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Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Attendance Policy

Policy details

  • Issue Number        1
  • Date Created        23rd November 2023
  • Date Reviewed        23rd November 2023
  • Date Approved        Trust Approved
  • Next review date        November 2024
  • Policy Owner                Nina Carter


Policy details        1

1. Policy Statement and Purpose        2

2. The Importance of School Attendance        2

3. Legislation and Guidance        3

4. Roles and Responsibilities        4

5. Reporting Absence        6

Reporting and Requesting Planned Absences        6

6. Recording Absence        7

Lateness and punctuality        7

Persistent lateness        8

Recording Attendance at off site provision / dual registered pupils        8

7. Authorised and Unauthorised Absences        9

Fines and Sanctions        10

8. Promoting and Supporting Attendance        10

9. Attendance Monitoring        12

Analysing attendance        12

Using data to improve attendance        13

Identifying and supporting Persistent and Severely Absent Pupils        13

Reintegration after significant absences        13

Identifying and supporting Children Missing in Education        14

10. Links with other Policies        14

Appendix 1 - Coding        15

Present Codes        15

Absence Codes        16

Appendix 2 - Reporting        18

Appendix 3 - Recognition and Rewards        19

Appendix 4 - Thresholds and Interventions        20

Appendix 5 - Responsibilities        21

Parental responsibilities        21

Appendix 6 - Definitions        22

Appendix 7 - Templates Letters and Texts        23

  1. Policy Statement and Purpose

Co-op Academy Failsworth is committed to providing a full education to all pupils that embraces the concept of equal opportunities for all. We provide a welcoming and caring environment where every pupil feels safe and valued. Regular attendance and excellent punctuality are essential in ensuring pupils make sustained academic progress and social development.

The academy works in partnership with pupils and their parents or carers to promote the importance of regular and punctual attendance. Regular and punctual attendance is vital in ensuring that all children have full access to the curriculum, as valuable learning time is lost when pupils are absent or late.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure excellent attendance for all, that maximises pupil potential. As an academy, we recognise that regular attendance has a positive impact on the motivation and attainment of pupils. As such, this policy serves to give clear guidance to all stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities; provide advice and information on statutory duties of parents / carers and the Academy and demonstrate how the Academy will work in partnership with families, the local authority and other organisations to support the best possible attendance of all pupils.

  1. The Importance of School Attendance

Regular attendance at school is vital to support pupils to achieve and help them get the best possible start in life. Good attendance is central to pupils’ academic achievement and personal development.

Research shows that going to school is directly linked to improved exam performance which should in turn lead to further learning opportunities and better job prospects.

As well as this, going to school helps to develop:

  • friendships
  • social skills
  • team values
  • life skills
  • cultural awareness
  • career pathways

We know that 90% of persistent non-attenders do not achieve expected levels of development at KS1 and KS2 and do not gain five or more good GCSEs. Around one third achieve no GCSEs at all.

Young people who regularly miss school without good reason are also more likely to become isolated from their friends, to underachieve in examinations and/or become involved in anti-social behaviour. In addition, Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2023 makes clear the fact that Children Missing Education are at significant risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.  

Attendance and Punctuality - Lost Learning Hours

  1. Legislation and Guidance

This policy meets the requirements of Working Together to Improve School Attendance 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 (2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 amendments)

- The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

It also refers to:

         School census guidance

         Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2023

         Mental health issues affecting a pupil's attendance: guidance for schools

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

AGC (Academy Governing Council)

The AGC is responsible for:

  • Promoting the importance of school attendance across the academy
  • Making sure school leaders fulfill expectations and statutory duties
  • Regularly reviewing and challenging attendance data
  • Monitoring attendance figures for the whole school
  • Making sure staff receive adequate training on attendance
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the implementation of this policy

The Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team

The Headteacher and SLT will offer a clear vision for attendance, underpinned by high expectations and core values, which are communicated to and understood by staff, pupils and families. SLT will make sure staff, pupils and families understand that absence from school is a potential safeguarding risk and understand their role in keeping children safe in education. SLT  will actively promote great attendance at all levels of the organisation to build up a culture of great attendance.

