Headteacher's Newsflash 02/02/18
Making a change is difficult
I hope that you received your child’s attendance certificate for the Autumn Term last week, the purpose of which is to give you a clear understanding of your child’s attendance and for you to be able to spot any possible errors so we can correct them.
What some parents may also notice is that for some children there is an obvious pattern of non-attendance. Schools are directed to inform parents that it is their lawful duty under the Education Act to ensure regular attendance which we believe is anything above 95% although we have an aspirational target of 97%. It is my belief that we will achieve this but it will be hard, it will be difficult and I know through bitter experience that some parents will become upset with me when I have to highlight when attendance is not good enough.
At some point in the next 8 to 12 months we will have a return visit from Ofsted to check on the progress we are making. I believe that right now we are making really good progress, in fact, after the recent A Level and Vocational course results were published, you could argue that the school is doing exceptionally well.
But, our school attendance is not good. In fact, and this is difficult to say, our school attendance will not help us maintain our current level of progress.
This past week we have struggled to hit 90%. I know there are bugs, flu and colds knocking about but I also know that some children are telling their parents they feel like staying off, or they fancy going shopping, or they are going to a dance competition over the weekend which doesn’t actually start until Saturday afternoon but they’re going to go on Friday anyway to miss the traffic.
They are all excuses I have had, which are not acceptable.
Our Ofsted report clearly says attendance is an issue:
“Attendance is not good enough. Too many pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged, are regularly absent from school.” But in the very same report it goes on to say “Leaders have created a very strong culture of safeguarding in which pupils feel safe, valued and happy. It is therefore a great shame that such a significant proportion of pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged, are missing out on this experience by not attending school regularly.”
So we need to make a change and I am talking directly to those parents who are not sending in their children on a regular basis. We need to work together. I want your child to get a great education and go on to be successful in whatever they want to do. All I ask from you is to send them to school.
Our Year 7 and Year 8 football girls were involved in the Merseyside Football Tournament at NLA on Tuesday. The girls played very well despite the very cold conditions and were a credit to the school, securing a win against Broadgreen in the final game.
Performance tables 16-18 results
The Department for Education published all schools 16-18 performance recently and we are very pleased to have found that our school is in the top 10% nationally for A Level and Applied progress.
An excellent achievement for the pupils and staff in a year when we were also removed from Special Measures.
6th February 2018 is Safer Internet day and throughout the week students will be looking at a variety of internet safety topics.
During Academic Tutor time students in each form will have four sessions about:
- Introduction to E Safety
- Online Behaviour
- Digital Footprint
- Online Risks
There are a number of websites and useful resources including videos providing advice for parents here: https://www.internetmatters.org
Links are available on the school website E-Safety Section here: http://gateacre.org/school-life/esafety-advice-for-parents/
There are also a number of parental advice sheets available in the Safeguarding Area of our Reception .Please feel free to take a copy.
Dates for Your Diary:
8th February 2018 - Y11 Parents Evening 3:45pm - 6pm
12th - 16th February 2018 - Half Term
22nd February 2018 - Y8 Parents Evening 3:45 - 6pm
22nd February 2018 - Y9 Options Information for Parents 6:30pm
1st March 2018 - SIXTH FORM OPEN EVENING
8th March 2018 - Y9 Parents Evening 3:45 - 6pm
22nd March 2018 - Y7 Parents Evening 3:45 - 6pm
26th March - 8th April 2018 - EASTER/SPRING BREAK
Term Dates and Key Dates can be found on your MyEd parent app or on the school website here: https://www.gateacre.org/about-us/term-dates/