Skip to content ↓

LIVE- Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Co-op Academy Glebe

Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Academy Owner:

Kirsty Suleman

Governor Owner:

Luke Jenkinson

Policy Date:

April 2023

Review Date:

April 2024

Frequency:

Annual

Introduction

This document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies managing attendance and punctuality at Glebe Academy.

This policy should be read in conjunction with a number of documents and policies including School policies: Positive Behaviour; Anti-Bullying, Inclusion and SEND and Safeguarding, National policy including; the SEND Code of Practice 2014, Equality Act 2010, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 and Local Authority attendance policies.

Aims

  • To have a manageable whole school approach to attendance procedures.
  • To promote excellent attendance and punctuality in order to ensure continuity of education and maximise children’s academic potential.
  • To ensure that parents are aware of their responsibilities regarding attendance and to work with parents if difficulties arise.
  • To work alongside other agencies, including the Educational Welfare Service, if difficulties arise so that effective action can be put into place.
  • To ensure children understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality by rewarding children who achieve it.
  • To monitor attendance and punctuality effectively so difficulties are quickly highlighted.
  • To make everyone, including pupils, families, school staff and governors, aware of the detrimental effect of absences and lateness on the education of our children.

Inclusion

We are committed to providing effective learning opportunities for all pupils. Suitable learning challenges will be set for all pupils with the aim of maximising achievement for all pupils at an appropriate level for each individual. Teachers will respond appropriately to pupils’ diverse learning needs and be aware of the needs of differing genders, special educational needs, disability, as well as different cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. We are committed to the principle of equality of opportunity and this will be reflected in the curriculum offered to pupils and in the conduct of staff and pupils.

The importance of good attendance and its link to attainment

  • Excellent attendance and punctuality is important if children are to benefit from everything school has to offer.
  • There is a clear link between attendance, punctuality and achievement.
  • The Department of Education has published research into the effect that missing time from school can have on chances of succeeding in tests and exams.
  • The results are very clear – missing even small amounts of time from school can have a significant effect on achievement.
  • We encourage all parents to give a high priority to regular school attendance and work with parents, together with a number of outside agencies, to ensure positive attitudes towards attendance and education.
  • Excellent attendance is important if children are to be encouraged to be valuable members of society.
  • There is a clear link between non-attendance and social exclusion; this can lead to involvement in crime and antisocial behaviours.
  • Attendance related help, support and advice is always available from school staff.
  • This policy should be read in conjunction with guidelines on exclusion, behaviour, anti-bullying and other documentation referring to social inclusion.

Parents or Carers Responsibilities:

  • Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age attend school regularly.
  • Inform school straight away if your child cannot attend and give the reason.
  • Try to make medical, dental or other appointments outside the school day.
  • Ensure the school is aware of any circumstances at home that may be likely to affect their attendance.
  • Encourage good routines at home which promote a healthy lifestyle including enough sleep.
  • Talk to your child about school and let the school know if your child is worried about any issues such as difficulties with homework or friendship problems.
  • Do not book holidays in term time.
  • Seek advice from your G.P. if you are not sure how long to keep your child off school with an illness
  • Ensure school has all your up to date contact details.
  • Encourage your child to enjoy school and make the most of all the opportunities available to them.

School Responsibilities:

  • We will promote positive behaviour and attendance through its use of curriculum and learning materials and will recognise good attendance appropriately
  • We will work with parents to resolve problems which may affect a child’s attendance and will involve representatives of other agencies that work with the school such as the School Nurse or representatives of the Local Support Team such as Education Welfare Workers where required in order to ensure all children can benefit from consistently good punctuality and attendance. We will use the Early Help Assessment process to support this.
  • We will be proactive in encouraging attendance for all pupils through ensuring parents and pupils receive information on the importance of good attendance and punctuality and will react swiftly to intervene to improve attendance of individual children should this become a concern. 

Governors Responsibilities (Stage 5 – Involvement)

Governors determine support and review school policies. They support the aims of this policy by making resources available wherever possible. Attendance is reported half-termly as an item on the agenda of Full Governing Body meetings, which they use for monitoring purposes. A link Governor group/ Behaviour, Attitudes and Personal development group is in place for specifically monitoring Attendance and Punctuality.  

SENDCO Responsibilities (Stage 3 – Improving Attendance meeting)

Any child on the SEND register who progresses to Stage 3 will have support from the SENDCO.  Where appropriate Attendance targets and support packages will be included as part of the Pupil Passport or EHC Plan.

