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Samuel Whitbread Academy

Sixth Form Attendance and Punctuality Procedures

A Sixth Form student buys their grade with time.  The more time a student is in school, attending lessons and studying in their study and prep time periods (8 hours of study per day with 8-9 hours of outside of lesson study per week per course), the more likely they will achieve higher grades. See this summary data below:


Year 12 and 13 attendance procedures and requirements

All students are expected in the academy every day by 8.20am for the start of registration/tutor time. If students drive to school they need to leave enough time to find a parking space. Attendance to registration is compulsory and students will agree to attend registration when they sign the student agreement during entry to the Sixth Form and when they progress into Year 13.

Students are expected to be on site until at least break time (10:50am). This includes not leaving site to visit shops during lesson times, study periods and prep time periods before break time. Any student found off site will be issues a B1 for defiance and will enter the Sixth Form Penalty Hour. Students need to note that period 6, from 3.00pm – 4.00pm is officially part of the Academy timetable so any outside employment hours should be after 4pm.

Students have signed up to attending the Sixth Form as a full time student every day and this means students must attend all timetabled lessons. If a student does not attend lesson, this will be coded as unauthorised absence by the classroom teacher and will be flagged on the Sixth Form team fortnightly attendance check where meetings will be arranged where unauthorised absence form lessons is a concern. Students who receive unauthorised absence marks will be entered onto the Sixth Form attendance stages – please see here.

If a student is not timetabled for a taught lesson after break time, they may leave site at 10.55am via the side gates: tennis court gate or learning support gate where every student needs to swipe their ID to register they are leaving school site.  This is important for safeguarding and fire regulations. If there is more than one student leaving site at one time, it should not be just one student swiping out to open the gate, all students in the group must swipe their ID to register they are off site.

If a teacher is not present during a lesson due to illness or authorised absence, the student must sign in with the Pastoral and Academic Support Officer (PASO) in the Sixth Form office otherwise the attendance will be marked absent. If a teacher is absent, work will be set on Edulink homework for completion.


Notification of absence

If a student is too ill to attend they or a member of their family, must notify the Sixth PASO as soon as possible before 8.20am. Preferably by email or in the first instance or by telephone ( or  01462 628065). The notification of absence must be received on every day of absence. If notification of absence is not received every day, the subsequent days will be marked as unauthorised absence and truancy calls will be activated.

If a student or their parent/carer does not notify the PASO of the reason for absence, unauthorised marks will appear on registers and this will activate the truancy call system.

An absence of more than 7 consecutive school days should be supported by a note/letter from a medical professional.


Persistent illness/sickness

The trigger points for sickness absence are:

  • Unacceptable patterns of absence (e.g regular Friday and/or Monday absence; repeated absences linked to holidays)
  • 3 periods (a day is a period) or 8 days or more in a rolling 3 month period
  • 4 periods (a day is a period) or 15 or more days absence in a rolling 6 month period
  • 5 plus periods (a day is a period) or 20 or more days absences in a rolling 12 month period

Any of the above will result in a support phone call from the Head of Year or PASO.  If persistent illness continues a support meeting with the student and parent will be arranged with the Head of Year. The students’ parents/carers will be expected to attend and a package of support implemented in order to improve attendance.


Praise and rewards for excellent attendance

Students with above 95% average attendance across all timetabled lessons for a given period (usually monthly attendance checks are conducted by the PASO) will receive an electronic well done postcard from the PASO via the Sixth Form administrator. We value praise, especially with attendance as there is a clear link between attendance and achievement.



Sixth Form students are expected to arrive on time to every morning registration form time (8.20am) and by the official start time of every lesson.  Between timetabled lessons a five minute movement time is built into the timetable to ensure students can get to lessons on time to make an effective and swift start to their learning. If a Sixth Form students arrives more than one minute late to a registration or timetabled lesson, a B1 – lateness to lesson or form will be issued and this will count towards entry onto the Sixth Form Penalty Hour (SFPH).