A Parental Guide
Tel: 0151 235 1400
The Gateacre School Ethos 2
Aims, Attitudes and Values 3
Code of Conduct 5
Times of Day 6 & 13
Uniform Do’s and Don’ts 7
Uniform Guide 9
School Shoes guide 10
What not to wear 11
Valuables and Safekeeping 12
Attendance Policy 13
For more information about Gateacre School policies,
events, news and how to contact staff please refer to our
THE GATEACRE SCHOOL ETHOS
In order to clarify our purpose and direction, staff and governors have worked together
and have produced an agreed set of Aims for our school. All our policies relate to these
Aims, since it is our policies which put into practical effect those principles which are
enshrined in our Aims.
We also have agreed procedures, a code of conduct and a system of rewards and
sanctions for our students which assist us in working to achieve our Aims.
Underpinning all that we strive for is the ethos of our school - our own characteristic
spirit and shared set of beliefs. The school's ethos pervades everything we do. It
determines the 'atmosphere' of Gateacre and the quality of personal relationships
within our school.
Our ethos may be summarised by the following beliefs:
Successful education is based on good relationships between staff and students.
Mutual respect and co-operation are central to such relationships.
All students (and staff) respond better to encouragement than to threats. They thrive
on affection rather than fear.
Sensitive consideration of students by all staff increases their self-esteem which in
tum produces greater achievement.
All students are individuals with differing social backgrounds, talents, aspirations
and needs. Each is entitled to mature and develop within a safe and caring
environment in order that individual potential may be achieved.
Individual potential is most likely to be realised when staff always demand high
yet realistic standards of effort, behaviour and achievement from their students.
Students appreciate a disciplined environment in which staff act firmly, fairly
Problems are perfectly normal in school where children are learning and testing the
boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Our success is determined not by the
absence of problems but by the collaborative way in which we deal with them.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
We believe that our prime function at Gateacre is to facilitate learning and that our
students are entitled to a broad, balanced and relevant education. We aim:
1. To create an environment in which our students may fully achieve
their individual potential.
2. To provide a variety of teaching and learning styles including the use of
new technologies to suit the needs of the full range of ability and interests
of our students.
3. To equip students with the knowledge, skills, aptitudes and understanding
to achieve independence.
4. To encourage the pursuit of excellence, a love of learning, and
the realisation that education continues throughout life.
5. To promote in students and skills of self assessment so that personal
goals and targets may be set as an aid to progress.
VALUES AND ATTITUDES
We believe that children learn their values and attitudes from a wide range of sources.
The most important of these is the home, but the school has a vital part to play in
influencing young minds. We aim:
1. To encourage students to develop responsibility and high self esteem
based on honesty, reliability and self discipline.
2. To encourage both independent thought and a shared set of formal values,
which will include a caring attitude, a belief in equality of opportunity, a respect
for the rights and the property of others and the motivation to work co-operatively
within a team.
3. To develop a sense of pride in our school, in its appearance, its achievements
and its reputation within the community.
4. To establish a disciplined, orderly and friendly atmosphere within which
everyone in the school treats each other with courtesy, respect and tolerance.
5. To encourage an active concern among our students for the environment,
both locally and world-wide.
We are a Community Comprehensive school and we believe we have a significant
role to play in partnership with our local community. We aim:
1. To work in close co-operation with parents, keeping them fully informed on
the progress of their children and the life of the school.
2. To maintain excellent personal and professional links with our associated junior
schools, the city's F.E. College, with local industry and commerce and with the
full range of external support agencies concerned with all aspects of the welfare
of our students.
3. To encourage the belief within the community that education is a life-long
process and to provide as wide a range of educational opportunities as possible
for members of our community.
4. To draw upon the resources, talents and expertise within local community to
further enhance the education of our students.
We believe that to create the best possible school for our students we must provide a
capable, caring and enthusiastic staff, so we aim:
1. To recruit high quality staff who are supportive of the aims of the school, care
for its public image and have a genuine respect for children.
2. To provide professional satisfaction for the staff by seeking to provide excellent
working conditions together with programmes of induction, in-service training
and staff development which will help them to develop and extend their skills.
3. To achieve high standards of discipline within the school by staff setting the
example of good self-discipline, personal manner and appearance, by
ensuring a code of conduct that is agreed, clearly understood and followed in
a consistent manner.
4. To encourage clear communication throughout the school and to involve all staff
in the necessary consultation which forms part of the decision-making process of
CODE OF CONDUCT
All students share with the staff a responsibility to ensure that Gateacre is a safe,
orderly and disciplined school of which we can all be proud. This Code of Conduct
has been drawn up after consultation with staff and the Student Council and all
students are expected to abide by it.
