Raise your child’s attendance – Raise their chances!

At Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting good attitudes towards attendance. We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their children are present at every opportunity, to arrive on time and to avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily, or taking them out of school without authorisation. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.
We monitor student’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone and/or by letter. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact parents/ carers to discuss ways in which the Academy can support you and your child.
Our Academy attendance target of 97% is the minimum that we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive effect on students and their futures.

Punctuality and Registration

• The law requires the register to be taken twice a day – at 8.55am at the start of the morning session and 1pm at the start of the afternoon session.
• Children are expected to arrive by 8.50am in order to be ready for the start of the first lesson at 8.55am.
• Registers close at 9.00am in the morning. After 9.00am children will be marked as late, after 9.15am children will be marked as an unauthorised absence unless a satisfactory explanation has been received. For the afternoon session registers close at 1.15pm.
• The register is marked using the DfE Attendance and Absence Codes.
• Guidance on applying the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 can be found in ‘Advice on School Attendance’ published 2012 by the DfE.

Persistent Absence

Persistent Absence is a serious problem for students. Much of the work children miss when they are off school is never made up, leaving these students at a considerable disadvantage.
A student defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ is one who misses 15% or more of school.
Schools are challenged by the Government to address the problem of persistent absenteeism. The government has strengthened schools’ ability to respond by increasing Fixed Penalty Notices (fines) to £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days.

What to do if your child is ill:

If your child is too ill to attend the Academy, parents/carers should contact the Academy Office as soon as possible
by telephone on 01924 303825. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message 24 hours a day.
Please give your child’s name, Class, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent unless you have given us an indication of how long the absence will last.

What to do if your child has an appointment:

We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, we require notification in advance. Please telephone or provide a note from home or appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment.
In most cases, your child should attend the Academy before the appointment and return to the Academy afterwards wherever possible.

Automated calls to parents/carers:

We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and calls are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers if a student is absent, where the Academy Office has received no reason for absence. Calls are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you.
NOTE: Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending registration on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up to date contact numbers.

Leave of Absence (including term-time holidays)

Amendments came into force in September 2013 and the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 now state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true. The government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education.
Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, weekends away etc.
Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence. Parents/carers should make any request well in advance and in writing (a form is available from the Academy). Requests for absence for reasons such as compassionate leave, special family events, sporting or musical competitions, etc., should be made in the same way.
All requests are considered individually, taking into account the circumstances of the request. Other factors will be taken into account, such as:
• the time of year the student will be absent
• the attendance record of the student
• the number of previous requests for leave of absence
• the student’s ability to catch up
Parents will be notified of the Academy’s decision either by telephone or in writing.
Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. This is a fine of £60 per parent for each child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 per parent for each child if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.

Celebrating Good Attendance

Good attendance is celebrated in weekly assemblies and classes.
Half-termly awards are presented in assemblies. Whole school and class attendance is updated and publicised regularly on classroom doors and displays within the Academy.

Support for Attendance

We monitor students’ attendance and punctuality very closely. We follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers by telephone and/ or by letter.
Where a student’s attendance reaches a concerning level, we will contact you by letter or telephone to discuss ways in which we can work together to support you and your child. We may invite you to a meeting in school to discuss your child’s attendance and how the Academy can support you to improve this.

Fast Track to Attendance

The academy has a responsibility to work with families to address attendance concerns. Where a student’s attendance continues to fall despite initial contact with parents/carers and the use of appropriate strategies to help improve attendance, the academy may consider the use of the Fast Track to Attendance process. The Fast Track Process is a positive measure to support parents/carers to fulfil their legal responsibility to ensure the regular attendance of their child.
A Fast Track Panel meeting will be held and parents/carers and the student (if appropriate) will be invited to attend. An action plan will be drawn up at this meeting and parents/carers will be sent a letter explaining the outcome of the meeting and possible consequences. Following a monitoring period a review will be held and if insufficient improvement is made, the academy will make a decision on the next steps. This could include the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice, referral to the Magistrates Court for prosecution or, in some cases, the Fast Track process may be extended for a further period of time. For further details regarding legal sanctions, please see the relevant section or click on the link.

Legal Sanctions

Parents/carers have a legal duty to make sure their child attends school regularly. The Academy can make a referral to the local authority where parents/carers are failing in their legal duty. The local authority has the power to enforce school attendance where this becomes problematic, including the power to prosecute parents/carers who fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school. If found guilty parents/ carers could be fined up to £2500 and/ or imprisoned for 3 months.
Penalty notices are fines of £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 12 and 28 days. They are an alternative to prosecution of parents for failing to ensure their child attends school regularly.