Brighton Hill Community School

22. Attendance

Information & Policies

Published on - 12-02-2015

School attendance is subject to various Education laws and this school attendance policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance produced by the Department for Education.
This policy is linked to the following legislation:


1. The Education Act 1996 Part 1, Section 7.

This states that:
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive efficient full-time education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. The Education should be suitable-
[a]  To his/her age, ability and aptitude and
[b]  To any special needs he/she may have.

For educational purposes the term parent is used to include those that have parental responsibility and/or those that have the day to day care of the child. The legislation that appertains to children who are of compulsory school age and are registered at school is contained within this Act. Part V1 Section 444 contains the details of when an offence is committed if a child fails to attend school.


2. ‘The Education [Student Registration] (England) Regulations 2006’
This contains the legal requirements for the keeping of registration and rolls.

Objective

School Procedures
Any child who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence recorded as being authorised, unauthorised or as an approved educational activity [attendance out of school]. Only the Head Teacher or a member of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence. If there is no known reason for the absence at registration, then the absence must be recorded in the first instance as unauthorised.

1. A. Taking a register, for all sessions and lessons

B. Taking a register, morning registration tutor time

2. A. Lateness and Punctuality

B. Lateness during morning registration tutor time (8.25-8.45am)

C1. Lateness after morning registration tutor time but before the register closes (after 8.45am but before 9.15am)

C2. Lateness after the register closes (after 9.15am)

Any extenuating circumstances, under C2 above, will be at the supervising member of staffs’ discretion.

D. ‘Late Gate’ Supervision (from 8.25-8.45am)

Any extenuating circumstances, under D above, will be at the supervising member of staffs’ discretion.

3. First Day Absence

4. Third Day Absence (when no contact from home has been received)

5. Continuing Absence (if, still, no contact from home has been received)
The Family Support Advisor will continue to seek Parental contact to explain the absence.  At this point any other agencies that have an ongoing involvement with the absent student will be notified of the student’s absence by the FSA, either by email or telephone.

6. Ten Day’s Absence
Any student who is absent without an explanation for 10 consecutive days will be notified to the Local Authority, by submitting a referral to Children’s Services/Attendance Legal Panel (ALP).  The school will include details of the action that they have taken.

7. Persistent Absence

All meetings with families are to support improvements in attendance, are to discuss possible reasons for absence and agree a monitoring period to secure improvement through realistic targets; this is likely to include involvement of the school FSA


8. Penalty Notices for Non Attendance and other Legal Measures
In Education law, parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular attendance of their child of compulsory school age at the school at which the child is registered, unless the absence has been authorised by the school.

A. Legal Measures for tackling persistent absence or lateness
Hampshire Schools and Hampshire County Council will use the full range of legal measures to secure good attendance. Legal measures will only be considered through a referral to Hampshire’s Attendance Legal Panels where:

i. The child or family do not require the support from any agency to improve the attendance
ii. The child has 40 or more sessions of unauthorised absence within a rolling calendar year (12 month period).

The following legal measures are for pupils of compulsory school age who are registered at a school:

Where a child has unauthorised absence the school must enforce Hampshire’ s Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices or follow its guidance on other Legal Measures for Non-Attendance. The Code of Conduct is a statutory document that ensures that powers for legal sanctions are applied consistently and fairly across all schools and their families within the authority. A copy is available from: Possible penalties for non-attendance

B. Penalty Notices for non-attendance: Hampshire’s Code of Conduct

The code of conduct states that:

Schools or Hampshire Local Authority can issue a Penalty Notice if:

So for example, a pupil returns to school in September and then parents request leave of absence for term time holiday early in the autumn term. Due to the way that SIMs calculates % absence the pupil may very quickly register an absence rate of 90% or less. In this circumstance schools need to look back over the previous academic year to calculate up to a 12 month period of possible school attendance and re-run the SIMs report from that date to recalculate to ensure that there are 40 sessions of unauthorised absence.

In another example, a pupil may have had poor attendance last academic year and the pattern continues in the autumn term. In this circumstance the school may wish to monitor carefully and review regularly, when the pupil reaches a 90% threshold over a 12 month period, then a penalty notice may be issued. In this situation it would be advisable that parents are warned that legal intervention may be forthcoming and that the pupil’s absence is being carefully monitored.

Parents and Carers will be warned of the likelihood of a penalty notice being issued for unauthorised absence either via a letter, through the leave of absence request form, or through the schools attendance policy and website. The Penalty Notice is a fine that is issued to each parent/carer who condoned (or was responsible for the child) during the period of unauthorised absence for which the fine has been issued. For each case of unauthorised absence the school or Hampshire County Council will decide whether a Penalty Notice is issued to one or more parent/carers for each child. N.B This could mean four penalty notices for a family with two siblings both with unauthorised absence for holiday i.e. one PN for each child to each parent

Each penalty notice carries a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days of the penalty notice being posted. If the fine is not paid within 21 days the Penalty is automatically increased to £120 if paid within 28 days. If the fine remains unpaid the Hampshire County Council will consider prosecution for the non-attendance. Payment methods are detailed on the Penalty Notices themselves. Penalties are to be paid to Hampshire County Council and revenue resulting from payment of Penalties is used by the County Council to help cover the costs of issuing Penalty Notices and/or the cost of prosecuting recipients who do not pay.

