It is important that every child attends school every day and on time. It is proven by research that children who are not in school will miss out on lesson time and may then not be able to take full advantage of the learning experiences available to them.
Attendance Vs. absence – the breakdown!
Many parents and children do not realise just how big an impact attendance has on learning. Take a look below to see how many lessons your child has missed, you may be surprised!
|Attendance %||Weeks off per year||Lessons missed|
|95%||2 weeks off per year||50 lessons missed|
|90%||4 weeks off per year||100 lessons missed|
|85%||6 weeks off per year||150 lessons missed|
|80%||8 weeks off per year||200 lessons missed|
The legal framework in relation to absence
We understand that sometimes absences can’t be helped but do ask that you work collaboratively with the academy in any such time that your child isn’t present.
We are expected to take steps to rectify any attendance concern which falls below the government’s guideline percentage and as such, should your child qualify, a member of staff at the school will write to you to notify you of our concern.
Should there be no progress following this letter, you may be invited to a parenting contract meeting to discuss the poor attendance and identify strategies to support your child.
Fines and prosecution
Please also be aware that the criteria for fixed penalty notices for unauthorised absence has recently been significantly reduced. Should your child’s unauthorised absence meet the threshold and subsequently trigger a fixed penalty notice, it will be structured as follows:
Should your child’s attendance be below 90% and cause serious concern, the Local Authority may choose to take formal legal action against you as opposed to issuing a fixed penalty notice – you should also be aware that if convicted of an offence of failing to ensure regular attendance of your child at school under Section 444, 1 / 1A Education Act 1996, you could be fined up to £1,000/ £2,500 and/or receive a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.
Please note that whilst we support the government’s stance on reducing absence, the academy does not benefit financially from this action.
In the event that your child may be absent from school
For safeguarding reasons, we need to know where your child is at all times during term time. In the unlikely event your child be absent from school due to illness, please contact our absence line. This is accessible by calling the school and selecting the option for reporting a student absence. Our Family Support Workers may visit your home address should we receive no reason for absence to either alert you to the absence and/or to collect the reason for absence.
Absences will either be classed as authorised or unauthorised. Authorised absences are absences that are agreed by the school. Examples of these include: illness; certified emergency medical appointments; orthodontic appointments; and funerals of close relatives. Unauthorised absences include: shopping for uniform; waiting for delivery men; and looking after siblings or other family members.
Doctor and dental appointments should always be made outside of school hours.
Term time leave and family holidays
Government guidelines prevent academies from granting any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances and from the 22nd of April 2016 the criteria for issuing Penalty Notices for unauthorised term time absence has reduced significantly.
Should your child’s absence exceed the threshold and subsequently trigger a fixed penalty notice, you should be aware that the Educational Inclusion and Partnership Team at Northamptonshire County Council may issue a Penalty Notice, payable direct to them.
We realise that the vast majority of parents do not take family holidays in term time as they recognise the significant impact this can have on their child’s education.
We hope that you will continue to support us by not planning a leave of absence during term time however, should you have planned or are planning leave, please collect an exceptional circumstances form from child office or main reception.
Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill and we expect all our children to arrive in school before 8:45am. For any child who arrives after 8:45am, we operate ‘late gate’ and the lateness will be centrally logged.
As a parent, I can help by:
As a school, we will help by:
As a child, I can help by:
In school, the following staff can help with attendance: