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Improving Attendance & Punctuality Policy
The Hathershaw College aims to maximise attendance rates. Of particular importance is the direct link between attendance at the College and levels of achievement.
We acknowledge that all colleagues contribute to the attendance of students at the College.
The College will ensure that effective systems, combined with clearly defined roles, are in place to enable attendance and punctuality to be monitored and appropriate intervention co-ordinated.
The College will provide parents with up-to-date and accurate attendance and punctuality data, through Learning Cycle reports, and more frequently if required.
The information contained in this Policy is consistent with the DFE publication “School Attendance – Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities” September 2018.
Rights and Responsibilities
We expect students to arrive on time, with the correct uniform and equipment, ready to learn.
We will investigate all absences.
We will work closely with parents should attendance or punctuality give cause for concern.
Students will ensure that they attend College regularly and on time. Students can expect to be challenged when this is not the case.
Students are not permitted to leave the College unless attending medical appointments or as a result of illness or injury. Parental consent must be obtained before students leave the College during the day. In the event of illness or injury, this must be confirmed by a member of SLT.
Parents/Carers are legally responsible for ensuring their child’s regular and punctual attendance. Where the College feels that parents are not meeting their responsibilities, they may be invited into the College to discuss concerns with our Attendance Support Officer/Pastoral Leaders or be subject to home visits by the College. Parents of children with poor attendance may also be placed on a Parenting Contract or Fast-track programme where the College monitors attendance closely - to support parents in improving attendance/reducing absense. Failure to improve a child’s attendance can then result in prosecution.
Parents are responsible for informing the College of the reason for any absence either by contacting the College by telephone or responding to telephone calls or letters.
A designated member of the College’s Senior Leadership Team will have overall responsibility for attendance and provide strategic direction to maximise this.
Attendance Support Officer
- Monitor patterns of poor attendance
- Make home visits to investigate absences
- Attend meetings to discuss attendance
- On occasion, to refer students with poor attendance for Parenting Contracts or Fast Track
- Send the appropriate letters and documentation to Parents/Carers.
- Produce paperwork for Parenting Contracts and Fast Track and maintain accurate and confidential records of all students regarding referrals, home-visits and other attendance-related interventions
- Identify and report any safeguarding concerns in line with the Colleges Safeguarding Policy.
The College’s Attendance Officer will be responsible for ensuring that daily attendance data is processed efficiently and accurately. The Attendance Officer will:
- Monitor the names of students arriving late to College and generate daily detention lists.
- Enter reasons for absence using appropriate absence reporting codes (Refer to Appendix 1).
- Ensure that the names of students arriving late to the College are entered into SIMS.
- Monitor the completion of registers.
- Respond to missing attendance marks.
- Monitor patterns of absence and identify possible internal truancy.
- Complete holiday/extended absence proforma with parents.
- Issue referrals to the Local Authority of parents/guardians that take students out of College for any amount of time during term-time.
- Provide all staff with weekly attendance data summaries.
Year Managers will communicate with Parents/Carers to ensure that accurate information is available for the Attendance Officer. Attendance-related routines will include:
- Contacting Parents/Carers for reasons for absence and making further follow up calls where reasons for absence have not yet been provided.
- Completion of individual reason for absence forms which should then be passed to the Attendance Officer.
- Make follow up calls to check on students and encourage attendance the following day where appropriate.
- Closely monitor students with poor attendance, particularly those at risk of becoming persistently absent.
Teachers will complete registers accurately within the first 10 minutes of a lesson. Teachers are required to mark students as either present (/ or \) or absent (N) or late (L). No other codes should be used by a classroom teacher.
Form tutors should complete accurate registers during morning registration. Tutors will be provided with attendance data and provide challenge to students as appropriate.
Celebrating Good Attendance
The College has numerous opportunities to celebrate good attendance, for example;
- Weekly tutor group awards for 100% attendance and punctuality.
- Termly 100% attendance certificates awarded in assemblies.
- End of year recognition for exceptional attendance at Prize Presentation Evening.
Attendance is one of the many criteria contributing to eligibility for end of year rewards trips and the year 11 leavers dinner.
Holidays and Extended Leave During Term Time
Parents are asked to avoid arranging family holidays and extended visits to family overseas during term time. No holidays will be authorised during term-time. ANY holidays taken during this time will result in a Penalty Notice (fine) from the Local Authority of £60 per parent/per child, which will double if not paid within 28 days. Fines are constantly being reviewed and this is subject to an increase at any time. In line with DFE policy, any likely absences during term time will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, which must in the first instance be made in writing to the Principal
- Parents must contact school and complete the ‘Notification of Absence in Term Time’ form.
- Parents will be expected to attend a meeting with a senior leader upon return from holiday, to discuss how they will support the College in helping their child to complete all of the work that they have missed during their absence.
- Where a request for leave of absence is made, and is NOT granted by the College, a student will receive a code ‘G’ on their attendance record. This is for an ‘unauthorised’ absence.
- A number of requests are received each year from parents wishing to take their children overseas for an extended period of time. These requests will not be granted unless in exceptional circumstances.
- Where an extended family holiday is NOT approved OR more time is taken than is granted by the College, the code ‘G’ will be used for reporting purposes; this is an unauthorised absence. In these cases, referrals will be made to the Local Authority and a Penalty Holiday Notice will be issued to Parents/Carers as above.
- Where unauthorised extended holidays last longer than 20 days the College will apply to remove students from roll and parents will have to re-apply for their child’s place.
Children Missing From Education
In line with Local Authority guidance and as part of the College’s safeguarding protocols, any child who misses 10+ days of school will be reported to the local authority as CME (Child Missing Education). More information is available on the following link:
Punctuality to school
- School starts at 8.40am every day. If a student arrives after this time they will be recorded as late (L).
- Year Managers will phone parents every day that their child is late to school.
- Parents will be informed that their child has a 15 minute detention after school the same day that they are late.
- If a child fails to improve their punctuality to school a meeting with parents will take place with a Senior Leader.
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