Version | July 2018
Our academy motto of ‘Striving to be Co-op’ is the foundation on which our educational values are built. We seek to establish a culture in which openness and fairness is encouraged between our students, teachers and the wider community in a professional and efficient environment. Caring for others is promoted at Co-op Academy Swinton, where we understand that children have only one childhood. We aim for high achievement in an environment which is based on rewards not sanctions, that shares the common values of ‘respect’ and ‘honesty’.
At Co-op Academy Swinton we adopt the Co-op ‘Ways of Being’, these values are:
- Be yourself, always
- Succeed together
- Show you care
- Do what matters most
These ways of being ensure that we work together as a ‘Co-op community’ to ensure that your child is successful in every endeavour, including outstanding attendance.
The aim of our Attendance Policy is to promote a whole school approach towards attendance. We will attempt to raise the profile of attendance by working alongside students, staff, parents and carers, the local community and the Education Welfare Service (EWS). As a school we will encourage students to attend school regularly and punctually by providing a welcoming, supportive and caring environment, whereby each student feels wanted and secure. Good and outstanding teaching and learning is a stimulus for promoting and encouraging good attendance. Our academy’s long-term aim is to continue to reduce absence and persistent absence to enable the following:
- Promote children’s welfare and safeguarding
- Ensure every student has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled
- Ensure that students succeed while at school
- Ensure that students have access to the widest possible range of opportunities when they leave school.
As an academy we aim to improve our attendance each academic year. To achieve these high standards we will establish effective and efficient systems to promote attendance and punctuality.
Co-op Academy Swinton will ensure that:
- Whole school policy is applied consistently with staff, students and parents
- Attendance and punctuality maintains a high profile across the whole school. This will be done via letters to parents, school newsletter, assemblies, form time, meetings, Intake Evenings, Open Evenings, Parents’ Evenings and review days.
- Students are registered accurately via the School Information Management System (SIMS)
- Accurate records are kept on attendance and termly absence data is submitted to the relevant agencies; Co-op Academy Trust, Local Authority (LA), and Department for Education (DfE)
- Absence is dealt with promptly
- A rewards scheme is in place to reward good attendance and punctuality
- Systems are in place to challenge parents/carers of students with poor attendance and punctuality which include phone calls home, letters home, parental/carer meetings, home visits, attendance panel meetings, fixed penalty notice and prosecution
- Attendance figures are reported to the governors termly
- Effective partnerships are established with the Education Welfare Service and other agencies
Parents/carers are responsible in law for ensuring the regular and punctual attendance of their children. Parents/carers should familiarise themselves with this Attendance Policy and should work closely with the academy staff to overcome any problems which may affect a child’s attendance.
Co-op Academy Swinton encourages and values high attendance rates. We will recognise the external factors which influence student attendance and will work in partnership with parents/carers, the Education Welfare Office and other relevant services to deal with any issues. We will take a proactive approach to the promotion of good attendance by defining expectations with students and their parents/carers and will provide an effective and efficient system for monitoring attendance in accordance with legal requirements.
Students are informed of our academy policy on attendance and punctuality via their Student Planner and their Form Tutor, Year Manager and Pupil Progress Coordinator. The students are informed of the staff members they can approach if there is a problem which may lead to absence. Also students are informed of rewards/sanctions for attendance/punctuality and through our Student Council we make decisions around the type of rewards that the students receive for attendance.
At the start of the school year students are informed of school attendance targets and targets for their particular year group. This enables the academy to involve the students in the whole academy ethos and to maintain a sense of belonging.
