Attendance and Punctuality Policy
Co-op Academy Failsworth
Attendance and Punctuality Policy
- Date created - 2020
- Date reviewed -May 2023
- Date approved - 22/06/203
- Next review date - September 2024
- Policy owner - Miss N Carter
Attendance and Punctuality
Regular academy attendance and good punctuality is considered essential to ensure sustained academic progress and social development. Every child matters at Co-op Academy Failsworth. Regular attendance is an integral part of success. The link between attendance and attainment is firmly established and well documented. Those pupils who attend school more tend to achieve better qualifications than those who do not. Those with excellent attendance records are more likely to be able to access higher education and have better employment prospects. Regular attendance is essential if pupils are to reach their full potential.
Co-op Academy Failsworth sees the maximising of attendance and punctuality rates as one of its key tasks. It is the academy’s priority that each pupil knows what their current attendance is, how to improve/maintain it and what their attendance target is. The Academy will work hard to provide a welcoming, caring environment where every pupil feels safe and valued.
Contact with Parent/carers
Academy Attendance Panel
Monitoring of attendance
Monitoring of Punctuality
Holidays in Term Time
Procedures and Strategies to Support Good Attendance and Punctuality
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
This policy gives notification to parents of actions we will take to promote excellent attendance.
In order to promote maximum student attendance and good punctuality, Co-op Academy Failsworth will:
- Promote a positive supportive ethos based upon our ways of being
- Ensure staff act as role models for standards of attendance and punctuality
- Employ systems and create strong partnerships to inform parents/carers of expectations regarding student attendance
- Emphasise throughout the whole staff importance of good relationships with pupils, parents/carers and respond appropriately to their needs.
- Reduce the number of PA pupils and on track PA’s
- Work cooperatively with external agencies
- Monitor student attendance/punctuality and take relevant action based on data available
- Support long term absentees with the aim of successful reintegration.
- Employ systems to identify internal truancy
- Provide a ‘stepping stone’ personalise curriculum to meet the needs of individual students (if required)
- Reward excellent or improved attendance in a variety of ways
- Show commitment to staff development strategies for improving student attendance
- Follow the ‘every child matters’ ethos
- Uphold the highest level of safeguarding
Contact with Parents and 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
- 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.
Attendance Lead and Attendance team
The principle function of these roles is to help parents and carers to meet their statutory obligations on school attendance. The attendance lead and attendance team have clear preventative roles. Through home visiting and regular parental contact, they may be especially well placed to assess a non-attendee’s problems in the wider family context and therefore offer further support where appropriate.
There are regular meetings between Heads of year, Assistant Heads of year, safeguarding leads, SENCO, Mental health lead and Headteacher.
The class teacher is responsible for ensuring that all registers are taken at the start of every lesson and are updated accordingly. Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year are responsible for checking that all absences are accounted for and appropriately coded. In the case of absences known in advance (e.g. medical treatment, funerals or religious observation) prior written notification is required; where the absence is medical, evidence will be required. Failure to do so may lead to the absence not being authorised.
Parents/carers are requested to arrange leave of absence within the academy holiday periods. Should any leave of absence be taken without notifying the academy or obtaining the Headteachers authorisation a Penalty notice fine will be served.
If a student fails to return from leave of absence and contact with the parents has not been made or received, within 20 days the academy may take the student off the academy roll in compliance with the Education (student registration) (England) Regulations 2006. This means that the child will lose their school place. The academy will work closely with the Local Authorities, Child missing in Education policy and protocols before any student is removed from the academy roll.
Parents/carers are requested to contact the academy on the first day of student absence before 8.00am where possible. If no phone call or message is received with regards to a pupil’s absence, a phone call is made by the Head of Year or Assistant Head of year who records the reason for the absence and updates the Attendance Team. The importance to our systems of contact numbers leads to regular data checks.
Persistent absence (PA), is where a pupil’s attendance falls below 90%. The academy monitors students who are persistently absent and those who are at risk of becoming persistently absent extremely closely with weekly monitoring and reviews by the Head of Year/Assistant Head of year and Attendance team.
Intervention strategies are implemented to immediately raised attendance and address individual needs in order to reduce Persistent absence. Heads of year/Assistant Heads of year have weekly year group targets and these are shared with year groups. Form tutors are provided with weekly data concerning the attendance and absence of pupils within their forms to enable them to discuss pupil attendance weekly and support pupils where appropriate. The attendance Manager will provide weekly monitoring lists to the Attendance lead, Heads of Year/Assistant Heads of year and wider attendance team to monitor intervention work with students.
In addition, all students are made responsible for being aware and monitoring their own attendance through the pupil app, conversations with Head of Year/Assistant Head of year, Attendance team, form tutors and class teachers. Lessons such as Citizenship, PSHE, assemblies, form time curriculum, morning and midday meetings emphasise the importance of a good attendance when seeking a place in Further Education or entry into a career.