School Absence/Punctuality recording (Appendix 2 – List of Absence Codes):

Absence is categorised as authorised or unauthorised. An authorised absence is when the school has given approval in advance for a pupil to be absent, or has accepted an explanation afterwards as a satisfactory reason for the absence. Only the Principal, not parents, can authorise an absence - absences are not automatically authorised.  We accept being informed of a pupil’s absence by:

  • Verbal explanations recorded on ParentMail, School telephone/mobile.  If absence is not reported School will follow the Absence process detailed in this policy.  All absence is recorded on SIMS.

Authorised Absence covers:

  • Genuine illness – although, if the length of illness is considered to be unreasonable this will be referred to the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) – reference Stage 4 – Supporting Attendance and Punctuality Flow Chart Appendix 1. Indicated by an “I” on the register.
  • Medical and dental appointments - where it is unavoidable that they take place in school time (appointment cards should always be seen). Indicated by a M on the register.
  • Extenuating circumstances including Family Emergencies - for an agreed period of time. Indicated by a C on the register.
  • Days of religious observance - advance notice should be given in this case – N.B we only authorise 1 day for religious observation. Indicated by a R on the register
  • Fixed term exclusion - as a result of a specific action by the Principal. Indicated by an E on the register.  
  • Permanent exclusion - while the appeal process is ongoing. Indicated by an E on the register.
  • Attendance at a Pupil Referral Unit - where attendance is dual registered. Indicated by a B on the register.
  • Late arrival before registers close.  Indicated by a L on the register.

N.B All the above will still impact on the child’s attendance unless educated off-site i.e. Pupil Referral Unit or at an alternative provision.

Unauthorised Absence covers:

  • Late arrival after registers close (indicated by a U on the register).

  • Unexplained absences – Indicated by a N on the register initially until an explanation has been given.
  • Holidays in term time will be unauthorised
  • Unacceptable reasons for absences include: staying off school for haircuts, staying off school to buy party clothes and staying off school to buy shoes. Indicated by an O on the register.

  • Pupils with an absence of below 90% will not be authorised after Day 3 unless medical proof of illness unless the Principal approves it to be authorised. Below 80% attendance no absences will be authorized without medical evidence unless the Principal approves it to be authorised. At Stage 2 parents are issued with letter B – Letter of Continued Concern which indicates medical evidence is now required.
  • Stage 1: Pupils with an absence of below 96% without valid reasons e.g. medical/hospitalisation

will be sent a Stage 1/letter A: Improving Attendance/Punctuality letter to inform parents that their child’s attendance has dropped below 96%, 2 or more lates per week or 1 unauthorised late over monitoring period of 3 weeks.

  • Stage 2: If 2 or more lates continue on a weekly basis during monitoring period or 2 or more unauthorised  lates then letter B for improving punctuality is sent or if attendance remains poor or if attendance rapidly falls across the monitoring period or does not improve

  • Stage 3: If attendance remains poor or rapidly falls across the monitoring period or punctuality does not improve, Parents are requested to attend an Improving Attendance/Punctuality Meeting between the Attendance Lead and Class Teacher/SENDCO (if applicable.) At this point the school in partnership with parents/carers will develop an Improving Attendance Plan.

  • Stage 4: Involves the referral and involvement of the Education Welfare Team and School Principal and other agencies.  At this point the Lead transfers to the Education Welfare team and support is co-ordinated through the Early Help Process.
  • Stage 5: Court Action - The Education Welfare Team/School/Governing Body will pursue Court Action to improve attendance.

N.B At all stages of the Improving Attendance and Punctuality process there is a de-escalation process built in to reward sustained improved attendance.

School Procedures for Dealing with Absence and Punctuality

Procedures for School Staff

  • Start of School day: A member of staff to open gates and be present on gates from 8.25 -8.35am.  Gates to be closed 8.35am.  School Office will monitor late attendance from 8.35am onwards.
  • Registers must be taken by 8.35am and by 1pm with all registers completed no later than 8.45am and by 1pm. Registers must be completed with ten minutes of pupils being in classrooms (due to staggered start and lunchtimes)
  • Morning registration takes place between 8.25am and 8:35am and pupils who arrive after 8:35am will be recorded as late to school. Registers close at 9.00am and after this lateness may be recorded as an unauthorised absence and can be subject to prosecution by the local authority.
  • All children should be marked either present or absent.
  • A list of pupils will be kept in the office for pupils who are collected late (3.00pm onwards.)Where this is happening consistently, a meeting will be arranged and parents charged for after school club provision.

