Aims and Principles of Good Attendance
- All students have agreed a minimum attendance target 96%.
- The school/academy is committed to maximising the achievement and attainment of all pupils/students.
- There is a clear link between good attendance and educational achievement.
- Regular and punctual attendance is vital if pupils/students are to benefit fully from the academic, personal and social opportunities, which are offered to them within the school/academy.
- Parents/carers play an important role in supporting the school/academy and encouraging pupils/students to reach good attendance levels.
- A broad and balanced education is dependent on regular attendance at school/academy.
- School/academy will take appropriate action to promote and encourage good attendance.
- And remember, there were 189 school days in 2018/19. That leaves 176 days for holidays, treats, non-urgent medical appointments and duvet days.
Unauthorised Attendance and Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN)
As you may be aware from the press, over the summer holidays Rotherham MBC has changed their policy on when Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) will be administered for unauthorised absences. This is in response to the Government concerns around attendance in schools falling and the significant impact this could have on a child’s education. These changes to the policy will impact on parents who take children out of school for holidays in term time, or other reasons that aren’t authorised by the school.
As an Academy, we have to refer parents for a FPN if the child’s overall attendance is affected by the unauthorised absences taken. With the new policy, we have to refer when the child’s attendance is below 95.3% (National Average) over the last 12 months, including the unauthorised period of time.
95.3% attendance means that a child cannot have missed more than 8 days within this time. This will mean that many of the families who request holidays in term time could be in danger of being referred for a FPN. The FPN is £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days. I believe it is important that parents have this information before making the decision to take their child out of school as there is now an increased chance that you will receive a
We had a number of children last year who were below this percentage which is concerning for the Academy as it does mean they are missing significant learning time. Our target of a minimum 97% attendance for every student is set in order to support good learning and progress.
Our Attendance policy states that term time holidays will not be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances, and no absences will be authorised in July and September, and during National Testing periods. Please bear this in mind if you are considering taking your child out of school.
- On each day of absence parents/carers must inform the School by 8.30am on 0114 2570153. Please leave a voicemail if the lines are busy.
- Failure to do so will result in contact being made by the Attendance team (first day of absence).
- Where attendance falls below target levels (96%) over a prolonged period of time a letter of concern will be sent home.
- Continued concern will lead to further communications. These could include, forming attendance action plans, attendance panel meetings and possible prosecution in more serious cases.
Absence during the Academy day / appointments
- Ensure your child attends school BEFORE the appointment to obtain morning mark.
- Ensure your child returns to school AFTER the appointment via the attendance office, even if it is for the last half hour of school, the student will still receive their mark and can collect any missed work.
- We will not authorise medical appointments if there is full day absence and the whole day is not required.
- Try to ensure regular appointments e.g. orthodontist, are arranged during the school holidays where possible.
- We do understand that some appointments cannot be changed, however always request an alternative or later appointment that day e.g. after school whenever appropriate.
- Please obtain proof of medical appointments. For example, this could be an appointment card from the Doctor’s receptionist, a copy of the prescription, or sight of the medication issued, as medical appointments will NOT be authorised without evidence being provided. GPs do work alongside the school to ensure the right support is in place for your child.
- Talk to the School Health and Mental Health Lead Practitioner or Attendance and Welfare Officer about medical help offered in the school. You may not be aware that medication can be administered and stored securely at the School for your convenience.
Arriving at the school prepared for learning in correct uniform, with full equipment and a well-focused attitude for learning is of crucial importance. This is key to a positive start to the day’s learning. Pupils are expected to arrive on time. Failure to do this will result in disruption to their own learning as well as the learning of others.
If a pupil is late more than once they will receive appropriate sanctions (including detentions). If the problem continues the School will make contact with Parents/Carers and seek clarification and plan ways forward. This may well include involving the Education Welfare Officer.
You can follow all attendance related matters on Twitter from @ThorpeHesleyPri.