Attendance Policy

The Attendance Policy is available in PDF format here - (Issue date: January 2022 - Review Date: January 2023)

Attendance

Kingsway Park High School is committed to the continuous raising of achievement of all our students. Regular attendance is critical if our students are to be successful and benefit from the opportunities presented to them.

One of our basic principles is to celebrate success.   Good attendance is fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience. We actively promote 100% attendance for all our students, and we use a variety of weekly, termly and annual awards to promote good attendance and punctuality, including certificates and badges. It is our intent to ensure maximum attendance for each student, as there is clear evidence of a link between poor attendance and low levels of achievement.

Kingsway Park High School is committed to ensuring that parents/carers and students understand the importance of regular and punctual attendance. We recognise that parents/carers have a vital role to play and that there is a need to establish strong home-school links and communication systems that can be utilised whenever there are concerns about attendance.

There will, inevitably, be occasional issues that impede full attendance and these will be identified and addressed promptly. We will strive to work in partnership with parents/carers and students to resolve those problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Governors, Headteacher and Staff in partnership with parents have a duty to promote full attendance at Kingsway Park High School.

Legal Framework

“Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potentials an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – students need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

 The Government expects schools to promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence, ensure every student has access to full-time education to which they are entitled and act early to address patterns of absence.

 Parents are expected to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly and arrive to school on time”.

Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states that parents must ensure that children of compulsory school age receive efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude to any special educational needs they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

A child is of Compulsory School Age at the beginning of the term following their 5th birthday. A child ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June of the school year in which they reach the age of 16.

Under the Education Act 1996, the Local Authority has a statutory responsibility to ensure that parents secure education for children of compulsory school age and where necessary, use legal enforcement.

The Education (Student Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, require schools to take an attendance register twice a day, once at the start of the morning session and then again during the afternoon session.

The register must record whether the student was:

  • present
  • absent
  • present at approved educational activity or
  • unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

Safeguarding

Kingsway Park High School is committed to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of its students. Each student’s welfare is of paramount importance. We recognise that some children may be especially vulnerable.  Your child may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly.  Safeguarding the interests of each child is everyone’s responsibility and within the context of the High School, promoting the welfare and life opportunities for your child encompasses attendance, behaviour management, health and safety and access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

Responsibilities

 At Kingsway Park High School, we will:

  • Expect students to attend the school regularly, on time, properly equipped and ready to learn.
  • Maintain an effective system of incentives and rewards which acknowledges the efforts of students to maintain or improve their attendance and timekeeping.
  • Encourage good attendance and will communicate with parents/carers as soon as possible if there is a problem with attendance or punctuality.
  • Promptly investigate all absenteeism and lateness.
  • Work in partnership with parents/carers and students to resolve issues which affect attendance or punctuality as quickly as possible.
  • Include students’ attendance in reports to parents/carers on achievement, at least annually.
  • Will enforce the requirement to attend school punctually and reserve the right not to authorise absence for persistent offenders or where there is no reasonable explanation.
  • Will involve appropriate outside agencies in order to support vulnerable students and their families.

Kingsway Park High School students will:

  • Attend the school regularly and on time.
  • Attend all lessons punctually.

Parents/Carers of Kingsway Park High School students should:

Ensure their child regularly and punctually attends school, fulfilling their legal responsibility.

Telephone the Parental Absence Line on 01484 848698 between 7:30-9.00 am on the first day and every

subsequent day of absence, informing the school of the reasons for absence and stating an expected day of return.

Work actively with the Kingsway Park High School staff and relevant multi-agency staff, to solve any attendance issues as and when they occur.

Notify Kingsway Park High School if they intend to remove their child for a leave of absence i.e., family holiday. It should be made clear that this is not a parental right, and such requests will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances in-line with the guidance issued later in this document. No leave will be authorised for students during their time in Year groups 10 and 11 at the school.

Registration Procedures

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 determine the admissions and attendance registers that all schools must keep. They also regulate the power schools have to grant leave of absence.

By law, schools are required to record in the attendance register, once at the beginning of the morning session and once in the afternoon, whether the student is present, absent, engaged in an approved, supervised educational activity off-site, or unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances.

