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School attendance policy and procedures

 

Ratified by Governing Body (date): September 2013

Signed on behalf of Governing Body:

Signed on behalf of Headteacher:

Review date: September 2016

Policy
Carlton Bolling College is committed to providing a full and effective education to all students and embraces the concept of equal opportunities for all.

We will endeavour to provide an environment where all students feel valued and welcome. For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential. We will consistently work towards a goal of 100% attendance for all children. Every opportunity will be used to convey to students and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.

School attendance is subject to various education laws and this school attendance policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance produced by The Department for Education. Each year we will review our attendance figures and set attendance/absence targets, which will reflect national attendance targets. Here at school we will review our systems for improving attendance at regular intervals to ensure that we are achieving our set goals. This policy will contain within it the procedures that we will use to meet our attendance targets.

We use the SIMs electronic registration system, Schoolcomms SMS and employ dedicated attendance staff.

SCHOOL PROCEDURES
Any child who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence recorded as being authorised, unauthorised, unexplained or as an approved educational activity (attendance out of school). 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 unexplained. If the absence is still unexplained after a 2 week period, this will be changed to unauthorised.

LATENESS
Morning registration will take place at the start of school at 8.30am. Registers will close 30 minutes after the start of registration (9.00am). Any student arriving late to a lesson before registers close will be marked as late (L) with a note of the number of minutes late. Any student arriving after this time will be marked as unauthorised absence (U) unless there is an acceptable explanation. 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.

Students who are consistently late are disrupting not only their own education, but also that of others. Where persistent lateness gives cause for concern, a meeting with the relevant staff will be arranged to discuss what support can be offered.

The afternoon registration will be at 11.45am at the beginning of P4, with registers closing at 12.15pm.

Students arriving after the start of school but before the end of the registration period will be treated for statistical purposes, as present, but will be coded as late before registers close.

FIRST DAY ABSENCE
If a child is absent, parents/carers should call the school on the first day before 9am, stating the reason for the absence. If no contact is made by parents/carers explaining the absence on the first day, the school will try to make contact to secure an explanation.

If attendance falls below 90% contact will be made with parents/carers outlining the importance of good attendance and offering support. If the attendance rate does not improve a home visit may take place or parents/carers will be invited to a formal meeting.

PERSISTENT ABSENCE (DEFINED IN LEGISLATION AS 15% OR MORE ABSENCES)
Either authorised or unauthorised. A child who is persistently absent is at risk of failing to achieve
their full potential within the school environment.

FREQUENT ABSENCE
It is the responsibility of the Attendance Officer 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.
PROMOTING ATTENDANCE
The school will use opportunities as they arise to remind parents/carers, that it is their responsibility to ensure that their children receive their education. The Home/School agreement can be used in this way.
HOLIDAYS IN TERM TIME
Term time holidays and extended leave are not allowed and will not be authorised as stated in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. The school will only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances that are not related to holidays.
Parents/carers must complete the leave of absence form in good time to request permission to take their child out of school during term time. However, there may be exceptional circumstances such as sudden death which may require request for leave of absence within a short space of time. The Headteacher will respond to the request within ten working days but emergency requests will be dealt with immediately. If the parents/carers choose to continue with the planned holiday it will be taken as an unauthorised absence and could result in a penalty notice.

PENALTY NOTICES
Section 23 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 empowers designated LA officers, Headteachers and the Police to issue penalty notices in cases of unauthorised absences from school. The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2004 came into force on 27th February 2004 and have recently been amended in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.

A Penalty Notice may be issued in the following circumstances:
If a minimum of 10 sessions or 5 school days of unauthorised absence are taken during the current term for:
• Overt Truancy
• Parentally-condoned absences
• Holidays taken in term-time
• Persistent late arrival at school (after the Register has closed)

ATTENDANCE AWARDS
Carlton Bolling College will reward students with 100% attendance with specially arranged trips or activities in addition to weekly rewards within tutor groups.

ATTENDANCE TARGETS
The school will set attendance targets each year. A system for analysing performance towards the targets will be established and a senior school manager will be responsible for overseeing this work.
Our school’s targets are:
2014/15: 95.0% overall attendance
6.8% persistent absence
RESPONSIBILITIES

Subject staff will:

• Take and send an accurate SIMS register within 10 minutes of the start of every lesson.
• Inform the attendance team in advance of any educational visits.
• Inform form tutors, HOY and HOFs of any patterns of absence to their lesson.
• Hold detentions for any student who is late to a lesson.
• Arrive promptly to start the lesson and supervise students’ entry to the classroom using a positive meet and greet approach.

Form Tutors have the most important role in monitoring and improving attendance. They will:

• Take and send an accurate SIMS register at am tutor time.
• Check their form groups’ attendance in lessons each week.
• Stress the importance of attendance and punctuality.
• Liaise with RSL/SSL re persistent poor attendance.