Good attendance and punctuality are recognised and rewarded throughout the year. Heads of Year/Assistant heads of Year and the Attendance team are responsible for monitoring attendance of their year group and following up absences that are a cause for concern. Every effort is made to establish a mutually supportive relationship between home and the academy.
Action may include:
- 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 evidence of unauthorised absence is found, parents/carers are informed and given the opportunity to discuss the circumstances and the action to be taken. Students may be supported by the Heads of Year/Assistant Head of Year, safeguarding leads, attendance team, wider pastoral team or any other member of staff that they have a positive relationship with on the risks inherent in poor attendance including the adverse impact on the academic development.
In addition, to support the Behaviour sanctions and strategies in the academy as well as the School uniform policy, any student who refuses to comply with the academy dress code, in respect to their uniform, hair colour and style, make up, jewellery or piercings will be placed in internal exclusion. Students who arrive at the academy in incorrect uniform will be initially provided with correct uniform to wear. Any student failing to comply with this sanction will be sent home and expected to return the same day in the correct uniform. If the student fails to return to the academy in the correct uniform, a meeting will be requested with parent/carer to discuss non-compliance with the academy uniform policy.
Parents/carers are responsible for informing the academy on the first day of absence that their child is too ill to attend school. This needs to be done by 8.00am through the academy attendance line. If your child is absent for 3 or more days we will require medical evidence for the absence. Where attendance levels are of a concern and attendance monitoring is in place for the student, medical evidence will be required for all absences. Telephone calls are made to every parent/carer of a student who is absent from the academy each morning. If we cannot make contact, a text message will be sent. If students are absent from school for medical reasons, the responsibility is on the parent to provide evidence of illness not the academy.
The students with health needs that cannot attend school policy outlines the academy expectations when children are unable to attend school for extended periods of time.
As part of our safeguarding procedures within the academy, home visits can be made even if we have received a call to notify us of a student’s absence.
For students that are absent for long periods of time, arrangements will be made by the attendance team or other named person from the academy to conduct home visits on at least a weekly basis. This is to fulfill our duty of care obligations.
Monitoring of Punctuality
From 8.15am for years 7 and 8 and 8.35am for years 9, 10 and 11, students are registered as late by senior members of staff and the attendance team. Class teachers will also record the student as late when they arrive to their lesson. This is recorded as late on the academy registers. A 30-minute late detention takes place at the end of each day for students who were late to school that day. Government legislation states that we do not need to provide parents with 24-hour notification of detentions issued.
If students arrive late to the academy they are to report to the student entrance. The attendance team will then sign the student in and amend the register accordingly. The academy closes the statutory register at 9.05am. Any student arriving after this time will receive an unauthorised absence mark.
Information concerning attendance should be given to students at the beginning of every week. Form tutors and associated form tutors should inform the individual students in their form groups of:
- The current attendance %
- Their target attendance (if in place)
- Strategies for improvement (if required)
In addition, Head of year, Assistant Heads of year and form tutors will inform students who are classed as Persistently Absent (PA) or are at risk of becoming Persistently Absent.
Parents/carers will be given information on their child’s current attendance each week via a text. They will be notified if their child is classed as persistently absent or at risk of becoming persistently absent. Parents will also be provided with their child’s attendance at other points in the year via termly reports, letters and parents’ evenings where appropriate. Parents/carers are also able to access up to date attendance information via the parent app.
Where students are persistently absent or at risk of becoming persistently absent, parents will be informed separately and advised of the urgent need to improve their child’s attendance. Further attendance support will be offered at this point.
All staff have access to live attendance data for every student via the school systems.
Pastoral teams have more detailed information concerning their particular year group on a weekly basis, which is discussed in weekly line management and year team meetings. This information could take the form of year group data such as graphical comparisons between year groups, form groups within a year group, percentage attendance of different student groups (e.g. SEN, Pupil Premium, Gender, Ethnicity etc)
Staff are expected to be aware of their student’s attendance and support excellent attendance by recognising and praising high attendance/improved attendance, spotting patterns of poor or declining attendance and discussing this with students and pastoral or senior staff.
Leave taken in term time
If a student has 100% attendance, it means that they have not missed a single day of school. This is an excellent achievement
97 – 99%
Attendance is good; however, they have missed some important learning time. The student should try to be in school everyday
95 - 96%
Attendance between 95% and 96% is below our minimum target and the student’s attendance needs to improve so that they do not fall behind.
Anything below 95% is an immediate cause for concern as students are at risk of becoming ‘persistently absent’ (PA) and will be missing too much school.
Any leave of absence that is taken in term time is likely to adversely affect the education and learning of your child/children. Requests for leave in exceptional circumstances to be taken during term time should be submitted in writing to the Head of School, at least two weeks in advance.
In accordance with the local authority guidance the academy will NOT consider authorisation of any leave of absence during term time in the following periods of time or circumstances:
- During the first half term of the new academic year
- When the leave of absence would occur 2 weeks prior to or during external or internal examinations/assessments
- If in granting the request, the pupils attendance rate would fall into Persistent Absence
- For any Year 11 student.
