Parents are under a duty to ensure that their children attend full-time education. At Rickmansworth we aim for students to achieve a 100% attendance rate.    In cases where there are health issues and/or attendance is lower than expected we will work with parents to maximise students school attendance.  We may routinely ask for medical evidence from a health professional in order to authorise absence from school where there are attendance concerns, and it will be parents’s responsibility to provide this and to meet any costs incurred.

Notification of absence/reason for lateness:

Students should be in school on time every day that the school is open unless the reason for absence is unavoidable.   Notification of absence/reason for lateness should be telephoned/emailed to the School by 9.30am on the first day of absence and all subsequent days.  The school telephone number is 01923 773296, and messages can be left on the absence reporting option on this number.  The email address to use is  Written confirmation, addressed to the Form Tutor, should accompany the child on return to School.

The parents of students marked absent in the morning who have not contacted the School will receive an email/text message asking them to explain the reason for their child’s absence.

Medical Appointments:

Parents are asked to avoid arranging medical appointments during school time unless it is an emergency.  Absence from school affects a child’s study and in most subjects it is not possible to provide an adequate substitute for missed lessons. Permission to leave the School during school hours will be subject to a written request to the Headteacher from parents, and students must sign out and in at the Student Reception. If a student is given permission to leave school for an appointment during the school day they must be collected by a parent/carer.  Students in year 10 and above only may leave school for appointments without being collected provided that parent/carer has given permission in writing or by telephone.

Illness during the school day:

If a student feels unwell during the day they should tell their teacher who will send them to the medical room with a note should they think it essential.   It is important that children attend their lesson in order to make their teacher aware of their whereabouts and to prevent them being marked as absent, they should not present at the Medical Room during movement.  The Welfare Assistant in Student Reception will deal with any illness or accident in school and, if necessary, contact parents.  Students should not phone home themselves.  For this reason, it is absolutely essential for the School to have up to date emergency contact telephone numbers.  If your child is too ill to remain at school you will be required to collect them. 

If a student is leaving school during the school day as a result of illness or injury, they must be collected by a parent or carer.   

Leave of Absence during term time:

Headteachers can only grant leave of absence during term time where there are exceptional circumstances.  A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion.   Permission for absence other than that due to illness must be sought in writing, in advance, from the Headteacher.    It is for the Headteacher to determine what constitutes exceptional circumstances and to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.  All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance to the Headteacher and any leave of absence taken without permission in advance will be unauthorised.

Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN):

The vast majority of our students have excellent attendance, this is due to their and their parents’ commitment to their learning. However it is important that we keep you informed that, in cases where unauthorised absence meet Local Authority thresholds, Rickmansworth School may apply for a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to be issued. Should a student’s number of unauthorised absence sessions (a session is one half day, am or pm) reach 15 or more in the current and/or previous term Hertfordshire County Council may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.  Schools are only required to send one warning letter to let parents know that they are approaching 15 unauthorised sessions and that once 15 sessions of unauthorised absences are reached a Penalty Notice may be issued without further warning.    Parents are individually responsible for ensuring their child’s regular attendance at school and if a child lives with both parents separate Penalty Notices will be issued to each parent and each parent is liable to pay the penalty.  Penalty Notices are issued for each child to whom the absence relates.  The amount payable is £60 per parent if paid within 21 days or £120 per parent if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of Notice.   Hertfordshire County Council will issue all Penalty Notices which meet the HCC Code of Conduct regardless of the overall level of the pupil’s attendance and whether the unauthorised absence relates solely to an unauthorised holiday or other unauthorised absence.  

The issuing of FPNs will comply with the Code of Conduct and practise as determined by the Local Authority. We would recommend that all parents/carers familiarise themselves with the school Attendance Policy.

Attendance Policy:

The school’s Attendance Policy is available on the school website under Parents and Community/Governors/Policies.

Behaviour Policy:

The school’s Behaviour Policy is available on the school website. This outlines the rewards and consequences for specific behaviour, including attendance and punctuality, and applies to all students.