To do this, SLT will be responsible for:

  • Implementation of this policy at the school
  • Monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to governors
  • Supporting staff with monitoring the attendance of individual pupils
  • Monitoring the impact of any implemented attendance strategies
  • Issuing fixed-penalty notices, where necessary

Strategic Lead for Attendance - Nina Carter

The strategic lead for attendance is responsible for leading attendance across the school including:

  • Offering a clear vision for attendance improvement
  • Evaluating and monitoring expectations and processes
  • Having an oversight of data analysis
  • Devising specific strategies to address areas of poor attendance identified through data
  • Building relationships with parents/carers to discuss and tackle attendance issues
  • Creating intervention reintegration plans in partnership with pupils and their parents/carers
  • Delivering targeted intervention and support to pupils and families

Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year

Head of Year 7 - Mo Baig

Head of Year 8 - Amanda Beresford  

Head of Year 9 - Tom Bray

Head of Year 10 - Daniel Lowe

Head of Year 11 - Nicola Conroy  

The Heads of year/Assistant Heads of year are responsible for leading attendance within their year group including:

  • Monitoring attendance of their year group which includes key pupil groups
  • oversight of year group attendance data
  • Delivering specific strategies to address areas of poor attendance in their year group
  • Building relationships with parents/carers to discuss and tackle attendance issues
  • Implementation of reintegration plans with pupils and their parents/carers
  • Implementation of targeted intervention and support to pupils and families within their year group.
  • Implementation of attendance incentives, initiatives and programmes within their year group.

Attendance Manager - Tracey Merron

Attendance Officers - Dawn Ghani, Donna Hurst, Grace Daly

The school attendance officer is responsible for:

  • Ensuring absence procedures are followed in line with this policy
  • Entering codes accurately and keeping the attendance register in line with legislation
  • Monitoring and analysing attendance data (see section 7)
  • Benchmarking attendance data to identify areas of focus for improvement
  • Providing regular attendance reports to school staff and reporting concerns about attendance to the designated senior leader responsible for attendance and the headteacher
  • Working with education welfare officers to tackle persistent absence
  • Working as part of the safeguarding team to report and follow up concerns
  • Advising the Headteacher when to issue fixed-penalty notices

Class Teachers

Class teachers are responsible for:

  • Recording attendance on a daily basis, using the correct codes
  • Recording all attendance, accurately, on ARBOR (MIS)
  • Recording registers in a timely manner
  • Giving attendance a high profile and emphasising the importance of school attendance
  • Making pupils feel welcome and supporting them after an absence or when late to school
  • Helping pupils catch up on missed subject content after absences

School Office Staff

School office staff are responsible for taking calls from parents/carers and pupils about absence on a day-to-day basis and recording it accurately. They will also transfer calls from parents/carers and pupils to the correct pastoral staff or SLT in order to provide them with more detailed support on attendance. They will input codes accurately and ensure that late students and students leaving during the day are accounted for. School office staff work closely with the wider attendance team and safeguarding team.


Parents/carers are expected to:

  • Make sure their child attends every [day/timetabled session] on time
  • Call the school to report their child’s absence before 8.00am on the day of the absence and each subsequent day of absence, and advise when they are expected to return
  • Provide the school with more than 1 emergency contact number for their child
  • Ensure that, where possible, appointments for their child are made outside of the school day


Pupils are expected to:

  • Attend school every day on time
  • Attend every timetabled session on time

  1. Reporting Absence

Parents/Carers will be expected to provide an acceptable reason for every absence and will be able to report an absence on the day by contacting:

The Academy switchboard on 0161 688 3900 before 8:00am by leaving a voicemail message.

Parents/carers are requested to make contact on each day of absence even where pupils are absent for consecutive days, unless otherwise agreed with one of the Attendance Officers.

If absence reasons are medical, evidence will need to be provided such as a stamped medical card, hospital letter or prescription in order for the absence to be authorised. We will mark absence for physical or mental illness as authorised unless we have a concern about the authenticity of the illness.

