- 1 Introduction
- 2 Links with other policies
- 3 Aims
- 4 Legislation and Guidance
- 5 Roles and Responsibilities
- 6 Authorised and Unauthorised Absence
- 7 Reporting and Recording Absence and Lateness
- 8 Following up Absence
- 9 Attendance Monitoring
- 10 Strategies for Promoting Attendance
- 11 Legal sanctions
- 12 Recording Attendance During the Covid-19 Pandemic
- 13 Child Missing from Education
- 14 Date of Next Review
- The School aims to ensure that all students achieve high levels of attendance and punctuality; both are vitally important for academic and social development.
- The School is committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all of our students within an environment where all students feel valued and welcome.
- Improving attendance and punctuality is the responsibility of staff, parents/carers and students.
- For our students to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered, it is vital that they are in school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
- Attendance is considered a safeguarding matter and therefore the School’s policy is designed to ensure the safety of all students.
2 Links with other policies
This policy links to the following policies:
- Safeguarding policy
- Behaviour for Learning policy
- The School is committed to meeting its obligations with regards to school attendance by:
- promoting good attendance and reducing absence, including persistent absence;
- ensuring every Bourne Grammar School student has access to full-time education to which they are entitled;
- acting early to address patterns of absence.
- The School will also support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory school age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending lessons.
4 Legislation and Guidance
- This policy meets the requirements of the School Attendance Guidance 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) Regulations 2006 (and all amendments)
- The Education (Penalty Notices) Regulations 2013
- This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.
5 Roles and Responsibilities
5.1 Governing Body
The Governing Body is responsible for regularly monitoring attendance figures for the whole school through the Pastoral and Community Committee. It also holds the Headteacher to account for the implementation of this policy.
5.2 The Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher - Pastoral
- The Headteacher is responsible for the implementation of this policy at the School (through the Deputy Headteacher - Pastroal)
- The Deputy Headteacher - Pastoral is responsible for:
- monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to the Headteacher and Governors;
- supporting staff with monitoring the attendance of individual students;
- issuing fixed-penalty notices, where necessary.
5.3 Support Staff
- The Student Manager and Sixth Form Admin Team:
- monitor attendance data across the school and at an individual student level;
- monitor [email protected] and [email protected];
- report concerns about attendance to Heads of Year and, if necessary, the Deputy Headteacher - Pastoral;
- liaise with education welfare officers to tackle persistent absence;
- arrange meetings for Heads of Year with parents to discuss attendance issues;
- arrange Attendance Panel Meetings for the relevant Head of Year and Deputy Headteacher - Pastoral;
- advises the Deputy Headteacher - Pastoral about potential fixed-penalty notices.
- The Receptionist:
- monitors the absence line and updates the registers accordingly;
- helps to maintain the daily registers;
- responds to any missing marks in the register and liaises with teachers, the Student Manager and parents accordingly.
5.4 Teachers and Tutors
- Teachers are responsible for recording attendance on SIMS every lesson, using the correct codes.
- Teachers must notify Reception immediately if a listed student, previously marked as present during the day, is missing from a lesson. The School will take swift action to locate the missing student and contact home.
- Tutors are responsible for recording attendance on SIMS every morning registration, using the correct codes.
- Ensuring regular and prompt attendance is the responsibility of those adults with parental responsibility for a student.
- Parents/carers are responsible for notifying the School for any planned or unplanned absence and must give a specific reason for the absence.
- Parents/carers must telephone the School daily to report an absence by 8.50 am (unless the School has been advised of an extended absence previously where a known return to School has been notified).
- For details about how to report an absence, see point 7: Reporting and Recording Absence and Lateness.
- All students must demonstrate the self-discipline to attend School and lessons punctually, every day where the School is open.
- It is the responsibility of the student who has missed school to ensure that work missed is made up.
- Absences will be recorded as authorised for a number of reasons including illness, medical appointments (that cannot be scheduled outside of school hours), attendance at a day of religious observance, exceptional family circumstances such as bereavement. For a full list see School Attendance Guidance.
- The Headteacher will only grant a leave of absence to pupils during term time if they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'.
