We recognise that high levels of school attendance are significant to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential. It is an assumption so widely understood but insufficiently stated that children and young people need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves pupils vulnerable to falling behind and achieving less in both primary and secondary school.
- The overall aim of the attendance policy is to:
- Keep children safe and ensure their welfare needs are met in accordance with safeguarding practice.
- Provide a stable environment in which our children can learn.
- Support parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children who are of compulsory school age and registered at the academy, attend school regularly.
- Maximise educational opportunities for all our pupils, ensuring there is a consistent and fair approach with equal opportunities for all.
- Encourage good habits of school attendance with a vision on early intervention by supporting families with children in the Early Years Foundation stage.
We do this by:
- Applying a robust attendance process across all four academies.
- Notifying parents at the earliest opportunity where attendance is below expected national standards.
- Ensuring pupils are punctual to their lessons and attend school on time.
- Working with parents to reduce illness and medical absence
- Working in collaboration with partner agencies, such as health visitors, school nurses, children’s services and youth services across all levels of the needs assessment.
- Ensuring every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled; which includes individual education plans.
- Identifying vulnerable children who may have a specific area of need to enable them to attend school
- Analysis of attendance data to highlight areas of concern, particularly amongst vulnerable groups, including the identification and tracking of persistent absence pupils
- Working with the families of children in the early years’ foundation stage to ensure there is a readiness to learn.
- Highlighting the importance of attendance with pupils through achievement and rewards.
- The legal powers and duties that govern school attendance and explains how they apply to local authorities, academies, head teachers, school staff, governing bodies, pupils and parents, are contained in:
- The Education Act 1996, sections 434(1)(3)(4) & (6) and 458(4) & (5)
- The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006
- The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
- The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
- The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Our Attendance policy can be found in our policies section.
From September 2013 all holidays taken in term time will be unauthorised only in exceptional circumstance will a holiday be authorised at the discretion of the Headteacher. Holiday forms are completed and sent to the Headteacher for approval before the time of absence. Any forms filled in retrospectively will be declined. Parents are urged strongly to avoid taking family holidays during term time. Indeed parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for such a holiday. If, however, parents apply to the school in advance using the appropriate request form the school may grant up to two weeks (10 school days) term-time absence in any academic year to go on a family holiday. Apart from this, leave in term time can only be given in exceptional circumstances.
In considering a request for leave for a family holiday in term time the school will consider each application individually, taking account of:
- The age of the child,
- The time of year proposed for the trip,
- Its nature and parental wishes,
- The overall attendance pattern of the pupil,
- The child’s stage of education and progress.
Holidays will not normally be authorised by the school if:
- The pupils are preparing for or taking important tests. This is most relevant to Y1, Y2 and Y6 pupils who will be preparing for tests from September until June when the tests themselves are administered. No absence will be authorised for pupils during the testing period as the Headteacher is legally bound to ensure that all eligible pupils are entered for the tests on the specified dates.
- Pupils have already been granted 5 days leave of absence in that academic year.
- A pupil has been absent from school for other reasons causing their attendance to be monitored.
All parents are strongly advised to refrain from taking their child/children out of school at the beginning of a new academic year when routines and practices are set up for the year
In exceptional circumstances parents may be granted leave of absence for their child but be requested to ensure that certain work is undertaken by the child during the period of absence.
School Holidays – Statement from Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust:
Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust has high expectations for attendance and this includes the fair and consistent application of the ‘Leave of Absence in Term Time policy’. By adjusting the term time dates, the Trust is trying to work with parents and reduce the need to issue penalty notices where leave of absence in term time is taken, particularly in September. We would hope these term dates allow our families the flexibility to take a holiday. Please be advised, where there is a leave of absence taken in term time, this will be taken seriously and the matter forwarded to the relevant local authority, for consideration of the issue of fines.