Whole School Attendance Policy Procedural Framework
Our current attendance rate is 96.35%
This document forms part of Hambleton Primary Academy’s Whole School Attendance Policy, and will be reviewed on a yearly basis.
In drawing up this procedural framework, schools should ensure that there is a focus on the Change for Children agenda and the outcomes for children identified under Every Child Matters, and on duties arising from Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and the Children Act 2004.
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Children
- Equal Opportunities
- Racial Equality
- Special Educational Needs
- Health and Safety
For the last 6 years, attendance rates have averaged 96%. Our current target is 97.3% for 2019-2020.
Approximately 30% were unauthorised holidays in term time, and the rest were illness/medical.
We do not authorise any holidays in term time.
Rights and Responsibilities
- Ensure children attend regularly, and punctually
- Contact expected on 1st day of absence with some indication of intended length of absence
- Frequency of contact dependent on initial conversation about intended length of absence but certainly by third day.
- Parental notes on return from absence
- Avoid holidays in term time wherever possible
- Early contact with school where parents become aware of problems with attendance
- Attendance at meetings if concerns are identified
- Participation in Attendance Parenting Contracts where appropriate
- Supporting the school in agreed interventions/action plans, including or arising from the Common Assessment Framework process.
- Acknowledge behaviour needed out of school e.g. early bedtimes to allow punctual attendance
- Attend school/registration punctually
- Adhere to appropriate systems for late registration
- Speak to teacher/parents if issues arise which have an effect on school attendance.
- Cooperate and participate in interventions and support offered by school or other agencies.
Overall responsibility lies with the Headteacher, Mrs Wood. Mrs Shaw is the School Attendance Leader and is a member of the senior leadership team. (see appendix “Role of the School Attendance Leader”).
- Takes the lead in ensuring attendance has a high profile within the school
- Ensures there are designated staff with day-to-day responsibility for attendance matters
- Ensures adequate, protected time is allocated to discharge these responsibilities
- Takes overall responsibility for ensuring the school conforms to all statutory requirements in respect of attendance
- Makes pupils and parents aware of expectations regarding attendance matters through newsletters, assemblies and induction.
- Shares attendance information with school staff/pupils/parents
- Is responsible for reintegration programmes
- Is responsible for contacting parents re concerns
- Via a standard letter of concern, sent by Mrs Shaw
- Is responsible for arranging meetings with parents, Mrs Shaw and a Governor.
- Is responsible for promoting attendance
- With pupils
- With parents
- Is responsible for ensuring staff are aware of the school, form or individual pupil targets and the relevant role for all staff in meeting these targets
- Liaises with relevant support agencies within Children’s Integrated Services as appropriate
- Ensures consistent referral of regular or unjustified absence to Children’s Integrated Services
- Is responsible for making those referrals to Children’s Integrated Services
- Is responsible for requesting Penalty Notices
- Amends absence codes
- Operates a first day contact system
- Makes the telephone calls
- Is responsible for monitoring and recording attendance of pupils who are receiving education elsewhere
- Reviews registers and identifies trends of absence
- Collates whole school attendance data and analyses this information, along with the Headteacher
- Is responsible for communicating in school systems to other staff
- Is responsible for arranging/delivering training for all staff re in-school systems on attendance matters
- Is responsible for ensuring arrangements are in place re attendance matters when staff are absent
- Mark attendance registers
- Are responsible for reporting welfare / safeguarding issues to the Headteacher
- Provide a welcoming atmosphere for children
- Provide a safe learning environment
- Ensure an appropriate and responsive curriculum
- Provide a sympathetic response to any pupils’ concerns
- Are aware of factors that can contribute to non-attendance
- Are aware of the part all staff can play in ensuring attendance is seen as important for all pupils
- See pupils’ attendance as the responsibility of all staff, even if the co-ordination and management of attendance are designated responsibilities of specified staff
- Participate in training regarding school systems and procedures
- Adoption of policy and annual review
- Monitor the consistent implementation of the attendance policy across school.
- Agree statutory targets for attendance for the school
- Consider attendance as an agenda item on a yearly basis unless there are specific issues which require consideration at committee level
- The Chair of Governors has identified responsibility for attendance matters
- Governors are represented at attendance panels and meetings
- The Headteacher presents attendance data for Governors to analyse to:
- Monitor issues of equal opportunity
- Measure progress against attendance (and attainment targets)
- Plan future actions
Emphasise the strong link between attendance and educational attainment on the school brochure and the Headteacher reinforces this in discussion with parents and via weekly newsletters.
