The only excuse for absence is illness, unless there are exceptional circumstances when special permission may be granted in response to a written request. However, when an annual holiday has to be taken during term time parents should make their request on the Local Authority holiday form, obtainable from the Attendance Officer, which should be completed in advance.
Parents are asked to inform the school by telephone on the morning that their daughter is absent from school. Please contact the Attendance Officer on 01403 282052 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org on the first day of absence and subsequent absences. A letter of explanation for the absence will be required from parents on their daughter's return to school if no telephone call has been made or email sent.
If any pupil is away without explanation we shall always communicate with parents in order to check for truancy.
A letter to the Physical Education Staff is also required in a case of temporary unfitness for PE or games which are compulsory unless medically excused.
Parents and carers are reminded that family holidays during term time will not be authorised unless the circumstances are deemed 'exceptional' and unavoidable. The school are following WSCC guidelines and will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for all unauthorised holidays.
It is in everyone’s interests that we work closely together and Directors of Learning, Assistant Headteachers, the Deputy Heads and the Headteacher will always be pleased to see parents to discuss any problems which arise. It is helpful if parents can telephone to make an appointment first but if a matter is very urgent a member of the senior staff can be made available to see a parent at any time.
Girls are encouraged to cycle to school provided that they have obtained the necessary permit from the school, their bicycles are in a roadworthy condition and they agree to wear cycle helmets for safety reasons. Riding is not allowed on the school premises. Cycles should be placed in the cycle racks and padlocked, and pumps and lamps should be removed. The school cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage caused while the bicycle is on the premises.
Care of property, books or equipment
While all reasonable care is taken to safeguard pupils’ property, the school cannot accept responsibility for loss.
To help us to trace lost property and to prevent theft or confusion parents are asked to ensure that all property and clothing are clearly and permanently marked with your child’s name and that no valuables, and only essential money, are brought to school. If, on rare occasions, valuables or large sums of money have to be brought into school they should be handed in to Pupil Reception for safe keeping. They should never be left in classrooms or changing rooms.
All the necessary text and exercise books are provided free but remain the property of the school, and, if lost or damaged through misuse, parents would usually be asked for a contribution towards their replacement. In view of their costs, it is better if books are carried in a brief case or firm bag in preference to plastic or other softer bags.
The school has also traditionally asked for parental contributions towards the cost of any damage done to school buildings, furniture or equipment. It is felt that it is morally sound to impress on children, through their parents, the cost of thoughtless, careless or, in extremely rare cases, malicious behaviour.
Charging and Remissions for school activities
Please see the Charging and Remissions Policy (link at top RHS of this page, under Featured Content).
Many extra expenses are incurred in the provision of a good education, most especially when we seek to enrich the experiences offered to the pupils. The Education Reform Act, however, lays down complicated rules about activities for which parents can and cannot be charged. In order to simplify matters the governors have decided to fund all curriculum enrichment activities by voluntary contributions. By law we cannot exclude any girl because her parents are unwilling to pay. However, we have to point out that unless all parents who are able to contribute do so, then a trip may have to be cancelled, as the school could not afford to cover the cost.
Any parents who wish their daughter to take part in any activity, but are unable to contribute, are asked to contact the Deputy Headteacher (Support) in confidence so that personal arrangements can be made.
Parents will be charged for individual music tuition where this is provided as private lessons.
For work done in the Design and Technology area parents will be asked to pay a small sum to cover materials if, as hoped, pupils wish to own the finished product.
It is school policy to enter pupils for public examinations for all the courses they have followed at the level that staff feel is most appropriate. Parents are usually guided by the school about this but there is always a facility for parents to pay entry fees if circumstances warrant it. Parents will, however, be asked to reimburse the school if a girl fails to attend an examination for which the fees have been paid by the school, unless a medical certificate is produced.
The Education Act also lays down a procedure for the consideration of complaints. The majority of complaints will, as in the past, be dealt with informally by discussion with the staff, the Headteacher or the Local Authority and settled amicably. In the rare and unfortunate event of a problem not being settled at the informal stage, there is now a formal process in which the complaint can be passed on to the governing body. Further details of this procedure are available from the Headteacher’s P.A.
The school has set itself the highest standards of work, dress, behaviour and attitude and these we are determined to maintain. New parents and pupils are invited to sign the Millais Home School Agreement which sets out expectations for all concerned in the partnership which good education represents.
All pupils are expected to dress correctly and smartly, to be well-organised and diligent and to co-operate fully and pleasantly with staff and each other. Discourtesy to staff either inside or outside the school will not be tolerated.
Parents will know that they retain a responsibility for their daughter’s behaviour even when she is in school. We ask and expect parents to support the good name and discipline of the school by co-operating with the staff and never condoning misbehaviour.
