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Attendance Policy*

Statement of Intent

SV Academy (SV) recognises that punctual and regular school attendance is an essential precondition of educational and social inclusion and a prerequisite to effective learning. It notes that for a significant number of children poor school attendance is a direct cause of their social exclusion and under achievement. SV is therefore committed to improving levels attendance and punctuality.

We aim to do this by:

  • Promoting the value and importance of regular school attendance;
  • Reducing all forms of unjustified absenteeism, especially levels of persistent absenteeism (PA).
  • Encouraging and valuing high attendance rates.
  • Recognising the external factors that influence pupil attendance and working in partnership with parents, Education Welfare Officers (EWO)/Attendance Advisory Services, schools and other relevant services to deal with any issues.
  • Defining expectations with students and their parents to provide an effective and efficient system for monitoring attendance in accordance with legal requirements.

Responsibilities

Parents and SV teachers and support staff share the responsibility for ensuring that attendance rates at SV are maximised and that rates of unauthorised absenteeism are kept to a minimum.

SV are responsible for:

· Supporting the attendance of pupils, responding to difficulties and issues which might lead to non-attendance and encourage parents to take an active role in the schooling of their children;

· Setting up effective networks for liaising with other involved agencies and services such as EWO, Social Care, Youth Services, Police, Health, etc;

· Identifying clear procedures to identify and follow up all absence and lateness reintegrating long-term absentees and pupils who may, for specific reasons, have been on a reduced timetable;

· Recognising the crucial importance of early intervention and provide appropriate strategies;

· Having regular structured meetings between SV staff and the Education Welfare Officers;

· Ensuring that regular meetings and reasonable steps are taken before a referral is made to the EWO;

· Identifying a key senior member of staff with overall responsibility for attendance;

  • Ensure that good practice is identified and disseminated;

· Help create an ethos and culture which encourages good attendance, addressing school-based causes of poor attendance such as bullying, racism, an inappropriate curriculum, etc.

It is a legal requirement that SV:

  • Maintain computerised attendance registers in accordance with the relevant regulations advised by the local authority;
  • Monitor persistent absenteeism (PA) as a discrete category of absenteeism;
  • Accurately record and monitor all absenteeism and lateness;
  • Clearly distinguish between absence which is authorised and absence which is unauthorised according to criteria laid down by the DCSF;
  • Submit termly absence returns;
  • Targets to reduce absence and submit these targets in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Parents

Parents can do a great deal and are responsible in law for ensuring and supporting the regular and punctual attendance of their children. Parents should:

  • Take an active interest in their child’s school life and work;
  • Attend meetings at the school;
  • Be aware of letters from SV which their child brings home;
  • Ensure that their child arrives at SV on time each day;
  • Ensure that their child only misses school for reasons which are unavoidable or justified, such as illness or days of religious observance;
  • Always notify the school as soon as possible – preferably before 10am on the first morning - of any absence;
  • Confirm this in writing when the child returns to school;
  • Avoid booking family holidays during term-time;
  • Talk to the school if they are concerned that their child may be reluctant to attend.

Pupils:

 Pupils should ensure that they attend school regularly and on time;

  • Pupils should attend all lessons punctually;
  • Pupils should not leave the school without permission.

Registration

School doors open at 9 am until 9:30am. This time is sufficient for all pupils to come into their classroom by 9:30am.

The attendance register must be completed by the class teacher by 10am and by 1.20pm. (Attendance code / and \\ for pupils who are present).

All attendance records are documented using the schools software, which is supported by the Local Authority. Attendance registers are legal documents and these must be kept secure and preserved for a period of three years after the date they were last used.

Lateness

Any pupil who comes into school after 9.30am will be marked as late in the attendance record. Records are kept of those pupils who are late, this is documented on the electronic register for each pupil (Attendance code L). Any child who arrives for school later than 10am will be marked as having an unauthorised absence and can be refused entry if it is deemed disruptive to other learners. (Attendance code U).

Children who have attended a dentist or doctor’s appointment and subsequently come to school later than 9.30am will have the absence recorded as a medical absence (Attendance code M).

Children who are persistently late miss a significant amount of learning, often the most important aspect, as the beginning of the day is where the teacher explains  the learning and what each child is expected to achieve.

Where there have been persistent incidents of lateness parents/carers will receive a letter advising them of the concerns and the school will provide opportunities for parents/carers to seek support and advice to address these issues.

EWO Referrals

SV will first undertake a number of steps to address a pupil’s non-attendance. These would include:

  • Action by the class teacher/form teacher;
  • Action by the Head of Year (secondary) or Head or Deputy Head (primary);
  • Contact with parents – will send a sequence of 3 letters of concern to the parents before formally involving the EWO.

Referrals may be made when:

  • A pattern of irregular attendance has developed;
  • A period of entrenched non-attendance has begun;
  • Communication by SV to the parents has met with little or no response;
  • There is evidence of a lack of parental co-operation in ensuring a child’s regular attendance;
  • A pattern of post-registration truancy is persisting despite SV’s efforts to prevent it;
  • A pupil is withdrawn from SV by the parents who are moving to another area;
  • A pattern of persistent lateness has developed;
  • There are child protection concerns;
  • There are specific and identifiable welfare issues which are preventing a pupil from accessing education.

Evaluation and Review

This policy will be evaluated at the end of each term by the senior Management team and formally reviewed in April 2016.

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* This policy is adapted from guidelines provided by Department of Education. This policy was last revised December 2016.

Attendence Procedures*

Any child who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence recorded as being authorised or unauthorised. Only the headteacher or a member of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence. If there is no known reason for the absence at registration, then the absence must be recorded in the first instance as unauthorised.