Where communication is not made with the Academy about the reason for pupil absence this will be deemed as ‘unauthorised absence’. The parent/carer will receive contact from the Academy to ascertain reasons for absence. Calls will be made from the beginning of the school day and will be completed by 11 am on the same day. Follow up will be based on the following timescales:

  • If a pupil is absent without communication, the attendance team will attempt to contact parents. You will receive a text message via the ‘teachers2parents’ system after morning registration to request that you contact school to report the reason for your child’s absence. If you do not report your child’s absence following this text, you will receive a phone call from a member of the attendance team or year team. If the attendance team is unable to contact you, you will receive a home visit - even if it is the first day of absence.
  • When a pupil is absent for two or more days without the school being provided with a reason, a member of the attendance team will conduct a home visit. Home visits from the attendance team are supportive and intended to establish if any actions need to be put in place in order to support a child’s return to school.
  • If, after home visits and phone calls, the attendance team is still unable to get a reason for absence within 5 days, the attendance team will request the Safer Schools Officer to carry out a ‘welfare check’ at home.
  • For extended periods of absence without reason, we may also contact the Child Missing Education Team at the Council and/or sibling primary schools to support with enquiries about the whereabouts of the child.
  • If a child is absent from the Academy for 20 days (or 10 days after an authorised holiday) and their whereabouts are unknown or they are reported to have left the local area, a referral to the Child Missing Education Team will be made and the child will be removed from roll.
  • Where pupils are identified as vulnerable, or we have a safeguarding concern,  if communication is not made on day one of absence, procedures will be followed through more swiftly with welfare checks requested on day one if deemed necessary

Reporting and Requesting Planned Absences

Attending a medical or dental appointment will be counted as authorised as long as the pupil’s parent/carer notifies the school in advance of the appointment by contacting the Academy attendance team or child’s Head of Year with the appointment details including date, time, time they will be collected from school and approximate return to school time. The appointment text, letter or email will also need to be shared with the Academy  to verify your appointment. However, we encourage parents/carers to make medical and dental appointments out of school hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary by returning promptly to school following their appointment and also attend prior to appointment if not first thing in the morning. The appointment should be made at the start/end of the academy day to minimise disruption to learning.

The pupil’s parent/carer must also apply for other types of term-time absence as far in advance as possible of the requested absence. Go to section 7 to find out which term-time absences are authorised.

  1. Recording Absence

Attendance register

By law, all schools are required to keep an attendance register. The academy uses an electronic system (ARBOR) to accurately record attendance and punctuality to every lesson on a daily basis.

There is  a daily morning meet or form session at the start of every day for Years 7, 8 and 9 during which pupils receive their morning registration mark. For Years 10 and 11 pupils will receive their morning registration mark in period 1.  Pupils in Years 7, 8 or 9 arriving at school after 8.15am and pupils in Years 10 and 11 arriving after 8.35am will be given a late mark and this will be recorded as an L code on Arbor. The number of minutes late/arrival time will also be recorded. The afternoon attendance mark is recorded on Arbor at the start of lesson 3.

The attendance register marks whether every pupils is:

  • Present
  • Attending an approved off-site educational activity
  • Absent
  • Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

Each day, pupils can access the building from 8:00am, (7.45am if they are attending breakfast club). For pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 they must be in morning meetings or form time by 8.15am, where they will receive their morning mark. For Years 10 and 11 they must be in period 1 by 8.35am, where they will receive their morning mark. Academy registration closes at 9:30am and any pupil arriving after this time will lose half a day of attendance and will be marked with a U code. (see appendix 1 for attendance register codes).


Any amendment to the attendance register will include:

  • The original entry
  • The amended entry
  • The reason for the amendment
  • The date on which the amendment was made
  • The name and position of the person who made the amendment

We will also record:

  • Whether the absence is authorised or not
  • The nature of the activity if a pupil is attending an approved educational activity
  • The nature of circumstances where a pupil is unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

Lateness and punctuality

The statutory register of the academy closes at 9:30am daily. After this point, a pupil arriving late without prior notice or a reasonable explanation, will receive an unauthorised absence mark.

