Westwood College attendance target for 2022-23 is 96%.

With your help, we can reach our target!

It is vital that your child attends the College regularly in order to learn and progress. At Westwood College, we believe that every lesson is important and that every day your son or daughter is absent has the potential to damage their achievement and affect their future.

Why is 96% attendance important?

Low attendance leads to underachievement. Studies have shown that missing 17 Academy days per year costs a student 1 grade in each of their GCSE subjects. 17 days is equivalent to an attendance rate of 91.2%. Of students who miss less than 5% of school, 73 percent achieve 5 A*- C GCSEs including English and maths. Therefore students with a higher % of attendance will simply achieve higher overall GCSE grades. Poor attendance can make the difference between a pass or a fail, or being accepted onto their chosen college course or not. Attendance below 95% is a concern.

The Impact

Take a typical student in Year 9 with an attendance rate of 90%. What does this mean? 90% would normally sound like a success when applied to an exam but when considering attendance, 90% is just not good enough! It is equivalent to missing ½ a day off every week. An employer would regard this as part-time! If a Year 11 student had an average attendance rate of 90%, this would be equivalent to missing half a year off school. Clearly, students should only be absent when it is completely unavoidable.

Legal Framework

Under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, parents are responsible for ensuring that a child, of compulsory school age, attends school regularly and punctually. If a parent fails to ensure that their child attends school regularly and takes no reasonable action to secure their attendance, then we will work with Staffordshire Local Authority to initiate legal proceedings; this may involve issuing

Fixed Penalty Fines and prosecution.

Missing school for a family holiday will have a huge impact on your child’s learning. Students who miss two weeks of school will miss 50 periods of learning and will never be able to make up that time.
Following changes in legislation in 2013, students are no longer entitled to take leave of absence during term time. Leave of absence during term time will only be granted under exceptional circumstances; this does not include family holidays, celebrations or weddings.
Requests for leave of absence in term time should be put in writing to the Headteacher by completion of a holiday form. The Headteacher’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.
If parents take their children out of the college without making a request, or if parents still take their child out of the college after a request has been denied, the absence will be marked as unauthorised and a Penalty Notice Fine by Staffordshire Local Authority will be issued.

Working Together

Students are actively involved in achieving the highest attendance figures for themselves and their community and we encourage parents/carers to support us in driving up the attendance figures of our college. We hope and expect that all parents will encourage their child to attend regularly and punctually. We believe this is not just important from an academic point of view but also in creating responsible citizens.

What can you do to help us?

Always keep us informed. If your child is unable to attend, for whatever reason, please contact the college by 8.30am to explain the reason for the absence. Parents must call on each day that the child is absent.
Parents will be contacted, and home visits made if we do not receive any notification of a student absence.
We urge parents not to take students out of the college unless absolutely necessary. Please try to arrange medical appointments outside of the college day wherever possible and in certain circumstances, parents may be asked to provide medical evidence to explain why their child is absent.
It is absolutely essential that we work together in removing any attendance barriers. Raising your child’s attendance means that we are raising their chances of succeeding. Quite simply, if they are not here – they cannot learn


As per the attendance policy, if your child arrives late to school without a parent call, email or note explaining the circumstances, your child will be marked with a U code which indicates that they arrived after the register closed at 09:05 for the AM register and 13:40 for the PM register. This means that a student could potentially be marked with two U codes in one day. The U code has a negative effect on your child’s percentage attendance.

Please be aware that the bus companies do make the school aware when they are running late and, in this circumstance, the U code would not apply. 

After ten U codes within a 12 week period parents/carers will issued with a fixed penalty notice from the Local Authority.  This is in line with Staffordshire County Council’s Code of Conduct.

The penalty notice fine would be:

  • £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days, rising to
  • £120 per parent per child if paid between 21 – 28 days.
  • If the fine is not paid within 28 days, you may be prosecuted under section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996.
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