Attendance and Punctuality

CLEEVE PARK SCHOOL ATTENDANCE POLICY

1. Introduction

This is a successful school and your child plays their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to aim for excellence. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.

Absence affects your child’s chances of gaining good grades at GCSE.  If your child has more than 20 days absence in a year, they will have only a 25% chance of getting 5 good GCSEs.

It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and this Policy sets out how together we will achieve this.

2. Why regular Attendance is so important

Learning: Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any pupil’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.

Attendance figures are one thing prospective employers and universities ask for when requesting a reference:  we report these accurately.

Keeping your child safe:  Your child may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly. Safeguarding the interests of each child is everyone’s responsibility and within the context of this school, promoting the welfare and life opportunities for your child includes:-


Attendance
Behaviour Management
Health and Safety
Access to the Curriculum
Anti- bullying

Failing to attend this school on a regular basis will be considered as a safeguarding matter.

3. Promoting Regular Attendance

Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility – parents /carers, pupils and all members of school staff.

To help us all to focus on this we will:


• Give you details on attendance;
• Report to you on how your child is performing in school and what their attendance is;
• Celebrate good attendance;
• Reward good or improving attendance;

The Law relating to attendance
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that ‘the parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive efficient full time education suitable:-
(a) To age, ability and aptitude; and
(b) To any special educational needs he/she may have
Either by regular attendance at school or otherwise’

The Law relating to Safeguarding
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on local authorities and governing bodies to have regard to the guidance issued by the Secretary of State with regard to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children under the age of 18.

4. Understanding types of absences

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents / carers), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing.

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a valid reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave" has been given. This type of absence can lead to sanctions and/or legal proceedings.   This includes:

• parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
• truancy before or during the school day
• absences which have never been properly explained
• children who arrive at school too late to get a mark
• shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
• day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed. 

Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents /carers and the child.  If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending.  This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually make things worse.

5. Persistent Absenteeism (PA)

A pupil becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 15% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level will do considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parent’s full support and co-operation to tackle this.

We monitor all absence thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and you will be informed of this immediately.

PA pupils are tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system and we also combine this with mentoring where absence affects attainment.PA pupils are referred to the Attendance Advisory Service.

PA pupils may be referred to the Fast Track PA Programme, which will include PAs and their parents / carers being subject to an Action Plan and may result in fast track progression to legal proceedings.

6. Absence Procedures

If your child is absent you must:

• Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence before 09:00 and every day of absence thereafter.
• Send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence – you must do this even if you have already telephoned us;

• Or, you can call into school and report to reception.

If your child is absent we will:

• Telephone or text you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you;

• Invite you in to discuss the situation with our Behaviour Support Officers / Head of Behaviour Support Service

• Take more serious action if your child’s attendance trend is moving in the direction of, or moves below, 85%.

7. The School Attendance Officer (SAO)

The SAO is responsible for monitoring pupil attendance and punctuality on a day to day basis. S/he will contact you in the event of unexplained absence. The school uses an automated system to identify unexplained absence and this system will telephone you for an explanation in the event of unexplained absence.

8. Lateness

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.

How we manage lateness:

The school day starts at 8.35 am and we expect your child to be in class at that time.

Registers are marked at 8.35 am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.

If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the relevant Behaviour Support Officer and/or Head of Behaviour Support to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

9. Holidays in Term Time

Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we do not authorise absence for holidays during termtime. Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.

There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.

Any applications for leave must be made in advance in writing to the Head of Behaviour Support Service.  We will not authorise any absences during term time unless in genuinely extreme circumstances.  Each application for absence will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Changes to the Regulations governing holidays in term time - September 2013

 

10. School Attendance Target

The school has a target to improve attendance.

The minimum attendance target for the school and all pupils in 2012/13 is: 95%.

Through the school year we monitor absences and punctuality to show us where improvements need to be made.

11.  Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Head of Behaviour Support Service responsible for Attendance.