Attendance Policy

There is a direct correlation between attendance and attainment. The aim of this attendance policy is to raise levels of attendance and punctuality for children and young people, therefore maximising their opportunities for improved attainment. It is a simple fact – all pupils need to attend school regularly and on time if they are to take full advantage of the opportunities available to make educational progress. Poor attendance hinders progress and prevents pupils from settling well into their class family. It is much more difficult for young children to make and keep friendships when they have irregular attendance.

We aim for all pupils to meet our target of 97% or above attendance each term.

At Common Road we aim to

  • Highlight the importance of school attendance
  • Promote positive behaviour and attendance through the use of curriculum and learning materials
  • Recognise and reward good attendance habits
  • Work closely with parents/carers to ensure that pupils attend school regularly and achieve 100% attendance
  • React swiftly and intervene to improve attendance of individual pupils should this become a concern
  • Identify and act swiftly on low attendance (below 90%).

We will work with parents/carers to resolve problems which may affect a pupil’s attendance and will involve representatives of other agencies that work with the school where required.

Good Attendance and Attainment

Why should your child attend school every day?

  • good attendance is linked to good attainment and progress in learning
  • pupils will cover all aspects of the curriculum
  • be present at school for important tests such as the Year 1 Phonics Screening
  • enjoy our exciting curriculum which provides the pupils with a rich and varied experience
  • enjoy our special weeks, events and activities

Celebrating good attendance

  • We monitor class attendance on a weekly basis, each class with 97% + attendance is awarded the attendance trophy with a small prize for each child to take home.
  • Every half term the class family with the highest attendance will receive a reward to celebrate their achievement, this may be a visit to the local park or a picnic.
  • All children with a termly attendance of 97% + will receive a certificate.
  • To celebrate 100% for the full academic year, an attendance celebration/reward takes place for the pupils and their families.
  • For the class family with the highest attendance there will be a reward for the whole class family paid for by the school, this is usually a visit out.

We acknowledge that for some children, 100% attendance may never be achieved due to circumstances out of their control. It is therefore important to praise all efforts made to improve attendance.

Colour Coded Attendance Guide

We have adopted a colour-coded guide to illustrate what attendance will look like at different % attendance points. This is a good visual indicator for both staff, pupils and parents/carers to help understand the meaning of a pupil’s level of attendance. We would like all of our pupils to achieve the blue/green category of attendance where possible. Our aim for this high level of attendance links the importance of attendance with the pupil’s potential learning and attainment. We will write to parents on a termly basis with a colour-coded letter linked to your child’s attendance.

Flying High Together

GREEN100%Excellent. You are an attendance ‘Super Star’
BLUE96% – 99.9%Very Good
YELLOW94% – 96%Be Careful
GREY90% – 93%Improvement needed
REDLess than 90%Persistent Absence Pupil
You are now a Persistent Absence pupil and are missing more than 6 weeks of learning in a school year

Parent/carer responsibilities

  • Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that if their child is of compulsory school age they must attend regularly
  • Inform school immediately if your child is absent and give the reason
  • Try to make medical, dental or other appointments outside the school day
  • Ensure that the school is aware of any circumstances at home that may be likely to affect their attendance
  • Encourage good routines at home which promote a healthy lifestyle including enough sleep
  • Talk to your child about school and let school know if your child is worried about any issues such as difficulties with work or friendship problems
  • Do not book holidays in term time
  • Seek advice from your GP if you are not sure how long to keep your child off school with an illness
  • Ensure that school has up to date contact details
  • Encourage your child to enjoy school and make the most of all opportunities available to them.

School Staff and governors have a responsibility to support attendance, treating seriously any problems that lead to non-attendance. They will:

  • Set high expectations for pupil attendance, and monitor individual and whole school attendance on a weekly basis. • Identify causes of concern with regard to pupil attendance.
  • Make contact with parents where there is an unexplained absence.
  • Work collaboratively with parents and invite parents/carers into school to discuss any attendance concerns
  • Work in effective partnership with EWS and other agencies
  • Maintain electronic registration data systems effectively and deploy them robustly to facilitate presentation of reports.
  • Analyse attendance data and provide this to parents.
  • Promote attendance at all levels – within school, the community, the LA, regionally and nationally.
  • Celebrate excellent and improved attendance and implement rewards and incentives.

