Beths
Grammar
School

Attendance and Absence

The only acceptable reasons for a student’s absence, without prior permission, are if they are ill or if there is an unavoidable domestic crisis. If your child is away, please let the School Office know the reason before 8.45 am on the first day. This should be by telephone to the attendance line, via the main switchboard (a message can be left outside of office hours) or by e-mail to attendance@beths.bexley.sch.uk.  Should the absence continue the school should be updated on the third day.  For prolonged absences, or where there is a history of poor attendance, medical evidence may be required.  When your child returns, please send them with a note to their Form Tutor.

We have an automatic communication system that will contact you directly, should your child be marked absent at morning registration without notification from you. This will ensure that the reason for the absence is known as soon as possible and alert you if your child is not in school when they should be. The system will contact the telephone numbers of those persons indicated on your child’s admission forms as having parental responsibility.

If your child needs to be absent for any reason – an interview, a hospital appointment, etc – they must ask their Form Tutor for permission before the event. When doing this they should always produce a letter from you or an appointment card.

‘Every Day Counts’ is Bexley Council’s strategy for improving school attendance which our Governors have adopted. Our attendance rates are consistently good at around 96%. However, this still means students on average still miss 9 school days per year and the overall rate could and should be better. Most of us enjoy good health and are ill for far fewer than 9 school days a year.  

Interruption to school by holidays can cause a student’s progress to be seriously impeded. The policy of the Governors at Beths Grammar School, supported by Bexley Council, is that the Headteacher should not, except in exceptional circumstances, approve requests for holiday absence due to the negative effect such absence has on a student's learning. Exceptional Circumstances do not include reasons such as the cost of the holiday, difficulties in parents getting time off in school holidays, or wanting to take an extended break around Christmas or Easter, in order to visit relatives on the other side of the World.  

If there are truly exceptional circumstances, parents will need to write to the Headteacher making the case as to why an exception should be made. Clearly this needs to be before any holiday arrangements are booked.

Leaving School before 3.30 pm

A student who wishes to leave school early for some special reason, must ask their Form Tutor’s permission and produce a note from you and an appointment card, if available. They must then report to the School Office before leaving and sign out. They must sign in again when they return. 

We do check all absences from school. If we are concerned or suspicious about an absence, we will contact you as soon as this situation becomes identified by us.  

If we feel that the absence was not justified, or is unexplained, we will have to record it as an ‘unauthorised absence’. This will feature as one of the statistics that we publish and it will be recorded on a student’s report and in their main school file record. Such absences are usually reported in references and clearly reflect very badly on the individual concerned. In the unlikely event of a student truanting, we discuss the matter with their parents and sanction the student with detentions and may also set extra work.

Lateness

Any student who is late for school must report immediately on arrival to the School Office and sign the Late Book. If, in their Form Tutor’s opinion, they are late more than twice in a half-term without a genuine excuse, they will receive a detention on the third, sixth and ninth occasions to be served with the Deputy Headteacher on a Friday, directly after school. 

Medical Condition or Allergy

Please keep the school up to date with information about any condition that could affect your child at school.  Please see our Supporting Students with Medical Conditions Policy (in the About Us/Policies section of this website) for more details.

Illness at Home

On the first day of illness, please contact the school either by telephone (01322 556538) or email attendance@beths.bexley.sch.uk

Please do not send your child to school if they are ill and unlikely to be able to cope with the necessary challenges posed by a working day in a large school. Rest and swift recovery is the best policy.  

If your child has had an infectious disease, or has been in contact with someone who has, please keep them at home until your doctor tells you they are clear: please also notify us directly at the school, in this important instance.

Illness at School

If your child is taken ill, or has an accident at school, they should go to the School Office.  Should a quick recovery look likely, they will rest there. If, however, recovery that day seems unlikely, the Office Staff will contact you, so that they may be collected and taken home.  In the rare event that your child should be taken to hospital, you will be informed as soon as possible.  Your child should not phone you to pick them up without first reporting to the Office. If they do phone you initially, please ask them to report to the Office immediately.  

So that we can contact you efficiently, it is essential that all parents/carers keep the School Office informed about where they can usually be reached during the day time. Please remember to inform us promptly if any of your contact telephone numbers change. Failure to do so will cause inconvenience and could cause stress and danger to your child.