Procedures for School Business/Senior Leadership team:

  • DAY 1: Step 1: 

  • All registers of attendance to be received in school office by 8.45am.

  • All parents to have informed school of reason of absence by 8.45am (reference Universal Stage – Supporting Attendance and Punctuality Flow Chart -Appendix 1).  This reason must be recorded on SIMS.

  • Pupil attendance software will be used to record the names of all children who are late and who must report to the school office.
  • Step 2: If no message is received – a member of the admin team will:

  • contact the Class teacher to confirm child’s absence in class if child is absent from school:

  • telephone the parents/carers of all unexplained absentees between 9.30 – 9.45am and record explanations on SIMS. If contact cannot be established with the primary carers School will work through the list of contacts for the absent pupil.   If pupil still remains absent by 1.00pm register school office staff will repeat morning process to establish a reason for absence.

  • check phone, ParentMail messages up to 9.30am for messages from Parents explaining absences for the day.  
  • A record of all contacts made, answered or unanswered and time of contact will be recorded on SIMS

  • For vulnerable pupils, pupils under social care or of specific concern,  if no contact can be established by 2pm, school to send 2 members of staff to home to establish reason for absence.

  • DAY 2: (unauthorised absence):
  • Repeat Step1 and Step 2.  
  • If absence Stage 3 above contact Education Welfare team
  • DAY 3 and 4: (unauthorised absence):
  • Repeat Step1 and Step 2.  
  • If no contact can be established by 9.30am school to send 2 members of staff to home to establish reason for absence.
  • If absence Stage 3 above contact Education Welfare team.
  • DAY 5: (unauthorised absence):
  • Repeat Step1 and Step 2.  
  • If no contact can be established by 9.30am school refer to PCSO and/Locality Social Worker.
  • If absence Stage 3 above contact Education Welfare team.

Procedures for Pupils Leaving During the School Day

During school hours, the school staff are legally in loco parentis and therefore must know where the pupils are during the school day.

  • Children are not allowed to leave the premises without prior permission from the school.
  • Whenever possible, parents/carers should try to arrange medical and other appointments outside of school time.
  • Parents/carers are expected to confirm the reason for any planned absence, the time of leaving, and the expected return time.
  • Evidence of appointments is required.
  • Children must be signed out on leaving the school and be signed back in on their return using on pupil attendance systems.
  • If a child leaves the school site without permission, their parents/carers will be contacted. The school will immediately contact the Police who will register the child as a missing person and inform parents. 

Leave of Absence during term-time:

The Principal is not able to condone term time holidays - In line with the Government legislation, we will issue an application form for a leave of absence and all requests must be made in writing. Any request made because of exceptional circumstances can only be judged on a case-by-case basis taking into account individual circumstances. Requests should be made in writing at least 3 weeks before the period of requested absence. The form (Appendix 11) is available from the school office.  

Penalty notices for Leave of Absence:  The Local Authority may choose to fine parents under the Education Act for holidays taken during term time.

Persistent Absence:

Persistent absentees are defined as those pupils missing 10% or more of the typical amount of possible sessions across a given period.

Penalty notices for Persistent Absence:  The local authority will issue a £60 per adult if paid in 21 Days / £120 if paid in 28 Days. If the absence continues the parents will be taken to court and risk further fines and imprisonment.

 

Attendance Rewards

Rewards for 96% and above pupil Attendance:

  • Weekly - Pupils will be informed of the class with the best attendance for the week and the class will have an extra playtime as a reward
  • Annually - Pupils with 96% attendance will receive a certificate and attendance badge presented by the Head Teacher

  • Improved attendance - Certificates are also awarded for pupils with the improved attendance and/or punctuality.

Children Missing Education

The school follows the guidelines from the LSCB on Children Missing Education.

Guidance published by the Department for Education in September 2016 states: “Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.

The school recognises that children may fall out of the education system due to the following:

Failure to start appropriate provision and hence never enter the system;

Ceasing to attend, due to exclusion or withdrawal;

Failure to complete a transition between providers.

Where children are at risk of missing education, the school works closely with the Education Welfare Service. Pupils will only be “off-registered” from the school records when consent has been received from our Education Welfare Officer. Staff recognise that missing education is a potential sign that pupils are at risk of harm linked to a number of safeguarding issues.

When a pupil is expected to join the Academy and does not arrive, the academy will immediately raise this with the LA admissions team to establish whether the child is known to have registered elsewhere. If not, then the EWO will be consulted.

