Attendance Policy Oct 2022
Attendance Policy 2022-2023
Academy: Co-op Academy Parkland
Policy owner: Charlotte Wierzbianski
Date: October 2022
Date shared with staff: October 2022
Date shared with governors: October 2022
Review Date: October 2023
At Co-op Academy Parkland, we recognise that positive behaviour and good attendance are central to raising standards and pupil attainment, and we are committed to working with parents, carers, pupils to ensure that every child can benefit from their learning opportunities.
It is important that pupils and parents develop a positive attitude to school attendance and punctuality so that pupils do not miss out on the opportunities at school. These qualities of reliability are also important in adult life.
Poor attendance, especially when condoned by parents, disrupts a child’s education. This causes a lack of continuity and progression in school work and can establish patterns of behaviour which may lead to long-term truancy.
Our schools will work closely with other partners, including the Department for Education (DFE) and the Education Social Work Service, to ensure this policy is fulfilled.
This policy aims to support school attendance; giving the guidance for improving pupils’ attendance where necessary, and to ensure that absence from school only occurs when pupils have a genuine reason.
This policy aims to help parents understand the importance of regular school attendance to a pupil’s educational success and seeks to gain the support of parents in its implementation.
This policy meets the requirements of the school attendance guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from the following legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:
- Part 6 of The Education Act 1996
- Part 3 of The Education Act 2002
- Part 7 of The Education and Inspections Act 2006
- The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (and 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 amendments)
- The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.
Roles and responsibilities
The Trust and the Academy Governing Council
The Academy Governing Council is responsible for monitoring attendance figures for the whole school on at least a termly basis. It also holds the Head of Academy to account for the implementation of this policy.
The Head of Academy
The Head of Academy is responsible for:
- Implementation of this policy at the academy
- Monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to the AGC and the Trust
- Supporting staff with monitoring the attendance of individual pupils
- Issuing fixed-penalty notices, where necessary
The Attendance Strategic Lead
The academy attendance officer:
- Monitors attendance data across the school and at an individual pupil level
- Analyses and reports attendance data to the Head of Academy each half term
- Works with education welfare officers and Attendance Consultancy (BCL) to tackle and avoid persistent absence
- Arranges calls and meetings with parents to discuss attendance issues
- Advises the Head of Academy when to issue fixed-penalty notices
Parent Involvement Worker
- Follows the first day procedures for absence
- Provides formal and informal support for identified pupils and their parents/carers
- Feedbacks weekly to the attendance strategic lead regarding attendance of pupils causing concern
- Actively promotes attendance incentives and make suggestions for strategies to improve attendance
Class Teachers are responsible for recording attendance on a daily basis, using the correct codes, and submitting this information to the admin office.
Implement the curriculum effectively. Leaders have deliberately selected content to promote careers, ambition and economic security. Teachers must ensure that they make appropriate links between attendance and achievement at school and how these aspects support pupils’ opportunities in their adult lives.
Actively promote own class and whole school attendance incentives, and make suggestions for strategies to improve attendance. Create an interactive attendance display in their classroom which is referred to daily and links with specific rewards.
Approach attendance and punctuality issues with pupils rigorously and sensitively.
Ensure that pupils returning to class after an absence or lateness are approached with sensitivity, are checked on and integrated into learning.
School admin staff
School admin staff take calls from parents about absence and record it on the school system.
They will encourage parents to bring their child to school if only mild ailments are reported. Similarly with medical appointments - admin staff encourage parents to arrange appointments outside of school times.
Procedures in this policy take into consideration statutory and non-statutory guidance from the Department for Education (DFE) and Bradford Children’s Services. We recognise the link between safeguarding concerns and attendance issues. We act swiftly to deal with absence. Our PIW is also Deputy DSL and so understands any additional vulnerabilities children may have.
Daily/Weekly Attendance Procedure
- If a child is going to be absent from school, the parent/guardian must telephone school before 8.45am to inform the administrative staff of the reason for the absence. The administrator will record the absence and reason for it on SIMs.