At Kingsway Park High School Capita SIMS is used (School Information

Management System), enabling the management of student and staff information across all areas of school life including registration, timetabling, progress tracking and assessment, and whole School communication.

Students are required to register at the start of the morning registration session and again at the beginning of each of the six daily lessons.

AM registration takes place during tutor time and opens at 8.30 am and closes at 9.10 am.

PM registration takes place during Period 4 between 12.10 pm and 12.40 pm.

Students arriving after 8.30am must register at Student Services and will be recorded as late.

Students who arrive late to school will receive late catch up with their personal tutor.

Failure to attend the tutor catch up or persistent punctuality issues will result in Head of Year catch ups after school for 30 minutes.

Kingsway Park High School expects its teaching staff to take a SIMS register every lesson.  If this is not possible due to computer failure, then paper registers are taken and sent to the Attendance Officer, who manually adds them to the system.

Only the Attendance Officer will alter the attendance register; there are only three occasions when the attendance register can be altered:

  • If it is discovered that an error has been made.
  • Where an unexplained absence has since been satisfactorily explained.
  • Where a student’s name has been legally changed.

A student cannot be removed from the attendance register unless they are removed from the admissions register at the same time.        

Registration Symbols

The following symbols are used in registers in line with the Department for Education guidance:

Code

Description

Pupil counted as if school for that session?

# School closed to students No
/ Present Yes
B Educated off-site Yes
C Other Authorised Circumstances No
D Dual Registration Yes
E Excluded No
H Family Holiday (agreed) No
G Family Holiday (NOT agreed) No
I Illness No
J Interview Yes
L Late (before registers closed) Yes
M Medical/Dental Appointment No
N No reason yet provided for No
O Unauthorised absence               No
P Approved Sporting Activity Yes
R Religious Observance No
S Study Leave No
T Traveller Absence No
U Late (after registers closed – 9:00 No
V Educational Visit or Trip             Yes
W Work Experience Yes
X * Non-Compulsory School Age No
Y Enforced Closure          Yes
Z Pupil not yet on roll No

*The X code is also used for students awaiting a PCR test due to Covid symptoms

Absence Reporting

First Day Absence

Parents/carers should ring the parent absence line on 01706 716763, or the main reception on 01706 716761, selecting option 1, before 9.00 am to report a student absence, giving the reason and likely duration of the absence. The Attendance Officer will input information in ‘Lesson Monitor’ when such information is received. (On their return to school, students should bring in a note from a parent/carer explaining the reason for absence.  The note must be signed by a parent/carer and shown to the Attendance Manager).

The Attendance Manager will run an attendance report around 9.30 am to identify any absence where parents/carers have not contacted school. Contact will be made to these parents/carers by the Head of Year from 9.30 am onwards by phone call.

If contact has not been made the Head of Year will request a home visit by the Attendance Manager and a member of the Safeguarding/Pastoral Team.

Impact of attendance on learning

Description

Attendance

Equals absent
number of days

Learning hours lost

Excellent

100%
99%

0
2
0
10
Good

98%
97%
96%

4
6
7.5

20
30
37.5

Satisfactory

95%

9.5

47.5

Cause for Concern

90%
89%
88%
87%

19
21
23
25

95
105
115
125

Unsatisfactory

86%

27

13
5

Serious Cause for Concern

85%
84%
83%
82%
81%
28.5
30.5
32
34
36

142
152
160
170
18
0

Persistent Unauthorised Absence will lead to the issue of penalty notices and other legal consequences.

Truancy

Truancy checks will be carried out as part of the First Day Absence procedures and when the Daily Attendance report is run by the Attendance Officer using Lesson Monitor. Additional random checks will be taken, and checks will also be made when there is information that a student may be truanting from school, or someone leaving a message on the absence line does not appear to be an adult or is the student themselves.

When a student has truanted from school, parents/carers will be informed and the Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher will:

  • Interview the student, explore the reason behind the truancy and issue appropriate sanctions. The sanction for truanting is isolation with tutor or time in the school’s Internal Exclusion Unit (Reflect). Students will also be expected to catch up on any work they have missed during the period of truancy. In the case of persistent truants, the parents/carers will be informed immediately.
  • Ensure the truancy is recorded on the student’s record.      

