Welcome back to a new year at Rugby High School and welcome to a slightly new-look newsletter. It is my very great pleasure to write to you at the start of my first term as Head Teacher and to share some of what's been happening since the start of term.
As staff our training schedule was a full one on Monday and Tuesday last week, with essential safeguarding training as well as some great teaching and learning training where we shared and developed our own skills as teachers. We also took part in training in "mental health first aid."
I'm sure you are aware, reading papers and accessing news channels that the mental health of young people is a key concern, and we have ensured that developing our support of students in building their resilience, building their self-confidence and their independence is a key aspect of our school plan for the next year.
On Wednesday we welcomed our new Year 7s and 12s to the school, and among other things both year groups took part in a joint activity: The Big Draw, some pictures of which I think you can find on our website - a really lovely joint artistic activity, which allowed the students to make friends across that Year 7-12 divide!
And then on Thursday we welcomed back the whole school, and I spoke to every year group about sustaining the positive ethos of Rugby High School of mutual respect and of kindness for others and how we can all contribute to that ethos. I of course, spoke of setting heights in our heart and I spoke about how looking at our GCSE and A Level results this year, it was the students who simply got on with things, handed in homework, responded to feedback and took an active part in their learning who ended up being most proud of their results. As a school we always strive for the best; If we work hard with commitment and integrity, who could possibly ask for anything more?
This week normal lessons are back into full swing, and the school feels its usual good-humoured bustling self. It has been a pleasure to start the term with both old colleagues and colleagues who are joining us for the first time, and I look forward to your meeting us all over the course of the year at a variety of events.
I shall (hopefully) be writing some thoughts about the week in every newsletter, so for this week I hope we're all having a positive experience of our different new beginnings, and I look forward comparing notes with everyone over the course of the year!
LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME
UPDATED INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
The Supreme Court recently reached a decision in the case of Platt v Isle of Wight Council which has clarified the law on unauthorised leave, including holidays, during term time. The parents of children of compulsory school age are required to ensure that they attend school on a regular basis. The Supreme Court has made clear that attending school ‘regularly’ means that the children must attend school on every day that they are required to do so. As such, the parents of any child who is absent from school without authorisation for any length of time are likely to be considered as committing an offence under s444 of the Education Act 1996.
Head Teachers retain the ability to authorise leave in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. When considering such requests for a leave of absence, the school are obliged to act within the law. Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. If the leave is granted, head teachers are able to determine the number of school days a child can be absent for.
It is for the Head Teacher to decide what is ‘exceptional’ and it is at their discretion if the circumstances warrant the leave to be granted. The school can only consider Leave of Absence requests which are made by the ‘resident’ parent.
Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.
Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application. If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s).
All matters of unauthorised absence relating to a Leave of Absence will be referred to the Warwickshire Attendance Service, part of Warwickshire County Council
It is important to note, Fixed Penalty Notices are issued to each parent of each absent child, (for example 2 children and 2 parents, means each parent will receive 2 invoices in the amount of £120 each, totalling £240 for both children, this is reduced to £60 per child if paid within 21 days).
Where a Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid within the required timeframe as set out on the notice, the matter will be referred to Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal proceedings under S444 Education Act 1996.
Fixed Penalty Notices are issued in accordance with Warwickshire County Council’s Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices.
Your child’s progress academically as well as socially is our shared priority
Warwickshire Secondary School pupils recorded 10,017 half day sessions of absence due to holiday in the Autumn/Spring term during academic year 2017/18. This is an increase of 1,122 on the previous year.
Tour of Britain Cycling Event
Please be aware that the "Tour of Britain" Cycling Event will be taking place this Friday, September 13th. There are parking restrictions on Alwyn Road effective from 18:00hrs Thursday, September 12th. The road will be closed on a rolling basis for around 15-40 minutes by the National Police Escort Motorcycle team as the race works its way around the County. The disruption for our area should only be between 1pm-2pm. Further Information can be found on the Warwickshire County Council Website.
Individual School Photos
8:50am – 3:45pm
Year 7 Parents' Information Evening
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Houses of Parliament Trip - Years 12 & 13
8:50am – 3:45pm
PTA Year 7 Parents' & Daughter Tea
3:45pm – 4:30pm
Performance Management Day - NO SCHOOL
Year 13 Geography Residential Trip
8:50am – 3:45pm
PTA Annual General Meeting
6:30pm – 8:00pm
All Parents are warmly invited to the PTA AGM.
Year 11 Parents' Evening
5:00pm – 8:00pm
PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION – AGM
Monday, October 7th at 6:30pm in the Sports Hall Classroom
The PTA consists of a passionate group of parents supported by staff who look to raise funds in a fun and sociable way. The extra funding we raise goes directly to equipment and resources to enhance your daughter’s educational experience.
All parents and carers are warmly invited to attend the PTA's Annual General Meeting on Monday, October 7th at 6:30pm in the Sports Hall Classroom.
Here are two ways you can help support the PTA. When you are shopping online, why not use one of these payback services. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but it will help the PTA raises funds for the school.
Please read the attached letter regarding Encompass from Mrs Grogan, Assistant Headteacher. Information Letter
Make a Global Difference – Think Personal
If we all individually changed one small thing about our life which reduced our carbon footprint, minimised waste or cut our use of single use plastic, collectively we could make a significant difference.
The Science department would like to hear a change you have made and the scientific facts behind it. Email your change to Mrs Weston. Every entry will receive a House Point and the best short paragraph each week will be put in the newsletter and each publication will receive 5 House Points.
Here is this week’s change. Could you do this too?
I have stopped buying wet wipes for cleaning my makeup off and for cleaning floors and surfaces. Wet wipes are often partly made of polyester, a form of plastic that doesn’t deteriorate like, for example, a tissue might do. This is woven together with cotton, but as a whole means wipes remain together in waterways for a long time. They build up in sewers and when they do deteriorate they turn into microplastics which can end up in our oceans. If you use wet wipes, they should be binned and never flushed and even better look online or on the packaging to see if they are plastic free. I now use cotton wool to take off makeup which is biodegradable and use a cloth and a mop in the kitchen.