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Appleton Academy

Attendance

Appleton Academy is a community that works together to inspire, nurture and develop one another. A place where you can ‘be your best’.

Excellent attendance and punctuality is essential for every child if they are to be their best. We set an attendance target of 96% as the minimum that we expect for all children and young people.

Evidence shows that those children who attend school regularly make better progress academically and socially. To help a child achieve full attendance, parents and carers play a critical role in helping us promote good attitudes towards attendance. The impact of poor attendance is significant and contributes to life long disadvantage, social and emotional challenges.

Pupils are expected to arrive on time, every day. As a community, it is important we ensure that children are present at every opportunity, arriving on time, not missing school unnecessarily and are not being taken out of the Academy without authorisation. Attendance is monitored closely, and we will follow up unexplained absences with parents or carers.

Formal monitoring of attendance takes place twelve times a year and where a pupil’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact parents or carers to discuss ways in which we can support all parties to help improve the attendance of the child or young person concerned.

Reporting Absence

If your child is unwell and unable to attend school, you must contact the attendance line on 01274 421053.

We ask parents to contact the school each day their child will be absent.

Medical and Other Appointments

Routine medical and other appointments should be made out of school time, where possible.

We understand that this is not always possible though and we ask that we are notified in advance. This can be done by telephone, email or a note provided in the child’s book bag or planner. We ask that you provide evidence such as an appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment.

Where possible, the child should attend school before the appointment and return to lessons afterwards.

Leave of Absence and Holidays in Term Time

Amendments came into force in September 2013 and the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 now state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true and the government strongly urges parents or carers to avoid taking a child out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education. Holidays during term-time will not be authorised and will be recorded as unauthorised absence.

Please note that absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, weekends away etc.  Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence.

Requests should be made well in advance and in writing by parents or carers. Please pick up a request form from the school when convenient.

Requests for absence for reasons such as compassionate leave, special family events, sporting or musical competitions etc should be made in the same way.

All requests are considered individually, taking into account the circumstances of the request. Other factors will be taken into account, such as:

  • the time of year the child will be absent
  • the attendance record of the child
  • the number of previous requests for leave of absence
  • the child’s ability to catch up

We will notify parents of our decision in writing. Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

Please be aware that the decision to deny a request for a leave of absence or a holiday within term time is final and we do not accept appeals of this decision. 

Same Day Contact and Attendance Monitoring

We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and calls are made daily to the contact numbers of a pupil’s parents or carers if their child is absent, and we have received no reason for the absence.

Calls are made on a daily basis, even where a child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that a child is still ill if we have not been notified and we would not wish to put a child at risk by failing to contact their parents or carers.

If we are unable to make contact with parents or carers, or where there are ongoing concerns, the school will conduct a home visit as a welfare check.

Persistent Absence

Parents or carers have a legal duty to make sure their child attends school regularly. We can make a referral to the local authority where parents or carers are failing this legal duty.

Persistent Absence is a serious problem for children, as much of the work children miss when they are off school is never made up, leaving them at a considerable disadvantage.

A child will be defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ if they miss 10% or more of school.

The local authority has the power to enforce school attendance where this becomes problematic, including the power to prosecute parents/carers who fail to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school. If found guilty, parents or carers could be fined up to £2500 and/or imprisoned for three months.

It is important for parents and carers to note that the government has also strengthened schools’ ability to respond by increasing Fixed Penalty Notices to £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days. These are an alternative to prosecution of parents or carers who fail to ensure a child attends school regularly. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.

Punctuality and Lateness

The school policy is to encourage punctuality but also actively discourage lateness as it can seriously disrupt lessons. If a child is late and misses registration, a late mark will be recorded. School will be sympathetic if this is justified, however, if a pattern of lateness starts to emerge, parents/carers will be invited to discuss the matter in order to reach a satisfactory solution.

A late pupil is one who arrives after the start of the school day. It is the responsibility of the parent or carer to contact school and inform them of the lateness. Any pupil arriving after 9.30am will be marked late, unauthorised absence. For reasons of Health and Safety, all children arriving late will be required to enter school by the main door.

As well as punctuality at the beginning of the school day, we also expect punctuality at the end of the day when collecting primary children at 2.55pm. It is very distressing for a child to be left at the end of the school day and not collected on time by their parent. In addition to the emotional impact on the child, it must be remembered that supervising children at the end of the day makes unnecessary demands on school resources, particularly if this is repeated day after day. Parents and carers who are repeatedly late to collect their child may be subject to child care charges.