The Hathershaw College

The Hathershaw College - Academy Trust

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Attendance Policy

 

Rationale

The Hathershaw College aims to maximise attendance rates.  The College acknowledges the link between attendance and all strands of “Every Child Matters”.  Of particular importance to the College is the direct link between attendance at College and levels of achievement. 

The College acknowledges that all colleagues contribute to the attendance of students at College.  

The College will ensure that effective systems, combined with clearly defined roles, are in place to enable attendance to be monitored and appropriate intervention co-ordinated.  

The College will provide a thoughtful rewards system to ensure that students are rewarded for their role in maximising attendance.  Parents will also be provided with up-to-date and accurate attendance data, through Learning Cycle reports each term.

 

Rights and Responsibilities

The College

As a College, we expect students to arrive on time, with the correct uniform and equipment, ready to learn. 

The College will investigate all unexplained and unjustified absenteeism. 

As a College, we will work closely with parents should attendance or punctuality give cause for concern.

Students

Students will ensure that they attend College regularly and on time.  Students can expect to be challenged when this is not the case. 

Students are not permitted to leave the College unless attending medical appointments or as a result of illness or injury.  Parental consent must be obtained before students leave the College during the day.  In the event of illness or injury, this must be confirmed by a member of SLT.

Parents

Parents are legally responsible for ensuring their child’s regular and punctual attendance.  Where the College feels that parents are not meeting their responsibilities, they may be invited into the College to discuss concerns with our Attendance Officer/Pastoral Leaders or be subject to home visits by the College.  Parents of children with poor attendance may also be placed on a Fast-track Programme where the College monitors attendance closely.  Failure to improve a child’s attendance can then result in prosecution. 

Parents are responsible for informing the College of the reason for any absence either by contacting the College by telephone or responding to telephone calls or letters. 

Parents are asked to avoid arranging family holidays during term time.  No holidays will be granted during term-time.  ANY holidays taken during this time will result in a Penalty Notice (fine) from the Local Authority of £60 per parent/per child, which will double if not paid within 28 days.  Any requests for leave of absence are to be made to the Principal and will be agreed in exceptional circumstances only.  Please see holiday section.

 

Roles

SLT

A designated member of the College’s Senior Team will have overall responsibility for attendance and provide strategic direction to maximising this.

Attendance Officer

The College’s Attendance Officer will be responsible for ensuring that daily attendance data is processed efficiently and accurately.  The Attendance Officer will: 

  • Monitor the names of students arriving late to College.  Where students are repeatedly arriving late to College, this information should be passed to the relevant Year Manager to initiate home contact.
  • Enter reasons for absence using appropriate absence reporting codes (Refer to Appendix 1).
  • Ensure that the names of students arriving late to the College are entered into SIMS.
  • Monitor the completion of registers.
  • Respond to missing attendance marks.
  • Monitor patterns of absence and identify possible internal truancy.
  • Send the appropriate letters and documentation to parents/guardians.
  • Respond to requests for holidays during term time.
  • Provide all staff with weekly attendance summaries.
  • Provide colleagues with necessary attendance data, including weekly information for form tutors to contribute to the efficient running of the attendance rewards system.
  • Issue referrals to the Local Authority in order to ‘Fast track’ families of students with poor attendance for prosecution
  • Issue referrals to the Local Authority of parents/guardians that take students out of College for any amount of time during term-time. 

Year Managers

Year Managers will communicate with parents/guardians to ensure that accurate information is available for the Attendance Officer.  Their daily attendance-related routines will include: 

  • Generating and updating absence lists
  • Contacting parents for reasons for absence and making further follow up calls at the end of the day where reasons for absence have not yet been provided.
  • Completion of individual reason for absence forms which should then be passed to the Attendance Officer.
  • Informing Pastoral Leaders of the names of students requiring home visits when reasons for absence have not been provided. 

Pastoral Leaders (non-teaching)

  • To form the Home Visit Team
  • To make home visits as requested by the Attendance Officer, Year Managers or SLT where home contact has failed to be established.  These will involve at least two colleagues.
  • Hold regular attendance meetings with the Attendance Officer to monitor students with poor attendance
  • Monitor patterns in poor attendance to be in a position to report back to the designated member of SLT when requested.
  • Monitor potential PA students and ensure that appropriate forms of intervention are put in place for these students
  • On occasion, to refer students with poor attendance to Police Panels as a further method of intervention
  • To maintain accurate and confidential records of all students regarding referrals, home-visits, panels and other attendance-related interventions 

Teachers

Teachers will complete registers accurately as soon as possible during a lesson.  Teachers are required to mark students as either present (/ or \) or absent (N).  No other codes should be used by a classroom teacher.

Form tutors

Form tutors should complete registers during morning registration.  They should address any attendance issues during Tutor time.  This should include discussion about weekly attendance and completion of any information necessary to support the College’s attendance rewards programme.  Tutors will be provided with attendance data weekly to support their work.

 

Rewards

The College acknowledges the need to reward students for working hard to maximise their attendance. 

  • Students with 100%+ attendance each term will be entered into a draw for various prizes in family assemblies. 
  • Parents of students with attendance of 95% or above attendance will be contacted each term through a letter to thank them for their continued support.
  • Tutor groups with the highest attendance per week will receive a weekly awards package.
  • Students with 100% attendance each term are rewarded with a seasonal gift.

 

Holidays

Family holidays

No holidays will be granted in term time.  Leave of absence will be granted by the Principal in exceptional circumstances only.

  • Where a request for leave of absence IS granted for exceptional circumstances, parents/guardians will receive a letter explaining that they must support the College in helping their child to complete work that they will miss during their leave of absence.
  • Where leave of absence is granted, the code ‘H’ will be used for reporting purposes.  This is an authorised absence.
  • Where a request for leave of absence is made, and is NOT granted by the College, a student will receive a code ‘G’ on their attendance record.  This is for an ‘unauthorised’ absence.  Where leave of absence is not approved by the College but is still taken, a Penalty Notice (fine) will be issued by the Local Authority.  This fine is £60 per child, per parent and will double if not paid within 28 days.

Extended holidays

  • A number of requests are received each year from parents wishing to take their children overseas for an extended period of time.  These requests will not be granted unless in exceptional circumstances. 
  • Where an extended family holiday is NOT approved OR more time is taken than is granted by the College, the code ‘G’ will be used for reporting purposes; this is an unauthorised absence.  In these cases, referrals will be made to the Local Authority and a Penalty Holiday Notice will be issued to parents/guardians as above.
  • Where unauthorised extended holidays last longer than 20 days the College will apply to remove students from roll and parents will have to re-apply for their child’s place. 

 

 

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