuinely ill and of course you must be the judge of this.   At present the main reason for student absence from Strood Academy is illness and as a result several parents have asked for clarification about absence from school when their child is unwell.  When your child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school or whether or not to send them in, please allow us to support you in making that judgement. When deciding whether or not your child is too unwell to attend school, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is my child well enough to do the activities of the school day? 
  • Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff?
  • Would I take a day off if I had this condition?

Think carefully before keeping your child away from school for medical reasons.  If they wake up saying they are unwell, consider whether the symptoms they have mean they need to stay at home.  Do not keep your child away from school ‘just in case’ when they could be in class learning with their friends. 

If your child becomes unwell at school or their symptoms worsen we will always telephone and inform you.  If your child arrives at school and is feeling unwell their Form Tutor and Head of Pastoral will put strategies in place to support them in completing the day. 

Year 11 is the penultimate year for your child at Strood Academy and we ask you as parents/carers to continue to work with us collectively to ensure that your child’s attendance does not become a barrier to them receiving the best possible outcomes. 

Please contact me at the Academy if you would like to discuss this letter or would like any support in helping to improve your child’s attendance.

Yours faithfully

Mr S Fatania | Assistant Principal