A pupil who arrives late:

  • Before the register has closed will be marked as late, using the appropriate code (L)
  • After the register has closed will be marked as absent, using the appropriate code (U)
  • All pupils arrive and enter and exit the building through the pupil entrance regardless of the time they arrive at school. If they arrive after their start time they will be signed in as late and then issued with a 30 minute on the day late detention.

If a pupil arrives at the academy late, after the register has closed, parents will be contacted by the academy to inform them and ascertain a reason for lateness.

Persistent lateness

It is not acceptable for pupils to persistently arrive late to school (whether before or after the register has closed) as this not only hinders their progress but also disrupts the learning of others. The pupil support and attendance team will monitor late arrivals and follow this up through:

• Detentions issued

• Letters home

• Punctuality monitoring periods

Pupils need to arrive at the academy on time in order to be ready for the day ahead. If they are late numerous times across the week parents will be contacted and a parental meeting will be arranged.

All lates and conversations with parents will be logged centrally by the academy.

To support all students to attend and be punctual, all Co-op Academies run a breakfast club (free to pupil premium students) before school,  to ensure that pupils can start the day positively and be on time. If a pupil is persistently late, they may be referred to the breakfast club to support punctuality.

If all the above are unsuccessful, the Academy will use legal channels in accordance with the local authority policy. This may mean that court action is taken.

Recording Attendance at off site provision / dual registered pupils

  • Attendance at alternative provisions is monitored daily by the Attendance team through a daily phone call to the provision.  Provisions to make initial contact with parents where pupils are absent – Tracey Merron - Attendance Manager takes responsibility for the coordination of this.
  • pupils will be given a ‘B’ code on Arbor when they have attended external alternative provision. Any absences will be recorded using the appropriate absence code.
  • Some provisions, as well as managed moves, are used on a dual-registration basis - The attendance team will oversee this and will give the pupil the appropriate enrolment status. In these cases pupils will be given a ‘D’ code when they are on roll with the provision for all periods where the pupil is expected to attend the other provision/school.
  • Pupils who are Guest Pupils at another school will remain as ‘single registration’ at Co-op Academy Failsworth. Where the pupil has attended the other school, a ‘D’ mark will be recorded. All absences will be logged with the appropriate code.
  • Attendance Officers) from the Academy will conduct home visits where appropriate.
  • Attendance Coordinator provides daily/weekly attendance figures to key staff
  • Once a placement is set up, pupils must attend. Failure to do so will carry the same consequences as non-attendance within the Academy.
  • Attendance Coordinator to request regular attendance certificates for pupils attending  dual-registration provisions/schools.

Reporting to parents/carers

Co-op Academy Failsworth will take advantage of appropriate opportunities to emphasise the importance of good student attendance and punctuality with parents/carers who are primarily responsible for ensuring students attend school through:

  • Sharing this policy
  • Newsletters
  • Parental communications (texts/parent app/email/letters/reports)
  • Parents evenings
  • The academy website
  • Meetings and interviews

Parents/carers are also informed of the precise arrangements for notification of absence/punctuality issues.

The academy seeks to work in partnership with parents/carers and to foster a supportive relationship in the interests of the student. Parental contact is established as a first step and not a last resort.

  1. Authorised and Unauthorised Absences

Medical and Illness

Children should attend school on every possible day they can. Mild illnesses such as colds and coughs should not prevent a pupil from coming to school. Guidance for school leaders on authorising absence for mild illnesses, or mild anxiety, from the chief medical officer can be found here and details when parents or carers should make sure pupils attend.

Approval for term-time absence

The Government’s amendments of the Education Regulations 2006 removed the right of Headteachers to authorise family holidays and extended leave. The academy policy, therefore, reflects this legislation.

The headteacher will only grant a leave of absence to a pupil during term time if they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'. A leave of absence is granted at the headteacher’s discretion, including the length of time the pupil is authorised to be absent for.

The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request.  Any request should be submitted as soon as it is anticipated and, where possible, at least 4 weeks before the absence. Leave of absence should be requested in writing and addressed to the Headteacher. The headteacher may require evidence to support any request for leave of absence including plane tickets; medical evidence; letters from authorities.