- Term-time holidays are not permitted and will be marked as unauthorised unless the Headteacher deems the circumstances to be exceptional.
- The School considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request.
7 Reporting and Recording Absence and Lateness
- The School will keep an attendance register in accordance with DfE Attendance Guidance for Schools.
- Unplanned absence
- The parent/carer must notify the School on the first day of an unplanned student absence, and all subsequent days (unless a return date has been agreed), by 08:50 via phone on 01778 422288, or email: [email protected] for Years 7-11, and [email protected]
- Any absence due to illness will be marked as authorised unless the School has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness.
- If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the School may ask the student’s parent/carer to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence. THe School will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily.
- If the School is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents/carers will be notified of this.
- Planned absence
- Parents/carers must request a leave of absence by submitting an Application for Leave of Absence Form at least two working weeks before the requested period of absence.
- Attending a medical or dental appointment will be counted as authorised as long as the student’s parent/carer notifies the School in advance of the appointment.
- However, we encourage parents/carers to make medical and dental appointments out of school hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the student should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary.
- Lateness and punctuality
- A pupil who arrives late:
- before the register has closed will be marked as late, using the appropriate code;
- after the register has closed will be marked as absent, using the appropriate code.
- The Inclusion Manager and Heads of Year track and respond to punctuality issues and students may be required to make up for time lost due to lateness.
- A pupil who arrives late:
8 Following up Absence
Where any child we expect to attend school does not attend, or stops attending, the school will:
- follow up on their absence with their parent/carer to ascertain the reason, by phoning home in the morning as soon as is practicable;
- ensure proper safeguarding action is taken where necessary;
- identify whether the absence is approved or not;
- record the absence using the correct code.
9 Attendance Monitoring
- Student absence is monitored on a weekly and termly basis to track individual students and any particular groups of students whose absences may be a cause for concern.
- The persistent absence threshold is 10%. If a student's individual overall absence rate is greater than or equal to 10%, the student will be classified as a persistent absentee.
- Student-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 Governing body through the Pastoral and Community Committee.
10 Strategies for Promoting Attendance
- The School will write to parents annually with a reminder about expectations and absence procedures.
- Form Tutors and Heads of Year will continue to reinforce the importance of high levels of attendance, and the links associated with academic and personal development.
- Heads of Year receive termly attendance reports highlighting students with less than 95% attendance.
- Students achieving 100% weekly attendance receive House points.
- 100% attendance is celebrated in Christmas, Easter and Summer Celebration Assemblies.
- Parents can view their child's attendance by checking MILK.
- If the School has concerns about a student's attendance the likely course of action will be as follows:
- Depending on the particular set of circumstances surrounding the level of attendance, the Form Tutor, Student Manager or Head of Year will contact home to better understand the situation and offer support and guidance.
- Parents of students in Years 7-11 will be notified, in writing, if their child's attendance drops below 90% (unless the School is already aware of exceptional circumstances) and an Early Help Assessment is likely to be completed, if one is not already in progress.
- In the absence of a valid reason, if sufficient progress is not seen within an agreed time frame, an Attendance Panel Meeting will be held which will typically include the student's Head of Year or Deputy Head of Year, and the Deputy Headteacher - Pastoral.
- If sufficient progress is not evident after and agreed time frame the School will liaise with its Attendance Welfare Officer for further support and may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice Warning letter.
- Further attendance concerns at this point is likely to trigger a Fixed Penalty Notice.
11 Legal sanctions
- The School or local authority can fine parents for the unauthorised absence of their child from school, where the child is of compulsory school age.
- If issued with a fine, or penalty notice, each parent must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. The payment must be made directly to the local authority.
- 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;
- where 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.
12 Recording Attendance During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The School will follow the DfE's Addendum for recording attendance in relation to Covid-19
13 Child Missing from Education
- 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.
- If a child is deemed to be missing from education (or is at risk of being missing from education), the School will follow DfE advice from Children Missing Education.
14 Date of Next Review
- This Attendance policy will be reviewed as guidance from the local authority or DfE is updated and, as a minimum, every two years by the Pastoral and Community Committee.
- This policy was last reviewed and approved on 12 May 2021.
- This policy will be reviewed May 2023.