Eaton Bank Academy

Attendance

All students at The Eaton Bank Academy are expected to aim for 100% attendance, if they are to fulfil their learning potential.  Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting positive attitudes towards attendance.  We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their children are present at every opportunity, arrive on time and to avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily, or taking them out of school without authorisation.   Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.

We monitor all students’ attendance closely and follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers by text and/or telephone calls.  Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact parents/carers to discuss ways in which we can support them and their child.

 

Persistent Absence

Persistent absence is a serious problem for students.  Much of the work children miss when they are off school is never made up, leaving these students at a considerable disadvantage.

A student defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ is one who misses 10% or more of school.

The following table shows the amount of learning missed as a result of absence over time:

 

Attendance during one school year  Equals days absent  Which is approximately weeks absent  Which means the number of lessons missed  Absences over 5 years 
97% 5 days 1 week 25 lessons 1 Month 1 week
95% 9 Days 2 Weeks 50 Lessons ¼ Year
90% 19 Days 4 Weeks 100 lessons ½ Year
80% 38 Days 8 Weeks 200 Lessons 1 Year
70% 57 Days 11 ½ Weeks 288 Lessons 1 ¼ Year
60% 80 Days 16 Weeks 400 Lessons 2 Years

 

Punctuality

School begins at 8.45am each day and arrival after this time is classified as late.

Reporting Absence

 When there is a genuine and unavoidable reason for absence, parents/carers must contact the Attendance Officer on 01260 273000, before 9.30am, on each day of absence.

On return, a letter should be given to the tutor, explaining the reason for the absence.

If an explanation for an absence is not received, it will be recorded as unauthorised and a phone call will be made and a text message will be sent, from the Academy.   A home visit may occur as a follow up action.

Medical Appointments

Any medical appointments should be made outside school hours.  If this is not possible, a note or a medical card must be produced.  It is important that students attend school directly after/before the appointment, where this is possible.  Whole days off for medical appointments will not be authorised without prior consultation with the Attendance Officer.

How do I decide if my child is too ill to come to school?

We ask that you consider the following when deciding with your child if they are well enough for school?

  1. Is my child too ill to undertake the activities planned in the school day?
  2. Would I take the day off work for this illness?
  3. Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children? http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Yourchildatschool/Pages/Illness.aspx

 

The website www.nhs.uk can give helpful advice when making the decision ‘is my child too ill to go to school?’.

If your child’s attendance is broken by regular absence due to minor illnesses (broken weeks) we will write to you to advise you that any further absences will not be authorised without medical evidence.  In these circumstances reporting your child ill will no longer be sufficient to authorise the absence.

In addition, absences of 5 consecutive days or longer will need evidence of attendance at a GP appointment in order to authorise that period.  Where there is a pattern of repeated, frequent absences over a long period of time, further information will be required in order to authorise the absences.  In cases where there is no known medical reason for the frequency of absence reported as ‘illness’ the school will seek clarification from a health professional that they are aware of the absences and verify that these should be authorised.

 

Holidays in Term Time

Please note, we will not grant permission for holidays during term time.  This policy is in line with current statutory guidelines which came into effect in September 2013.  The Headteacher will only authorise leave of absence in term time when there are exceptional circumstances for a child to miss school.

Parents/carers must make a request to the Attendance Officer at the Academy, in advance, on the appropriate form and should show that there are special reasons why the leave of absence has to be in term-time. The cost, convenience or availability of a particular holiday/insurance related to a holiday will not be taken into consideration.

 

The legal framework in relation to pupil absence

We understand that occasionally absences can’t be helped, but do ask that you work collaboratively with the Academy on any occasion that your child is not present – key to this is communication.

Parents/carers can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice by the school, local authority or police, for their child’s non-attendance.  The penalty is £60 (per parent/carer) and this rises to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.

There is no right of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice.  If this is not paid, the local authority can proceed to prosecution.

If a registered student of compulsory school age fails to attend school regularly the parent/carer could be guilty of an offence under s444 Education Act 1996.   The Supreme Court has held in April 2017 that attending school “regularly” means attendance in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school and not “sufficiently frequent attendance”.  This means that a child must attend school on every day that the school requires him or her to do so and failure to do this may lead to the commission of an offence.

There are two offences:

  1. Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 – if the child is absent without authorisation then the parent/carer is guilty of an offence. This is a strict liability offence i.e. all that needs to be shown is a lack of regular attendance.  Sanctions can include a fine of up to £1000.
  2. Section 444(1A) Education Act 1996 – an aggravated offence. If the child is absent without authorisation and the parent/carer knew about the child’s absence and failed to act then the parent/carer is guilty of an offence.  Sanctions can include a fine of up to £2500 and a prison sentence of up to 3 months.

Parents/carers can also be prosecuted by local authorities under section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, if a pupil of compulsory school age who remains on the admissions register is found in a public place during school hours after being excluded from school.  Sanctions can include a fine of up to £1000.

Please note that whilst we support the government’s stance on reducing absence, the Academy does not benefit financially from this action.