Caldecote Church of England Academy believes that regular attendance is vital for effective learning. Our school will give a high priority to conveying to parents and pupils the importance of regular and punctual attendance. We recognise the importance of establishing strong home-school links and communication systems that can be utilised whenever there is a concern about attendance.
- The school will work to ensure that all children feel supported and valued.
- The school will promote positive staff attitudes to those children returning from absences.
- Staff will be made aware of the registration process.
- Registers will be completed accurately at the beginning of the morning and afternoon sessions and attendance regularly monitored.
- Parents will be encouraged to contact school early on the first day of absence.
- Attendance procedures will be regularly evaluated by the Headteacher.
- Procedures will allow returning absentees to catch up on missed work without disrupting the learning of other children in the class.
- Consultation will take place with all members of the school community and the Education Welfare Service to develop and maintain the whole school attendance policy.
Rights and Responsibilities
Improving attendance at Caldecote CE Academy is the responsibility of everyone in the school community; children, parents and all of the school staff.
- Children are expected to attend school and lessons regularly and punctually. Children who do experience difficulties will be offered prompt and sympathetic support.
- Parents are responsible for ensuring their child attends school regularly and punctually, properly dressed and in a fit condition to learn.
- If a child is prevented for any reason from attending, or is late, parents are required to notify the school of the reason on the first day of absence.
- Parents whose first language is not English or who have literacy problems will be offered support from school in matters of communication.
- A child’s absence from school will remain unauthorised until a satisfactory explanation is received from the parent.
- Parents will be promptly informed of any concerns over their child’s attendance.
- Parents should avoid taking family holidays during the school term.
- School staff will encourage good attendance and punctuality through personal example.
- Staff should convey high expectations to children regarding attendance and punctuality.
- A range of strategies will be used to encourage good attendance and punctuality and staff will promptly investigate all absenteeism, liaising closely with parents.
- Staff will respond to all absenteeism firmly and consistently.
- Registers will be called promptly at 09:00 and 13:15 and will be marked in using the Arbor system as either present or absent. Codes will be added where necessary for absence.
- Registers will close at 09:10 and 13:20.
- Where children arrive late and the register is still open, they will be marked late but counted as present for the session.
- Where children miss registration and do not provide an adequate explanation, they will be marked as late but counted as unauthorised absent.
- Where children miss registration but provide an acceptable explanation, they will be marked as late but counted as authorised absent for that session.
- Children who arrive late after classes have entered the building should report to the office. (Office Manager will subsequently amend the register entry to read “absent late”). The parent will be informed if the child is consistently late.
- Registers will be inspected for absences and lates weekly in order to ensure that correct procedures are being followed. Absences will be totalled and analysed for data collection purposes.
- All staff must record absences, either as authorised or unauthorised, using the agreed symbols.
- Consistent criteria should be applied to decision making.
- If staff have reason to doubt the explanation offered about whether a particular absence is genuine, the absence should be recorded as unauthorised.
- Absences should not be authorised once the Education Welfare Service has issued a warning letter for court action to parents, unless a medical certificate is received.
Follow up Procedures
- If no contact is received from the parent of the child, the school will contact the parent by telephone, or if the parent is unavailable, write a letter requesting information.
- If this action does not result in an explanation or the return of the child to school, a letter will be sent. The matter will be referred to the Education Welfare Service if the absence continues after ten school days without explanation from the parent.
- Action on irregular attendance will initially involve the Headteacher contacting the parent to discuss the matter.
- If the attendance does not improve, the Headteacher will invite the parent to a meeting. The aim of the meeting will be to identify and resolve any difficulties, which are preventing the child from attending school. The parents will be made aware of the legal requirements regarding school attendance.
- If the child’s difficulties are not resolved and the attendance does not improve, a formal referral will be made to the Education Welfare Service and formal intervention planned.
- If a child accumulates 10 unauthorised absences (5 school days) within a 12-week period, the Headteacher will request that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. This includes situations where children are taken out of school for holidays.
- All holiday requests will be refused and recorded as unauthorised absences.
Children Missing Education
- If a child has not attended school for five consecutive days and there has been no contact from parents, the child will be reported to the Local Authority as a Child Missing Education.
- The Local Authority will then attempt to make contact with parents to determine the reason for the child's absence.
- Failure to provide an acceptable reason for non-attendance could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued by the Local Authority
For further information please visit the Central Bedfordshire Access and Inclusion Service website at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/school/pupil-support/attendance/access-inclusion.aspx