Attendance Procedures

Promoting Excellent Attendance at The Macclesfield Academy

Purpose

  • To promote good attendance and punctuality through a clear framework of expectations in terms of attendance that is accepted by parents/carers, students, staff and Governors.
  • To engage the support of parents/carers in ensuring that their child/children attend school regularly and that they arrive on time, encouraging the school target of 96% attendance to be met.
  • To keep good electronic records of attendance through Academy registers and to take prompt action to follow up absences.
  • To investigate and act immediately where unauthorised absence is confirmed or suspected.
  • To monitor closely students with attendance and punctuality issues and to work with parents/carers and where appropriate, other agencies to bring about improvement.
  • To recognise and reward good attendance.

Introduction

We recognise the link between attendance, academic qualifications gained, choices in life and success in the future. Attendance is one of the biggest factors in academic success so it is only right that we make it a priority. We aim to ensure the highest levels of attendance and punctuality, in order that all students can take full advantage of the education provided to achieve and exceed their own potential. Irregular attendance undermines these opportunities and may place students at risk.  School is about a series of challenges and how you develop as a person trying to meet those challenges. Developing the self-discipline and determination to ‘get up and get in’ – even when you don’t feel great – is a key aim of ours and one that produces a rise in academic confidence (because you don’t fall behind). We want our students to know that employers place a high value on an applicant being able to show that they will be there every day and on time.

Monitoring and evaluation

This policy will be reviewed at least annually by senior managers and the full governing body.

Legislation

Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that “The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive efficient full time education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”. Section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996 states that “if a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school his parent is guilty of an offence”. Therefore regular and punctual attendance at school is legal requirement, as well as being essential to enable students to maximise their educational attainments and opportunities.
For the purpose of Education Law the definition ‘parental responsibility’ lies with whomever the child resides. This could be one parent, both parents and/or carer/s.

Procedure

Students are expected to attend school for the full 190 days of the Academic year, unless there is good reason for the absence. Registers provide the daily record of attendance of all students. They are legal documents that have to be marked twice daily. The register may be required in a Court of Law, for example as evidence in prosecutions for nonattendance. The register should be marked using the codes as advised by DFE. One school day is marked as two sessions – a.m. and p.m. The attendance register is taken at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session (start of period 3). On each occasion we must record whether every student is present, attending an approved educational activity, absent or unable to attend due to other exceptional circumstances.

First Day Contact

It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to inform school of the reason for a student’s absence as soon as possible, through the absence line and on every day of absence thereafter. If no contact is achieved from parent/carer on their child’s first day of absence we will contact home by telephone. If there is no reply then we will leave a voice mail and send a text. On the second day of any absence the Form Tutor and pastoral team will monitor the absence and make contact home as appropriate.

Coding of Absence

Although it is the parent/carer’s responsibility to notify school of any absence, it is at our discretion how this absence is coded in relation to authorised or unauthorised absence.

Absence due to Illness

Any medical absences in excess of 6 days (12 sessions) per academic year will need to be supported by medical evidence. If no medical evidence is received then the absence will be coded as unauthorised. Medical evidence can take the form of either a dated GP/Nurse appointment card, a dated note from the GP/Nurse written in the students planner, a compliment slip signed and dated by the GP/Nurse, a prescription or proof of prescribed medication relating to the current illness. Parents/carer’s should be aware that ten or more unauthorised absences over a term may result in them receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice. (See below)

Unauthorised Absence – Fixed Penalty Notices

Parents/carers should be aware that Macclesfield Academy may contact the Local Authority if a pupil has 10 or more unauthorised absences in any one term, with a view to issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. The Penalty Notice is issued individually to each parent/carer who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school. The penalty is £60 per parent/carer per child if paid within 21 days rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. Non-payment of the Fixed Penalty Notice may result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court. If proved guilty, the parent/carer will receive a criminal record.

Lateness and punctuality

Registers are taken at 8.40am and 1pm. Any student arriving during morning registration but before registers close (9.30am) will be coded as an ‘L’. Any student arriving late for no good reason receives a lunch detention of 15-20 minutes, unless they have an excellent punctuality record and staff  feel  that this late arrival was a ‘one off’. Students who arrive after the close of registers will be coded a ‘U’ – unauthorised absence – following lateness. Parents/carers should be aware that we may contact the Local Authority if a pupil has 10 or more unauthorised absences in any one term, with a view to issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. The penalty Notice is issued individually to each parent/carer who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school. The penalty is £60 per parent/carer per child if paid within 21 days rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. Non-payment of the Fixed Penalty Notice may result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court. If proved guilty, the parent/carer will receive a criminal record.

Leave of Absence

In line with the amendments made in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, Head Teachers may not grant any leave of Absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any parent/carer wishing to request Leave of Absence for their son/daughter should write or email to the Head Teacher.  It should be noted that if any application is declined and a consecutive 5 or more unauthorised days’ absence occurs, then Macclesfield Academy may apply to the Local Authority for a Fixed Penalty Notice to be issued to each parent/carer. The penalty is £60 per parent/carer per child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. Non-payment of Fixed Penalty Notice may result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court. If proved guilty, the parent/carer will receive a criminal record.

Strategies to address Poor Attendance

At Macclesfield Academy the attendance of all our students is monitored regularly. If there are concerns regarding attendance parent/carers will be notified. If attendance does not improve then it is likely that parents/carers will be invited into Macclesfield Academy for a meeting to discuss the poor attendance/punctuality with a view to resolving the situation. We work closely with Education Welfare Consultants, other outside agencies and the Local Authority in an effort to improve attendance without the need for any legal intervention. As a final measure when the attendance of a student does not show any improvement, we will contact the Local Authority regarding legal sanctions. Those students who have attendance of 90% and below are categorised as ‘Persistent Absence’ students (P.A.). We will be actively targeting this cohort of students during this academic year and may suggest appropriate interventions/support to raise the attendance of these students.

Promoting Good Attendance & Punctuality

We believe students who achieve good attendance should be recognised and rewarded. This serves two purposes: It provides students with positive reinforcement, it provides other students with motivation to improve their attendance and it recognises that good regular attendance is an achievement in itself.   Students excellence Attendance will be monitored regularly and students with excellence attendance will receive Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

Long Term Absence

Pastoral coordinators are responsible for supporting students with long term absence. They will complete a Medical Needs Form to access appropriate support and, if necessary, home tuition for the student. Heads of Year will liaise on a regular basis with Laura Halsall to promote the achievement and reintegration of students with long term absence.

What Parents/Helpers can do to help

• Let school know as soon as a student is absent
• Send in a note when the student returns to school
• Try to avoid making appointments during term time or normal school hours
• Do not allow the students to stay off school unless it is unavoidable

What parents can do if they are worried about their child’s attendance

• Talk to your child, it may be a simple reason
• Talk to the student’s Form Tutor
• Talk to the student’s Head of Year
• Request a meeting with the Local Authority’s Education Welfare officer or with other Education welfare Consultants working at Macclesfield Academy.