“Results have shown a significant correlation between attainment and attendance.”
Attendance is also a key statistic reported to the DfE (Department for Education).
A comment about attendance rate and punctuality is very often required when members of staff are required to write references for students and former students.
Handling Absences (Key Stages 3 & 4)
The School uses an electronic registration which enables the school to track student attendance and punctuality at all lessons within the school day and there are a number of registration procedures which we are legally obliged to follow. Electronic registration is completed for all lessons. In the event of a computer problem, paper registers are taken and the marks transferred. Student attendance at every lesson is monitored.
First day of absence – telephone 01858 440770 to report your child’s absence. A 24hr telephone answering service is available for your message.
If you know that your child will be absent from school in advance, please send a letter for the attention of the Attendance Office, or telephone the above number.
First day of absence
A key legal procedure is our ‘first day of absence’ policy.
On the first day of an unexplained/unexpected absence, the relevant Key Stage Administration Assistant will send a text message or make a phone call home in order to establish a student’s whereabouts. Only a parent or guardian’s explanation will allow for the absence to be coded appropriately. If there is no response, a letter will be sent home to ask for an explanation. On receipt of a reply, the correct coding for the absence will be applied.
Key Stage Administration Assistants will continue to try to contact parents regarding an absence. If there is still no response the absence will be coded as unauthorised.
Attendance below 90%
If a student’s attendance falls below 90%, then parents will receive an initial letter from the academy explaining that the student’s attendance will be closely monitored. If there is no improvement following a student interview with House Leader (with parents if necessary), a 2nd letter will be sent warning that the school will not be authorising further absences without medical evidence.
If there is still no improvement a referral will be made to the Assistant Principal, external agencies, and local authority indicating action is required.
Persistent Absenteeism is monitored closely and reports are published within the academy every half term. Students without medical explanation will be interviewed by the Assistant Principal (Head of Key Stages 3 & 4) and parents will be invited to attend.
The table below gives the number of sessions, for non-medical reasons, allowed in each part term before it is counted as persistent absence. Missed sessions begin accruing from the first day of the Autumn term and continue throughout the academic year.
Should levels of absenteeism continue to rise, external agencies will be contacted, letters sent and referrals made to local authority which can lead to court action.
Regardless of the time of year, should you require any further guidance on this matter, please contact either your child’s tutor or House Leader or the Assistant Principal (Head of Key Stages 3 & 4).
If students are late to two or more lessons in a week they will have a college detention on Friday with senior leadership. They will be notified and escorted if necessary. Parents will be notified by school comms or email.
Parents should be aware that the school follows the Government’s directive on discouraging holiday absence in term-time because of the disruption caused to students’ learning. Holidays should not be taken in term time. Where an illness occurs before or after a school holiday, please be aware that the Academy now requires medical evidence to authorise this absence.
Where the holiday is more then 5 days the academy has to report this to the Leicestershire county council who issue a penalty notice.
The Academy and its staff regard the regular attendance of children at school as being vital to each child’s education and development. It is for this reason that non-attendances (however short or infrequent) are treated seriously. It remains the policy of the Academy to only sanction non-attendance during term time in exceptional circumstances.
If your child has unauthorised leave of absence you may either be issued with a Penalty Notice of £120 per parent per child (discounted to £60 if paid within 21 days), or your case could be referred by the Local Authority directly to the Magistrates’ Court for the purposes of a criminal prosecution.
Should you have exceptional circumstances for taking a holiday in term-time, this should be requested in writing. Each request is judged on its merits, taking into account the student’s attendance record and other relevant factors, and in the majority of cases the absence will not be authorised. The responsibility lies with the student for checking deadlines, collecting work in advance, and catching up on missed work. For some external modular examination courses, there will be no opportunity to re-sit if an exam is missed through holiday absence. Exams run throughout Years 10 – 13.
Teacher Absence and Key Stage 5 Lessons
We take pride in, and wish to promote, the commitment and ability to work independently displayed by our Sixth Form students (Key Stage 5).
We do not cancel lessons in the Sixth Form. The expectation is that students continue to work if the teacher is unable to be present for a lesson.
The Academy policy in the event of teacher absence is brief but clear:
- Sixth Form lessons are never cancelled by the class teacher.
- Your teacher will set work that is meaningful and directly useful to your progression in the subject.
- You should attend the lesson as normal in the scheduled room.
- The register must be completed and absences will be followed up by the class teacher.
Sixth Form absence before exams
Key Stage Five students are allowed to take exam leave during the half day immediately before any afternoon examination. So, if they have an afternoon exam they can spend the morning revising.
If students are sitting a morning exam they are not allowed to take the preceding afternoon session off; full attendance the day before any examination is expected.