Attendance

Principles

Queensbridge School believes that punctual and regular school attendance is essential for effective learning.

The school is committed to ensuring that all students attend school regularly. Regular school attendance is vital if students are to benefit from the experiences which the school offers them; we believe that students should attend school regularly because this is where they learn and this is where they are safe. Employers and other reference seekers value attendance and punctuality as an indicator of reliability; in an ever competitive world it is crucial that our students are equipped to compete with others by having outstanding attendance and punctuality.

We will:

  • Report to families at least once a cycle, to include student academic performance, attendance and punctuality;
  • Celebrate good attendance with rewards;
  • Celebrate good attendance as a positive aspect of school achievement.

Frequent absence and lateness can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage a pupil.

Attendance during
one school year

equals this number
of days absent

which is approximately
this many weeks absent

which means this
number of lessons missed

95%

9.5 days

2 weeks

52 lessons

90%

19 days

4 weeks

104 lessons

80%

38 days

8 weeks

208 lessons

70%

57 days

11.5 weeks

301 lessons

We have adopted the SPOTLIGHT ON ATTENDANCE programme in order to rigorously promote excellent attendance and punctuality and support families who may be struggling. Parents are informed of our commitment to excellent attendance and punctuality via a termly letter. The Spotlight campaign continues throughout our academic year.


Persistent Absenteeism (PA)

A student becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any student’s educational prospects and parental support is vital in tackling this.

We monitor all absence thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached the PA mark, or is at risk of moving towards that mark, is given priority and parents/carers will be informed immediately.

PA students are tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system. PA students and their parents are subject to an Action Plan and the plan may include allocation of additional support through individual incentive programmes and participation in group activities after school around raising attendance.


Roles & Responsibilities

The school Governors along with the Headteacher will, at the beginning of each school year, set an attendance target for the school. Our target for 2017/2018 is 97%. The school Governors are also responsible for ensuring that pupils' names are recorded on the school admissions and daily register.

The Headteacher has a responsibility to ensure that the daily register of pupils attending the school is taken and delegates the monitoring and reporting on attendance to a senior member of staff.

Parents/carers have a responsibility to ensure their child(ren) attend(s) school regularly.

The Local Authority has a duty to ensure that parents and carers meet this responsibility and the service can seek legal redress to secure a pupil’s attendance if a parent or carer fails in their duty.


Managing and Monitoring Pupil Absence

At Queensbridge School the attendance of pupils is recorded electronically. This helps us to produce data which we use to track and monitor attendance of our pupils. It also helps the school provide information on pupil attendance for Ofsted inspectors. Each reason for pupil absence has a special code and this assists the school to monitor persistent absentees.

In our school we expect pupils to have 100% attendance. Parents/carers of pupils attending this school have a responsibility to make sure their child(ren) is/are as close as possible to reaching this target.

Through data analysis, we track which pupils fall below the threshold and take action. Pupils with a pattern of poor attendance (more than 3 days' absence) will be contacted by letter. Parents/carers may also be invited to school to meet with a member of their child’s pastoral team. If there is no improvement, after 6 days' absence a further letter is sent and a further letter after 9 days'. This is our 3/6/9 policy.

Pupils' attendance patterns are monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and any patterns, issues or significant absence will be further investigated. Absence and punctuality is reported to the Governing Body at the end of each school cycle (4 times a year).

The Local Authority has statutory powers to issue Penalty Notices which may lead to prosecution. Each year the school will run a ‘Spotlight on Attendance’ campaign with the support of the court section of the Education Welfare Service. Letters about the process are sent out at the start of every academic year. Click here to download a copy. If attendance does not improve after meetings with parents/carers, the court section of the Education Welfare Service will issue Penalty Notices. In the case of fines not being paid, this may lead to prosecution.


Absence From School

If your child is absent for school, you must contact school on each day of absence on 0121 464 5656 and select reporting attendance.

As part of our duty to safeguard children, any absence without informing the school will result in a phone call/text/home visit from the school.