- Parents/carers are informed of their legal responsibilities and are communicated with on a regular basis
- Parents/carers should ensure that if their child is to be absent from school for any unavoidable reason such as sickness they should contact the academy on the first day of their child’s absence before 9am. This may be done by phone, by letter or in person. Their child should then bring in a note on their return to school
- Parents/carers will be contacted on the first day of absence when reasons for absence are unknown
- Parents/Carers may not authorise their child’s absence – only the school can do this on the basis of the explanation provided by parents/carers. Parents are actively discouraged from allowing their child to stay off for trivial reasons eg. shopping, child’s birthday, looking after a brother/sister
- Parents/carers should ensure that their child arrives at school in time for the start of registration at 8:42am. Where students are persistently late or truanting from school parents/carers will be contacted
- Parents/carers are actively discouraged from booking medical and dental appointments in school time
- Holidays will not be authorised. Exceptional circumstances leave of absence during term time will only be authorised if there are exceptional circumstances (Directed by the Department for Education)
- The academy will record and monitor attendance in accordance both with the statutory requirements and with the principle that regular, uninterrupted attendance is vital to a child’s educational progress
- Registers will be called twice daily (at 8:42am and at 1:57pm). Registers will close at 8:45 am and at 2pm. Any child arriving after the closing of the register will be recorded as ‘late’ for that session
- Teachers will complete registers in accordance with the guidance contained in the Staff Handbook
- Should a class teacher have particular concerns about an individual child’s attendance or punctuality they should inform the Year manager, Pupil Progress Coordinator or the Social Inclusion Officer
- Should a child be absent, the class teacher should inform the Year manager, Pupil Progress Coordinator or the Social Inclusion Office
- All absence notes from parents should be collected by the Form Tutor and recorded in the register
- The Deputy Headteacher, Year Manager and Pupil Progress Coordinator will regularly collect attendance data and will use this data during meetings with the school’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO). These meetings will identify respective tasks and follow-up actions for both the academy and the EWO
- The academy will employ a number of strategies to promote regular, punctual attendance
- Appropriate personal encouragement or congratulation will be offered to individual children
- Clear attendance information will be published on the academy website: www.swinton.coop
Staff are informed on the guidelines for completing registers and using absence codes via the SIMS system. Staff monitor student attendance and punctuality on a daily basis and implement the appropriate procedures. Our staff work together with the Education Welfare Service and other agencies to raise attendance. Co-op Academy Swinton aims to work together with parents/carers and their families to ensure that their child attends school regularly and punctually and to ensure that students are informed of their attendance targets.
(i) Form Tutor
At Co-op Academy Swinton the Form Tutor is seen as the key figure in promoting regular punctual attendance. The Form Tutor should:
- Provide a good example by always being punctual to registration;
- Carry out registration in the prescribed manner;
- Ensure that students who are late are challenged and dealt with in accordance to policy
- Ensure that all notes from parents are scrutinised and acted upon before the register is amended;
- Alert the Pupil Progress Coordinator or Year Manager when there is a problem with attendance or punctuality which has not been resolved
- Use collapsed timetable time and review week to interview and discuss attendance and/or punctuality issues, setting and monitoring targets as appropriate;
- Offer praise to individual students whose attendance and/or punctuality improves.
(ii) Subject Teacher
Subject Teachers should:
- Take a register at the beginning of every lesson (and ensure that the students know that a register is being taken);
- Follow up any suspected internal truancy by checking with the Year Manager, Pupil Progress Coordinator or Social Inclusion Officer immediately and issue a suitable sanction
- Provide relevant work for students who are being educated off site
(iii) Year Manager and Pupil Progress Coordinator
The Year Manager and the Pupil Progress Coordinator responsible for monitoring the attendance of their year group should:
- Monitor attendance on a regular basis, setting targets for improvement as appropriate;
- Monitor the performance of individual form groups, following up with individual interviews instances where patterns of absenteeism are not being effectively addressed;
- Review registers and attendance and punctuality figures on a weekly basis
- Regularly put attendance onto the agenda of Pastoral briefings;
- Ensure that contact is made with parents of poor attenders, supporting the Form Tutor where appropriate in dealing with parents directly;
- Meet with the Education Welfare Officer on a weekly basis in order to discuss students who have not responded to the school’s strategies and when necessary to make referrals;
- Follow up internal truancy with appropriate punishments;
- Promote good attendance and punctuality through assemblies, commendations, rewards, etc.