Heads of Faculty and Team will:

• Maintain accurate teaching group lists.
• Monitor and act on attendance patterns in all Faculty lessons.
• Wherever possible, supervise the Faculty area at lesson changeover and ensure any latecomers are challenged.

Heads of Year will:

• Set attendance targets for each tutor group in consultation with tutor.
• Maintain accurate form group lists, including the admittance of new students according to the agreed timescale.
• Monitor and support the work of form tutors, as detailed above, including checking AALs.
• Liaise with the Attendance Officer, ESWs, parents and outside agencies as appropriate.
• Work with students with attendance problems.
• Organise (where appropriate), monitor and evaluate specific attendance-improvement schemes.
• Reward individuals or groups for good attendance half termly.
• Use assemblies to highlight the importance of attendance and punctuality.
• Liaise with relevant staff re the attendance of students on alternative curriculum provision.
• Liaise with the Intervention Manager to ensure the correct support & interventions are in place for students.

“First Day Absence Calling” staff will:

• Contact by telephone the family of every student on their first day of absence.
• Refer on to the Attendance Officer any absent student who is not on the telephone.
• Provide feedback to HOYs and Form Tutors on all telephone contacts re first day absences.

The Attendance Officer and Education Welfare Officerwill:

• Prioritise and act on referrals.
• Give feedback.
• Work on long-term attendance projects with certain students and their families.
• Keep a log of all action on attendance issues.
• Follow up referrals from First Day Absence callers.
• Will initiate attendance panels for students and parents/carers
• Will work with ESWO Service and other appropriate support services.
• Work closely with CP Officer (TBe) and Intervention Manager (BMa) to ensure personalised support plans are in place for “at risk” or vulnerable students.
• Report figures to Line Manager, appropriate staff, weekly bulletin and Attendance Teams at Bradford Council as and when appropriate.
• Monitor students with poor punctuality records to ensure that a range of strategies and support are in place.

SLT will:

• Support all the above and challenge poor attendance and punctuality at every opportunity.
• Provide training for relevant teaching and support staff.
• Provide resources and personnel within the constraints of the budget.
• Provide information on attendance to SLT, Headteacher, and Governors and the LEA.
THE REGISTRATION SYSTEM
The school will use a computerised system and/or manual paper registers for keeping the school attendance records.
The following national codes will be used to record attendance information:

CODE
/ Present (AM)
Present (PM)
B Educated off site (NOT Dual registration)
C Other Authorised Circumstances (not covered by another appropriate code/description)
D Dual registration (i.e. pupil attending other establishment)
E Excluded (no alternative provision made)
F Extended family holiday (agreed) authorised absence
G Family holiday (NOT agreed or days in excess of agreement) unauthorised absence
H Family holiday (agreed) authorised absence
I Illness (NOT medical or dental etc. appointments) authorised absence
J Interview
L Late (before registers closed)
M Medical/Dental appointments
N No reason yet provided for absence
O Unauthorised absence (not covered by any other code/description)
P Approved sporting activity Approved Education Activity
R Religious observance
S Study leave
T Traveller absence
U Late (after registers closed)
V Educational visit or trip Approved Education Activity
W Work experience
X Untimetabled sessions for non-compulsory school age absence
Y Enforced closure – not counted in possible attendances
Z Pupil not yet on roll – not counted in possible attendances
# School closed to pupils – not counted in possible attendances

Registers by law must be kept for at least 3 years and safely stored.
APPENDICES

The Law
The Education Act 1996 Part 1, Section 7 states:
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient fulltime education suitable –
[a] to his age, ability and aptitude and
[b] to any special needs he may have either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

For educational purposes the term parent is used to include those that have parental responsibility and/or those that have the day to day care of the child. The legislation that appertains to children who are of compulsory school age and are registered at school is contained within this Act.

Part VI Section 444 contains the details of when an offence is committed if a child fails to attend school.

Register and Admission Roll keeping
The legal requirements are found in:
The Education [Pupil Registration] (England) Regulations 2006
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

CATEGORISATION OF ABSENCE
Any student who is on roll but not present in the school must be recorded within one of these categories:
1. Unauthorised Absence
2. Authorised Absence
3. Approved Educational Activity

1. Unauthorised absence
This is for those students where no reason has been provided, or whose absence is deemed to be without valid reason.
2. Authorised absence
This is for those students who are away from school for a reason that is deemed to be valid under the Education Act 1996.
3. Approved Educational Activity
This covers types of supervised educational activity undertaken off site but with the approval of the school.
Note: Students recorded in this category are deemed to be present for attendance returns purposes.
This would include:
• Work experience placements
• Field trips and educational visits
• Sporting activities
• Link courses or approved education off site
• Most types of dual registration