We believe that the school should exercise a proper authority and insist upon it. It has, therefore, a wide range of rewards and sanctions and aims to use the former in preference to the latter.
Free School Meals
If you think you might be eligible to apply for Free School Meals, this letter provides information with links to eligibility and how to apply on the West Sussex County Council website.
Illness or injury
If a girl becomes ill during the school day or is injured she will be seen by the medical welfare officer or a qualified first aider. Treatment will be administered in the first aid room and, if necessary, parents will be contacted to take her home or to hospital.
It is vitally important that parents give us the telephone number of a person, besides themselves, who could be contacted in an emergency. It is also important that we know if a child cannot receive normal first aid or headache or stomach-ache tablets. This information will be collected when your child enters the school and it will be updated annually, but to avoid delay in an emergency, it is essential that this information is accurate. Parents are, therefore, asked to let their child’s form tutor know of any change of address or telephone number or any change in their child’s medical condition. Click for further information on ourFirst Aid Room Policy and our Medicines in School policy
To enable all pupils to take part in out-of-school activities, attend an extra work session, or detention, there are late bus services which operate after 4pm. Please see our school transport page for information on bus timetables.
Learn How To Protect Your Child Online
The online world is integral to how children stay in touch with their friends, and access to the internet in now available like never before. However there are inherent risks associated with new technologies and it is essential for young people and their parents/carers to understand how to reduce these risks.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre is the UK's national child protection agency and members of the public can access guidance on a broad range of topics to help protect their children, or alternatively report a concern directly to CEOP.
Please click this link to take you to the CEOP website.
Leave of absence during school day
Pupils, other than those who go home for lunch, are not allowed to leave the premises at any time during the day unless they have been authorised by a senior member of staff. If a parent wishes a child to leave school for any reason, a letter should be sent to the form tutor who will countersign the written request which will then have to be handed into reception when the pupil signs out.
Occasionally selected pupils are allowed out of school unsupervised, but with staff permission, to undertake a piece of study in the vicinity of school. As part of their course, members of staff may take a group out of school into the locality for a single lesson for field study purposes. Parents will always be informed in writing, and their written consent obtained, for visits that go off the school site.
Leaving to transfer to another school
For students leaving mid-year we require a letter from parent/carer, containing the following information:
Reason for removal from the school roll
The date of the student's last day
New address (if necessary) and contact details
New school name and address
Lunches are cooked on the premises and pupils may buy food from the cafeteria or they may bring their own packed lunch. Free lunches are available for pupils whose parents are on Income Support. Forms to apply for these are available from Pupil Reception or the West Sussex County Council. A small number of girls go home for lunch but the remainder eat their food in the dining hall, main school hall or designated classrooms. The canteen is also open before school for breakfast and at morning break for the purchase of snacks and drinks. We run a cashless system, and on arrival at Millais, girls are registered biometrically, with parents topping up credit as required through Parentpay. If pupils go home to lunch, parents are requested to confirm this in writing at the start of the year.
Personal Accident Insurance
Pupils are not insured against personal accident by the Local Authority however the Local Authority does administer a personal accident insurance scheme for pupils by special arrangement with Zurich Municipal for a small premium. Details of the scheme are available directly from County Hall and will be issued to all new entrants to the school. Parents should note that if they do not take out this cover their daughters are not insured against personal accident.
Personal Accident to Pupil Insurance Policy
An optional insurance policy has been arranged via West Sussex County Council for parents who wish to insure their child for any permanent injury or death caused by accidental means and cover applies 24 hours a day, whilst at school, home or on holiday anywhere in the world.
It is a common misconception that students in our schools would be automatically covered by the WSCC's insurances should they be injured in an accident whilst at school. Unfortunately the Council can only consider a claim of this nature if it has been negligent in some way. For example if a student tripped over their shoe laces and fell down the stairs suffering a severe injury, they could not successfully claim against the Council. If however, the tread or coverings on the stairwells were faulty, there may have been negligence on the part of the Council and a claim could be successful.
The policy is optional and available to parents or guardians of children aged between 3 and 19 attending any school, further education or sixth form college in West Sussex. Application forms and cheques to be sent direct to WSCC as per the details on Page 8 of the form that can be downloaded here.
Upon reaching year 11 approximately fifty students are selected to become prefects. This honour enables them to develop their communicative, organisational, personal and social skills and to serve the school. Prefects are expected to be ambassadors for the school, to help staff when requested, to carry out their duties reliably and efficiently, to set the highest standards of dress, courtesy and co-operation and to aid the smooth running of the school.
All girls in year 10 who have maintained a good record, have the right attitude to school and a willingness to serve, are eligible to be nominated as prefects. Staff and students vote to elect the team and they begin their duties after half term in the Summer. The Head Girl is appointed after a selected group of prefects has been interviewed by the Headteacher and other senior staff.