School Organisation

  • The school day starts at 9.00am and the doors open at 8.45am
  • Pupils who arrive at school after 9.00am should report to the main office and sign in
  • Pupils arriving after 9.15am are marked as late (L)
  • Pupils arriving at or after 9.30am will identified as (U)
  • Pupils who regularly arrive late are identified and parents/carers will be contacted for further discussion
  • Parents/carers are advised that if a pupil is absent from school then a verbal message, text, letter or telephone call to school is expected by 9.30am on the day of absence. The main office can also be emailed on office@commonroad.wakefield.sch.uk
  • A system for first response is in place to check daily absence and also to contact families if absence is persistent and falling below 90%
  • The Behaviour for Learning Manager and Headteacher work closely with the EWO to monitor absence and letters are sent out to parents/carers if absence is a cause for concern.

Admissions Register

The school keeps an admission register which records the date that each pupil joined the school and their personal details. All schools (including academies) must keep a record of attendance register entries for at least 3 years and inform the local authority of any pupil who is going to be deleted from the admission register.

School can only remove a pupils name from the register where they:

  • Have been taken out of school by their parents/carers and are being educated outside the school i.e home education
  • Have ceased to attend school and no longer live within reasonable distance of the school at which they have registers
  • Have a medical condition certified by the school medical officer that the pupil is unlikely to be in a fit state of health to return to school
  • Are in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and there is a belief that they will not be returning to the school at the end of that period; or
  • Have been permanently excluded
  • School will notify the local authority of any deletion.

Monitoring Attendance

This is monitored by the Behaviour for Learning Manager and the Headteacher daily. There are effective strategies and systems in place to monitor attendance as identified below:

Absence

  • Parents/carers are asked to inform school on the day of absence by 9.30am
  • The school will make the decision as to whether it is authorised or unauthorised
  • Absence is checked daily and parents/carers are contacted to verify their child’s absence
  • The Behaviour for Learning Manager/Headteacher follows up any persistent absence when required
  • Where a pupil is absent and the school can’t get in touch with the parents/carers to verify the reason for absence a safe and well-being visit will be carried out to ensure the safety of the pupil. If contact cannot be made on a safe and well visit than a referral to SCD First Response may be made.

Authorised Absence

  • This includes: sickness, medical/dental appointments (school will ask to see the appointment card), religious observance, family difficulties and other issues as agreed with the Headteacher.

Unauthorised Absence

  • This includes: holidays, shopping, birthdays, tired, late night, inset at other schools, getting home late from holiday, staying at home with parents/carers (various reasons)
  • Any persistent unauthorised absence is reviewed by the Headteacher and in discussion with the Education Welfare Officer.

Persistent absence

A pupil becomes a persistent absentee if he/she has an attendance rate of below 90%. We will invite parents/carers in to discuss the situation, and referrals may be made to the EWS. A range of school and LA strategies can be deployed to improve attendance, including the fast track to attendance programme, learning mentor support, magic breakfast, ace attendance system, first day response and cause for concern letters sent home. Below 90% attendance means that pupils will have missed over 95 hours of learning across one academic year.

Punctuality

  • It is important to be on time as the first part of the day is used for registration, to give out instructions and organise the school day. It is also the time for pupils to settle down into learning.
  • Late arrivals are often disruptive to the whole class and we take the view that there are no late pupils but late parents/carers.
  • All lateness is recorded daily. The amount of time late and the reason for lateness is also monitored
  • The Behaviour for Learning Manager checks the list daily and contacts parents/carers if this becomes a regular issue.

Penalty notices

The decision on whether or not to issue a penalty notice ultimately rests with the Headteacher, following the local authority’s code of conduct for issuing penalty notices. This may take into account:

  • A number of unauthorised absences occurring within a term period
  • One-off instances of irregular attendance, such as holidays taken in term time without permission
  • Where an excluded pupil is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason.

In accordance with the Education Act 1996 Section 444 The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2004, Wakefield Council will issue a Penalty Notice for any unauthorised absence where the pupil has been:

  • non-approval of a parent/carer’s request for leave of absence that has been taken without permission for 10 or more half-day sessions (five school days) the unauthorised absence (coded 0)
  • If a child has 10 or more other types of unauthorised absence (coded O and U) within a 12 week period and the family or child do not require any agency support to improve the attendance then a single Penalty Notice is issued
  • persistently late (coded U) for up to 10 sessions (five days) after the register has closed.

Other Conditions

  • There will be no limit on the number of times a penalty notice for unauthorised leave of absence can be used in an academic year
  • In cases where there is more than one pupil in a family with unauthorised absences, penalty notices may be issued for more than one child
  • Use of a penalty notice or formal warning of a penalty notice for unauthorised persistent absence/lateness will be restricted to one notice/warning per parent/carer of a pupil per academic year.

Notes

Further details and a copy of the revised Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices can be obtained from the council’s website:

This policy should be referenced alongside the following school or LA policies:

  • Behaviour & discipline
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Health & Safety
  • Safeguarding
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Assessment.