The school has a statutory duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to promote good attendance. Parents also have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school. All the staff at Lynn Grove Academy will work together with parents on behalf of the pupils to ensure that their attendance is a high as possible.
It is important that every pupil attends school every day and on time so that they give themselves the very best chance of success. Research shows that pupils who are not in school and miss out on lesson timeare not able to take full advantage of the learning experiences available to them and their progress is negatively affected.
Many people do not realise just how big an impact poor attendance has on their learning. Take a look below to see how many lessons your child will miss, you may be surprised!
Time off per year
If your child is unable to attend school:
For safeguarding reasons, we need to know where your child is at all times during term time. If your child can not attend school please take the following steps:
Contact us on 01493 661406 as soon as possible on the first day of absence.
Contact the school on each subsequent day that the pupil is absent from school and inform the school of the expected return date.
Send a note on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence – parents should do this in addition to telephoning us.
If your child does not attend school we will:
Contact you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you.
Expect your child to catch up missed work and homework on their return.
Our Family Support Worker may visit your home address should we receive no reason for absence to either alert you to the absence and to collect the reason for absence. It is vitally important that you inform us if you change your phone number for any reason.
Absences will either be classified as authorised or unauthorised. Authorised absences are absences that are agreed by the school. Examples of these include: some illness, certified emergency Dr’s appointments, orthodontic appointments and close relative funerals. Unauthorised absences include: shopping for uniform, waiting for delivery men and looking after siblings or family members.
Doctors and dental appointments should always be made in the school holidays or outside of school hours. If for any reason you cannot obtain an appointment outside of school hours, please be aware that your child will receive a present mark only if they attend school before the appointment but will be marked absent if they do not. We would not expect appointments to last more than 1 hour. Pupils should attend before and after all appointments.
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?
Is my child too ill to undertake the activities planned in the school day?
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 4 consecutive days or longer will need evidence of attendance at a GP appointment in order to authorise that period. On the second or third day of absence you may receive a text message from us reminding you of the need to make a GP appointment if you judge your child to be too ill to return to school in the next 2 days. (This appointment cards needs to be provided to the school within 7 days of your child returning in order to authorise the absence). 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.
If you child becomes ill during the school day they will be assessed by the first aider. If your child has a known medical condition we will contact you immediately. If the child is presenting with a minor ailment they will be encouraged to stay in school and will be monitored by our trained school first aider.
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 Local Authority may issue a Penalty Notice, payable directly 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 pupil office or main reception. The decision whether or not to authorise the absence will be taken by the principal.
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.
We are expected to take steps to rectify any attendance concern which falls below the government’s guideline percentage. For example, if your child’s attendance is between 90 -95%, this will be monitored weekly as ‘a concern’ and you may be contacted by us. Should your child’s attendance fall below 90% they will meet the government’s threshold of being identified as a ‘persistent absentee’ (PA pupil). At this point the academy is required to work with you to put in place some intervention strategies to improve attendance.
Should there be no progress despite the academies interventions and support, legal procedures will be initiated.
The Local Authority operates a system where any pupil will meet the criteria for legal intervention through the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice where they have:
10 consecutive sessions of unauthorised absence where some or all the absence may be attributed to an unauthorised holiday in term-time; or
15% unauthorised absence over a period of 6 school weeks for reasons other than unauthorised term time holiday. Any pupil at Lynn Grove Academy who meets either of the criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.
If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued it is a fine of £60 per parent per child which must be paid in one payment within 21 days. If a Notice is unpaid within 21 days, the fine will double to £120 per parent per child if paid within 28 days. If a fixed penalty notice fine is not paid in full within the timescale set out above, the Local Authority is required to start legal proceedings against the parent(s) in the local Magistrates’ Court for the offence of failing to ensure their child has attended school regularly.
Should your child’s attendance fall further to below 85% and cause serious concern, the academy uses the Fast Track Process. This is a time limited intervention (up to 12 weeks) whereby you and the academy are expected to work together to promote a significant improvement in attendance. If your child’s attendance does not significantly improve in this time 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/ £2,500and/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.
Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill and we expect all our pupils to arrive in school before 8:30am. For parents who have other children to drop off, or have to be at work early etc. we open the academy for pupils from 7:45am. Many pupils take advantage of this by attending breakfast club, catching up with friends in the atrium or using the library before school. For any pupil who arrives after 8:30am, we operate ‘late gates’ and pupils will be issued a sanction.
As a parent, I can help by:
As a school, we will help by:
As a pupil, I can help by:
Contacting the school when your child will be absent.
Following up on every absence ensuring that no absence goes un-noted.
Attending school every day, on time, to give you the very best chance of success.
Booking doctors and dentist appointments outside of school hours where possible. Where not possible by ensuring your child attends school before the appointment.
Acknowledging and rewarding good attendance and punctuality.
Participate in the form and year group competitions for attendance and punctuality.
Supporting your child to attend as often as possible by reminding them on the importance of school attendance.
Reminding parents and pupils about the importance of attendance and how it is measured against attainment.
Ensuring your child arrives at school by 8:30am each morning.
Letting parents know if we have concerns regarding their child’s attendance and punctuality.
Help and guidance
If you wish to discuss your child’s attendance further, or wish to seek advice regarding an attendance matter; please contact a member of the Pastoral Team on 01493 661406.
If your child is reluctant to attend school for any reason we would ask you to contact the school immediately and we will work with you to overcome any underlying issues.
Finally, if you have any concerns or require advice or guidance regarding your child’s attendance at school, please contact the relevant person below.
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