Focus on Attendance and Punctuality

Research has shown that regular attendance and good punctuality are crucial factors in children achieving their full potential in education. At Newland St John’s CE Academy we wish to work in partnership with parents and carers and so are seeking your full support in ensuring that your child attends school every day and on time. We are always pleased to work together with parents/carers in resolving any difficulties, but we are also committed to improving attendance levels at the academy.

The target attendance figure for all children is a minimum of 97% attendance. Based on current
attendance figures your child will be placed in one of the following groups below.

Group 1: No Concern – Green Group
The child attends for 97% – 100% of the time.

Group 2: Concern – Yellow Group
The child attends for 96% – 96.9% of the time.

Group 3: Risk of Underachievement – Amber Group
The child attends for 94% – 95.9% of the time.

Group 4: Severe Risk of Underachievement – Pink Group
The child attends for 90% – 93.9% of the time.

Group 5: Extreme Risk of Underachievement – Red Group
The child attends for 0% – 89.9% of the time.

Your child will be informed of their Attendance Group by their Class Teacher. Newland St John’s CE Academy monitors children closely whose attendance is falling and will contact you if your child’s attendance does not improve. As a parent/carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, even if they are missing school without your knowledge. It is important that parents/carers monitor single days of absence, as these days soon add up to weeks.

If you are concerned about this new ‘Focus on Attendance’, there are important steps that you can take:

– Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Lesson time begins at 09:00. Children can arrive from 08:45 when the doors open and must be on site by 08:55. Children arriving after 09:00 will be marked as late and children arriving after 09:15 will be marked absent and will require an explanatory note or the absence will remain un-authorised.
– Ensure the school has up-to-date addresses and telephone numbers. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the school office. This ensures that the absence is quickly identified.
– If your child is ill, contact the academy on the first day of absence and provide an explanatory note on their return to school.
– If you wish to check that your child has arrived at the academy contact the school office. Our Admin team will be able to inform you if your child has been registered.
– If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
– Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of the school day.
– Avoid trivial absences such as, ‘buying new shoes’. This would not be accepted as a reasonable absence.
– Holidays should not be taken in academy time. Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Principal and only agreed where there are exceptional circumstances.
– Respond to letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality.
– Contact your child’s class teacher if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into school.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to achieve the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality at Newland St John’s CE Academy.

Absences during term time

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 explanatory note states:

Regulation 7 of the 2006 Regulations is amended to prohibit the proprietor of a maintained school granting leave of absence to a pupil; except where an application has been made in advance and the proprietor considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. The Local Governing Body at Newland St John’s specifies the following as being exceptional circumstances:

– Religious observance (1 day only);
– Service Personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time and an employer letter confirming this would be required;
– Acute crisis within the family, where the family needs to spend time together to support each other, at the discretion of the Headteacher;
– Court order/formal agreement where parents have separated.

Leave of absence taken without authorisation may be referred to the Education Welfare Service. This may result in prosecution proceedings, or a Fixed Penalty Notice. If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, a separate Notice would be issued to each parent for each child. THE RATE PER PARENT PER CHILD WILL BE £60 IF PAID WITHIN 21 DAYS AND RISING TO £120 IF PAID BETWEEN 22 AND 28 DAYS If the penalty notice is not paid each parent may be liable to prosecution at the Magistrates Court, and if proved, each notice may receive a criminal conviction and/or a fine to the maximum of £1,000 plus costs.

– Application for term-time leave of absence must be made in advance by the parent with whom the child normally resides on the form headed ‘Application for leave of absence during term time’. These may be obtained from the school office.
– Leave of absence will only be granted where the Headteacher considers it is due to ‘exceptional circumstances’. Parents will be informed within 7 school days as to whether the request has been authorised or unauthorised.
– There are approximately 195 school days (390 sessions) a year which children are expected to attend. There are also approximately 71 days (142 sessions) of school holidays. This is over 13 school weeks. Parents are encouraged to only take holidays during school holidays as it is essential that children are in school so that they can take a full part in all school activities.