(iv) Social Inclusion Officer
The Social Inclusion Officer should:
- Monitor whole school attendance and attendance to target
- Monitor and evaluate attendance performance and to address any issues around the persistent absentee agenda
- Liaise with Pupil Progress Coordinators and Year Managers to monitor and evaluate their year group attendance
- Coordinate and conduct home visits to parents/carers of students with low attendance or students where the academy has not been given a reason for absence
- Identify students which may need support and from this compile and coordinate attendance panel meetings
- Identifying and inform local authority of parents/carers that are at threshold for a fix penalty notice or fast-track proceedings
- Identify students or families that need Educational Welfare support
- Support and refer families to appropriate outside agencies
- Daily review of attendance data
- Conduct Internal truancy sweeps
The academy should receive an explanation for every absence. Any unexplained absence will be classed as unauthorised absence. Information about a child’s absence can be communicated to school via a telephone call or a note written by the parent (section in Student Handbook or on a piece of paper). This should be brought into school the first day after absence and should be given to the child’s form tutor. If you know in advance that your child will be absent eg. religious observance then please notify Mrs Craven or Mrs Ashton in the school office.
If your child has an unavoidable appointment during school time we ask that you inform the academy via a phone call, appointment card or note to your child’s form tutor. Your child will then be asked to sign out at the school office and will be issued with a ‘pass out slip’. We would normally expect to see your child in school for the session before and after the appointment.
All attendance will be monitored and any pattern of non-attendance or a high number of authorised absences may be referred to the Education Welfare Service. This may lead to legal action being taken against you. If a student has ten or more unauthorised sessions a fixed penalty notice will be issued by Salford City Council. We also request that after 15 days of authorised absence a medical certificate/evidence is provided to support your child’s absence. In addition to this a medical planning meeting will be held. Failure to provide such evidence will result in the academy involving the Education Welfare Service.
Condoned absences will not necessarily be marked in the register as authorised absence. Please do not keep your child off school for the following reasons:
- Buying uniform
- Going shopping
- Going on a day trip
- Looking after a younger brother/sister
- Awaiting a delivery at your home
- Waiting in for the builders etc.
Exceptional Circumstances Leave of Absence:
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced important amendments to legislation surrounding holidays in term time.
From 1st September 2013, the new law gives NO entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. Headteachers would not be expected to class any term-time holiday as exceptional. Parents can be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without the consent of the school.
Attendance Panel Meetings:
If the academy has concerns or questions about a student’s attendance then they will invite parents/carers to a supportive meeting (Attendance Panel Meeting). These meetings will be attended by the Deputy Headteacher, the Social Inclusion Officer and two local authority representatives. These meetings are a forum to discuss with parents/carers and students any issues surrounding their attendance. Within the meetings the academy will offer different and varied supportive strategies or outside agencies that may be appropriate.
A student will be given a ‘correction’ for the same evening if they are late to school or lessons. The ‘Striving to be Co-op’ system helps us to ensure that your child arrives at school on time in the morning, to start the school day. We know that all good schools, colleges and employers value punctuality and this drive is to support every student to leave school equipped to face the wider world with a very good record of punctuality.
Rewarding attendance and punctuality:
The academy has a system in place that rewards students with good attendance and punctuality or students who have made improvements. The rewards system acknowledges this by means of students being awarded with certificates and prizes for their efforts on a termly basis. Rewarding good attendance is paramount to maintaining good attendance and works as a motivating factor for all students to attend school. Throughout the whole academic year there is an emphasis on rewards and students being recognised for consistently good attendance. There are various awards given to students, which have been recommended by the Student Council, these include:
- 100% Form Attendance parties
- Certificates, Trophies and stationery
- Trafford Centre vouchers, four per year group for termly 100% attendance and £50 for a student who has 100% attendance all year
- State of the art mobile phone
- Rewards trips to places which include the following; ice skating, Chill Factore, Theatre, Laser Quest, Alton Towers, Ten Pin bowling, Camelot and Blackpool
- Xbox 360
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review:
This Attendance Policy will be reviewed throughout the academic year by staff, the Governing Body, Student Disciplinary and Rewards Committee and the Student Council in order to assess its effectiveness.
Thank you for your help and support in helping us to promote and raise attendance across our academy.
If you have any further questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact the academy on the following number:
- Mrs Craven – Social Inclusion Officer on: 0161 794 6215
- Miss Withers – Deputy Headteacher on: 0161 794 6215
- Education Welfare Officer – Lesley Powell: 0161 686 7268
You can also download a PDF of this Policy here:
Attendance Policy | July 2018