Valid reasons for authorised absence include:

  • Illness (including mental illness) and medical/dental appointments
  • Religious observance – where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents/carers belong. If necessary, the school will seek advice from the religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart. The academy authorises up to two days for a religious absence per academic year and one day per religious event
  • Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish travellers, showmen (fairground people) and circus people, bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and new travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school, but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision

Fines and Sanctions

The school or local authority can fine parents/carers for the unauthorised absence of their child from school, where the child is of compulsory school age. The school is obligated to pass information about unauthorised absence to the local authority. This can lead to a fixed penalty notice issued from the authority. If issued with a fine, or penalty notice, each parent/carer must pay £60, per pupil within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. The payment must be made directly to the local authority. Fines are issued per pupil and per parent so in a family of four, you could receive up to four fixed penalty notices.

Penalty notices can be issued by a headteacher, local authority officer or the police.

The decision on whether or not to issue a penalty notice may take into account:

  • The number of unauthorised absences occurring within a rolling academic year
  • One-off instances of irregular attendance, such as holidays taken in term time without permission
  • If an excluded pupil is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason

If the payment has not been made after 28 days, the local authority can decide whether to prosecute or withdraw the notice.

If a pupil fails to return from a leave of absence and contact with the parents has not been made or received, school may take the pupil off the school’s role in compliance with the Education (Student Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. This means that the child will lose their school place.

The school considers each application for term-time absence individually whilst taking into

account circumstances and relevant context behind the request. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion.

  1. Promoting and Supporting Attendance

The Academy recognises that poor attendance can be an indication of difficulties in a child’s life. This may be related to problems at home and/or in school. Parents should make school aware of any difficulties or changes in circumstances that may affect their child’s attendance and or behaviour in school, for example, bereavement, divorce/separation, incidents of domestic abuse. This will help the school identify any additional support that may be required.

Co-op Academy Failsworth also recognises that some pupils are more likely to require additional support to achieve excellent attendance, for example, those pupils with special educational needs, those with physical or mental health needs, and looked after children.

The academy implements a range of strategies to support improved attendance. Strategies

used will include:

  • Regular communication with home
  • Offering incentives and rewards
  • referrals to external partners and agencies
  • Mentoring programmes
  • Support plans
  • Rewards systems
  • Fast Track Initiative
  • Referral to the Educational Welfare Officer

Where parents fail or refuse to engage with the support offered and further unauthorised

absence occurs, Co-op Academy Failsworth will consider the use of legal sanctions.

As a very last resort - and only in exceptional circumstances, the Academy may implement a part time timetable to support regular attendance. This would only be a very last resort.

The Curriculum

The academy seeks to ensure that the curriculum (and its implementation) is encouraging and motivating so that it meets the needs of individual students, therefore encouraging students to attend school.

A placement in the Academy Hub provision may be offered if this better meets the needs of the student. Only the Academy will make the decision on placements within the Hub provision as well as other academy provisions.

Form tutors play a key role in improving the attendance and punctuality of students within their form

The diverse extra-curricular programme is used as a means of improving academy attendance by enhancing a student’s enjoyment and commitment to wider school life.

Special curriculum enrichment days, education trips and events such as college taster days are planned to provide added focus and interest.

Only in exceptional circumstances when agreed by the Head teacher, will study leave be allowed for examinations.

Staff will make reference to correlation between achievement and attendance in order to reinforce good attendance.

Rewarding Attendance

Recognising strong attendance is key and celebrating strong attendance is important. Rewards will be given to all pupils to acknowledge good attendance, and will be awarded at regular intervals for those who have achieved good attendance or have improved their attendance.

  • Every half term, whenever a pupil attends the academy and is on time, their name will be entered into a prize draw at the end of half term, where a significant prize will be awarded.
  • Further ad-hoc attendance initiatives and events will take place half termly across the year within year groups in order to boost and encourage full attendance. An example of this are random 100% attendance weeks where pupils are rewarded for gaining 100% all week.
  • Attendance monitoring reward programmes for pupils who have made significant attendance improvement.

Attendance achievements will be communicated to families regularly through the weekly parental attendance text.

