Attendance and Punctuality Policy 2017-18

Attendance and Punctuality Policy 2017-18.

Principles

Good attendance is vital for all our students if they are to gain the most from the education we provide. There are clearly documented links between regular attendance and attainment.

Every member of staff will monitor the attendance of their class, and will follow up a student’s absence with appropriate personnel in school and with the child’s parents/carers.

We hope that parents/carers will assist us in our work of raising attendance and attainment levels throughout the school by:

  • Ensuring the regular attendance of their child/children (97% & above);
  • Informing the school when their child is absent from school and the reason for the absence;
  • Attending any meetings about their child’s attendance which may be necessary.

Aims

This school will:

  • Maximise achievement by promoting good attendance;
  • Have clear procedures to enable students to come into school;
  • Ensure that all students and parents understand the issues and procedures for attendance;
  • Ensure that all staff and governors understand the issues and procedures for attendance;
  • Allocate resources to support this policy.

Rights and Responsibilities

All young people have a right to an education. A child is of statutory school age between 5 and 16 years. Parents/Carers have a legal responsibility to ensure their child attends regularly and punctually. If a child does not, parents/carers may be breaking the law. (Please see Requests for Leave of Absence documentation)

Parents/Carers should ensure their children arrive at school on time, in the correct uniform and in a condition to learn. We hope that parents/carers see themselves as our partners in the education of their children.

If the school has concerns about a student being absent or do not accept the explanation for an absence as genuine, they will discuss this issue with the student and parents/carers. If necessary the school will raise the matter with the Education Attendance Service.

Strategies for Maintaining High Profile, Good Attendance and Punctuality

  • This school believes in early intervention. Where absences are unexplained, our ‘PSEngage’ Absence Alert system is in operation.
  • Regular attendance is celebrated in weekly assemblies, the awarding of Vivos, termly certificates and annual prizes.
  • Students are encouraged to participate and contribute through the Year Group, School Councils, Article 12 group and other Student Voice activities.
  • The Behaviour for Learning policy recognises the importance of regular attendance.
  • This school employs a number of strategies to monitor and support identified students, whose attendance and punctuality is a concern, in a positive and caring manner.
  • The school will request the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice Warning for 10 or more sessions of unauthorised absence.
  • The school will request the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice for 10 or more sessions of unauthorised Leave of Absence (including family holidays in term time).
  • The Local Authority will prosecute parent/carers if Penalty Notices are unpaid.


The Role of the Student

This school believes that all students should attend regularly (97% & above) if we are to encourage them to reach their full potential. Students should:

  • Aim for 100% attendance, only being absent through genuine illness;
  • Be punctual arriving at school and to all lessons;
  • If s/he arrives late, they must report to The Student Reception and sign in that they have arrived in school;
  • Bring a note from home explaining the reason for absence following every session of absence;
  • Not leave the school premises during the school day without permission.


The Role of the Personal Learning Guide and Subject Teachers

Personal Learning Guides (PLGs) and Subject Teachers play a key role in promoting good attendance. In our school we recognise that building a good relationship with students is vital in promoting good attendance by:

  • Creating a welcoming and purposeful atmosphere in their classrooms;
  • Providing a positive role model to all students;
  • Using the Progresso registration system accurately and consistently;
  • Praising those students who attend well or make efforts to improve their attendance;
  • Identifying students who are beginning to develop, or have developed, a pattern of absence;
  • Welcoming students back after they have been absent;
  • Taking steps to assist students returning to school when they have been absent;
  • Referring their concerns about a student’s absence, lesson evasion or lateness to the Year Manager.


The Role of the Parents/Carers

This school values its partnership with parents/carers. We believe that a student is able to achieve their best when:

  • The school and the family work together;
  • Parents/Carers take an active interest in their child’s schoolwork;
  • Parents/Carers ensure that their child attends regularly (97% & above) and do not allow time off for trivial or unacceptable reasons (see Absence Authorisation Procedures leaflet);
  • Parents/Carers contact school on each day of absence and provide the reason for absence;
  • Parents/Carers provide a written note on the day of their child’s return to school;
  • Parents/Carers attend any necessary meetings and respond as quickly as possible to any letters and information about their child’s attendance.


The Role of the Education Welfare & Attendance Manager

The Education Welfare & Attendance Manager is school based and a member of our Behaviour and Education Support Team responsible to the designated member of the Senior Leadership and Management Team (SLMT). Their role is to lead the Attendance Team and support the school in making a measurable impact on the school’s rates of authorised, unauthorised and persistent absence, investigating causes and providing solutions to poor punctuality. They do this by:

