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Attendance

Attendance is of the highest importance; it allows Venturers' Academy to support a student’s academic progress, achieve their potential and is key to promoting and safeguarding their wellbeing.

The Academy's effectiveness is judged using attendance as one of the indicators.

In order to best support and safeguard our students Venturers' Academy requests that parents, staff, governors and students to work with the Academy to achieve the highest possible attendance rates. 

Venturers' Academy maintains established systems and practices that will:

  • Create an ethos in which good attendance is the norm.
  • Monitor the quality of the school experience with a view to maintaining a safe, secure, happy and interesting environment for students in order to positively encourage good attendance.
  • Raise student awareness of the importance of punctuality and uninterrupted attendance, and encourage in students a sense of responsibility.
  • Monitor and provide data on levels of attendance and punctuality.
  • Develop co-operation between home and Academy in encouraging good attendance and addressing any issues.
  • Demonstrate through the use of rewards that the school recognises that good attendance and punctuality are achievements in themselves.
  • Inform families through the Newsletter and Website of the importance of good levels of attendance and punctuality and of their role in achieving this.

General Principles

  • Regular, punctual attendance at the Academy is the key to every child achieving his or her potential.
  • It is the parent/carers responsibility to ensure that their child attends the Academy regularly.  Where necessary, parents will be supported and encouraged in continually seeking ways to improve attendance at the Academy.
  • Promoting and improving attendance is the responsibility of all staff working in a coordinated way.
  • Venturers’ Academy will work in partnership with parent/carers and liaise closely with other services to produce a systematic and coordinated response to attendance issues.
  • The Academy will operate on a basis of secure data, effective communication, supportive intervention and challenge.
  • Early intervention is vital to avoid the development of negative habits and patterns of unauthorised absence and authorised absence.
  • The Academy will not authorise holidays in term time.
  • The Academy will only authorise absence on receipt of evidence of a genuine medical or compassionate reason.
  • The Academy will engage additional support from outside agencies where it is required.

Assistant Vice Principal for Safeguarding and Inclusion will:

  • Implement fully the Academy’s agreed Attendance for Learning Policy.
  • Promote, celebrate and reward good attendance.
  • Advise Principal and Governors regarding target-setting for improving attendance.
  • Be responsible for policy development and review.
  • Lead on all areas linked to Attendance
  • Report periodically on attendance to the governing body.
  • Monitor the implementation of the Attendance for Learning Policy and evaluate its impact.
  • Ensure the governing body, teaching staff, learning support assistants, parents and students are fully informed of attendance patterns and trends.
  • Support Teachers and Teaching Assistants by holding them to account on matters of attendance such as responding to issues raised by post-registration data.

Parents/Carers are informed about:

  • What constitutes authorised and unauthorised absence.
  • The importance of informing the school of absence.
  • The role of the school in cases of low attendance, truancy and persistent lateness.
  • Their child’s level of attendance and punctuality through their child’s termly reports, annual review report, parent’s meetings and letters.

Parents/Carers Procedure:

  • If a child is absent due to ill-health or other unplanned absence, parents/carers are required to call Reception as soon as possible on the first day of their absence, indicating the reason for absence and the likely length of absence.
  • If a child has a planned absence, for example to attend a medical appointment, parents/carers are required to either telephone or send a note in with the child, in advance, to let the school know.  

Recording attendance

Tutors are required to record students’ attendance twice a day on SIMS for reporting and analysis.

The Academy maintains an Attendance Register for all students from their first day of admission and on each occasion record whether every student is:

  • Present;
  • Attending an approved educational activity;
  • Absent; or,
  • Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances.

The Academy follows up any absences to: 

  • Ascertain the reason;
  • Ensure the proper safeguarding action is taken;
  • Identify whether the absence is approved or not; and,
  • Identify the correct code to use before entering it on to the school’s electronic register, or management information system which is used to download data to the School Census.

Holidays in Term Time

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 previously allowed Principals to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten days leave per year.  Principals could also grant extended leave for more than ten days in exceptional circumstances.  Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten days.

  • Principals can no longer grant leave for family holidays during term time.
  • The statutory threshold of granting ten days leave has been removed.
  • Principals cannot grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Parents/carers who choose to take their child on holiday during term time could find themselves liable to a Penalty Notice being issued against them in accordance with the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007

Working with External Agencies

The Academy recognises that low attendance may be a symptom of a wide range of community, family or individual circumstances. Many of these circumstances will demand expert support beyond the remit of the the Academy. The Academy works very closely with a number of outside agencies that are committed to working with children, young people and their families.

Other Agencies to be used where appropriate in individual cases:

  • Educational Psychologists (EP)
  • Children Social Care Services
  • Police
  • Youth Offending Team (YOT)

Data Protection Act

The Academy complies with the Data Protection Act. The legislation allows the Academy to share information with the police or social services where it is believed that a child or young person is at risk of harm or in need of safeguarding.

Students not collected at the end of the day

Section 175 Education Act 2002 places a duty on Local Authorities (LA’s) and Governing Bodies to make arrangements to ensure that their functions are carried out with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.  It is important that parents keep the Academy informed of change of addresses or contact details, if no prior arrangement has been made with the Academy, or a parent/carer has not advised the Academy will have a duty to follow the procedures as set down in the Academy’s Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy.

Attendance rates and actions

Attendance Rate

Action

100%

This is the aim for all children. Students who achieve this are recognised at Open Day on their Open Day Report, there is an award for attendance at Open Day and students are rewarded through the Credit System.  Children are also invited to celebrate their 100% attendance at their termly tea with the Principal.

97-99%

Excellent attendance and is recognised through the credit system.

95.7% or above

Good/high attendance and is recognised through the credit system.

94.9% - 95.6%

Above average attendance.

94% - 94.8%

Average attendance.  Students will be encouraged to raise their attendance levels further through; positive reinforcement of the credit system and awards, weekly target setting, exploration of barriers to attendance with key worker and support from the school nurse where appropriate.

90% - 94%

Low attendance and will be addressed with support for the student and family from the Academy Leadership Team. It may be discussed with the student’s case officer or social worker, raised at Annual Reviews and Child Protection/Looked After Child meetings.

Below 90%

This constitutes a level of absence that gives school cause for serious concern for a student’s welfare and safety. The school will contact the Education Welfare Office in the student’s home locality to investigate the reasons for the level of absence and support an improvement in attendance.


Promoting good attendance - Information for parents/carers

What is your duty?

You are legally responsible for:

  • Ensuring your child is in receipt of full time education.
  • Their regular and punctual attendance at the Academy.

What can you do?

If your child is absent from the Academy you must:

  • As early as you can on the first day of absence phone the Academy, or send a notice, or call the Academy. 
  • When your child returns to the Academy always send a signed note which should be dated and give the reason for absence.

The reasons your child should NOT be kept away from the Academy include:

  • To look after brothers or sisters
  • To mind the house
  • To visit relatives
  • For long weekends
  • For shopping trips
  • For birthdays.

The above will be recorded by the Academy as unauthorised absence.  Where possible all medical appointments like doctors or dentists should be made outside of school time.

How can I help my child attend school regularly?

  • Talk to your child about their day.
  • Keep in touch with the Academy and teaching staff about any concerns you or your child may have.
  • Attend parents' evenings, Academy meetings and other events.

How can we help?

The Academy is committed to providing a full time and efficient education for all students.

The Academy can offer help by providing advice and support to you and your child.