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  • Welcome To The British School Of Kuwait

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Attendance Policy

Excellent attendance and punctuality are essential factors in educational success. By contrast, poor attendance and/or lateness are significant factors in most cases of academic underperformance.

Lower and Junior Phases (Reception - Year 5)

Our target for attendance levels from Years 1-5 is 95%. The Reception Year’s target is 90%. 

Our target for lateness is that it should not constitute more than 1% of our daily register. 

Late students miss out on vital learning, especially phonics teaching, the backbone of language acquisition which is conducted in the first session of the day. Late students also interrupt the learning of other students, thus the school has an obligation to all children to insist on punctual attendance. 

The school has several procedures in place to contact the parents of students whose attendance or punctuality give rise to concern. This includes notification being sent to the Ministry of Education should students' unauthorised absence reach 5 occasions in a year. Subsequent letters are sent at 10 and 15 days unauthorised absence.

Students who are registered as late on 5 or more occasions in a term receive official notification of our concern from the school, with further letters at 10 and 15 instances of lateness in a term. At 20 instances of lateness in a single term a meeting is held for parents with the Headteacher to address the matter. 

As part of our emphasis on high attendance we acknowledge those students who attend school every day of a term. The Head Teacher sends these students a congratulatory letter to mark their achievement. 

Middle and Higher Phases (Years 6 - 13)

Research conducted in Britain has shown that students with 95% school attendance perform almost twice as well in Year 11 external examinations as students with 90% attendance.

Authorised and Unauthorised Absence

A clear policy is followed in order to record all absence as either unauthorised or authorised. Such data appears on school reports and transcripts.

Unauthorised absence from school is unacceptable. Parentally sanctioned instances of unauthorised absence represent a breach of the Terms and Conditions of Registration and Re-Registration.

In order for an absence to be authorised the Application for Authorised Absence from School form must be completed and submitted to the Department Coordinator (DC) for approval. The procedure for this is as follows:

  1. The parent or student obtains the Application for Authorised Absence from School form from the Class Tutor, Phase or Department Coordinator.
  2. The parent completes the form, attaching supporting documentation.
  3. The student submits the form to their Phase or Department Coordinator at least one day prior to any foreseen absence or on the first day back after an unforeseen absence.
  4. If the request for authorisation is granted the Phase or Department Coordinator returns the approval slip to the student.
  5. In the case of approved full-day absences the student/parent retains the approval slip for their records.
  6. If an approved part-day absence involves leaving the campus during the school day and not returning, the student should show the approval slip to their teacher at the start of the lesson and may leave the class 5 minutes prior to the stated departure time, when they should go directly to BSK Reception.
  7. A member of the Reception Desk Team is responsible for checking the ID of the person collecting the student. Once their identification has been verified they sign, date and stamp the form, which can then be presented to a member of the Security Team at Gate A in order to leave the campus.
  8. If an approved part-day absence involves entering the campus during the school day, the student should present the permission slip to a member of the Security Team at Gate A in order to gain admittance to the campus. They should then go directly to class.
  9. In the event that a part-day absence involves a student leaving and then returning to the campus the permission slip should be retained by the student upon departure, although they will need to show it to the Security Team at Gate A in order to leave the campus. 
  10. In the event that an absence results in a student missing a scheduled test or assessment that contributes to a tracking grade, it is expected that the student will send an email to their teacher to inform them of their absence as soon as possible. If documentation is provided that enables the absence to be authorised, it may be possible for the student to take the assessment on another occasion or for their absence to be taken into account. If this does not happen, the student will receive a score of ‘zero’ and this will be reflected in the tracking grade.

All absences must be explained. Whether or not they are authorised is determined by the Department Coordinator. If a student is absent from school but has not followed the procedure outlined above the Phase or Department Coordinator will inform the Class Tutor, who will follow up with the student during Morning Tutor Time on their first day back in school.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they adhere to this procedure and, in line with the Secondary Rewards and Sanctions Policy, students who fail to do so will be sanctioned each morning until the situation has been rectified.

Absence may be authorised for only the following reasons:

  • Code M: medical or dental. This is authorised only upon receipt by the Class Tutor of documentary evidence that the student visited a doctor or dentist during the period of absence. Such evidence may include a medical report, a private clinic receipt or a government clinic doctor’s form. A photocopy or digital photograph of such a document is also acceptable. However, a parental note or email does not authorise medical absence, except in cases in which the Head Teacher has approved official documentation of a recurrent and/or chronic condition.
  • Code R: religious observance. This is authorised only upon receipt by the Class Tutor of a parental email or note, either in the student planner or on a separate piece of paper.
  • Code H: family-approved travel out of Kuwait. This is authorised only upon receipt by the Class Tutor of a parental email or note, either in the student planner or on a separate piece of paper.
  • Code I: attending university interviews; pre-university testing; testing/interviewing for another school within Kuwait.
  • Code C: other authorised reasons - bereavement or compassionate reasons; attending a funeral; official Ministry/embassy related business; taking a driving test.