Long Term Absence, Support and Reintegration Programme

  • Long term absence may occur as a result of injury, planned hospitalisation, bereavement etc.
  • Wherever possible, the Attendance Manager, Head of Year, Personal Tutor, Subject Teachers and SENDCO where applicable, will make arrangements for appropriate work to be collected for any student who is likely to be absent for a long period. This may also include online units of work.
  • A relevant member of staff will liaise with subject teachers to arrange additional time and support for students to catch up missing work.
  • A personalised plan (Individual Reintegration Programme) and personalised timetable may be created under the direction of the Assistant Headteacher for Attendance to ensure the seamless transfer back into lessons. Provision may be made for students to spend some time in the school library if their mobility has been affected and there are lessons on the curriculum/timetable that they cannot access.
  • An Attendance Support Plan, produced in collaboration with Rochdale local authority may be implemented, particularly if the child as been place onto an Attendance Order or is returning to school after elective home education (EHE).
  • The arrangements will be monitored and reviewed at appropriate times by the Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher.

Authorising Absence

Parents/carers do not have the legal right to authorise absence, as this is the responsibility of Kingsway Park’s Headteacher

Student Leave of Absence In term holidays

Parents/carers requesting a leave of absence for their child/children must obtain a ‘Application for Extended Absence Form’ from Student Services or Reception. The form should be returned to the Attendance Officer at least 2 weeks prior to the planned absence.

The Attendance Officer will discuss any request for Extended Absence with the Assistant Headteacher for Attendance, having considered the student’s attendance, any previous requests and the examination schedule.

A Student Leave of Absence will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

(Please see Appendix 1) The Assistant Headteacher will consult with the

Headteacher where the circumstances are exceptional. A covering letter may be provided to accompany the Application for Extended Absence submitted and should give details on the exceptional nature of the circumstances.

Absence for the following reasons may be authorised by Kingsway Park High School where parents/carers have confirmed or provided evidence the absence:

  • Illness
  • Religious observance
  • Family bereavement
  • Interview
  • Medical appointment (appointments should be made out of school hours where possible.
  • Appointments made within the school day should be accompanied by a medical letter or appointment card. Students must attend school before and after their appointment where possible).
  • Sporting activities at regional level or higher
  • Performances which are linked to approved educational activities, i.e., musical performances

Absences may be recorded as unauthorised by Kingsway Park High School when due to:

  • Family holidays, unless in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Headteacher (Appendix 1)
  • Truancy
  • Absences for reasons such as shopping, hair/beauty appointments, birthdays, no uniform etc.
  • Absences which have not been properly explained
  • Absence for any commercial ventures

Punctuality

Kingsway Park High School also encourages its students to demonstrate excellent punctuality. Students may be given a 30 minute catch up for poor punctuality.

Persistent poor punctuality may lead to the issue of penalty notices and other legal consequences.

Child Missing in Education

All children are entitled to a full-time education, regardless of their circumstances. Unfortunately, children missing education (CME) risk underachieving, being victims of abuse, and not being in education, employment or training (NEET) in later life. The LA has a legal duty to identify when there are CME and help them back into education.

CME is defined as a child or young person of compulsory school age who is not attending school, not placed in alternative provision by an LA, and who is not receiving a suitable education elsewhere. This definition also includes children who are receiving an education, but one that is not suitable; this could include children who are not receiving full-time education suitable to their needs, e.g., age, ability, aptitude, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Where a student has not returned to school for 10 days after an authorised absence or is absent from the school without authorisation for twenty consecutive school days, the school may remove the student from the admission register if the school and the LA have failed to establish the whereabouts of the child after making reasonable enquiries.  Reasonable enquiries will include telephone calls, home visits, contacting family members or friends, sending letters.  The school will notify the LA by completing and submitting a CME form.  Students will only be deleted from the admission register in the circumstance outlined in Regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended in 2016) and once the LA have acknowledged receipt of the CME form.

Elective Home Education

If a parent/carer informs school that they wish to electively home educate their child will be contacted.   The school will invite parents/carers in for a supportive meeting to try to identify any issues that the school can resolve once made aware.

Kingsway Park actively discourage elective home education, parents/carers are informed that should the student want to return to school they would very likely come back to Kingsway Park High School and may be placed onto an attendance order if they are not providing an adequate education for their child.