Although we ask much of our prefects, we believe that they gain a great deal from their additional responsibilities and enjoy them, and are proud to add this information to their Progress Files. A large number of other year 11 students volunteer to help the staff in an official capacity as Staff Assistants and gain recognition of their service to the school in their Progress Files.
The Local Authority (LA) uses information about children for whom it provides services. This enables it to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible, such as the assessment of any special educational needs the child may have. It also uses the information to derive statistics to inform decisions on, for example, the funding of schools, and to assess the performance of schools and set targets for them. The statistics are used in such a way that individual children cannot be identified from them.
Millais School Privacy Notice
Pupils’ records are kept within school and, apart from certain information which is exempt, are available for parents to see on receipt of a written request.
The staff are aware of the value and power of praise and endeavour to use it frequently yet without lowering their standards. Letters of congratulations will be sent home, personal praise will be offered in school by a range of senior staff and presentations will be made both informally and formally. The School Prizegiving and Certificate Ceremony are important annual occasions attended by visiting speakers, governors, staff, parents and pupils when academic success and special personal achievements are publicly celebrated.
Pupils who offend against the few sensible rules, set out in the code of conduct, will be corrected and, if necessary, punished through a variety of strategies and sanctions. The school operates a system of warnings to monitor behaviour, punctuality, homework, the meeting of deadlines, remembering correct equipment etc. Details of this system can be found in the Extended Learning Record. Staff may issue detentions when necessary. Twenty-four hours notice will be given for detention. Parents are responsible for making any necessary arrangements for their child’s safe return home. Parents are urged to note this and to make adequate and appropriate plans, especially after dark. If a child’s behaviour becomes a cause for concern parents will be contacted and specific targets will be set.
If pupils do not respond to these sanctions and the support strategies put in place by the school, or if their offences are very serious they will be excluded from school. Exclusion is usually for a fixed period until such time as an appointment can be made to see parents. The ultimate sanction is that pupils are excluded permanently and thus removed from the school. Parents have a right to make representations against exclusion, initially to the school governors and then to an independent appeals panel. The governors and the Local Authority are informed of every exclusion, and parents would always be requested to come into school.
School Travel Plan
In 2002 Millais produced a School Travel Plan, which has been continually monitored and regularly updated. The Travel Plan and its updates set out a strategy to reduce single occupancy car travel and promote more sustainable transport options for the school journey. In addition we also seek to raise awareness of transport related environmental issues and to improve road safety for both environmental and health reasons.
The school has set a number of targets to help achieve its aims, which include increasing the number of pupils walking or travelling to school by bicycle or car share as well as continuing to improve road safety in the vicinity of the school by liaising with the Safer Routes to School team at WSCC.
The School Day
The school day begins at 8.25am but no responsibility can be accepted for pupils who arrive before 8.15am from which time there are many staff in the buildings. The timing of the day is as follows:
|8.25am||Move to form rooms|
|8.30am||Registration and/or assembly|
|1.12pm||Move to Lesson 5|
|1.15pm||Lesson 5 (pm registration)|
The School Fund
The School Fund is made up of voluntary contributions collected annually. This helps to provide extra items of equipment and to assist in the provision of facilities at school which cannot always be met by the Local Authority.
The School Fund also enables us to run numerous activities and extra-curricular events. We can, for example, subsidise visits, fieldwork, the running of the mini bus, the expenses of games teams, plays, concerts, prizegiving etc.
An important guiding principle for the use of the School Fund is that it should benefit pupils as directly and as widely as possible.
The fund is audited every year and submitted to the governors for their approval.
To help pupils when they transfer to other schools, a special report is compiled which details their attainment level and effort and the courses being followed, with topics that have been covered so far and the resources used. For upper school pupils it will give details of the GCSE examination group and the syllabus being studied.
Parents are, therefore, asked to give the Headteacher as much notice of an impending move as possible, so that the report can be collated and sent to the new school in time for them to prepare for, and welcome, your child, thus ensuring continuity and making the transfer process as smooth and happy as possible.
Free transport or assistance with the cost of travel to school may be offered by the Authority, according to which school your child attends and the distance involved. Please apply to the Transport team on 01243 753532. It is important that parents and school co-operate in ensuring that good behaviour is maintained on school and public transport. Please see our School Transport page (under the school information button) for more information and bus timetables.
School uniform identifies girls with Millais School and should be worn with pride and a sense of responsibility.
The school has a clear and firm policy on uniform and we ask parents to study it carefully and give it their full support. This avoids us having to spend valuable time reminding pupils about details or parents being involved in unnecessary expense by buying items of clothing which are unacceptable. To view the current uniform list go to the Uniform page under School Information.