Because school attendance is a very serious matter, we aim to have good communication about attendance matters with parents/carers through our website, text messaging, structured conversations and meetings. If there is a problem, it is better if a parent or carer speaks to a member of the pastoral team rather than allow a situation to escalate.


Unauthorised Absence

At Queensbridge School we have an expectation that parents will telephone the school to inform us of their child’s absence. We may not accept a parent/carer's reason for absence, especially if s/he has had 3 separate individual absences. Regular unauthorised absencesm where a parent/carer has not provided a reason for absence, mean that a parent/carer or parents/carers may be breaking the law and could be:

  • issued with an Education penalty charge notice of £60 - £120 by the Local Authority
  • found guilty in a magistrates court and fined up to £2,500

If a pupil is regularly absent due to sickness, a parent/carer may be invited to school to discuss their child’s absences;, this discussion may include the school nurse. When a pupil is regularly absent due to illness (after 3 separate individual absences), the school will request that a parent/carer provides medical details from their doctor before continuing to authorise further absences.


Leave of Absence in Term Time

Our school actively discourages parents making requests to take their child(ren) out of school during term time. The school is closed for 14 weeks of the year and families are expected to use this time for taking holidays and visiting family abroad.

Parents/carers wishing to take their child out of school must write to the Governing Body and Headteacher in advance. The Headteacher has the authority to authorise this, but only in exceptional circumstances. Families, who take their child(ren) out of school for unauthorised leave during term time, risk receiving a Formal Warning or Education Penalty Notice. Queensbridge School has the full support of our Governors and the Local Authority in this matter.


Religious Observance

Parents/carers may request an absence from school for their child on the day of the religious observance, so that families can enjoy celebrations together. The school is unable to sanction leave of absence for longer than is required, as we follow the advice of the Local Authority which is given in the table below

Islam

Eid al-Adha

one day

Eid al-Fitr

one day

Day of Ashura

one day

Christianity

Eastern orthodox churches


Julian Calendar Christmas day


6th January

Judaism

Yom Kippur

one day

Jewish New Year

one day

Sikh Faith

Birthday of Guru Nanak OR Vaisakhi

one day

Rastafari

Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie

one day

Parents taking their child(ren) out for more than one day, will have the absence recorded as unauthorised and appropriate measures will be put in place to catch up with the work that has been missed during the unauthorised absence.


Punctuality

The register is taken at the beginning of period 1 and afternoon registration. Pupils arriving after the 8.45am bell are marked as late. Pupils arriving after 9.00am sign in at the Pupil Services. This will record as a late mark on the register. The first time a pupil is late in a week, s/he has a break time detention on the same day. If there is a second late in a week there is a 60-minute detention on either Wednesday or Friday. Parents/carers will be informed that their child has a 60-minute detention via a text message.

If a student has a persistent late record, parents/carers will be asked to meet with the Assistant Headteacher to resolve the problem.


Dental and Medical Appointments

Wherever possible, parents/carers should make every effort to avoid making medical or dental appointments during the school day. It is preferable to try and arrange these during holiday periods or at the beginning or end of the school day. Most medical appointments do not necessitate a full day of absence and it is the parents/carers’ responsibility to collect their child from school to take them to appointments and to bring them back to school once their appointment is over.

The appointment card/letter should be taken to the Pupil Services on the day of the appointment. An out-of-school pass will then be issued.


Safeguarding Children

Our school must be able to demonstrate that it knows the whereabouts of each pupil and the reason for their absence. It is very important for the Local Authority to be able to track pupils if they are not attending school and in some cases for schools to make a referral to Social Care.

If a family is moving house, we need to be informed that a school place will no longer be required, with the date the pupil will be leaving. We will also need the name of the new school that the pupil will be attending or, if moving abroad, we require evidence of flight tickets/new school name and address and the new family address. If this information is not known at the time the pupil leaves school, a forwarding address and telephone number MUST be left so that we can contact you.

Pupils who leave the school and their whereabouts are unknown, will have their details forwarded to the Children Missing in Education Team after we have made every responsible effort to find out where the pupil has gone.