1. Do - treat others with respect at all times. Co-operate with all staff and
2. Do - eat only in dining rooms and place all litter in a bin.
3. Do - wear full school uniform and leave jewellery at home.
4. Do - remove all outdoor coats in classrooms, halls and dining
5. Do - carry your Planner at all times and place it on the desk at the start of all
6. Do - switch OFF mobile phones inside the building and leave personal
stereos, ipods and electronic games at home.
7. Do - behave sensibly in all areas of the school.
8. Do - ask permission before opening windows.
9. Do - keep off all grassed areas.
10. Do Not - bring chewing gum to school.
11. Do - walk calmly and quietly, keep to the right and follow the one-way
TIMES OF THE SCHOOL DAY
Children should be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the
reason for the absence is unavoidable.
8.45 a.m. - Students are actively encouraged to be on site by 8.45 a.m. ready
for the start of registration.
8.50 a.m. - Form registration
9.00 a.m. - Formal lessons start
3.15 p.m. – Classes dismissed
A student is not considered late until he/she arrives after 8.55 a.m.; the mid-
point of morning registration.
Before Students arriving before 8.40 a.m. may wait on the premises at their
School own risk, avoiding any areas in which cleaners may be working.
Breakfast is also available.
All students are to go outside onto playgrounds unless they are
Break time attending a meeting or are otherwise being supervised within the
10.40 buildings by a member of staff.
All students on-site should either be in a dining area, on an
appropriate playground, in the Atrium (if wet), in the LRB
(according to the daily rota) or any classroom where they are
Lunch time supervised by a member of staff.
MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS ETC
Students who have been given permission by their Form Teachers or Year Head to
leave school during the day to attend dental and medical appointments for example
must obtain an EXIT SLIP from the year group Admin Officer and show it to
Reception at the time of departure as proof of permission to exit school. On return
to school, students should immediately return to the Main Office to be recorded as
PRESENT and resume lessons.
This is especially important due to the impact on fire and evacuation procedures and
You must contact school before 9.30 a.m. to report a student absence/illness
WE ASK PARENTS TO PLEASE ENSURE SCHOOL IS ALWAYS PROVIDED
WITH UP TO DATE MOBILE AND HOME TELEPHONE CONTACT NUMBERS
UNIFORM DO’S AND DON’TS
Acceptable Not Acceptable
Black skirt of below knee length, pleated, gored Short skirts. Very long skirts. Clingy skirts.
or flared Pinafore Dresses. Shorts. Playsuits. Slog T-Shirts
Black school trousers Cords, canvas trousers, jeans, cargo pants,
Plain white shirt tucked in and worn with year Large loose knot, or short tie not pulled up to
group tie, properly tied pulled up to neck with neck.
shirt top button fastened.
Black school jacket with badge is compulsory. No other items of knitwear or sweatshirt are
Plain black school jumper/tank top - optional. allowed
Plain black or white socks or tights Coloured or patterned socks or tights
Plain all black sensible shoes. See uniform shoe Trainers, canvas, high-heels, logos, colours
guide. stripes or emblems, coloured soles
Plain dark coloured coat which opens with zip or No hoodies, no headwear, caps or hats.
buttons to reveal the school uniform. No coats to
be worn in school – lockers are provided No brightly coloured coats, logos or emblems etc.
Wristwatch is permitted. Plain studs only in ear No items of jewellery such as rings, bracelets,
piercing. Only ear piercing’s are permitted. chains. No multiple earrings, face/body piercings
Minimal, very light, subtle make-up (must not be Heavy or obvious make up. False eyelashes,
obvious or noticeable.) blusher, nail varnish, false tan, coloured lipstick,
eye shadow are never allowed.
A bag of suitable size for carrying and protecting Fashion handbags, aerosols, make up
books and sports equipment.
Mobile phone switched off in school. Must not be Any other electronic equipment, Ipod, MP3 etc
in use or visible. No liability accepted.
Plain water in a plain bottle kept in school bag. Cans or any other drinks. In particular, students
are forbidden to sell or trade any items.
A Message from our Headteacher
Dear Students, Parents and Carers,
As you know we have embarked on an exciting new phase of our school life and moved into our state
of the art new building. To celebrate this we introduced our smart new uniform and new school badge
last September which is set out below:
All students must wear a school blazer (we call them jackets as we have had them restyled to look
slightly different to a typical blazer).