The following reasons for absence are unacceptable and remain unauthorised. However, they are explained and the student will not be sanctioned. Class tutors record Code O when they receive parental notification of the following circumstances:

  • medical absence (without documentary evidence);
  • spending time with relatives who are visiting from abroad;
  • chalet or desert trip;
  • social occasions within Kuwait;
  • preparing for assessments or examinations (except within official study leave);
  • receiving private tuition;
  • catching up on a backlog of work;
  • moving house;
  • going to a salon ahead of a special event (even a school event);
  • absence if tired after an evening event (even a school event).

Requests to authorise absence due to special reasons not covered explicitly by this policy must be referred to the Head Teacher (HT). This may often be granted, for high-level competitions, or other valuable activities, with the HT’s approval for each specific case.

The following circumstances are not considered to represent absence, for statistical purposes, and do not therefore need to be authorised:

  • External or internal suspension from school;
  • Educational visit, in or out of Kuwait, eg field trip, Duke of Edinburgh's International Award expedition, BSME competition;
  • Official Year 11-13 summer study leave.
  • School days on which special events take place, such as sport and enrichment days, are considered to be normal school days. This entire policy applies equally to such days.

There is a one week time limit for retrospective amendment of a student’s attendance record following the late receipt of an Application for Authorised Absence from School form and the explanatory documentation. However, any winter or summer school report, or official transcript issued between the period of absence and the receipt of the explanatory document will not be amended or reissued.

Consequences of Unauthorised Absence

The school will send a warning letter to parents if their child accrues five full days or ten half-day sessions of unauthorised absence during an academic year.

The school will send a second warning letter after ten full days or twenty half-day sessions of unauthorised absence.

If a student accrues fifteen full days or thirty half-day sessions of unauthorised absence, the school will issue a third and final warning letter. The school will also inform the Private Education Department, who will take the appropriate action, which may include the student being deemed to have failed the academic year.

All attendance data is included on school reports and official transcripts.

Lateness to School Before 08.00

All lateness after the beginning of Morning Tutor Time is recorded.

Lateness before the end of Morning Tutor Time is recorded by the Class Tutor as attendance code L. The student is considered to be present for the morning session. Such lateness is included in statistical analyses of lateness and appears on student reports and transcripts.

Lateness due to a late bus, or another reason agreed in advance by the Head Teacher, is recorded by the Class Tutor as attendance code B. Such lateness is not included in statistical analyses and does not appear on student reports or transcripts.

Lateness to School After 08.00

Outer Courtyard Gate D and Marble Arch Gate MM are closed at 08.00. Any student arriving after that time, or who arrives just before 07.50 but fails to arrive in their tutor room in time to be recorded as late by their tutor, must ensure that they enter the campus via Gate A, before going to Gate G, which is the security office at the rear of Park Lane. The security guard at Gate G will record Code G lateness and the time of entry on the school attendance database.

Code G lateness constitutes unauthorised absence for the entire morning session. Code G lateness is included in statistical analyses of lateness and appears on student reports and transcripts.

Arriving too late to attend Morning Tutor Time but failing to enter through Gate G is a breach of this policy and is sanctionable. The consequence of not entering through Gate G is that the student will have been recorded for the morning session as Code N (unauthorised absence) by their tutor. Once the situation is understood, the tutor will overwrite the morning session mark to Code O (explained but still unauthorised). Students should use the Application for Authorised Absence from School form in applying to have such morning session absence authorised.

Leaving School Early

The school places great emphasis on classes keeping pace with schemes of work. The attendance of students at lessons is very important, and withdrawal of students from timetabled classes will disrupt the curriculum.

Where early departure from school is necessary, parents and students should adhere to the procedure outlined above and use the Application for Authorised Absence from School form.

Parents may not come to the front reception desk during the day and expect to withdraw their children without prior notice.

In accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines, we would advise parents strongly that students should not be withdrawn from their classes, except in the case of an emergency or unavoidable medical appointment.

Students who leave school early for medical reasons will be recorded as absence Code N (unexplained and unauthorised) for the afternoon registration session. The student will then need to follow the procedure outlined above and submit the Application for Authorised Absence from School form and the supporting documentation in order to have this part day absence authorised.

An exception is made in the case of a student who has left school on the recommendation of the School Clinic. In such a case the student’s absence for the remainder of that school day will automatically be authorised as Code M (medical). However, should the absence extend into a second day, the usual evidence will be required before such absence is authorised as Code M. A further exception is made for the siblings of students who leave school on the recommendation of the School Clinic, in the event that the parent also needs to take them. Such cases are authorised as Code C.