Attendance Policy

Updated January 2021

VISION  

At Co-op Academy Brownhill we aim to educate the whole child and to ensure children are happy, healthy and fulfil their potential in terms of the development of skills for life, social and moral values and academic success. 

RATIONALE 

Poor attendance disadvantages children. 

We aim to ensure that all children attend school regularly and on time to enable them to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available.        

Regular, punctual attendance is valued and positively encouraged for all of our pupils.  

Children whose attendance is good will be rewarded regularly. 

Improved attendance and time keeping will be recognised. 

Parents of registered pupils have a legal duty under the Education Act 1996 (section 444) to make sure that children of compulsory school age attend school on a regular and full time basis. Permitting unauthorised absence from school is an offence and parents may be reported to the education authority if problems cannot be resolved by agreement. 

Attendance is a key whole-school improvement issue: it has a direct relationship with the attainment of individuals and groups of students and the standards thereby achieved by the school. 

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.

Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area. 

AIMS 

  • To maintain and improve the overall attendance of children at school. 
  • To improve children’s attainment through good attendance. 
  • To encourage parents to ensure that children arrive at school on time. 
  • To make attendance a priority for all those associated with the school including parents, pupils, teachers and governors. 

Who is responsible for attendance issues in school?  

  • The School has a named member of staff with responsibility for attendance issues, Miss C Mullarkey
  • Attendance matters are reviewed by the Headteacher and members of the Senior Management Team.  
  • Attendance issues are reported at least termly to the Governing body. 
School attendance, Safeguarding and Children Missing Education  

A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. School staff should follow the school’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future. 

Schools are required to make the local authority aware of every registered pupil who fails to attend school regularly and any children who have been absent from school, where the absence has been treated as unauthorised for a continuous period of not less than 10 school days Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 regulation 12. 

The attendance lead and the Designated Safeguarding Lead should work closely to manage risks, ensure appropriate multi-agency engagement where necessary, so that children and young people receive the appropriate level of early help or statutory intervention to ensure they attend school regularly.   

PROCEDURES 

Registers  

An accurate and consistent registration system is crucial both to provide a solid foundation for analysis of absence and to support any statutory interventions. 

The register is a legal document and must be kept accurately. 

Attendance registers will be kept in accordance with legal requirements, local authority guidelines and school regulations. 

Co-op Academy Brownhill procedures for maintaining registers including the

procedures for marking registers

Procedure   Person responsible  
1. Registers must be taken at the start of the morning session and once at the start of the afternoon session Teacher  
2. On each occasion a school must record whether a child was present or absent. Teacher  
3. Pupils should only be marked present if they are in the room when the register is called. Teacher  
3. Spaces must not be left in the register Teacher  
4. Additional requirements about times, school procedures etc. 9.00 am – Classroom doors open. Registers open   9.10 am Registers closed.
 9 am onwards – Pupils enter the school through Main Office.   Discretionary period of 9:00 am to 9:30 am children will be recorded as late.    Lateness after 9:30 results in an unauthorised absence code U 1 pm – Registration   
5.  Ensuring pupils do not go missing from school during the school day and what to do if this happens Supervision teachers If child goes missing, call police, then parents.  

Every half a day of absence from school has to be classified by the school as either authorised or unauthorised.  Authorised absence is where the Headteacher has either given approval in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be away, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as satisfactory justification for absence. All other absences, including persistent lateness, must be treated as unauthorised. 

Absence can only be authorised by a person designated to do so by the Headteacher. [see The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 2006/1751) – Reg 7(1)]. 

School has procedures in place to resolve unexplained absences within two weeks. 

Attendance registers are kept electronically. 

School complies with and uses the DFE compulsory national attendance codes.  