Children who are looked after (LAC), subject to a Child Protection Plan or Children in Need will be treated with highest priority. Any unexplained absences will be followed up by a telephone call to the home, a home visit or contact with the family social worker.

Children with Special Education Needs (SEN) will be treated with similar priority in order that their time in the academy can be maximised, and their learning supported to the greatest extent possible.

For further information, refer to SOT Children Missing Education Policy

https://www.staffsscb.org.uk/working-together-to-safeguard-children/child-exploitation/staffordshire-and-stoke-on-trent-children-missing-from-home-and-care-joint-protocol/ 

Admissions Register:

School keeps an admission register which records the date that each child joined the school and their personal details including those of their parents and of their previous school on SIMS.

We keep a record of attendance register entries for at least 3 years and inform our local authority of any pupil who is off-rolled by the school.  Reasons for off-rolling a pupil include:

  • being taken out of school by their parents and being educated outside the school system e.g. home education (see below on home educated children)
  • absent from school for more than 20 days and living outside of the local Authority area for those 20 days
  • Have a medical condition certified by the school medical officer that the pupil is unlikely to return to school after 20 days
  • Have been permanently excluded.

Elective Home Education:

If school receives written notification from parents that they wish to home educate their child then we will inform the Local Authority via Education Welfare Team of the decision to remove the child’s name from the admissions register. Whilst school will not seek to prevent parents from choosing to electively home educate their child, neither will they seek to encourage them to do this – particularly as a way of avoiding exclusion or due to a poor attendance record.



Code

School Meaning

Statistical Meaning

Physical Meaning

/

Present (AM)

Present

In for whole session

\

Present (PM)

Present

In for whole session

@

Do not use

Unauthorised Absence

Late for session

B

Educated off site (not dual registration)

Approved Educational Activity

Out for whole session

C

Other authorised circumstances

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

D

Dual Registration

Approved Educational Activity

Out for whole session

E

Excluded (No alternative provision made)

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

F

Extended family holiday (agreed)

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

G

Family Holiday (not agreed or days in excess)

Unauthorised Absence

Out for whole session

I

Illness (not medical/dental appointments)

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

J

Interview

Approved Educational Activity

Out for whole session

L

Late (before registration closed)

Present

Late for session

M

Medical/Dental

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

N

No reason yet provided for absence

Unauthorised Absence

Out for whole session

O

Unauthorised Abs (not covered by any other code)

Unauthorised Absence

Out for whole session

P

Approved sporting activity

Approved Educational Activity

Out for whole session

R

Religious observance

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

S

Study leave

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

Code

School Meaning

Statistical Meaning

Physical Meaning

T

Traveller absence

Authorised Absence

Out for whole session

U

Late (after registers closed)

Unauthorised Absence

Late for session

V

Educational visit or trip

Approved Educational Activity

Out for whole session

W

Work experience

Approved Educational Activity

Out for whole session

X

Non-compulsory school age absence

Attendance not required

Out for whole session

X

Covid related illness

Attendance not required due to NHS advice

Out for whole session

Y

Enforced closure

Attendance not required

Out for whole session

Z

Pupil not on roll

Attendance not required

Out for whole session

-

All should attend / No mark recorded

No mark

No mark for session

#

School closed to pupils & staff

Attendance not required

Out for whole session

This is an application form for you to request permission for your child to be absent from school during term time, which may be granted for exceptional circumstances ONLY.  Before completing the attached, please read these notes carefully:

THE NATIONAL TARGET THIS YEAR FOR PUPILS ATTENDANCE IS 96%.

Any absence during term time is proven to be very detrimental, as your child misses important lessons, creating ‘gaps’ in their understanding of key concepts and they find it difficult to catch up, potentially causing a serious impact on their academic development and attainment. Teachers use valuable time helping returning pupils catch up, depriving those who really need them. Children also find it difficult to manage friendships and the class dynamic when they have missed key school events at the beginning or end of term.

As parents, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your child’s attendance at school is at the expected level or above. During the academic year, pupils are at school for 190 days and at home for 175 days. Please be aware that The Education (Pupil Registration)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013 state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Any unauthorised absence of 1 day or more may result in the issue of a Penalty Notice if taken in the month of May prior to Statutory Assessment testing and for any pupil at risk of missing Statutory Assessments. This involves Year 2 Statutory testing in May and the Year 1 and 2 Phonic Screening in June so it is imperative you check all dates carefully.

Unauthorised absence of 5 days or more may result in the issue of a Penalty Notice outside of these dates above.