If parents/carers want to pursue the request following this meeting, then school will complete the LA’s EHE form and submit to Rochdale local authority.

Appendix 1 - ROCHDALE EDUCATION WELFARE SERVICE - Penalty Notice

Protocol (June 2014) Circumstances where a Penalty Notice may be issued:

A Penalty Notice can only be issued in cases of unauthorised absence. Requests to the Local Authority to issue Penalty Notices can only be accepted where guidance on the marking and maintaining of registers is followed. This guidance - The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Amendment) Regulations 2011 can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/1625/contents/made.

Use of a Penalty Notice will be restricted to one per pupil per parent per term. In cases where families contain more than one poor-attending pupil, multiple issues may occur, but this will be the subject of careful consideration and co-ordination.

There will be no restrictions on the number of times a parent/carer may receive formal warnings in advance of the possible issue of Penalty Notices.

The issuing of a Penalty Notice is considered appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • Overt truancy (including pupils caught on truancy sweeps)
  • Parentally condoned absences
  • Unauthorised holidays in term-time
  • Excessive/delayed return from agreed/authorised holidays without prior agreement from school.
  • Persistent late arrival at school (after the register has officially closed)

This is not an exhaustive list. Each case will be considered individually

Types of Penalty Notices.

    • Unauthorised Absences Penalty Notices are issued if a minimum of 20 sessions (10 school days) are lost to unauthorised absence by the pupil during the current term or within any 12-week period. It is good practice to issue a formal warning and/or to allow the parents a specified period, usually 15 school days, to affect an improvement.
    • Penalty Notice for Unauthorised Leave during Term Time are issued if a pupil is absent for a minimum of 10 sessions (5 school days) for an absence relating to leave during the term time. Penalty Notice for Unauthorised Leave during Term Time will be issued without the issue of a warning if a pupil is absent for a period not agreed or authorised by the Head Teacher.
    • Suspensions Penalty Notices are issued if a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school and is suspended/excluded from that school, either for a fixed period or permanently; his/her parent/carer is guilty of an offence under Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 if that child is present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification during the first five days of each fixed period or permanent exclusion.

The parent must have been notified by the school at the time of the exclusion of their duty and the days it relates to.

Procedure for issuing Penalty Notices

The Education Welfare Service will issue Penalty Notices on behalf of Rochdale Local Authority. This will ensure consistent and equitable delivery, retain school-home relationships and allow cohesion with other enforcement sanctions.

Penalty Notices will only be issued by post and never as an on-the-spot action; this is to satisfy that all evidential requirements are in place and to meet Health and Safety requirements.

The Education Welfare Service will receive requests to issue Penalty Notices from schools and from the Police. These requests will be considered individually and against the following:

  • All relevant information is supplied in the specified manner
  • The circumstances of the student’s absence meet all the requirements of this Protocol.
  • Family circumstances/ability to pay is set against the likelihood of securing an improved attendance by issuing a Penalty Notice (this to include any cases of possible multiple issue to any one family).
  • The issue of a Penalty Notice does not conflict with other intervention strategies in place or other enforcement sanctions already being processed.

The Education Welfare Service will respond to all requests within 10 school days and will:

Issue a formal written warning to the parent(s) on behalf of the referrer outlining the details of the offence and advising that a Penalty Notice may be issued if the referral for a fine relates to unauthorised absences. In the same letter, set a period, usually 15 school days, within which the pupil must have no further unauthorised absence if the issue of the Penalty Notice is to be averted

  • Issue a Penalty Notice through the post at the end of the prescribed period if the required level of improvement has not been achieved.
  • If the referral is for unauthorised leave during term time, the Local Authority will issue the fine without the issue of a warning, subject to the matter meeting the referral criteria.

Where the request to issue a Penalty Notice does not meet the defined criteria of the Protocol or is, in any respect considered inappropriate, the Education Welfare Service will:

  • Advise the person making the request and provide an explanation for the decision not to issue a Penalty Notice
  • Consider, recommend and/or implement alternative strategies that may be more appropriate

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Kingsway Park High School

Turf Hill Road
Rochdale
OL16 4XA

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