Although the school continues to see cases of COVID within the school community, there are some signs that life in school may be returning to the pre-pandemic normal. This term so far, we have been able to welcome audiences into the school to enjoy the 2 evening performances of the Willy Russell play “Our Day Out”. We were incredibly proud of all students who took part and thanks to all who came and supported this event. We have also seen a group of dance students going to see a live theatre event. These more normal events will continue throughout the remainder of this term. This next half term we see a return of trips abroad with a trip going to Barcelona as well as the annual ski trip to Italy, which was cancelled for the last 2 academic years.
We were delighted to have 3 of the Year 8 Dragons’ Den teams win the local heat and to move on to the national finals. This now means that they have to establish their business and make money for the Air Ambulance charity. This term we have seen Year 8 students making and selling tie dye t-shirts, bags and cards at lunch time and next half term the groups will be selling bespoke jewellery and plants. Details of how to purchase these will be shared on our social media channels next half term.
Next half term also sees the return of personal development days for Year 10 students along with community action placements.
We want every child at our school to have the best education possible. Attending school every day is crucial to the education of your child.
Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life. Poor school attendance damages educational achievement and the future progress of your child. Promoting and supporting good attendance at school is essential to learning and attainment.
Absence disrupts the education of the individual child and the whole class. Are you aware that children who do not attend regularly;
- do not achieve well in exams
- find it difficult to maintain friendships
- are more likely to become involved in crime
- miss out on opportunities in further education and the world of work?
How does your child compare?
|Attendance during one school year||equals this number of days absent||which is approximately this many weeks absent||which means this number of lessons missed|
|95%||9 days||2 weeks||60 lessons|
|90%||19 days||4 weeks||120 lessons|
|85%||29 days||6 weeks||180 lessons|
|80%||38 days||8 weeks||240 lessons|
*Absence at 90% or below is classed as Persistent Absence
Absence, including holiday requests can only be authorised by the Head Teacher, within the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registrations) (England) Regulations 2006. Head Teachers may not authorise leave during term time except where the circumstances are exceptional.
Please remember that parental illness, going shopping, visiting family, truancy, non-urgent medical or dental appointments, not wanting to go to school, alleged bullying (speak to school immediately to resolve the issue) are not acceptable reasons to be absent. All of these will be recorded as unauthorised absence, including if your child arrives at school after the close of registration.
Family emergencies need careful consideration. It is not always appropriate or in the best interests of the chid to miss school for emergencies which are being dealt with by adult family members. Being at school, friendship with peers and support from staff can provide children with stability. The routine of school offers a safe and familiar background during times of uncertainty.
It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education. Failing to send your child to school regularly without a good reason is a criminal offence.
Legal action that may be taken includes:
- Issuing penalty notices: For example, for holiday absence, the penalty is £60 per child per parent. So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £240. Failure to pay may result in prosecution or the fines being increased.
- Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) – magistrates can fine each parent. In the past, magistrate have fined up to £1000 per child, plus costs and imposed Parenting Orders.
- Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) – magistrates can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, impose Parenting Orders and/or impose a period of imprisonment of up to three months.
Being taken to court could result in you having a criminal record.
Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in adult life.
If your child’s level of absence is of serious concern you will receive another letter advising you about improving attendance. After this, any further unauthorised absence may result in the Local Authority taking legal action.
Again, we would like to thank those parents who make sure their child is attending school regularly and are therefore benefitting fully from their educational opportunity. Should you have any attendance questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact Ms Houghton (Attendance Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01299 406 828.
Safeguarding & Wellbeing
We understand that the pandemic has caused great stress and anxiety not only to adults however more importantly to children. We currently have a very experienced pastoral care system in the school. All of our Heads of Year are ‘Mental Health First Aid Trained’ and we also have Miss Gallagher (Student Mentor) and Miss Healey (Onside Advocacy) in school to support students. To further support students we will also be appointing a dedicated Safeguarding and Wellbeing Co-ordinator.
The dangers of using ‘vapes’ or e-cigarettes is still unknown however early reports suggest that they are as toxic as cigarette smoking. According to research carried out by the NHS the most common nicotine strength used by youngsters was under 20 milligrams per millimetre (mg/ml) – this is equivalent to a high strength cigarette. The research also highlighted that there were misperceptions of the relative harms of smoking/vaping and these need to be addressed.
Potential dangers of vaping include:
- Respiratory symptoms such as persistent cough and bronchitis
- The liquid used in e-cigarettes contain glycol and glycerol. These substances can decompose and create carcinogens (an agent with the capacity to cause cancer in humans)
- They can also contain metal such as lead, nickel and arsenic which are known to be harmful to the human body
- Has been known to increase heart rate and blood pressure, so can increase circulatory problems
As a school we have seen a very small minority of students bringing in vapes/e-cigarettes. Please note that these items are strictly prohibited and the school will follow the disciplinary processes as outlined in our behaviour policy.
We would like to thank our parents, carers and families for your continued support to The Bewdley School. Have a great half-term break!