- At 9:30am school registers are checked for any absences for which we have no information.
- Contact will be made with the parent/carer if there has been no contact with school regarding the absence.
- All emergency contacts for a child will be explored.
- If a pupil has been absent and the academy has not received any information regarding the absence from the parent/carers, a home visit will be made on the first day - BCL attendance officers will be requested to make home visits.
- A visit will be made in the morning for anyone who is already persistently absent and in the afternoon for all other absences where no reason has been given.
- If there is no answer on a home visit, we post a slip through the door requesting they contact school urgently. A second home visit will be carried out on day two of an unexplained absence. If no contact is made, the PIW will call 101 and request a welfare check.
- Parents who are finding it difficult to get children to school or to school on time may be supported by school pick-up, where possible, and this will be pre-arranged with the Parental Involvement Worker
- Parental Involvement Worker has an attendance plan which includes the provision to telephone some families every morning to check they are up and able to get to school. If they are not able to get to school, staff go to collect them.
- On a reduction in attendance across school an additional anti-bacterial clean of door handles, bathrooms, keyboards and mice, class equipment will be carried out.
- Where self isolating there is an expectation if the child is not ill then remote learning will take place.
It is important that pupils are punctual so that they do not miss out on the beginning of each school day. This time can be important because key basic skills learning such as phonics, arithmetic and reading happen at this time. School runs additional sessions for children who have missed this learning and adaptations to the timetable are made where necessary.
- At Co -op Academy Parkland school opens at 8:40am. All entrances with the exception of the main school entrance will be closed and locked at 8.45am and the register taken.
- Registers close at 9:05am after that time pupils are marked as an ‘L’ until 9:30am where pupils are marked as a ‘U’ for unauthorised absence.
- Pupils arriving after 8.45am will have to report to the office where their names will be entered into the Late Book for safety reasons and monitoring of attendance.
- The Late Book is monitored daily to identify the pupils who are persistently late.
- If pupils are late for school on a regular basis (5 L marks/3 U marks), a letter is sent to their parent/ guardian to inform them and request that this improves.
- If no improvement is made then the parent /guardian is invited to a meeting with school staff and BCL representatives to discuss the situation and offer support if appropriate.
- If a significant improvement is made a letter is sent home to parents to acknowledge this improvement.
The Education (Pupils’ Attendance Records) Regulations 1991 require schools to determine whether an absence can be deemed to be authorised or whether the child should be regarded as being absent without permission, i.e. truanting. In terms of the legislation, it is only the school that can approve the absence, not the parent. Absence will only be authorised for the following reasons:
- Pupil illness. Where a child’s attendance is below 92% we will request proof of illness in the form of Drs appointment card or note from Pharmacist.
- The pupil is absent on a day set aside for religious observance by the religious group to which the pupil’s parents belong (up to 3 days per year and only 1 day at a time). School should be informed prior to the absence.
- The pupil is participating in an approved educational trip or visit.
- Permission has been granted in advance by the Head of Academy through the Absence Request Procedure (see below).
- The pupil is absent following the death of a close family member.
- The pupil has a medical or dental appointment, confirmed with an appointment card/letter. The child is expected to attend school prior to and/or following the appointment. Where possible medical or dental appointments should be booked outside of school hours.
Children missing in education
We will make reasonable enquiries for pupils who aren't attending or who are leaving. This includes:
• Completing home visits including speaking to neighbours to confirm the family has left
• Telephoning all known contacts
• Speaking to school friends and/or their parents
• Requesting copies of flight information
• Asking for the address the family is moving to
• Checking which school a child is expected to attend
• Requesting working contact details for parents including email addresses
Once pupils meet any of the criteria listed here, the PIW will refer to the local authority CME team (see form here):
- Pupil has not returned to school for 10 days after an authorised absence
- Pupil has been absent without authorisation for 20 consecutive days
- Pupil has moved to another local authority but have not enrolled at a new school
- Pupil has left the country*
*In line with local authority guidance, pupils who leave the country are always referred to the CME team, regardless of whether or not parents/carers provide a forwarding address.