Legal Intervention

The law requires parents to ensure that their child attends school regularly. The academy has a primary responsibility in dealing with the issue of attendance, in partnership with parents and pupils. The majority of attendance issues will be dealt with by the academy, however, on occasions, attendance concerns may need to be passed on to Oldham Local Authority or Manchester Local Authority.

Schools have to regularly inform the Local Authority of any pupils who are regularly absent from school, have irregular attendance, or have missed 10 school days or more without the school's permission. Schools also have a safeguarding duty, under section 175 Education Act 2002, to investigate any unexplained absences.

If a pupil is missing school without good reason and support options have been exhausted without improvement/engagement, schools can refer to the Local Authority for legal intervention. This is likely to result in the pupil case file being referred for consideration in the Magistrates Court.

Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if a child is missing school without a good reason and when other methods of support and challenge have not worked. This action can include:

  • a Parenting Order
  • an Education Supervision Order
  • a School Attendance Order
  • a fine (sometimes known as a ‘penalty notice’)

  1. Attendance Monitoring

The school will monitor attendance and absence data weekly, half-termly, termly and yearly across the school and at an individual pupil level. Through this analysis we will Identify whether or not there are particular groups of children whose absences may be a cause for concern

Pupil-level absence data will be collected each term and published at national and local authority level through the DfE's school absence national statistics releases. The underlying school-level absence data is published alongside the national statistics. The school will compare attendance data to the national average, and share this with the academy governing council and Regional Director..

Analysing attendance

The school will analyse attendance and absence data regularly to identify pupils or cohorts that need additional support with their attendance, and use this analysis to provide targeted support to these pupils and their families. We will look at historic and emerging patterns of attendance and absence, and then develop strategies to address these patterns.

Using data to improve attendance

The school will provide regular attendance reports to form tutors and class teachers and to school leaders, to facilitate discussions with pupils and families and use data to monitor and evaluate the impact of any interventions put in place in order to modify them and inform future strategies.

Identifying and supporting Persistent and Severely Absent Pupils

Persistent absence is where a pupil misses 10% or more of school, and severe absence is where a pupil misses 50% or more of school. The academy will work with parents/carers, staff, agencies and pupils to prevent children from falling into either of these categories.

The school will use attendance data to find patterns and trends of persistent and severe absence. We will hold regular meetings with the parents/carers of pupils and all adults who are listed as holding parental responsibility, who the school (and/or local authority) considers to be vulnerable, or are persistently or severely absent, to discuss attendance and engagement at school. We will provide access to wider support services to remove the barriers to attendance.

Pupils with attendance of less than 90% will be identified by the attendance team and referred to the Academy Attendance Improvement Officers (AIO) for more intensive casework. Preventative intervention work will be done to avoid pupils reaching PA status.

In order to prevent pupils from falling into Persistent Absence category, the following strategy will ensue:

  • Lost learning time (in the form of a detention) made up at the end of the day/week, up to a maximum of 2 hours.
  • Counselling or mentoring of the individual student
  • Telephone conversation(s) with parents/carers
  • Letters or meetings with parents/carers and other appropriate family members
  • The use of an interpreter in the case of non-English speakers
  • Referral to the attendance team and or safeguarding team for home visits
  • Meetings in the academy with the Attendance Lead and or Headteacher
  • Use of report card to monitor attendance and punctuality
  • Use of a contract to support attendance
  • Individual support programme, e.g. amended timetable, change of class, population or teacher, referral to the academy hub, referral to school counselling programme.
  • Fixed Penalty notices for unauthorised absence which can lead to a fine per parent in respect of each child
  • Cases forwarded for prosecution for non-attendance
  • Cases referred to children’s social care and/or local authority attendance service for non-attendance.

If, after all the above processes are unsuccessful and pupil attendance drops below 70% the Academy will make a referral to the Oldham Local Authority school attendance service or Manchester Local Authority school attendance service.

