Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact to talk about Admissions?
Our Admissions Officer is Jennie Rich. Jennie works Monday to Thursdays, term time only and can be contacted between the hours of 07:30 to 15:30 by telephoning 01992 462889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emails will be checked on a regular basis outside of these hours and Jennie will make every effort to acknowledge your email and let you know when you can expect a response if she is unable to assist whilst away from the school.
Do you finish early for school holidays?
It is usual practice for the school to finish at lunchtime at Christmas and for the summer break. All other holidays will finish at the end of the normal school day. Please view the calendar entries for information on each end of term.
How do I apply for absence?
On 1st September 2013 The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 was amended. Headteachers no longer have the authority to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Please note that the maximum time that we will allow for exceptional circumstances is two days. You should include documentation when requesting holiday for exceptional circumstances such as family weddings etc.
If you wish to apply for absence during term time then please complete the Absence Request Form from our school website.
With effect from 01 February 2016, should a student's number of unauthorised absence sessions (half days) reach 15 or more in the current and/or previous term then you will be in breach of the regulations and the Local Authority may issue you with a penalty notice.
The notice requires you to pay a penalty of £60 within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Each parent is liable to pay a separate penalty and penalty notices are issued for each child to whom the absence relates.
Payment of the penalty enables you to discharge your liability for the offence for the period in question of failing to ensure your child's regular attendance at school. (section 444, The Education Act 1996).
Failure to pay the penalty will mean that you are liable to prosecution for the offence, by summons to appear before the local Magistrates Court. On conviction you may be liable for a fine of up to £1,000 per parent. This is a criminal offence which carries a criminal record. The Local Authority will ask for costs of £125 to be awarded against you.
If you fail to ensure your child attends regularly and 15 sessions of unauthorised absence is reached a penalty notice will be issued and you will not receive a further warning before it is imposed.
Do I have to submit a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) to The John Warner School for secondary transfer?
The John Warner School is its own admitting authority and therefore if an applicant does not complete the Supplementary Information Form we will not know about you and the Governing Body will apply the school’s oversubscription criteria using the information submitted on the Common Application Form. This may result in the application being given a lower priority against those criteria due to lack of available information.
If I live outside Hertfordshire, do I need to submit my admissions application to Hertfordshire County Council?
No, you should apply to your own Local Authority who will pass on your information to the Hertfordshire County Council. You should still complete our SIF and return this directly to us.
Other schools require the same admissions documentation!
We realise that your documents may be required for multiple schools and we are therefore happy for you to bring your originals into the school where we will take photocopies for you. If you are unable to do this then please send the original documentation with a stamped addressed envelope for return.
What do I do if I want my child to join your school mid-year?
Please complete one of our in-year application forms and return it with the documentation required. If we have a vacancy in the year group you are applying for then our Admissions Officer will contact you. If the year group you are applying for is full, you we be placed on continued interest list until a place becomes available. Where you sit on this list will depend on which criterion you applied under; our Admissions Officer will be able to tell you how far down the list you are once she has received all the necessary paperwork from you.
Why do you need proof of address for admissions?
To prevent any fraudulent applications, we ask for two forms of proof of address;
(a) your most recent council tax statement showing the names of all adults living at the property, and
(b) an original utility bill not older than 3 months
(c) a rental agreement if renting (please see further explanation notes on the Admissions Policy)
Documentation should include the name(s) of all adults living at the applicants address; if this is not supplied then the school will ask you to provide further proof. Other forms of documentation that we may accept or ask for will include; child benefit or tax credit letter, driving licence, doctor's letter.
How do I make an appointment with a teacher?
The easiest way to request an appointment with a teacher is to email them. A full list of staff along with their email address can be found on our website by following this link.
How do I add money to my child's cashless catering account?
You will have been issued with a wisepay account when your child started at the school. Please log into this account by following the link on our website and add money. There is also one machine based in the school dining hall which students can load money onto their accounts from; please note that this machine takes a minimum amount of £5.00. Alternatively you can call the finance department and load money via your debit/credit card or send in a cheque.
How do I know if I have paid for a trip?
The easiest way for you to check if you have paid for a trip is to check your own bank account and/or credit card statements. If you are still in doubt then the finance department will be able to give you the information that you need.
What is the minimum amount I can load onto Wisepay?
There is no minimum amount that you can put onto your child’s wisepay account. However, you should note that the one cash machine that we have in the school takes a minimum of £5. No coins can be used.
How can I find out what my child is purchasing?
Your wisepay account gives you the facility to see what refreshments your child has been purchasing from the canteen. Log into wisepay and go to My Wise Account, from here you will see an overview of everything that has been purchased.
What time does reception open/close?
Our reception opens from 07:30 and closes at 17:00. Outside of these hours an answerphone will operate.
When are the school holidays?
Who rang me from the school?
Wherever possible if somebody rings you from the school they will try and leave a message. There are lots of staff working at the school who all use the same telephone number to call from, therefore it is not possible for us to trace who may have called you. Rest assured if it was a medical emergency then a message will have been left for you or another parent/contact will have been called. If it was important then you will get a call back.
How long can you keep my child after school without notification?
Twenty-four hours’ notice will be given for after school detentions lasting for more than 10 minutes. Lunchtime or break time detentions do not require 24 hours’ notice (Education and Inspections Act 2006).
What time does my child have to be in school?
Registration is at 08:50 each morning. The late bell rings at 08:50 and any child arriving after this time will be issued with a late mark on their register and may receive a detention.
The school day timings can be viewed by following this link.
How can I find out if there is space on a trip?
You will receive all trip letters by email and copies of letters sent will be placed on the calendar event itself. Within the letter a deadline for getting payments in for trips will be given. All trips are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you have missed the deadline and would like to know if space is available, firstly check the school calendar – if a trip is full then the event should state TRIP FULL. If not then telephone the finance department who will be happy to help you.
What do I need for a school trip?
If the trip is overseas then all pupils will need their own up-to-date passport and EHIC Card (www.ehic.org.uk) which we will require a copy of in advance.
For day trips or UK residential trips, please refer to the trip letter which will tell you what equipment, clothing and refreshments your child will need to bring. All trip letters will be available on the event from the school calendar.