Attendance Codes, Descriptions and Meanings 
CODE  DESCRIPTION  MEANING  
   
/  Present (AM) Present 
\  Present (PM) Present 
B  Educated off site (NOT Dual registration) Approved Education Activity 
C  Other Authorised Circumstances  (not       covered      by       another appropriate code/description) Authorised absence 
D  Dual registration (i.e. pupil attending other establishment) Approved Education Activity 
E  Excluded (no alternative provision made) Authorised absence 
G  Family holiday (NOT agreed or days in excess of agreement) Unauthorised absence 
H  Family holiday (agreed) Authorised absence 
I  Illness (NOT medical or dental etc. appointments) Authorised absence 
J  Interview Approved Education Activity 
L  Late (before registers closed) Present 
M  Medical/Dental appointments Authorised absence 
N  No reason yet provided for absence Unauthorised absence 
O  Unauthorised absence (not covered by any other code/description) Unauthorised absence 
P  Approved sporting activity Approved Education Activity 
R  Religious observance Authorised absence 
S  Study leave Authorised absence 
T  Traveller absence Authorised absence 
U  Late (after registers closed) Unauthorised absence 
V  Educational visit or trip Approved Education Activity 
W  Work experience Approved Education Activity 
X  Non-compulsory school age absence  Not counted in possible attendances 
Y  Enforced closure Not counted in possible attendances 
Z  Pupil not yet on roll  Not counted in possible attendances 
#  School closed to pupils Not counted in possible attendances 
Working in partnership with parents 

Absence:  

If a child is absent from school parents should contact the school on the first day of absence and maintain contact with the school throughout the absence. 

Where a child is absent for 3 or more days school may do a Home Visit in line with Safeguarding procedures.

Where a Home visit is made, following no communication from parents to school and the child is not seen a Police / Social Care Welfare Check may be requested in line with Safeguarding procedures.

Illness:  

It is a school’s decision whether to accept a reason for a child’s absence and whether to authorise that absence. In the majority of cases a parents’ explanation that their child was ill can be accepted without question or concern. In exceptional circumstances further evidence of a child’s illness may be requested 

However, schools can challenge parents’ statements or seek additional evidence if they have any concerns regarding a child’s attendance.   

In fact it is good practice to have clear systems in place to escalate any concerns about high levels of absence due to illness, including agreements about accessing additional services in order to provide appropriate support to pupils, particularly for long term illness 

The types of scenarios when medical evidence may be requested include:  

  • Attendance is less than 90%. 
  • There are frequent odd days absences due to reported illness. 
  • The same reasons for absence are frequently repeated. 
  • Where there is a particular medical problems and school may need evidence to seek additional support/provide support. 

Requests for leave of absence (exceptional circumstances) 

The Law

All children between the ages of five and sixteen are required by law to receive an education, and it is the duty of parents and carers to ensure that they do. By law, parents must ask permission for their child/children to miss school in advance. If not, they risk being issued with a Penalty Notice. When a school doesn’t give permission, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

Procedure for requesting a planned absence 

  • All leave of absence requests will be unauthorised unless the circumstances are exceptional and the parents/carers can evidence that there are exceptional circumstances as to why the leave has to be during school time.  A parent/carer should complete an Exceptional Leave form (available from the school office) and submit this to the school at least four weeks prior to the date required. School will respond to the request within two weeks. The cost, convenience or availability of a holiday will not be considered to be an exceptional circumstance.
  • Absence for Religious Observance may be agreed by the Headteacher, but will not exceed two days in any school year.
  • Parents or carers who repeatedly take their children out of school without permission may be issued with a Penalty Notice and they may face a possible prosecution in court.
  • If the Headteacher deems that the reasons for the request are exceptional and authorises the absences a reply confirming that the request has been authorised will be sent to the parent/carer.  
  • If the Headteacher deems that the reasons are not exceptional and the leave of absence will not be authorised, a reply informing the parents of this decision for each child and warning of the legal implications of the absence been taken will be sent to each parent.  
  • If once notified in writing of the decision to unauthorise the leave of absence, the absence is taken it will be marked as an unauthorised absence on the pupils register.  If the trigger of 10 unauthorised absences (sessions) is met then the absences should be referred immediately to the Children Missing Education Team (CME) at the Local Authority for consideration and could result in the issue of a fixed penalty notice. 

Other reasons for absences:  

Other reasons for absence must be discussed with the school each time and will be challenged.

The school will follow DFE guidance and not authorise absences for shopping, birthdays, child minding or supporting family members as translators for appointments.

