Start of Term Letter – September 2022

To download a copy of this letter, click here.  

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that this letter finds you well. It is always a pleasure to welcome back the students to school at the start of term and they have made a particularly positive start to the new school year. This letter contains important updates and information for you to be aware of at the start of the new term.

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      Our BEST standards

      During our start of term assemblies, I reminded all the students of the basic high standards we expect here at Fred Longworth High School. The students have been reminded that they should present themselves in a smart, professional and business-like manner. The standards of uniform have been excellent, there have only been a small number of individuals where this has not been the case. The new dresses look incredibly smart. In instances where we find students adjusting the dresses, we will contact parents and ask the students to wear trousers instead.

      I have also stressed to the students the importance of a positive Attitude to Learning and reminded them of the conduct that is expected in lessons and around school. For your reference, I include a copy of our BEST standards.

      Best Attendance

      I wish to remind you of our BEST Attendance initiative. Regular attendance and good punctuality are crucial factors in students achieving their full potential. Here at Freddie’s we are committed to providing a full and efficient education to all, and encouraging our children to strive for excellence.

      We work in partnership with parents and carers and so are seeking your full support in ensuring that your child attends the school every day and on time. We are always pleased to work together with parents/carers in resolving any difficulties, but we are also committed to improving attendance levels here at Freddie’s.

      The target attendance figure for all students is a minimum of 97% attendance. Based on attendance figures your child will be placed in one of the following groups below. Your child will be informed of their Attendance Group.

      Group 1: No Concern – Green Group

      The child attends for 97% – 100% of the time.

      Group 2: Concern – Yellow Group

      The child attends for 95% – 96.9% of the time.

      Group 3: Risk of Underachievement – Amber Group

      The child attends for 93% – 94.9% of the time.

      Group 4: Severe Risk of Underachievement – Pink Group

      The child attends for 90% – 92.9% of the time.

      Group 5: Extreme Risk of Underachievement Red Group

      The child attends for 0% – 89.9% of the time.

      Impact on Attainment:

      Regular attendance is not just a legal requirement, but it is vital for students to maximise their learning, and achieve their full potential. There are a number of important steps that you can take to ensure your child maintains a high level of attendance:

      • Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Form Tutor time begins at 8.35am and all students need to be onsite by 8.30am.
      • Ensure the school has up-to-date addresses and telephone numbers. We will contact you by text or by telephone if your child is absent and you have not contacted the school.
      • If your child is ill, contact the school and provide an explanatory note on their return to the school. Please make sure you telephone the school every day your child is absent.
      • If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as unauthorised.
      • Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of school time wherever possible. Please provide medical evidence.
      • Avoid trivial absence such as, ‘buying new shoes’. This would not be accepted as a reasonable absence.
      • Holidays should not be taken in school time. Holidays will not be authorised during term time.
      • Respond to school letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality.
      • Contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into the school and we will support to help resolve any issues.

      Education Penalty Notice Warning for Non-School attendance

      Our intention is to always work positively with parents to encourage good attendance. However, Under the Education Act 1996, parents and carers can be prosecuted if they fail to secure regular attendance.  Working within a Code of Conduct, the Local Authority can issue a penalty notice to parents or carers if a child has missed a number of sessions without permission from the school.

      If your child falls within one or more of these categories within a 12 week period

      • 10 sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absence with under 90% attendance
      • 20 sessions (10 days) of unauthorised absence
      • persistently arrives late for school after the close of registration

      You could receive a Penalty Notice of £60 which will increase to £120 if not paid within 21 days. The Penalty Notice will need to be paid in full before 28 days of the notice being served. Failure to pay a penalty notice may result in prosecution (a separate penalty notice may be issued to each parent for each child).

      Wigan Council Attendance Service, in conjunction with all Wigan schools, will use these powers as an early deterrent to prevent patterns of unauthorised absence developing.

      You may also receive a Penalty Notice for the offence of failing to secure regular school attendance under the following circumstances:

      • Your child is stopped on a truancy sweep
      • You fail to ensure that your child is not in a public place during the first 5 days of a fixed term or permanent exclusion.

      If you do have concerns about your child’s attendance or are experiencing any difficulties, please contact us and ask for support to avoid situations developing.

      Building Work and School Access

      Work on the new school building has really gathered pace over the summer and we are now seeing its steel framework emerging. It is an exciting time. Of course, the building work is causing certain temporary restrictions and disruption on our site. Wigan Council have enforced a temporary traffic order which prevents any vehicle parking or waiting on the entire length of Printshop Lane. We ask that no vehicles access Printshop Lane when students are walking to/from school. If dropping off or picking up your children at the beginning or end of the day, we request that you park a short distance away from the school. The only exception being those who need to drop off or pick up disabled students. Please also be mindful of the fact that during this period, there are no visitor parking spaces on the school site.

      Open Evening Thursday 22nd September

      On Thursday 22nd September we will be holding our Open Evening. To allow us to prepare the school and site for this event, we will close early at 2pm. Should you wish your child to remain in school until the normal time on this day, please contact your child’s head of year.

      Thank you for your support and cooperation. 

      Yours sincerely

      Mr P Davies