Penalty Notices are issued by the Local Authority in accordance with their Code of Conduct. The Penalty Notice is £60, per child per parent/carer, if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Failure to pay the Penalty Notice will result in you being served with a summons to appear at the Magistrates Court, which will incur further costs imposed by the local authority and by the Magistrates Court.

  1. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, state that you do not have the right to take your child out of school for family holidays during term-time. The educational needs of your child take priority at all times.

  1. The law only allows the school to grant permission for leave in the event of exceptional circumstances.  Your request may be refused if it is not agreed that the reason for absence is exceptional. So please do not book any travel tickets without getting the school permission first.

Examples of Leave of Absence requests which will not be authorised:

  • Availability of cheaper holidays.
  • Availability of desired accommodation.
  • Overlap with beginning or end of term.
  • Booked the wrong dates by mistake.
  • Booked by another family member.
  • Attending a wedding that is not immediate family.
  • Family birthdays.
  • Unable to take a holiday in school holidays due to work commitments.
  • Adult appointments affecting bringing a child to school or collecting on time.
  • Different term dates for children at schools in another local authority.
  • Visiting a relative who is unwell is also not normally a valid reason to disrupt your child’s learning – If that relative requires the care and support of adults this should ideally be only while your child remains attending at school.

  1. Only a parent/carer with parental responsibility can make an application. You must apply for permission in writing beforehand, using this form. Please attach any documentary evidence that you feel will support your request.

  1. If you take your child out of school without permission, you may be referred to the local authority, who may then prosecute you under the terms of section 444 of the Education Act 1996, or as an alternative, issue each parent with a Penalty Notice Fine. Penalty Notice Fines are issued at the rate of £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days; this rises to £120 if paid within days 21-28; if unpaid after 28 days, then the matter may then be referred to court.

  1. If you need to travel at short notice, or are delayed on your return journey, then you will need to supply copies of all booking and travel documentation to show the dates that bookings were made, the original travel tickets as well as any evidence of rescheduled travel documents. All of this information is required by the school if they are to reconsider.

  1. If you have any children on-roll at another school, then permission from that school must also be requested and agreed.

  1. We will take into account exam and SATs dates, your child’s attendance and punctuality record, as well as their level of academic achievement or support needed around their learning in school.

  1. If your leave request is approved and you then return to school after the date agreed, the school reserves the right to record the entire leave period as unauthorised absence.

  1. Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application. If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice. Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s).

PLEASE RETURN THE COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM TO THE SCHOOL OFFICE AT LEAST 3 WEEKS NOTICE BEFORE ANY INTENDED LEAVE APPLICATION BY PARENT/CARER FOR YOUR CHILD’S EXCEPTIONAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL DURING TERM TIME.

Application for leave of absence for exceptional circumstances

Child’s Name:

Year group:

Home Address:

I wish to apply for my child to be absent from school during the following dates:

From (1st day out of school):

Until:

Date of return to school:

Total number of school days missed:

Reason/s you are applying for exceptional absence from school:

My children on-roll at other Schools (NAME & SCHOOL):

Has your child already had leave of absence in this school year? YES / NO

If YES, please give dates and details:

I apply for my child to be granted authorised absence from school for the exceptional reasons stated.  I understand that if this is not agreed, then any leave subsequently taken will be treated as Unauthorised Absence and could result in the Local Authority issuing both parents/carers with a Penalty Notice Fine of £60 each, rising to £120 if not paid within the stated time.

Name of Parent/Carer making the application: ………………………………………………………..

Signed: ………………………………………………………………Date: ………………………………………………………

YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE DECISION IN WRITING WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF THE REQUEST.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To be completed by the School Office:

Name of child:

Year group:

Attendance level to……………………….…………. (Insert date) is ……….…..%

To be completed by the Headteacher:

Having considered your request carefully, my decision is that leave of absence is:          

Approved - absence will be recorded as authorised

Not approved - absence will be recorded as unauthorised

Penalty Notice - Request will be made to Stoke on Trent LA for a Penalty Notice to be issued

Explanatory notes:

Signed:                                                                                                                        (Principal)

Date:

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY:

Letter to parent/carer:

SIMS:

Teacher informed:

Penalty Notice Request

Changes to policy April 2023

Page 5

Registers close at 8.45am

Previously 9am-advised to be within half an hour

Page 5

Vulnerable pupil home visit on day 1 of no communication woth parents

This has been the case but was not noted officially in the policy

Page 6

Half termly rewards now removed-research shows rewards have little impact

Weekly class reward and yearly reward still maintained

Page 7

Children Missing Education (CME) now part of policy not separate – as advised