Examples of authorised absence may include, days of religious observance, Illness, and medical appointments. 

Parents are advised to make appointments for dentist/doctor or optician outside of school hours where possible. 

Parents can support regular school attendance by:  

  • Making sure their child leaves for school with plenty of time to arrive on time. 
  • Supporting and encouraging their child by attending parent’s evenings and other events. 
  • Contacting the school to discuss any concerns regarding their child’s attendance. 
  • Working partnership with the school to resolve any issues that are impacting on their child’s attendance. 

Lateness 

Children must attend on time to be given a present mark for the session. 

Children arriving between 9:00am and 9:30am are recorded as late (L code as per DFE compulsory attendance)

Where a pupil arrives after the register closes this will be classed as an unauthorised absence (code U as per DFE compulsory attendance codes). 

School registration will close at 09:30am. 

Poor attendance 

Those children whose attendance falls below national average will be closely monitored and further action considered. School will challenge the attitude of those pupils and parents who give a low priority to attendance 

All registers will be checked and absences monitored on a regular basis. 

Schools will analyse individual pupil data to identify quickly patterns of absence which cause concern and parents will be informed by the school where their child’s attendance causes concern.  

School has a clear and escalating approach to intervention where there are concerns regarding school attendance. 

After school has attempted to address attendance issues with parents, and if there is no improvement a Fast Track Initiative may be considered, working in partnership with an Attendance Officer from Leeds Council . Failure to meet targets over an eight week monitoring period may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice Warning. Continued failure to improve attendance could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice. In addition, a referral to an Attendance Improvement Officer may be considered.

Persistent Absences 

Pupils with persistent absenteeism will be identified (pupils with more than 10% absence rate) and an action plan will be put in place to address the underlying reasons for the absence level. If actions do not lead to improved attendance, a formal meeting will be arranged.

Good and excellent attendance 

The school will reward good attendance and improved attendance regularly through reward schemes and incentives.  

Attendance panels

Parents of pupils whose attendance gives cause for concern may be invited to attend a School Attendance Panel (SAP). An attendance panel is a formal meeting to discuss the child’s school attendance, identify barriers to regular school attendance and agree a target and action plan to improve school attendance. 

An attendance panel is chaired by a senior member of school staff.  School representatives will be present this may include anyone in school who is involved with your child for an example a member of the Family Support Team. 

Data Analysis 

Attendance data is submitted to the DFE and the trust, most schools use the management information systems via the school census. This data is published by the DFE as part of the annual publication of school statistics. Analysis of data helps to identify the main causes of absence within the school and plan appropriate action to ensure all pupils attend school regularly. 

  • Attendance data is analysed to identify particular groups of children whose absences cause concern andto track the attendance of individual pupils. 
  • Attendance data is analysed attendance by year group, classes, groups of pupils for example ethnicity or gender to help identify areas of concern and attendance patterns. 

Appendix 1  

          Application for exceptional leave during term -time from Co-op Academy Brownhill

Leave of Absence Request

Please download the form here: Leave of Absent Request

Statutory Declaration 

Legal responsibility

As a parent/guardian I understand all children aged between 5 and 16 are required by law to receive an education, and    under the provisions of the Education Act 1996, it is my responsibility as a parent to ensure the regular school attendance of my children and that failure to do so could result in legal proceedings being taken by the Local Education Authority. 

I understand that requests for leave can only be granted by schools if there are exceptional circumstances, and holidays are not considered exceptional. They must also be made to the school in advance, as the Department for Education has told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken.

Fines

I understand if my request is unauthorised I am most likely to be fined, £60 per parent, £60 per child (for example a family of 4 with 2 parents and 2 children will be fined a total of £240).

 Once the penalty notice is issued, I have 21 days in which to pay the fine. If I fail to pay in that time period, the fine will double and I then have another seven days in which to pay, taking the total time in which to make payment to 28 days.

 If I fail to make payment after 28 days then the local authority has the power to prosecute me in the magistrate’s court for the offence of failing to ensure my child attends school regularly. A guilty verdict at court can lead to a fine of up to £1000, and a criminal record which can affect employment opportunities.