There is a different tie for each year group. Shirts and ties must be worn all year round.
Students can choose to wear the optional black V neck jumper (this has a thin purple stripe on the
V neck) under their blazer (jacket). Please note cardigans are not uniform.
All students must wear black shoes only. Trainers, canvas shoes etc. are not allowed.
Boys must wear long black trousers and white shirts with long/short sleeves, along with their black
shoes, tie, blazer (jacket) and their optional jumper.
Girls must wear black skirts (of a sensible style and knee length), white shirts with long/short
sleeves, along with their black shoes, tie, blazer (jacket) and their optional jumper.
I look forward seeing all our students in their smart new uniform in September 2012.
School Jacket (Jumper/Tank Top optional)
Year Group Ties
Y7 Y8 Y9 Y10 Y11
Designs are for illustration only—final designs to be approved
ONLY SMART, PLAIN, BLACK FAUX OR LEATHER SHOES MUST BE WORN
TRAINERS OR CANVAS SHOES such as Vans, Converse etc. WILL NOT BE ALLOWED
X X X X
BRANDED FOOTWEAR such as Bamboo, Cruyff, Adidas, Nike, Uggs
etc. WILL NOT BE ALLOWED
X X X X
FOOTWEAR WITH COLOURED SOLES or HIGH HEELED SHOES
or WEDGES/PLATFORMS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED e.g.
X X X X X X X
Headwear such as baseball caps, other ’hats’, hooded
sweatshirts and other non-uniform garments etc. must
NOT be in school at any time (including breaks &
lunch) . Please note these will be confiscated.
see examples below:
X X X X X
X X X
Valuables, Personal Property and Equipment on the school site
Staff, students and visitors should note that any personal property or equipment brought onto the
school site is not covered by the school’s insurance policies. Only equipment owned by the school is
insured against loss or damage as per the terms and conditions of the school insurance policies.
Insurance for all personal property and equipment is the sole responsibility of the owner, and no claim
for the loss or damage to it can be made against the school’s insurance policies. This also applies to any
personal belongings or equipment brought into school by a member of staff, student or visitor to use as
part of their work (for example, personal computers / laptops, stationary, electrical equipment or
Staff, students and visitors should ensure that personal property is kept with them at all times. It should
also be noted that if personal property and equipment is stored in a school owned locked receptacle or
safe that it is done so entirely at the owner’s risk, and the school can accept no liability for any loss or
Staff, students and visitors should also be aware that any equipment brought into school for use as part
of their work is required to conform to the necessary health and safety standards, and any other
requirements as stipulated by the school. For example any portable electrical appliances brought into
school are required to be PAT tested, and passed as fit to use within the school, prior to its usage.
This policy also applies to staff and visitor vehicles parked on the school site. The school accepts no
liability for any loss or damage to staff and visitor cars whilst parked or being driven on the school site.
Mr D Brown – Chair of Governors
Mr G Lonergan – Head Teacher
Improving attendance is fundamental to the success of the students and the success of
Gateacre Community Comprehensive School. The school recognizes that poor
attendance disadvantages children. We aim to ensure that the students in the school
attend regularly and on time.
The school has a legal duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to promote
attendance. Equally, parents have a duty to make sure that their children attend.
School staff are committed to working with parents as the best way to ensure as high
as level of attendance as possible.
With regard to ‘Every Child Matters’ the school aims to cater to the needs of individual
student’s well being, in an environment that is safe, secure and conducive to work so
our students can enjoy and achieve success. Any issue, such as bullying, which might
inhibit school attendance, will be dealt with expeditiously.
Children should be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason
for the absence is unavoidable.
Parents/Carers are made aware of the official opening and closing times of the
school. Currently, Gateacre School starts the day with form registration at 8.50
a.m. followed by formal lessons at 9.00 a.m. Students are actively encouraged to
be on site by 8.45 a.m. ready for the start of the 8.50 a.m. registration. A student
is not considered late until he/she arrives after 8.55 a.m.; the mid-point of
morning registration. Classes are dismissed at 3.15 p.m. Parents/Carers will be
informed of any change to these times.
Ensuring their child’s regular attendance at school is the legal responsibility of the
parent(s)/ carer and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an
offence in law by the parent/carer.
Promoting good attendance forms part of the Gateacre Community Comprehensive
School’s Home School Agreement. Signing this agreement signifies parental and
student support of the Attendance Policy.
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school, (not by the
parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about
the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason
such as illness or another unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and
for which no ‘leave’ has been given. This includes:
parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
truancy before or during the school day
absences which have never been properly explained
children who arrive at school too late to get a mark
shopping, looking after other children,
day trips etc.
