Our new Vertical Tutoring pastoral system and new daily and weekly routines affect how we register your child’s attendance.
The academy day begins at 0850 every day with your child going straight into their first lesson of the day. It is therefore extremely important that your child arrives by 0835, so as not to disrupt their own learning and that of fellow students. Students who arrive late (i.e. after lesson starts at 0850) will be expected to make up the number of minutes late in their own time, at their teacher’s discretion (i.e. during break or lunchtime, or at the end of the academy day, which is 1500).
Your child will attend a Learning Family session with their Tutor on 1030-1050. Your child’s Tutor is responsible for monitoring and updating their attendance on a daily basis.
Good school attendance gives your child the opportunity of success and helps develop skills for life. Your child should attend school every day unless there is an unavoidable cause like illness. Missing school damages your child’s learning and their grades (research shows 17 days of school missed often leads to a drop of a GCSE grade), disrupts routines and can make them vulnerable to crime. Students should never miss school for reasons like shopping, birthdays, looking after siblings or other family members, translating for parents/ carers or other family members, or to wait in for a repair person. Missing school seriously affects life opportunities.
Education is vital to your child’s future success, so it is important to resolve any punctuality and attendance issues as quickly as possible. This leaflet is being sent to every parent / carer so everyone is aware of the need for their child to attend regularly and on time to achieve their best. It is important parents/ carers understand their responsibilities and the consequences of their child having unauthorised absence from school.
Parents/carers commit an offence if their child/children do not attend school regularly and the absence is not agreed by the school/academy (i.e. is unauthorised). In some cases unauthorised absence may result in prosecution under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced Penalty Notices as an alternative to prosecution. A Penalty Notice does not require a court appearance, but still aims to improve attendance. A Penalty Notice costs £50 if payment is made within 28 days, and £100 if paid after this but within 42 days.
If a parent/ carer is issued with a Penalty Notice there is a period of up to 42 days from receipt to pay the Penalty Notice in full. If full payment is not received within this time the local authority is required under the Act to commence proceedings in the
Magistrates Court for the original offence of unauthorised absence by the child. If proven, this can result in fines of up to £1,000 and/or a range of disposals such as Parenting Orders or Community Sentences. If found guilty, the parent will have a criminal record. It may also be the case that a prosecution might be considered for further periods of unauthorised absence not covered by the Penalty Notice, depending upon the circumstances.
When we agree for your child/children to miss school in advance or accept your explanation for absence, the absence is ‘authorised’. All other absence is ‘unauthorised’. We do not have to agree for your child to miss school or accept your explanation. If your child is absent our procedures are as follows:
- You will be contacted by text message and expected to reply with an explanation for your child’s absence.
- You may be contacted by your child’s Tutor and asked to provide an explanation or meet with them to discuss your child’s absence.
- You may be contacted by letter and asked to meet to discuss your child’s attendance.
If you do not respond to our efforts to communicate with you, we may decide to issue a Penalty Notice.
Penalty Notices may be used where absence is unauthorised, for example when:
- A parent/ carer has taken their child on holiday during term without authorisation, especially when this means pupils miss exams.
- Enquiries at school after a truancy sweep show the pupil’s absence at that time as unauthorised.
- Students are regularly late after the register has closed (i.e. at 0900).
- A student has 8 or more unauthorised absences (1= 1 morning or 1 afternoon session) within the previous 10 week period (being late after the register has closed is considered an unauthorised absence).
If you have reason to believe or are made aware that your child is truanting contact us and arrange to meet with a member of school staff (your child’s Tutor in the first instance) to discuss the situation and look for solutions. The Education Welfare Service can also provide advice and guidance.
If your child is absent, telephone as early as possible on the first morning of their absence to give the reason. Our absence line number is 0117 3772071 option 1. Always make routine dentist & doctor appointments after school or during holidays. If you have to make an appointment during school time, help your child to be at school for most of the day and let us know about the appointment. We may ask you for a medical certificate or appointment card if your child is regularly absent due to illness or dental/medical appointments.
Holidays in term time are not authorised, except in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Principal.
It is very important that you speak with us or with the Education Welfare Service at the earliest opportunity if you have any worries at all about securing your child’s attendance.
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