School places

I am aware that a referral will made to the Local Authority Children Missing from Education Team (CME) if my request is   unauthorised and my child hasn’t returned to school on the agreed date. This can result in my child losing their school place

 I am also aware that there is a shortage of places in the area, so if my child loses their school place it could result in having to travel to a school out of area or my child without a school, being a detriment to their education and causing implications to my own employment.  

Parent’s Full Name:Parent’s Sig: :               
Parent’s Full Name:Parent’s Signature:Date:
School Section  Any previous request      Yes   □     No  □   Is the requested absence during exams   Yes  □  No □   
Reason for refusal/Comments  
Authorised    □     Approvedfor                 School days
Unauthorised    □   Not approvedfor                 School days
Date:   

Appendix 2          Children missing from education pathway 

A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. Staff in education provision should follow the provision’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in the future. 

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential, pupils need to attend regularly. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. 

Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing in their area.  

All education providers should:- 

  • Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence 
  • Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled 
  • Act early to address patterns of absence 
  • Ensure parents perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly 
  • Ensure all pupils are punctual to school and lessons 
  • Ensure they liaise with the named social worker where Children’s Social Work are engaged with the child or family 

School Requirements 

The law requires schools to have an admission register and an attendance register.  All pupils must be placed on both registers.  Schools should use the national absence and attendance codes to record and monitor attendance and absence in a consistent way which complies with the regulations.  

Schools should promote good school attendance and put in place appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and responses for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions.   

It is essential that staff are alert to signs to look out for, and the individual triggers to be aware of, when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns, such as travelling to conflict zones, FGM, CSE, forced marriage. 

Involving other agencies and signposting:  

All schools must inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent, without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the school and the local authority.    

Pupils at risk of harm/neglect

Children may be missing from education because they are suffering from abuse or neglect. Where this is suspected schools should follow child protection procedures. If there is reason to suspect that a crime has been committed or the child’s safety is at risk, the police should also be involved. 

Families of members of the Armed Forces  

Families of members of the Armed Forces are likely to move frequently – both in UK and overseas and often at short notice. Schools and local authorities should contact the MOD Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) on 01980 618244 for advice on making arrangements to ensure continuity of education for those children when the family moves.  

Children of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) Families 

Research has shown that many children from these families can become disengaged from education, particularly during the secondary school phase.  Pupils are particularly vulnerable at transition from primary to secondary where a GRT pupil leaves school without identifying a new destination school.  Schools should inform the CME team as soon as they become aware that a secondary school application will not be made for a GRT pupil.  Although many are settled, some GRT families move regularly and their children can be at increased risk of missing education.  Schools should work with families to minimise disruption to GRT pupils’ education, for example if the family need to travel in order to work, they should be supported to dual register with other schools.   

Persistent Absence 

The definition of persistently absent (PA) pupil as set by the DFE for 2018 – 2019 is a pupil with 10% or more absence (90% or less attendance). The table below, derived from the census guidance, gives an indication of the minimum number of sessions a pupil would miss by each half term to be classed as PA. 

Half-term  10%  
Half-term 1 7 or more sessions 
Half-term 1-2 (autumn term) 14 or more sessions 
Half-term 1-3 20 or more sessions 
Half-term 1-4 (autumn term and spring term combined) 25 or more sessions 
Half-term  1-5 31 or more sessions 
Half-term 1-6 (full academic year) 38 or more sessions 

Deletion of pupil from the admission register 

Schools must notify the local authority when they remove a pupil from roll in line with the Removing Pupils from Roll: Guidance for Schools. 