Leave may, however, be granted in an emergency (e.g. bereavement) or for medical
appointments which must be in school time.
With regard to holidays taken during term time, the Headteacher may authorise up to
10 days during the academic year following a written request. Holidays not authorised
will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
Parents are expected to contact school at an early stage and to work with the staff in
resolving any problems together. This is nearly always successful. If difficulties cannot
be resolved in this way, the school may refer the child to the Attendance and Education
Welfare Officer from the Local Authority. He/she will also try to resolve the situation by
agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed and
unauthorized absences persist, these Officers can use sanctions such as Penalty
Notices or prosecutions in the Magistrates Court. Full details of the options open to
enforce attendance at school are available from the school or the Local Authority.
Alternatively, parents/carers or children may wish to contact the AWO themselves to
ask for help or information. They are independent of the school and will give impartial
advice. Their telephone number is available from the school office or by contacting the
Any child may sometimes be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular
attendance are best resolved by the school, the parents and the child working together.
If a child is reluctant to attend, it is better not to cover up his/her absence or to give in
to pressure to excuse him/her from attending. This gives the impression that
attendance does not matter and may make things worse.
The school aims to give a clear message that excellent (100%) attendance
and good (95-99%) attendance is valued at Gateacre.
Where attendance is between 75-94% additional support will be given to enable
improvement to be made. Where attendance is below 75% the school will provide as
much support as possible, but parents risk penalty notices and or prosecution where no
commitment is shown to bring about improvement.
For the purposes of monitoring attendance the school has adopted the ‘Traffic Light’
(RAG) System for monitoring and rewarding attendance.
Green (Acceptable) 92%+
Amber (Cause for concern) 88-91%
Red (Poor attendance) Below 88%
In addition, where attendance is below 80% an ‘Acceptable Attendance Agreement’
(AAA) may be issued by the school’s Community Police Officer in conjunction with the
LA Truancy Watch Team. Each student will be set targets to improve his/her
Individual student attendance is recorded each morning and afternoon using the
School Registration System. Procedures regarding this may be found in the Register
Procedures Policy (March 2011).
The calling of the Form roll will commence at 8.50 a.m.
If a student arrives in school on time, with the acknowledgement of a doctor’s note or
dental appointment and will be returning to school after the appointment the student will
be marked as present (\)
Students will only be allowed to leave school earlier than the official times if they are
collected by a parent/carer. Parents/carers must inform the school who will ensure that
the time of departure is recorded. Students must report to the main office for an exit
slip before leaving school.
If a student has no prior confirmation for his/her absence and does not arrive at school,
the year group administrator will telephone the parental contact number on the school
record for confirmation of the absence. Parents must report an absence before
If a student arrives between 8.55 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. in the morning or after 1.15 p.m.
he/she will be given a late mark (L). Students must report to their respective school
If a student arrives after 9.30 a.m. or 2.05 p.m. he/she will be given a (U) code.
This will affect their overall attendance record. An absence note from
parent/carer is required to explain the lateness/absence.
If no reason for absence is provided a mark of (N) is given. This remains as an
unauthorized absence until a reason for the absence is provided. Currently, data
on students with persistent absence* will be reported to the DfES each half term.
Staff should make every effort to code the absence correctly. (N) can be left on
the register but a referral to the Progress Leader (and AWO) is essential where
the reason cannot be ascertained.
* The following thresholds are used for persistent absence students :-
14+ lost sessions half term 1
28+ lost sessions half term 2
40+ lost session half term 3
52+ lost sessions half term 4
64+ lost sessions half term 1-5
The school should submit student monitoring sheets and action plans to the
Local Authority each half term.
If a student is known to have truanted a mark of (O) will be given and parents will be
If a student is at a medical appointment (M) or has an illness (I) and the school has
been officially informed the student will receive the appropriate code. This will affect
the overall attendance for the student.
Absence for exceptional circumstances e.g. funeral etc will be marked (C). This will
affect the overall attendance for the student.
If a student is excluded from school he/she will be marked as (E). This will affect
Previously agreed holidays (H) will be classed as authorized absence. Non-agreed
holidays (G) will be classed as unauthorized absence. Both will affect the overall
All school arranged absences will not affect individual student attendance. These
absences include Interview (J), Approved-sporting activity (P), Educated off site (B),
Educational visit (V) and Work experience (W). Where students are educated off site
the (B) code will be entered centrally at the Main Office. Changes to the (B) code,
should only be carried out by admin staff. Staff arranging educational visits must follow
the systems and procedures set down in the Register Procedures Policy (March 2011)
Individual class attendance should be recorded for every lesson using the SIMS
Lesson Monitor electronic system . Guidelines can be found in the Register
Procedures Policy (March 2011). Suspected internal truancy must be referred to the
student’s Form Tutor or Year staff.