We always aim to work with families to improve attendance and through all of the interventions in place. Where families are not engaging with the support we will have to take more punitive actions including:

  • Fast Track Initiative
  • Formal Casework
  • Referral to educational welfare officers
  • Referral to Leeds City Council for legal work

Reintegration after significant absences

Every effort will be made to re-integrate pupils successfully back into the Academy following long periods of absence. This might include:

  • Phased returns and reduced timetables, in exceptional circumstances
  • Mentoring from the  pastoral team
  • An attendance support plan agreed with pupils and Parents

Identifying and supporting Children Missing in Education

We recognise that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. A pupil is counted to be ‘Missing in Education’ if they have been absent for 20 consecutive days from the academy (with no reason for absence given) or if they have not returned for 10 consecutive school days after returning from an authorised absence. Where a child is identified as missing education we will comply with our statutory duty to inform the local authority of any pupil who falls within the reporting notification requirements outlined in Children Missing Education – Statutory guidance for local authorities (DfE September 2016) and follow the CME  Oldham LA guidance and Manchester LA guidance.

The contact details for CME oldham are:

The contact details for CME Manchester are:

Children who are absent, abscond or go missing during the school day are vulnerable and at potential risk of abuse, neglect, CSE or CCE including involvement in county lines. Academy staff members must follow the academy’s procedures for dealing with pupils who are absent/go missing (flow chart of actions can be seen in the appendices), particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to help prevent the risks of going missing in future.

  1. Links with other Policies

This policy links to the following policies:

  • Academy Safeguarding Policy
  • Behaviour policy
  • Exclusions Policy

Appendix 1 - Coding

The following codes are taken from the DfE’s guidance on school attendance.

Present Codes


Absence Codes



Appendix 2 - Types of Absenteeism

Persistent Long-term absenteeism – A student who persistently does not attend the academy on a regular basis.

  • The attendance manager and involvement of other external agencies, e.g. police, children’s social care, medical services will always be considered
  • Systematic contact is maintained with home in the form of telephone calls, safe and well checks/home visits.
  • A planned meeting is arranged on a student return to the academy to support strategies put in place, usually including modified timetable.

Irregular Absenteeism

  • Possible patterns of non-attendance are identified
  • The curriculum is examined for possible causes
  • The effect of possible teacher absence is considered
  • Causes such as extended weekends of training days are considered and targeted for extra vigilance.

Internal Truancy

  • All students are registered for every lesson in the academy
  • Students tempted to truant internally are encouraged to share problems with a member of staff through the pastoral and academic progress systems
  • Occasional spot checks on a specific period of the academy day help identify students who abscond from lessons

School refusers

Identifying long term absence is the beginning of a long process. It is believed the punishing truants on reinforces negative feelings about school. The principle outcomes aimed for are the improvement of self-esteem and successful reintegration into school life.

  • The attendance team and the Heads of year are always involved (along with other key workers and safeguarding/pastoral staff). Where a student has SEN, the SENCO and key worker/TA may also be a point of reassurance and contact to help the student attend.
  • The student may be referred to the external outside agencies as deemed appropriate by the academy.
  • The student is reintroduced gradually into the academy through a variety of different strategies including personalised timetables
  • An achievable short-term target is set for attendance
  • A point of contact in the academy is established and special arrangements made at break and lunchtime.
  • Progress on attendance is reviewed regularly with the Head of year and attendance team to take account of relapses or failures.
  • It is acknowledged that long term absence can lead to anxiety if contact is not maintained with the student.

Appendix 3 - Recognition and Rewards

Rewarding good attendance can itself help to improve overall attendance rates.

The academy expects good attendance and will, emphasising its importance to the student and parents.

Attendance is a key feature of the academy reward system and good and improved attendance is recognised and praised/rewarded throughout the year in many formats.

Achievable targets are set for individuals, forms and year groups on a half termly basis, and competition is built in to encourage collective responsibility and positive peer achievement and success throughout the school year.

Appendix 4 - Responsibilities

Parental responsibilities

Appendix 5 - Definitions


Your local council can give each parent a fine of £60, which rises to £120 each if you do not pay within 21 days. If you do not pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.


You could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months. The court also gives you a Parenting Order.

Education Supervision Order

If the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of prosecuting you, or as well.

Parenting Order

This means you have to go to parenting classes. You’ll also have to do what the court says to improve your child’s school attendance.

Appendix 6 - Templates Letters and Texts