All schools must inform their local authority of any pupil who is going to be deleted from the admission register where they: 

  • Have been taken out of school by their parents and are being educated outside the school system, eg: elective home education (EHE).  Schools must not seek to persuade parents to educate their children at home as a way of avoiding excluding the pupil or because the pupil has a poor attendance record 
  • have ceased to attend school and no longer live within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered 
  • have been certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither he/she nor his/her parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend school after ceasing to be of compulsory school age 
  • are in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and the proprietor does not reasonably believe they will be returning to school at the end of that period 
  • have been permanently excluded

Appendix 3

Health Protection for schools, nurseries and other childcare facilities  Exclusion table  

Infection   Exclusion period  Comments  
 Athlete’s foot   None   Athlete’s foot is not a serious condition.  Treatment is   recommended.  
Chicken pox  Five days from onset of rash and all the lesions have crusted over     
Cold sores (herpes simplex)  None  Avoid kissing and contact with the sores.  Cold sores are generally mild and heal without treatment  
Conjunctivitis  None  If an outbreak/cluster occurs, consult your local HPT   
Diarrhoea and vomiting  Whilst symptomatic and 48 hours after the last symptoms.  See section in chapter 9  
Diphtheria *  Exclusion is essential. Always consult with your local HPT  Preventable by vaccination. Family contacts must be excluded until cleared to return by your local HPT   
Flu (influenza)  Until recovered  Report outbreaks to your local HPT.  
Glandular fever  None    
Hand foot and mouth  None  Contact your local HPT if a large numbers of children are affected.  Exclusion may be considered in some circumstances  
Head lice  None  Treatment recommended only when live lice seen  
Hepatitis A*  Exclude until seven days after onset of jaundice (or 7 days after symptom onset if no jaundice)  In an outbreak of hepatitis A, your local HPT will advise on control measures  
Hepatitis B*, C*, HIV  None  Hepatitis B and C and HIV are blood borne viruses that are not infectious through casual contact.   Contact your local HPT for more advice  
Impetigo   Until lesions are crusted /healed or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment  Antibiotic treatment speeds healing and reduces the infectious period.  
Measles*    Four days from onset of rash and recovered  Preventable by vaccination (2 doses of MMR). Promote MMR for all pupils and staff.  Pregnant staff contacts should seek prompt advice from their GP or  
Meningococcal meningitis*/ septicaemia*  Until recovered  Meningitis ACWY and B are preventable by vaccination (see national schedule @ www.nhs.uk). Your local HPT will advise on any action needed  
Meningitis* due to other bacteria  Until recovered  Hib and pneumococcal meningitis are preventable by vaccination (see national schedule @ www.nhs.uk) Your local HPT will advise on any action needed   
Meningitis viral*  None  Milder illness than bacterial meningitis. Siblings and other close contacts of a case need not be excluded.   
MRSA  None  Good hygiene, in particular handwashing and environmental cleaning, are important to minimise spread. Contact your local HPT for more  
Mumps*  Five days after onset of swelling  information   Preventable by vaccination with 2 doses of MMR (see national schedule @ www.nhs.uk). Promote MMR for all pupils and staff.    
Ringworm  Not usually required.  Treatment is needed.  
Rubella (German measles)   Five days from onset of rash  Preventable by vaccination with 2 doses of MMR (see national schedule @ www.nhs.uk). Promote MMR for all pupils and staff.  Pregnant staff contacts should seek prompt advice from their GP or midwife  
Scarlet fever  Exclude until 24hrs of appropriate antibiotic treatment completed  A person is infectious for 2-3 weeks if antibiotics are not administered. In the event of two or more suspected cases, please contact local health  
Scabies  Can return after first treatment  Household and close contacts require treatment at the same time.  
Slapped cheek /Fifth disease/Parvo virus   B19  None (once rash has developed)  Pregnant contacts of case should consult with their GP or midwife.  
Threadworms  None  Treatment recommended for child & household  
Tonsillitis  None  There are many causes, but most cases are due to viruses and do not need an antibiotic treatment  
Tuberculosis (TB)  Always consult your local HPT BEFORE disseminating information to staff/parents/carers  Only pulmonary (lung) TB is infectious to others. Needs close, prolonged contact to spread  
Warts and verrucae  None  Verrucae should be covered in swimming pools, gyms and changing rooms  
Whooping cough   (pertussis)*  Two days from starting antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of symptoms if no antibiotics   Preventable by vaccination. After treatment, noninfectious coughing may continue for many weeks. Your local HPT will organise any contact tracing  

*denotes a notifiable disease.  It is a statutory requirement that doctors report a notifiable disease to the proper officer of the local authority (usu