For safeguarding and educational reasons the school will follow up all unexplained and
unexpected absence by using our “First Day Response” system.
For Health and Safety reasons, the school needs to be aware of where students are,
particularly those leaving or arriving on the site during a session. It is, therefore,
essential that staff use SIMS Lesson Monitor to record attendance and lateness.
Guidelines can be found in the Register Procedures Policy (March 2011). Reception
staff issue exit slips when appropriate.
Roles and Responsibilities
Everybody needs to be clear about the ways in which they, as individuals, can
contribute to monitoring and improving attendance at Gateacre.
Staff should be aware that underpinning the Attendance Matters Policy is the need to
ensure that attendance data is as accurate as possible. Attendance data will be
reported to the Children’s Services of the Local Authority and the DfES. Individual
student data will provide evidence when a penalty notice is issued and be used by
PAEWS in court proceedings against parents.
Attendance – Who Does What?
Send their child to school, on time, every day the school is open.
Inform the school as soon as possible when there is a student absence and
provide a reason, in writing, for the absence.
Work in partnership with the school to resolve any attendance issues.
Form Tutor: T
Take morning and afternoon registers following the guidelines in the
Record all absences with the correct code.
Refer any attendance concerns to the Year staff.
Promote good student attendance in their form group.
Congratulate good attendance or set appropriate targets on student reports.
Discuss attendance records with parents/carers on Review Day.
Take subject class registers using the SIMS Registration System.
Promote good student attendance.
Refer attendance concerns to Head of Department/ Head of Year.
Set attendance targets, when appropriate, on subject reports.
Attendance Meet deadlines for LA/DfES data returns.
Manager Attendance display for Foyer Screen.
Ensure that the Off Site (B) register is up to date
Students Support As directed by Progress Leader’s work with students to improve attendance.
Year Administration First day response for appropriate year group.
Staff: Lates (L) entered onto the SIMS Registration System.
Production of weekly attendance reports for PL/AWO.
Liaise with PL for completion of AWO referrals.
Ensure entry of exclusions (E) on the SIMS Registration System.
Liaise with PAEWS with regard to the ‘Outbound Initiative’.
Manage rewards systems (termly draws, certificates, full five )
Produce graphical information for display.
Ensure that students educated off site are correctly coded (B).
Liaise with parents/WBP/Year staff when attendance concerns arise.
Progress Leader Weekly check of attendance for year group.
Weekly meeting with AWO.
Referrals to PAEWS.
Liaise with Year SLT regarding attendance issues.
Ensuring accuracy of attendance data.
Promote good student attendance via forms and assemblies.
Monitor RAG system.
Liaise with parents/carers.
Ensure distribution of attendance certificates.
SLT: Attendance improvement in SIP.
Liaise with PL .
Monthly attendance checks.
Attendance Lead to liaise with B and A consultant.
Attendance Lead to liaise with PAEWS regarding ISP.
Budget for attendance initiatives/rewards.
New Parents Meeting and communication.
Include attendance/punctuality into first assembly of each half term.
PAEWS has a range of functions assigned to it by The Education Welfare
Act (July 2002). The main functions are:
To promote an appreciation of the benefits derived from education,
To assist children/parents of children who are not attending school on a
To assist schools with strategies and programmes aimed at preventing non-
In Gateacre, AWO’s meet weekly with Year staff, take and act upon referrals
and administer Penalty Notices and prepare evidence for prosecution.
Attendance certificates issued termly.
Postcards informing parents of improving attendance.
100% attendance certificates issued at End of Year Award Ceremonies.
98%+ attendance certificates issues for half year at 1st Review Day
Reward vouchers issued to students with half year 100% attendance.
Reward trips e.g. Bowling.
Staff responsible for attendance matters at Gateacre Community Comprehensive
Headteacher: Mr. G Lonergan
Attendance Lead: Mrs. M. Buckles (Assistant Head Teacher)
This policy is available on the school website and the Learning Platform – Policies and
Procedures Community – Teaching and Learning Policies.
The Absence and Attendance Codes, Guidance for Schools and Local Authorities
document published by the DCSF in January 2009 can also be found on the Learning