As an academy, we monitor all areas of attendance and are required to provide the DFE and Education Social Work Service with our attendance data. The school will set a target for whole school attendance and will share this with pupils and parents.
- On a half termly basis, we analyse attendance data from the previous term. As well as looking at whole school data, we analyse key groups.
- The parent or guardian of all pupils will be given a printout of their child’s attendance at parents’ consultation evenings.
- Each half term, every parent is sent a letter to explain their child’s attendance including the exact figure. Green 96-100%, Amber 93%-95.9%, Red below 93%. These will be sent home with pupils in envelopes.
- Parents may be invited to attend a Health and Well-being meeting to discuss the absence. The monitoring programme for pupils with attendance percentages below 93% will be weekly rather than termly.
- The Parental Involvement Worker has an attendance plan which is monitored and updated every month with the Head of Academy and BCL.
92% - 95.9%
90% - 91.9%
Cause for concern- steps must be taken to improve
86% - 89.9%
Persistent absence - Unacceptable attendance- External support agencies involved- see appendix
85% or below
Persistent absence - The academy will be looking at legal action at this stage.
Pupils whose attendance is less than 90% are referred to as “Persistent Absentees” by the DFE. School staff will begin an intense programme of monitoring and support. This may include being referred to the Education Social Work Service and a support programme from the Education Welfare Officer.
- Step 1 – Parent/guardian invited into school to a Health and Well-being meeting. This will consist of school staff with the support of the Education Welfare Officer/BCL and school nurse as appropriate. The absences will be discussed and an action plan to improve attendance agreed.
- Step 2 – A letter summarising the discussion and a copy of the action plan is posted to the parent/guardian.
- Step 3 - After 4 weeks, the attendance printout is reviewed.
- If the percentage has improved to above 93% overall, monitoring is implemented.
- If the percentage remains below 93% 4 weekly contact with parents continues and any improvements are acknowledged.
- If improvements are not seen the parent/guardian is invited to a second meeting to discuss the absences where further, more formal, actions are outlined.
Requests for Leave of Absence
Changes to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 came into force from September 2013. The amendments state that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. If leave is granted the Head of Academy can determine the number of school days a child can be away from school. The parent/ carer must make a written application to the Head of Academy. Leave of Absence request forms are available from the admin office and must be submitted 2 weeks in advance of the first day of the planned absence.
Appeals to the Head of Academy’s decision can be made to Governors.
Penalty Notices may be issued by the Principal Education Social Worker at Bradford
Council, in line with their policy ‘Penalty Notice Protocol’ which is available on the Bradford Schools Online website. A penalty notice may be issued for overt truancy, parental-condoned absences, leave of absence without authorisation, and persistent late arrival at school (after the Register has closed).
From 1 September 2012, payment of a Penalty Notice within 28 days is £60 per parent per child and payment after this time but within 42 days is £120 per parent per child.
- Class attendance is rewarded with a variety of rewards changed half termly and promoted and celebrated in assembly every week. We discuss how children can make sure they are good attenders (and why they should be) in assembly and in class. Additional attendance reward schemes are in place at all times, targeting individuals, most improved, sustained improvement, key stages and classes etc.
- Class Charts is used as a reward system across the academy and there is a linked attendance award where pupils who attend all week and are on time will receive a Class Charts point
- Parents are rewarded when their child has 100% attendance for the half term. This will take place as a raffle.
- Pupils are rewarded for meeting attendance targets in a variety of ways including certificates, prizes, an attendance shop, trips out, a class trophy and certificates go out for 100% and over 95% attendance termly and at the end of the year.
- Periodically, our PIW will send an Early Bird text to all parents rewarding all those who are at school on time.
Good attendance and punctuality is expected and will be rewarded. Parents and pupils who do not maintain either good attendance or punctuality will be challenged and supported.
Good attendance promotes a positive attitude to school life and ensures pupils have the best opportunity to achieve their potential, as well as maintaining positive relationships and friendships.