The Academy recognises the fact that regular attendance and academic success go 'hand in hand'. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Academy to ensure that:
- (i) Registration procedures are rigorous and comply with the DfE regulations.
- (ii) Accurate attendance statistics are compiled to inform future targets for student attendance.
- (iii) Unauthorised absences are promptly detected and followed up.
- (iv) Long term absentees are successfully reintegrated on their return to the Academy.
Parents are responsible in law for ensuring regular and punctual attendance of their children.
Our aims are:
- To strive to maintain the excellent level of attendance at the Academy.
- To ensure that regular attendance assists students to be successful learners.
The Academy endorses the following DfE statements:
- A student who is authorised to take ten days' holiday during one whole academic year will attain only 94.7% attendance.
- There is a strong link between the amount of absence and the results/qualifications that a student achieves.
- Every lesson matters - children who have time off often find it difficult to catch up and do well at school.
- Research suggests that just seventeen days missed from school equates to a GCSE grade.
The registers open each morning at 8:55 am and all checks and amendments must be completed before 10 am each day prior to the release of messages to parents via 'Keep Kids Safe' communication. The registers open at 1:30 pm for the afternoon and close at 2 pm.
At present, the Academy uses the SIMS software package 'Attendance Manager' for the registration of all students in Years 7-11.
All staff are required to take a register at the commencement of each lesson and to check up on students who are frequently absent on a particular day. They must also follow up students who have been seen in the Academy but who are missing from their class.
Being punctual is a pre-requisite to a session or a lesson having a purposeful start.
House Tutors must punish persistent lateness to the Academy and report offenders to Assistant Principals. Class teachers must insist on lessons starting promptly and again punish persistent offenders.
A team of Child Support Assistants are on duty each morning at the Academy gates to record students who arrive late.
Lateness is one sign of a poor attitude to learning and must not be allowed to become a habit.
"Slow to arrive means slow to learn" and this is totally contrary to the Academy ethos.
ALL staff have an important part to play here.
The Role of the Education Welfare Officer
The Education Welfare Officer plays a crucial role in assisting the Academy to maintain high standards of attendance and in supporting students with particular problems.
The Attendance Assistant meets with the EWO regularly to discuss attendance problems which have been identified. Assistant Principals and Pastoral Managers all receive instant feedback of these discussions via an 'E-Mailed Memo'. This memo is also printed out and retained by the EWO as a record of the meetings.
Urgent telephone referrals to the EWO are made, as necessary, by members of the Attendance Team.
Long Term Absences
The Academy recognises its role in ensuring that children who are absent for a lengthy period due to illness, family bereavement, breakdown in the family unit etc are supported on their return to the Academy. The Academy cannot have a set procedure for reintegration since all circumstances are different. The Academy's approach is therefore flexible but always has the same goal in mind:
"to reintegrate the student as quickly and fully as possible".
Leave of Absence
Leave of Absence may only be granted by the Principal.
A student may be granted Leave of Absence to enable him/her to go away on holiday where:
(a) an application has been made in advance to the Principal by a parent with whom the child normally resides
(b) the Principal considers that Leave of Absence should be granted due to the special circumstances relating to that application.
Special circumstances include:
- Service personnel and other employees prevented from taking holidays outside term time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the student's education.
- When a family need time together during or after a 'crisis'.
The DfE guidelines specifically state that holidays taken for the following reasons should not be authorised:
- availability of cheap holidays;
- availability of desired accommodation;
- poor weather in school holidays;
- overlap with beginning or end of term.
If a parent is requesting a Leave of Absence due to their work allocations, documentary evidence of a shift pattern or a letter from the personnel department of the company needs to be submitted.
If a request, or any part of it is refused, and the child does not attend the Academy, or if days in excess of granted leave are taken, that absence will be UNAUTHORISED.
The Education Welfare Service will be informed of UNAUTHORISED ABSENCES relating to requests for Leave of Absence and will take appropriate action, which could include a Penalty Notice or prosecution.
- 1. The Government Department for Education identifies every child by name who has 15% absence over the autumn and spring terms. The pupil is classed as a Persistent Absentee. The absences may be authorised and/or unauthorised.
- 2. 48 sessions of absence (a session is a morning or an afternoon) equals 15% absence.
- 3.Absence may be due to:
- acute illness;
- chronic illness;
- medical and dental appointments;
- holidays, whether with the Principal's permission or not;
- religious observance;
- lateness after the register closed (which is unauthorised absence);
- absences which cannot be authorised because they are illegal, whether the parent is aware or not.
- 4. 'The links between attendance and achievement are strong. Pupils with persistent absence are often those unlikely to attain at school and stay in education after the age of 16 years. They are also significantly more likely to engage in antisocial behaviour and youth crime and are more at risk of other negative outcomes (including teenage pregnancy and drug and alcohol abuse)'. DfE Standards website.