Attendance and leave of absence

The academy attendance policy

Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy is committed to providing a full and efficient education to all pupils and embraces the concept of equal opportunities for all.

We will endeavour to provide an environment where all pupils feel valued and welcome.

For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of academy attendance is essential. We will consistently work towards a goal of 100% attendance for all children. Every opportunity will be used to convey to pupils and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.

Academy attendance is subject to various Education laws and this academy attendance policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance produced by the Department for Education and Employment.

Each year the academy will examine its attendance figures and set attendance targets. These will reflect both national and Norfolk attendance targets.

The academy will review its systems for improving attendance at regular intervals to ensure that it is achieving it’s set goals.

This policy will contain within it the procedures that the academy will use to meet its attendance targets.

Academy procedures

Any child who is absent from the academy must have their absence recorded as being authorised or unauthorised. Only the headteacher or a member of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence.

Lateness

Morning registration will take place at the start of school at 8.55 a.m. The registers will remain open until 9:25am. (DfE guidance suggests a maximum of 30 minutes but schools can choose to use a shorter period). Any pupil arriving after this time will be marked as having an unauthorised absence unless an explanation given is accepted as grounds for authorising the late arrival. The afternoon registration will follow immediately after the lunchtime break. The registers will close at 1:25pm.

First day of absence

Parents should contact the academy on the first day of absence and speak to a member of the office staff. Once the registers are closed the office team will contact the parents of any absentees who have not yet provided reason for absence. Information will be recorded for future reference. Parents are sent text messages if telephone contact cannot be made and, if there is no communication from parents, the next emergency contact will be telephoned. We request that parents phone the academy every day their child is absent from the academy.

Third day of absence

After three days of absence, medical evidence is requested to authorise absences (for example, a doctors appointment card). If medical evidence is not provided and the absence is not explained then it will be recorded as unauthorised.

Frequent absence

It is the responsibility of the class teacher to be aware of and bring attention to, any emerging attendance concerns. In cases where a pupil begins to develop a pattern of absences, the academy will try to resolve the problem with the parent/s. If issues continue then there is a possibility that the parents will be invited into an attendance support panel to find ways of resolving the concerns around attendance.

If there are a number of unauthorised absences the academy will refer to the Attendance Improvement Officer who may suggest a Fast Track approach. Parents are invited into an attendance panel. If after a set period the attendance has not improved prosecution will be considered.

Frequent medical absences

Pupils will also be referred to the attendance team for repeated bouts of illness who may suggest a meeting with the academy health adviser. In some cases, parents will be asked to give permission for the academy health service to speak to the child’s GP. If a child is absent for four or more days further to the academy being informed of illness, parents may be expected to provide medical evidence.

A welcome back

It is important that on return from an absence that all pupils are made to feel welcome. This should include ensuring that the pupil is helped to catch up on missed work and brought up to date on any information that has been passed to the other pupils.

Absence notes

Notes received from parents explaining absence should be kept for a short period (four weeks). If there are attendance concerns about the pupil, that may require further investigation, then the notes may need to be retained for a longer period.

Promoting attendance

The academy will use opportunities as they arise to remind parents/carers that it is their responsibility to ensure that their children receive their education. The Home/School agreement can be used in this way.

Holidays in term time

Leave of absence for holidays in term time is not authorised. Some leave of absence requests will be considered if they are deemed to be of ‘exceptional circumstance’. For more information please download our leave of absence booklet. When considering a leave of absence please come into school to collect the relevant forms.

Attendance awards

Good attendance is rewarded in a variety of ways at Edward Worlledge. We aim to praise children and whole classes during assemblies and hand out individual attendance certificates.

  • At the end of each term, those with full attendance have their names entered into a draw for a gift token. They are presented with a medal and a £10 gift voucher.
  • Children whose attendance is 98%+ are presented with a medal and the top 3-5 pupils with the highest attendance in Year 6 (since starting with us) are awarded with a medal and a gift voucher.

Attendance Targets

The academy’s attendance target is 96.5%.

The Registration System

The academy will use manual paper registers and a computerised system for keeping the academy attendance records.

Registers by law must be kept for at least three years. Computer registers must be printed out at least once a month and bound into annual volumes. Entries in paper registers must be in ink. All corrections must be visible (no correcting fluid).

Register Security

The registers must be safely stored. Academy registers are stored in the main office. At 8.30am monitors collect the registers and distribute them to the classrooms. After registration has closed monitors will return the register to the office for the secretary to check for absentees. Monitors distribute the registers to classrooms, these are returned to the office at 1.25pm. It is essential they are returned at the appropriate times in case of emergencies.