For further information parents/carers can request a leaflet from their school and should visit Hampshire County Councils website at: Possible penalties for non-attendance


9. A Welcome Back

10. Absence notes
Notes received from parents explaining absence should be kept for the remainder of the academic year by the EWA. If there are attendance concerns about the student, that may require further investigation, then the notes may need to be retained for a longer period.
Students’ absence notes will be kept in individual student files, once processed by the EWA.

11. Promoting attendance
The school will use opportunities as they arise to remind parents/carers, that it is their responsibility to ensure that their children receive their education.
A dedicated page within the school planner will allow each student to plot their monthly attendance as a bar chart and accumulative attendance as a line graph.

12. Leave of Absence Requests
Regular and punctual attendance at school is a legal requirement, as well as essential if
students are to maximise their educational opportunities.

In law, parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at the school at which the child is registered, unless the absence has been authorised by the school. Only schools have the power to authorise or grant a leave of absence.

In addition, a Leave of Absence Form must be completed in advance for either of the situations below; authorisation is at the discretion of the Headteacher on an individual, case by case request:

13. Attendance Awards
Monthly Attendance figures for each Tutor Group will be published; the EWA and an Administrative assistant will be responsible for providing Heads of Year with figures for their Year Group. The EWA will publish and distribute to Tutors through each Tutor Folder allowing students to complete the Attendance page within their School Planner.
Termly, accumulative, certificates will be awarded to all students who achieve 100% attendance, and to those who achieve 95% or above.
Positive attendance, individually and collectively are celebrated through the House Cup, points being allocated according to the given criteria.
A monthly trophy is awarded to the tutor group with the highest attendance.

14. The registration system
The School will use a computerised SIMS system for keeping the school attendance records.  The following national codes will be used to record attendance information. Those codes in bold text are for unauthorised absences.

CODE

DESCRIPTION

MEANING

/

Present (AM)

Present

Present (PM)

Present

B

Educational Activity

Educated off site (NOT Dual registration)

C

Authorised Absence

Other Authorised Circumstance

D

Approved Education Activity

Dual registration (i.e. student attending other establishment)

E

Authorised absence

Excluded (no alternative provision made)

F

Authorised absence

Extended family holiday (agreed)

G

Unauthorised absence

Family holiday (NOT agreed or days in excess of agreement)

H

Authorised absence

Family holiday (agreed)

I

Authorised absence

Illness (NOT medical or dental etc. appointments)

J

Approved Education Activity

Interview

L

Present

Late (before registers closed)

M

Authorised absence

Medical/Dental appointments

N

Unauthorised absence

No reason yet provided for absence

O

Unauthorised absence

Unauthorised absence (not covered by any other code/description)

P

Approved Education Activity

Approved sporting activity

R

Authorised absence

Religious observance

S

Study leave

Authorised absence

T

Authorised absence

Traveller absence

U

Unauthorised absence

Late (after registers closed)

V

Approved Education Activity

Educational visit or trip

W

Approved Education Activity

Work experience

X

Not counted in possible attendances

Un timetabled sessions for non-compulsory school-age students

Y

Not counted in possible attendances

Enforced closure

Z

Not counted in possible attendances

Student not yet on roll

#

Not counted in possible attendances

School closed to students

Registers by law must be kept for at least 3 years.
Computer registers must be printed out at least once a month and bound into annual volumes.

15. Register Security
Registers are stored electronically with access through a password protected system, only teaching staff that hold current CRB/DBS Certificates have access. Physical records are kept in a locked filing cabinet within a secure office.

16. Categorisation of Absence
 In accordance with the document:
 T:Tutor GroupsHeads of HouseAttendanceDfE School Attendance Guidance (Nov 2016).pdf
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-attendance

Any student who is on roll but not present in the school must be recorded within one of these categories.
1. Unauthorised Absence
2. Authorised Absence
3. Approved Educational Activity

1. Unauthorised absence
This is for those students where no reason has been provided, or whose absence is deemed to be without valid reason.

2. Authorised absence
This is for those students who are away from school for a reason that is deemed to be valid under the Education Act 1996.

3. Approved Educational Activity
This covers types of supervised educational activity undertaken off site but with the approval of the school. Note: Students recorded in this category are deemed to be present for attendance returns purposes.
This would include:

Appendix (i) and (ii)

 (i)  Leave of Absence Form: 
 T:Tutor GroupsHeads of HouseAttendanceHCC Application Form to Request Leave of Absence.pdf
(ii)  Penalty Notice: Advice to Parents & Carers: 
 T:Tutor GroupsHeads of HouseAttendanceHCC Info on PNs advice for parents (July 2015).pdf 

Policy Reviewed:   November 2016
Ratified:                 November 2016
Next Review:         November 2017