Attendance and Leave of Absence

Stockingford Academy > Key Information > Attendance and Leave of Absence

Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential, is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education.

Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

The government expects our Academy to:
• Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence;
• Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled; and act early to address patterns of absence.
• Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.
• All pupils to be punctual to their lessons.

Department for Education – excerpt taken from the ‘School Attendance’ document: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/268648/advice_on_school_attendance_nov_2013.pdf

Our School Aim

At Stockingford Academy we expect children to attend school every day, as long as they are as fit and healthy enough to do so

Goal

Our goal this school year is to achieve an overall school percentage of 96% or above.

Why is Attendance important?

There is a strong link between regular school attendance and achievement and if your child is frequently absent from school, they will not meet their full potential.
Regular attendance helps children to develop their confidence and to make lasting friendships. 90% attendance sounds good, but means that your child misses on average:
• One half day nearly every week
• Nearly four weeks every school year
• Over one school year in a school career

Missing School is Missing Out

• Ensure your child is in school on time every day
• Contact school on your child’s first day of absence at the earliest
opportunity to let us know why your child is going to be absent
• Try to make appointments outside of school hours where possible
• Holidays during term time should be avoided

School Support and Monitoring

• We monitor attendance weekly through the year and aim to meet with parents when attendance falls below 90% to offer support in order to improve attendance where possible.
• Some families may require an individual plan, to encourage their child to attend school regularly.
• Children whose attendance continues to cause concern will be placed on a six-week attendance action plan in liaison with the school attendance team.
• If Attendance does not improve parents will be requested to attend a meeting with the Headteacher and Attendance Officer, Mrs Lloyd.
• If a child’s attendance becomes very poor, below 85%, they will be referred to the Children and Families First Team.

Authorising absence for:

• Medical reasons (Where a doctor’s note or prescription is provided, if attendance is below 90%)
• Illness, if authorised by an adult (and attendance is really good)
• Other circumstances (only agreed by the Head Teacher)

Absence will NOT be authorised if:

• No explanation is given by parent/carer
• The child’s attendance is below 90% without medical proof
• The child is on holiday in term time

Taking a 2-week holiday during school time, even without any other absences, means that your child will only have 95% attendance.

PLEASE NOTE: IN LINE WITH COUNCIL POLICY, SCHOOL WILL NOT AUTHORISE HOLIDAYS.
Penalty Notices will be raised against unauthorised Holidays & absence.

Our Attendance Initiatives

We believe in rewarding good attendance and with this in mind, we undertake several initiatives which take place during each school half term, giving all of our children a chance to contribute and gain rewards for good attendance and punctuality.

In order to improve attendance, we recognise the weekly achievement of the highest class attendance through extra playtime. Individually, children are recognized for positive attendance, where they have their name put into the half termly positive attendance raffle for their phase. The winners receive a gift voucher to recognize their efforts.

At the end of the academic year, all children across the school who have attendance above the National (96%) receive a reward and a certificate to reflect their ongoing strive for good attendance at Stockingford Academy.

Please view our Attendance Policy for more information.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIMEUPDATED INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

The Supreme Court recently reached a decision in the case of Platt v Isle of Wight Council which has clarified the law on unauthorised leave, including holidays, during term time. The parents of children of compulsory school age are required to ensure that they attend school on a regular basis. The Supreme Court has made clear that attending school ‘regularly’ means that the children must attend school on every day that they are required to do so. As such, the parents of any child who is absent from school without authorisation for any length of time are likely to be considered as committing an offence under s444 of the Education Act 1996.

Head Teachers retain the ability to authorise leave in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. When considering such requests for a leave of absence, the school are obliged to act within the law. Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. If the leave is granted, head teachers are able to determine the number of school days a child can be absent for.

It is for the Head Teacher to decide what is ‘exceptional’ and it is at their discretion if the circumstances warrant the leave to be granted. The school can only consider Leave of Absence requests which are made by the ‘resident’ parent.

Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case-by-case basis and on its own merits.

Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application. If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s).

All matters of unauthorised absence relating to a Leave of Absence will be referred to the Warwickshire Attendance Service, part of Warwickshire County Council.

It is important to note, Fixed Penalty Notices are issued to each parent of each absent child, (for example 2 children and 2 parents, means each parent will receive 2 invoices in the amount of £120 each, totalling £240 for both children, this is reduced to £60 per child if paid within 21 days).

Where a Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid within the required timeframe as set out on the notice, the matter will be referred to Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal proceedings under S444 Education Act 1996.

Fixed Penalty Notices are issued in accordance with Warwickshire County Council’s Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices.

Your child’s progress academically as well as socially is our shared priority