The Academy will not authorise absence for holiday during term time, unless in exceptional circumstances.
The Academy recognises we have students from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures and we embrace diversity this brings. During the academy day we offer students from all religious backgrounds the opportunity to use a prayer room. During term time, students are expected to attend the academy on festival and religious days unless an application for leave on the grounds of religious observance is made by parents/carers in writing in advance of the leave requested.
Applications for absence must be made in writing to the Headteacher in advance, and will only be considered for religious observance rather than associated celebration days. Failure to do so may lead to the absence being recorded as unauthorised.
When parents write in, in advance to notify the academy of absence due to religious observance, it will be recorded as an absence using the R code in the register.
Interventions and Legal Sanctions
Attendance and Parenting Contracts
Attendance and parenting contracts are voluntary agreements between the academy and the parent/carer and are signed by both the academy and parents.
These can also be extended to include the child and any other agencies offering support, to resolve any difficulties in improving attendance.
The contract will outline attendance targets and will detail agreed actions that will help to achieve the target. The contract is reviewed on a half termly basis.
The contract can be used as evidence in a prosecution, should parents/carers fail to carry out agreed actions.
The parenting contract will be drawn up by:
- The relevant Head of Year dealing with the student
- The attendance officer dealing with the family
The outcome of the meeting will be recorded on CPOMS and all other meetings and reviews will be recorded.
Attendance panels involving the Attendance lead, Attendance manager and Headteacher may be set up as an early intervention strategy before prosecution is considered. The panel may include the school nurse if this is deemed appropriate by the academy.
The attendance panel will discuss with the parents/carers the school’s concerns and the issues that have affected the student’s attendance.
The attendance lead will draw up a parenting contact in order to improve attendance. This may include a support package for the pupil and parent/carer as well as the wider family. External agencies such as Early Help, Children’s social care, Local authority attendance service may also be involved in this support package. The outcome of the meeting will be recorded and logs on the students records.
Penalty notices will be considered when:
- A pupil is absent from school for the purpose of a holiday in term time when the holiday has not been authorised by the academy
- A pupil has accumulated at least 5 sessions of unauthorised absence (including unauthorised lates) and further unauthorised absence has occurred following a penalty notice warning to improve attendance.
A penalty notice gives the parent/carer the opportunity to discharge themselves of their legal responsibilities. Each such Penalty Notice incurs a fine of £120 to be paid within 28 days, which is reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days of the notice being serviced. Failure to pay a penalty notice may result in prosecution, (Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act).
The attendance team are responsible for collating the evidence for the Local Authority.
Where intervention fails to bring about an improvement in attendance, the Local Authority will be notified and legal action in the Magistrates Court may be taken. The academy will provide the Local Authority with the evidence needed for a prosecution under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act, and will appear as a witness for the Prosecution if required to do so.
This is to make sure that parents are fully aware of their own responsibilities in ensuring attendance at school and returning children to education.
Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act states if a parent fails to ensure the regular attendance of their child if she/he/they is a registered pupil at the school and is of compulsory school age, then they are guilty of an offence. Or under section 444(1) apply and the parents knows the child fails to attend regularly at the school and fails to cause the student to attend.
A parent found guilty of this offence can be fined up to £2500 and/or be imprisoned for a period of 3 months.
The attendance team will be responsible for preparing the case for the Local Authority.
Procedures and Strategies to support good attendance and punctuality
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
The AGC will review this policy every 2 years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implement throughout the academy.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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 he 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.
Strategies to support good attendance
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.
The academy is open early from 7.45am each morning for students. A free breakfast is provided for anyone that wants one to help encourage early arrival to school.
All students must remain on the academy site during lunch time. The academy provides a varied menu which considers student preferences.
The academy day is highly structured with morning meetings and staggered start times to promote punctuality.
Rewarding good attendance can itself help to improve overall attendance rates.
The academy expects good attendance and will, emphasis 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.
Academy staff will promote good attendance and highlight its importance to students. Attendance is regularly shared with staff through staff briefings, updates and notices.
Attendance is a regular agenda item at pastoral, inclusion and senior leadership meetings.
The monitoring an encouragement of student attendance is regular feature of induction and pastoral training where the pivotal role of the form tutor / Head of year is established.
All members pf the academy staff will be committed to staff development, including strategies relating to improving attendance.
An attendance panel may be convened as a formal intervention for a student with low attendance/cause for concern. The purpose of the panel meeting is to establish the reasons for poor attendance and to discuss and agree strategies to secure improved attendance. An attendance contract (or other actions) may be implemented as part of the panel meeting. Other agencies may be invited to attend or may be signposted as part of the meeting.
Notes and actions from the panel meeting may be used as evidence in any subsequent actions or prosecution if attendance is not improved. External agencies that may be involved with the student and family will also be invited to attend an attendance panel meeting.
Reason for Change
Introduction of Document Control
Review of Attendance and Punctuality Policy