What can I do to improve my child’s attendance?
Routines & Preparation
Ensure that your child is up sufficiently early in the morning to get to the UTC without being late. The UTC expects all students to be on site at 08.50 each day ready for the 09.00 start. Help your child organise themselves the night before by ensuring that their school bag is packed and ready to go. Ensure that your child is well rested by getting them to bed at an appropriate time.
Regular and punctual attendance at school is a legal requirement under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. It is essential that parents maximise the educational opportunities available to their children and provide the best possible start in life. Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced new powers for designated Local Education Officers, Head teachers (and Deputy or Assistant Head teachers authorised by them) and the police to issue penalty notices for unauthorised absence from school.
If a student has unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more, in any 12 week period (where no acceptable reason has been given for the absence) or a student persistently arrives late for school after the close of registration, their parents or carers may receive a Penalty Notice fine of £50, which must be paid within 28 days. If payment is made after 28 days but within 42 days, the penalty is increased to £100. Failure to pay the fine may result in prosecution and an additional fine of up to £2500 or up to 3 months imprisonment.
Medical & Dental Appointments
Medical and dental appointments rarely last more than 1 hour but many parents allow their child to be absent from school for the whole session or day. This is unacceptable. Parents are advised where possible to make medical and dental appointments outside of the UTC day. Where this is not possible, students should attend the UTC for part of the day. Parents should show the appointment card to school in order for their child to leave the UTC at a particular time. The loss of a single day will reduce your child’s attendance in any single week by 20%.
UTC Bolton does not authorise holidays during term time and consequently parents are reminded that they should only book holidays outside of the school term. If holidays are taken without permission the holiday will not be authorised and you may receive a fine if you decide to take your child out of school.
This is a sensitive area. The UTC does have a right to challenge parents as to whether their child is genuinely ill. It is the UTC which authorises absence for illness not the parent or carer. Many students believe that they are allowed to be absent from UTC with a headache or because they are just feeling unwell. Consequently, it is sometimes necessary to ask for evidence of ill health such as copy of your child’s prescription or a medical appointment card. A parent whose child is genuinely ill should not be concerned as their child will have taken medical advice and this medical advice can be presented to the UTC. If your child is feeling ‘under the weather’ but not sick enough to attend the doctor they should be encouraged to come to the UTC. Attendance at one lesson is far better than attendance at none at all. Naturally, students who are genuinely ill will be sent home following consultation with yourself.
Every student at UTC Bolton matters. The most important factor contributing to your child’s success at UTC Bolton is 96% attendance. The link between attendance and attainment is firmly established. Those students who attend more achieve greater qualifications and are more able to access higher education, employment or training.
We are unique in offering the promise – a professional employment place, a university place or further learning for every student. Every day is an interview at the UTC and consequently:
UTC Bolton expects all students to achieve at least 96% attendance.
Your child’s attendance is monitored every four weeks. On the basis of their attendance they are placed into a coloured band. Students in different bands receive different interventions designed to improve their attendance and therefore enable them to achieve the best possible educational outcomes. The UTC’s Attendance Strategy is summarised overleaf.