Attendance Matters – Every Day Counts

At Witham St Hughs Academy we believe that good attendance is key to a child’s education and future. By developing a positive culture of attendance from the day a child starts school ensures they will reach their full academic potential and thrive socially and emotionally. It is our intention that every child enjoys coming to school everyday. By providing a stimulating, challenging and secure environment, the children will be encouraged to be regular attendees, which will ultimately enhance their learning, social opportunities and emotional resilience.

As an academy we are committed to meeting our obligation with regards to school attendance through our culture and ethos that values good attendance, including by:

· Promoting good, punctual attendance

· Reducing absence, including persistent and severe absence.

· Ensuring every pupil has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled

· Acting early to address patterns of absence

· Building strong relationships with families to ensure pupils have the support in place to attend

· Promoting and supporting punctuality in attending lessons

We believe good habits are developed from an early age. It is vital that punctuality is the norm, rather than the exception. It is our policy to encourage and demonstrate the importance of efficient time keeping for all pupils and this will be communicated through regular contact with parents/carer’s by our attendance lead Michelle Dexter.

Working with parents and carers

We believe that effective partnerships with parents and carers are key to supporting children to have good attendance. We work alongside parents and carers and ask them to:

· Make sure their child attends school every day on time

· Call the academy to report their child’s absence before 9am on the day of the absence (and each subsequent day of absence), and advise when their child is expected to return

· Provide the academy with at least 2 emergency contact numbers for their child and update accordingly

· Ensure that, where possible, any appointments for their child are made outside of the academy day

We support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory academy age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending school on time.

Attendance Policy

Attendance Leaflet

Attend Today – Achieve Tomorrow

How do we monitor attendance?

Continuity of learning can only take place through regular attendance.

Absences must be kept to a minimum and will be authorised in line with Government Guidelines/DfE ‘Academy Attendance’ July 2019.

All pupils’ attendance is monitored daily and at least every term using data analysis from the electronic register.

Regular appraisal and monitoring of registers will highlight any issues which may be followed up by written and/or verbal communication with the parents/carer’s.

Our Academy operates a ‘traffic light’ system when monitoring attendance:

Green Zone – between 97% – 100% attendance – little or no action required.

Amber Zone – 96% – 91% attendance – pupils’ attendance is carefully monitored by the academy, a phone call is made to parents to tell them that their child’s attendance has dropped into the amber zone and to see if we can offer any support.

Further close monitoring will take place and a letter will be issued to parents if their child’s attendance does not improve over a period of time. If no improvement is made, parents and carers will be invited into school for a meeting.

Red Zone – below 90% attendance – this will automatically trigger a meeting or a home visit. Absences will not be authorised for pupils whose attendance falls into the red zone without some medical evidence.

A child whose attendance is below 90% is classed by the government as a persistent absentee. Pupils with below 90% attendance with no satisfactory reason, may be referred to Education Welfare, who will consider instigating Legal Action. They will be informed by letter that this is to happen.

Our Academy recognises and adheres to Lincolnshire County Council Children and Families, Penalty notices for Truancy, Excluded Pupils, Persistent Lateness, Unauthorised Holidays in Term Time Local Code of Conduct (see Appendix One) and the latest DfE guidelines.

Unauthorised absence

The school can unauthorise absences if;

  • No reason is provided.
  • No medical evidence is provided for illness and appointments.
  • Your child takes a whole day for an appointment when only a morning or afternoon is required.
  • The child’s absence is due to parents being unable to get their child to school.
  • Holidays are taken during term time

Late to school

It is important that your child arrives to school daily on time. School gates open from 8.50am to 9.00am. If your child arrives late not only does it impact on their learning but can also disrupt the class.

If a child arrives after 9.30am they will receive a U code which is classed as an authorised absence. Late arrivals are monitored and termly phone calls to parents are made to see if support can be offered. If there is no improvement then a meeting will be held in school. Lateness can have an impact on learning.