All staff with responsibility for registration should be familiar with of the contents of:
- Absence and Attendance Codes (DCSF May 2008)
- Keeping Pupil Registers – Guidance on applying the Pupil Registration Regulations (DCSF – June 2008)
- The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006
The school should also set out here:
- The registration period 8.50 – 9.10 a.m. 1.00 – 1.05 p.m.
- Mrs Shaw records late registration as children access school via the school office.
- Parents sign children in/out at other times during the day at the school office.
- Mrs Shaw is responsible for monitoring and logging recorded messages from parents by telephone
- Mrs Shaw and Mrs Wood are authorised to amend absence codes
- Mrs Shaw liaises with other schools / centres to ensure that children who are dual registered or engaged on an approved educational activity have attended and adjusts the register appropriately.
- Mrs Shaw ensures that there is consistency of marking in respect of pupils temporarily in support units or attending other in-school activities e.g. music tuition when registration is taken
- Mrs Shaw is the only person who enters absence symbols and is consistent in the application of their use. Mrs Wood monitors this.
- Mrs Shaw contacts parents on the first day of absence and then after 3 days of absence for an up-date. Mrs Wood contacts the School Nurse when patterns of illness / absence occur for further advice and support for the child and the family.
- Absence will no longer be authorised when it becomes apparent that the reasons given are not legitimate.
Holidays in Term Time
Holidays in term time are discouraged and are only permissible at the discretion of the Headteacher under extenuating circumstances. Children learn best in school and school will not set work for children whose parents chose to take them away during school time. Children who do not maintain 96% attendance in the previous 12 months will not be considered for approved holiday leave in term time, unless there are extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the Headteacher. (Please see the document “Holidays in Term Time” which cites Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act.)
- This policy is contained in our school brochure and parents are reminded via weekly newsletters.
- Parents should apply to the Headteacher for approval for leave in term on the appropriate form, available from the school office.
- Holidays during SATs are not sanctioned under any circumstances.
- Should a child fail to return from holiday, Mrs Shaw will attempt to contact the child’s parents and then other family members. If no satisfactory understanding of the situation can be established after 2 days, Mrs Wood will refer the case to The Children Missing Education Officer, LCC.
- Unauthorised absences will be investigated and the Headteacher will consider the imposition of a fixed penalty notice if an application is denied and leave is still taken, or the child does not return on the agreed date. This will be communicated to parents during the discussion concerning the application for leave.
- The Headteacher will request a medical note from the child’s GP where there is doubt over the reason for absence.
Extended Leave is only approved in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Headteacher. Parents should make an appointment to discuss applications for extended leave with Mrs Wood.
- Recording of approved and denied requests is done by Mrs Shaw using the same system as for holidays.
- Should a child fail to return from extended leave, Mrs Shaw will attempt to contact the child’s parents and then other family members. If no satisfactory understanding of the situation can be established after 2 days, Mrs Wood will refer the case to The Children Missing Education Officer, LCC.
- The Headteacher will consider the imposition of a fixed penalty notice if an application is denied and the extended leave is still taken, or the child does not return on the agreed date. This will be communicated to parents during the discussion concerning the application for extended leave.
Strategies for promoting/improving attendance
There are a variety of school-based strategies that can contribute to schools effectively improving attendance. Detailed information can be found on the Behaviour and Attendance National Strategies and DCSF Attendance & Good Practice websites which give details of the main elements of effective practice in attendance management in schools (Fig 5, Page 8).
- School promotes the need for good attendance with pupils, in class and in assemblies and with parents through the induction process, newsletters and meetings.
- The attendance of looked after children are monitored by the Headteacher and the LEA on a termly basis.
- House points, stickers, marbles and choosing time combine to make our rewards system in school and these are used constantly to motivate children and celebrate success in all areas of school life. Weekly celebration assemblies are attended by parents.
- School works with other agencies on a range of initiatives.
- Transition work is undertaken with feeder secondary schools and Nursery Schools (Other than our own.)
- Mrs Shaw operates a first day calling system.
- School takes a proactive stance regarding bullying and staff constantly reinforce messages about being good friends, but also reporting bullying through PHSE lessons, circle time and assemblies. All reported incidents are investigated and Mrs Wood works closely with all parents concerned to ensure that situations are resolved. Please see Bullying Policy.
