Updated Oct 2022 (DM)
Absenteeism and Disciplinary Policy and Procedures
- To understand why students are absent from classes to enable us to provide help and advice where appropriate.
- To ensure the safety of our students, especially those who are under 18 years of age.
- To ensure all our students take their studies seriously and do not miss any classes without good reason.
Definition of acceptable absence:
- The school regards an attendance rate of 80% as being the absolute minimum to be deemed satisfactory. Students whose attendance falls below 80% will not be issued with a leaving certificate.
- The following reasons for absence are regarded as acceptable, provided that the school is notified on or before the day of absence:
- A genuine illness or compassionate reasons (such as serious illness of a close relative).
- The need to stay away from school if the student has tested positive for COVID-19.
- A visit to a university.
- To attend an official appointment (e.g. at the embassy, university, doctor/hospital or the police).
- Taking either a Friday or a Monday off for a weekend visit to another city provided this happens no more than once a month on average.
- Taking up to two days to spend time with visiting relatives, provided this happens no more than once a month on average.
- Taking a day off to attend an event that can be considered cultural, provided this does not happen more than once a month on average. Cultural events may include religious ceremonies or experience of a unique aspect of British culture (e.g. attending the Wimbledon Tennis Championships).
- The school will treat students who are seriously ill or have a close relative who is seriously ill with compassion and do everything that is reasonable to help students who find themselves in such a situation.
- Class online registers are completed during every lesson. The students are marked:
- / for present
- A for absent
- B for a notified absence, giving the reason where known
- S for sick
- L for late
- For students who are 18 years of age or older, teachers write the name of any absent students on an absence slip, kept in class folders, and indicate in the appropriate box whether the absence is for the first, second or third consecutive day. Teachers then pass these slips on to an Academic Manager during the morning break. The ADoS/DoS attempts to contact the students that afternoon.
- Teachers inform Reception immediately if a student under the age of 18 hasn’t arrived in class within 15 minutes of the beginning of the first lesson, to enable them to check up on that student’s well-being promptly. For classes that take place outside of the main school building, teachers do this by phoning Reception from their mobile phone.
- The ADoS checks the online registers as early as possible each week and decides if action is necessary for continued absences. If any action is necessary, this is recorded on the Student’s file on the database, and the ADoS takes appropriate action.
- Students who have been absent through illness for up to 7 school days inclusive are asked by their teacher to complete a self-certification sickness form on their return. This form is then returned to the teacher who then gives to the ADoS.
- Students who are absent for 8 school days or more are asked to provide a ‘fit note’ from a doctor. This does not apply if a student tests positive for COVID-19.
Disciplinary Actions – Absences
- Any student who is developing a pattern of absence, or who misses several consecutive days of school is treated in the following manner:
- First teacher warning
- Second teacher warning
- Meeting with DoS/ADoS and sent a first warning letter
(N.B. in certain circumstances, a final verbal warning may be issued. If a welfare issue is raised or suspected, the Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) is advised and kept updated.)
- For any welfare issue, a note is made on the student’s record on the database. Any welfare issues are checked in weekly meetings on Wednesday mornings between the ADoS, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, who is also the Accommodation Manager.
- Continued absence for no valid reason means a second visit to the ADoS/DoS and a second letter.
- Continued absence means a third visit to the ADoS/DoS, who will discuss the matter with the Principal, after which a final warning letter is sent, followed by dismissal if bad attendance continues.
- A formal dismissal letter is then sent out and the student leaves the school that week.
- No refund of fees is given to students who are dismissed from the school in this way.
- The student’s ETO is contacted for assistance if a student cannot be contacted for any reason and/or is becoming a bad attender. If a student is not with an ETO, then the emergency contact is used.
Disciplinary Procedure (non-absence)
Discipline problems may consist of persistent:
- class disruption
- expressions of intolerance towards other cultures and beliefs
- expressions of extremist opinions which contradict Core British Values
- harassment or lack of courtesy towards other students or staff
- lateness to class
The following procedure will be followed:
- Students receive two verbal warnings from their teacher. The first time the teacher will check that there are no underlying problems. The second warning (assuming there are no underlying problems) will be stricter.
- Following the two teacher warnings, the students are cautioned by the ADoS/DoS and there is a follow up letter sent.
- If the behaviour continues, students will receive a second written warning from the ADoS/DoS.
- If there is no change in behaviour, they will be asked by the Principal to leave the school, bearing in mind that parents (if under 18) and/or ETOs will have been consulted by this stage.
- In extreme cases, such as in the case of gross misconduct, students may be required to leave the school without any previous warnings.