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Important School Attendance Notice to All Parents

Important School Attendance Notice to All Parents
October 4, 2022 Belinda Gosling

Dear Parents/Carers

With the new academic year now under way, it is time to get back to normal – this includes our expectations around school attendance. In line with what the Government expects of us, our minimum expected attendance rate for every pupil is 96%.

Where pupils are frequently late to or absent from school, whole classes can be affected. We want to assure you that we are making every effort to ensure that your child’s learning is not unduly disrupted by the frequent absence or lateness of other pupils.

To help parents decide whether they should allow their child a day off school when poorly, the NHS has produced guidance on common illnesses. This guidance is available via the NHS – Is my child too ill for school? webpage and underpins our decision on whether the reason provided for absence is to be authorised.

This is a link to the NHS guidelines


The NHS message is quite clear – 

It is ok to allow a child or young person to go to school with some common or minor illnesses.

Common colds, minor coughs, sore throats or headaches alone do not mean they are too unwell to attend school.

Only absences that are UNAVOIDABLE will be authorised at Harwich and Dovercourt High School.


Building on this strong focus, we will be working with our new external partner, Aquinas (School Attendance Provisions), to help improve the rates of attendance for some pupils. 

Aquinas is a member of The National Association for Support Workers in Education (NASWE), as well as being an Accredited Company by Essex Police under The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS). They work very closely with our own internal attendance officer, as well as Local Authority’s Attendance Compliance Team. Although Aquinas holds a Police Accreditation, the legal enforcement aspect of their role is secondary to their priority of finding a positive, support-centred response to any identified barrier to the regular school attendance of our pupils. 

Please be reminded that all parents are encouraged to contact the school via Student Services or the Main Reception by calling us on 01255 245460 at an early stage and to work together to resolve any problems that may arise. This is nearly always successful. If difficulties cannot be resolved in this way and you are invited to attend a meeting at school regarding attendance; please do try to attend, or contact us to explain any difficulties that may be preventing your child from accessing their full educational entitlement. 

If you feel a meeting with your child’s Year Team, the school SENCO or Aquinas would be beneficial to you and/or your child now, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our support is always on offer.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Charly Doyle
Assistant Headteacher