  • Being responsible for the compilation and circulation of all attendance data for the school, LA and DfE;
  • Implementing & monitoring the ‘Absence Authorisation Procedures’ including robust safeguarding routines;
  • Being responsible for Leave of Absence applications;
  • Being responsible for Penalty Notice procedures
  • Liaising with the Year Managers to identify those students who have begun to develop a pattern of absence or who have a developing pattern of poor punctuality;
  • Ensuring that parents/carers are kept informed of their legal responsibilities with regard to attendance issues;
  • Making home visits to the parents/carers of identified students to ensure that they are fully informed about their child’s pattern of absence/lateness;
  • Interviewing the student and their parents/carers to identify any school based reason/s which may explain the student’s pattern of absence;
  • Ensuring the delivery of work for students to complete at home because of illness, excluded fixed term, where the permanent exclusion process has not been completed or for those working with the Home and Hospital Teaching Service;
  • Monitoring the attendance of students who are placed on Alternative Provision programmes, on an internal exclusion at a partner school, a Managed Move, on Child Protection Plans and long term illness;
  • Developing and implementing first stage ‘helping programmes’ through which to support the development of regular attendance or punctuality by the student;
  • Creating and maintaining working notes, about contact with students and their families, as a basis for written reports about actions taken to investigate and resolve a student’s pattern of absence or lateness;
  • Participating in multi-disciplinary discussions with the BEST, Access and Achievement Team and outside agencies to ensure that everyone is informed;
  • Preparing information and supportive evidence, which would enable effective referrals at information sharing meetings with the Education Attendance Service;


The Role of the Attendance Officer & Deputy EWO

The Attendance Officer and Deputy EWO are school based members of the Attendance Team within our Behaviour and Education Support Team. They work in partnership with the Education Welfare & Attendance Manager in identifying and resolving patterns of student absence in order to make a measurable impact upon the school’s rates of authorised, unauthorised, persistent absence and punctuality. They do this by:

  • Generating attendance data to identify patterns of absence and/or lateness;
  • Making first day contact with the parents/carers of students through the operation of our ‘PSEngage’ Absence Alert system.
  • Operating and reporting on the ‘Red Card’ punctuality procedures
  • Liaising with the Year Managers to identify those students who have begun to develop a pattern of absence or who are developing a pattern of poor punctuality;
  • Identifying and resolving patterns of internal truancy;
  • Operating the ‘3rd Day’ calling system
  • Ensuring that contact is made with parents/carers of students who are absent without notification;
  • Working with EWAM and Year Managers to develop and implement strategies to support regular attendance and punctuality;
  • Making home visits to the parents/carers of identified students
  • Creating and maintaining working notes, about contact with students and their families, as a basis for written reports about actions taken to investigate and resolve a student’s pattern of absence or lateness.
  • Implement short term packages of support to avoid absence including escorts where necessary


The Role of the Student Achievement Manager

The Student Achievement Manager has an important role in supporting and monitoring the work of the Year Managers. They are also responsible for promoting and rewarding good attendance in our school. They will do this by:

  • Supporting Year Managers in the development of clear guidelines for identifying students who have begun to develop a pattern of absence;
  • Providing INSET opportunities for Year Managers about school attendance and student absence;
  • Promoting good attendance by celebrating and rewarding identified students.


The Role of the Year Manager

The Year Managers have an important role to play in the school’s framework for promoting good attendance within their respective year group by:

  • Supporting and motivating the Personal Learning Guides in their year team;
  • Receiving information from all staff about students in their year group who are causing concern regarding punctuality, specific lesson and internal truancy;
  • Contacting parents/carers about attendance;
  • Meeting with parents/carers of students who are developing or have developed, a pattern of absence, to agree actions which may lead to their child beginning to attend more regularly;
  • Discussing with the school’s Attendance Officers and Education Welfare Officer individual cases of students causing concern at regular liaison meetings;
  • Agreeing attendance action plans with the Education Welfare & Attendance Manager and the child’s parents where a pattern of absence is a cause for concern;
  • Recognising, promoting and celebrating the good attendance of students in their year assemblies and through corridor displays.


The Role of the SLMT person with Responsibility for Attendance

The school has nominated a team of key personnel led by a member of the school’s Senior Leadership and Management Team, whose delegated brief is specific responsibility for attendance matters. They will develop an overall view of attendance matters in the school by:

  • Leading and supporting the implementation of this attendance policy and framework for the school, within which specified responsibilities are delegated to identified members of staff;
  • Monitoring and evaluating the work of staff to ensure that specific responsibilities described within the whole school framework are carried out consistently;
  • Supporting all staff in the development of clear guidelines for promoting good attendance;
  • Supporting staff in the development of in-school strategies to tackle specific lesson truancy and internal truancy.
  • Supporting staff in the use of attendance data to identify trends.
  • Ensuring that the Education Attendance Service is informed about any students who have taken a leave of absence without the school’s consent. (Please see Requests for Leave of Absence documentation)


The Role of the Headteacher

The Headteacher is the key person in our school who motivates and leads the whole staff by demonstrating a commitment to promoting good attendance by:

  • Ensuring that good attendance is celebrated;
  • Providing regular reports to the Governing Body of the school about attendance;
  • Providing regular information to governors, parents/carers, the LA and DfE, regarding training undertaken, monitoring and evaluation of the school attendance policy and the associated in-school practices.


The Role of the Governors

The Governing Body of our school is actively engaged in promoting good attendance at the school by supporting and encouraging students and staff in their work. They achieve this by:

  • Supporting staff in the development of a whole school approach to promoting good attendance;
  • Making arrangements to ensure their functions relating to the conduct of the school are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students.

Review Date: September 2019