- All children receive a differentiated curriculum and school seeks additional funding for all SEN children who meet LEA criteria for support.
- Should a child need to be re-integrated into school
- Following exclusion
- Following medical absence (extended?)
- Following non-attendance/truancy
Then support would be sought through this process form the LEA.
The Governing Body of Hambleton Primary Academy would only ask parents to enter into a Parenting Contract in very exceptional circumstances and would seek advice and support for the LEA prior to this. Similarly, the use of Fixed Term Penalty Notices would only be issued in very exceptional circumstances regarding unauthorised holiday absence in term time and the Governing Body would seek advice and support from the LEA.
Removal from Roll
The school may only remove pupils from roll in accordance with the criteria set out in Regulation 8 of The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 which states that schools should be aware of the need to notify the Local Authority prior to removal of a pupil’s name from roll in a range of circumstances.
Setting aside the issue of safeguarding a child’s safety and well-being, inconsistent practice in identifying pupils who have gone missing and delays in appropriate removal from roll of such pupils can have a significant impact on a school’s attendance figures.
School will refer pupils who have gone missing promptly to CIS for investigation and for agreed removal from roll where appropriate.
The Local Authority has a number of Children Missing Education (CME) Officers who can support the School in making enquiries to trace such pupils and hence confirm with schools when a pupil may be removed from roll.
- Mrs Wood is responsible for identifying pupils who may have gone missing and is responsible for promptly referring such pupils to the CME Officer.
- Mrs Shaw is responsible for completing the Common Transfer Form under the s2s system once a pupil has been traced elsewhere.
- Mrs Wood will take advice and direction from the LEA regarding the evidence required before a pupil can be removed from roll when their whereabouts cannot be established and the process for registering the pupils with the Missing Pupils Database
- Mrs Wood, in consultation with the LEA is responsible for deciding whether a pupil can in fact be removed from roll?
- Mrs Wood will notify the Authority that a pupil is to be removed from roll to be educated otherwise than at school.
Systems for dealing with attendance issues
School based systems for dealing with lateness
The school has clearly defined systems for identifying pupils whose punctuality is a cause for concern, and for implementing work with those pupils.
- Mrs Shaw is responsible for registering pupils who are late for school.
- Class teachers are responsible for working with pupils regarding punctuality.
- Sanctions are not used on individual children regarding lateness; this is viewed as a parenting issue and Mrs Wood is responsible for working with parents regarding punctuality. Parents will be contacted each term if their child has had 7 or more lates. This will be done by letter.
- Parents who refuse to engage with school regarding persistent and sustained punctuality will be invited to a meeting attended by Governors. School would seek the advice of the LEA regarding the use of parenting contracts and fixed penalty notices.
School based systems for dealing with absences
The school should have clearly defined systems for identifying pupils whose attendance is a cause for concern, and for implementing work with those pupils.
- First day contact
- Use of letters of concern
- System for inviting parents into school for discussion
- Strategies for support, including the use of school arranged Parenting Contracts where appropriate – see below
- System for further school based action with more senior staff involved
- Consistency of use of CAF process at appropriate stages
- Clear criteria for referral to Children’s Integrated Services when concerns remain
Monitoring, Analysis, Evaluation and Action Planning
Mrs Wood and the Governing Body have specific responsibility for monitoring whole school attendance and evaluating the effectiveness of the school’s policy and procedure.
- The collection of electronic data is collected automatically by the LEA / DFCS
- Analysis of attendance data to
Occurs on an annual basis.
- Patterns of broken weeks by individual pupils are analysed by Mrs Shaw and Mrs Wood who works with parents to improve attendance.
- Mrs Wood and Mrs Shaw analyse patterns of absence for individual pupils including persistent absence
- Mrs Shaw ensures that there is consistent use of absence codes across the school.
- Mrs Wood analyses:
- Trends in reasons for absence
- Extended medical leave
- Use of C
- Holidays/Extended Leave
- Exclusions, etc
- Trends in particular groups (ethnic groups, gender), forms or years and in particular Children Looked After.
- Analysis of data informs action planning, and is linked to the school development plan and future revisions of the Whole School Attendance Policy. This forms part of governors’ monitoring
- Governors evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s systems for registration, lateness etc.
This policy is reviewed on an annual basis.
Mrs H Wood.