Registration

Morning registration will take place at the start of school at 9am. The registers will remain open for 30 minutes. The afternoon registration will be at 12.45pm. The registers will close at 1pm.

Lateness

Any pupil arriving between 9.30-10am will be marked as late. Any pupil arriving after that will be marked as Late After Registration unless there is an acceptable explanation i.e. school transport was delayed where they will be marked as ‘late’. In cases for example, where the absence at registration was for attending an early morning medical appointment, the appropriate authorised absence code will be entered when proof of appointment is supplied. If a student has 3 late marks a letter is sent home.

Pupils arriving after the registration period has ended but before the end of the first school lesson period will be treated for statistical purposes as present, but will be coded as “U” Late after registration.

First Day Absence

Parents are expected to call the school to explain absence. If no call is received by 10.15am, the school will telephone the parents. The receptionist will fill in a call sheet and a letter will also be sent of asking for written reason from the parents to explain absences. A copy of the letter is filled in the student file.

Third Day Absence

If the student has 3 unauthorised absences a letter is to be sent home to the parents to find out if there are any concerns or issues as to why the student has not been attending. First of all they will be marked in the register as “ not yet had a reason for absence” (N) and then after 3 days their mark will change to unauthorised if no contact has been made from/ with the parents after the letter has been sent out.

Continuing Absence

Part- time students

On a weekly basis SV will email copies of absence/lateness letters sent to parents to the school, and we will ask the school to arrange a meeting with the parents to discuss any issues i.e. lateness, illness or absences. We continue throughout this time to send letters to parents.


Full- time students

We send letters home to parents and continue to monitor continuous patterns. After sending 3 letters we refer it on to our Attendance Advisory Service Officer Caroline Donaghy at Greenwich council.

Ten Day’s Absence

Any pupil who is absent without an explanation for 10 consecutive days will be notified to the Local Authority, by submitting a referral to the Children’s Services Attendance. SV will include details of the action that they have taken.

Frequent Absence

It is the responsibility of SVs attendance administrator to be aware of and bring attention to any emerging attendance concerns.

In cases where a pupil begins to develop a pattern of absences, the school will try to resolve the problem with the parent/s. If this is unsuccessful the school will refer to the referral schools’ Health Adviser if the problem appears to be a medical one. In other cases the school will seek advice from the Attendance Advisory Officer.

A Welcome Back

It is important that on return from an absence that all pupils are made to feel welcome. This should include ensuring that the pupil is helped to catch up on missed work and brought up to date on any information that has been passed to the other pupils.

Promoting attendance

SV will use opportunities as they arise to remind parents/carers that it is their responsibility to ensure that their children receive their education.

Holidays in term time

Holidays during term time are discouraged. Parents will be reminded of the effect that absence can have on a pupil’s potential achievement. SV will consider authorising absences only in very exceptional circumstances. Parents must apply in advance for permission.

The registration system

SV will use a computerised system for keeping the school attendance records. The following national codes will be used to record attendance information:

Absence and Attendance Codes

/

Present (AM)

\

Present (PM)

B

Educated off site (not dual registration)

C

Other authorised circumstances

D

Dual registration (attending other establishment)

E

Excluded (no alternative provision made)

F

Extended Family Holiday (agreed)

G

Family holiday (not agreed or days in excess)

H

Family Holiday (agreed)

I

Illness (not medical or dental etc. appointments)

J

Interview

L

Late (before registers closed)

M

Medical or Dental appointments

N

No reason yet provided for absence

O

Unauthorised Absence

P

Approved sporting activity

R

Religious observance

S

Study Leave

T

Traveller absence

U

Late (after registration closed)

V

Educational visit or trip

W

Work experience

X

Non-compulsory school-age absence

Y

Forced and Partial Closure

Z

Pupil not on roll

#

School closed to all pupils

Communicating Attendance to Schools and Referral Agencies

We email schools and referral agencies on a daily basis letting them know who is absent or present that day. Some schools are emailed weekly depending on their stated preferences.

Illness

If no contact has been received from a parent to explain the reason for illness, a letter and a call will be made by SV on the first day of a pupils illness and the child is marked as “I” with telephone confirmation from a parent but if after 3 days no contact has been made, the student will be marked down as unauthorised.

Exclusions

If a student is to be excluded, a telephone call followed by a letter is sent home to inform the parents that their child has been excluded, for how long and the reason. A meeting will then be arranged between SV, parent and the student to meet with SVs Disciplinary committee to discuss the permanent exclusion, in line with DCSF guidance. The Administrator prepares supporting information for this meeting (any incident reports, attendance reports or letters).

Other authorised absences.

This usually includes meetings with other schools, colleges or other referral agencies or exams. (C)

Medical

We usually only mark the students down as (M) Medical when a medical note is provided by a parent to prove that the child has attended a medical appointment.

Pre Referral Meeting to Attendance Advisory

Letters are continuously sent to the parent of PAs, but if there is a constant pattern in a student’s attendance or lateness then they will be brought to the attention of Gar-Ming Hui, Attendance Advisory Service and/or the school after 3 - 4 letters. A Pre Referral meeting will be scheduled after 5 - 6 letters have been sent out with Attendance Advisory. If no improvements have been made then an official referral will be made to EWO.

Meetings

A file is created containing call sheets, attendance logs and letters that have been sent home to parents throughout the period of absence/lateness.

Where are the letters filed?

The letters that are sent out are filed in the student’s file along with any other documents they have.

Where do the copies of the letters go?

A letter is sent to parent/s, a copy is filed in the student’s file and another copy is sent to the school. If the student is being referred to the Attendance Advisor, then copies of the letter will also be sent to him.

*This policy was last revised September 2018.