Who's who in attendance and who to contact with queries or worries about a child's attendance.
Ms T Miller
Assistant Attendance Officer:
Mrs L Facey
Post 16 Administrator:
Mrs A Buckley
You could also contact your child's college office if you are concerned about your child's attendance.
Absence Line Contact Number
There may be times when your child has to miss school. If your child is ill, contact the school on each day of your child's illness stating their name, tutor group and full details of their absence. Stating a child is "sick, unwell or poorly" is not accepted as we need the full reason to provide to the local authority. You will be contacted by the Attendance Office if your child is absent from school without notice.
To advise your child will be absent from school or late, please contact us by 8.30am in one of the following ways:
- by telephone - 01702 509000 (option 1)
- for Post 16 students please dial for extension 305
2017-18 Academy Attendance Target
Our academy attendance target for the 2017-18 academic year is 97%
Please click on the following link to read our Attendance Policy in full
Impact of Poor Attendance
Evidence from a Department for Education study shows a strong correlation between school attendance and GCSE success. The chart below illustrates this:
While an attendance figure of 90% may not sound very low, it reduces a child's chance of achieving 5+ 5-9 grades at GCSE from 81% to around 57%. A child who averages 80% attendance during their secondary school career effectively misses one whole year of education and significantly reduces their chances of good grades.
Even for high-achieving students poor attendance has a significant negative impact on their grades. It has been shown that missing just 17 days of school in Year 11 reduces final GCSE grades by one level across all subjects. This could easily be sufficient to prevent a student getting on to the sixth-form course and ultimately the university or career of their choice.
Lateness also has a negative impact on learning. Being just 5 minutes late every day equates to 3 whole days of learning lost; 30 minutes late every day is equivalent to 19 days or in excess of one grade less for each subject your child takes at GCSE. Students need to understand not only the impact that persistent lateness and absenteeism has on their current studies and examinations but also in adult life and the workplace.
We understand that sometimes children are genuinely ill and of course you must be the judge of this. However, there may be other factors which are causing reluctance to come to school and, if you believe this is the case, please contact us. We will do all we can to help.
Academy procedures for addressing poor attendance
We will address poor attendance of a student in the following ways:
If a student's attendance drops below 95% a letter will be sent to you confirming your child's attendance and advising of the need for the attendance to improve.
If no improvement is recorded then the following intervention stages are triggered:
- When a student's attendance falls below 93%, a letter will be sent to you advising you that future absences will be subject to providing medical evidence to support the absence.
- If the attendance continues to fall below 90% (Persistent Absence Threshold) you will be contacted to attend a meeting in school with the Attendance Officer and the Local Authority Educational Welfare Officer (EWO). A plan/set of strategies will be put in place to encourage good attendance as a supportive measure.
- If there is still no improvement then it may be necessary for the school to refer the case to the Education Welfare Service who may conduct home visits. If attendance still does not improve then you will be invited to attend a Review Panel meeting. At this meeting, a final warning letter will be given with a view to issuing you with a Fixed Penalty Notice if the attendance continues to cause concern.
Attendance at Post 16 is calculated on attendance to timetabled lessons and will be subject to the following action chart.
The threshold for Persistent Absence- as defined by the DfE - is 90% attendance.
The chart below shows how many sessions/days absent a child needs to accrue to have 90% attendance in school time:
PA = 90% Sessions per term
PA=90% Days per term
Term 1 - Sept to Oct
3.5 days absence
Term 2 - Nov to Dec
7 days absence
Term 3 - Jan to Feb
10 days absence
Term 4 - Feb to April
12.5 days absence
Term 5 - May to June
15.5 days absence
Term 6 - June to July
19 days absence
Education Welfare Service Intervention
Education Welfare Service Involvement - to include Fixed Penalty Notices, School Action Meetings
- Should the Education Welfare Service choose to hold a School Action Meeting, Parents/Carer's will be invited to attend a meeting at the academy to discuss their child's attendance and why the plan or strategies put in place have been unsuccessful. At this point the Educational Welfare Officer may choose to put in place their own plan and/or monitor for an agreed period of time.
- Should further absences accrue or no progress is made at any time during the monitoring period, the Educational Welfare Officer may decide to issue a Fixed a penalty Notice of £60 as an alternative to prosecution. This rises to £120 if unpaid after 21 days. Failure to pay will lead to prosecution. Parents/Carers can be fined up to £2500 and/or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly.
- The Educational Welfare Service could instigate Legal Proceedings or apply for an Education Supervision Order to be placed on the Child and parent/career as an alternative to a Fixed Penalty Notice.
At times it is necessary for us to request medical evidence from parents to allow us to authorise their children's absence from school. Please see below a guide to what is accepted as Medical Evidence:
- GP/Dental appointment card with date of appointment attended.
- Medical Appointment letter.
- Empty prescribed medication packet with dispensing label attached.
- Copy of prescription.
- White return page of prescription ie; repeat prescription request.
- Medical letter* from GP or medical professional advising student is unfit to attend school.
- Medical Certificate*.
- Compliment slip* from a Nurse at student's medical practice confirming they are unfit to attend school.
*Medical Certificates from online GP services will not be accepted. Certificates must be produced from your local GP that you are registered with. They must have physically seen your child and deemed them unfit for school.
Please note that it is the Parent's/Carer's responsibility to provide the medical evidence when requested by the school.
The school will not request or chase up medical evidence from GP's/Consultants/Dentists etc.
Medical appointments - We ask that medical appointments such as Dental, Doctor, Orthodontist and Hospital appointments should be outside of school hours. Should this not be possible, we expect the students to attend school beforehand and to return to school once the appointment has concluded.
Bad Weather Notice
An announcement will be made on the Belfairs Academy website should the academy need to close for students during bad weather
Holiday Request or Exceptional Circumstances
Pupils are expected to attend every session available to them throughout the school year.
Under section 7 of the education Act 1996, there is no entitlement for you to take your child on holiday during term time. You may be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without consent of the Academy.
Should parents wish to make an application for a child's absence, they should complete an Absence Request Form, available from the Academy reception. This form asks parents to explain the reason for the intended absence and details of the exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances are defined as "rare, significant, unavoidable and short". The Principal will consider the circumstances for absence and confirm in writing whether the absence will be marked authorised or unauthorised on the student's attendance record. Each request will be judged on a case by case basis. If an event can be reasonably scheduled outside of term-time then it would not be normal to authorise absence for such an event - holidays are therefore not considered 'exceptional circumstances'.
Should the absence be unauthorised and you choose to take the unauthorised leave from the school, then the case may be referred to the Education Welfare Service (EWS). They may choose to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to you.
A £60 penalty notice may be issued by the EWS to each parent or carer for each child, to be paid within 21 days. If this is not paid within the 21-day period, it will increase to £120. If this is not paid within 28 days, parents or carer's will be prosecuted in the magistrates' court for failing to ensure their children attend school regularly. This could result in each parent or carer receiving a fine of up to £2,500 and / or three months imprisonment for failing to ensure your child regularly attends school.
Holidays that are either taken in the first 2 weeks of September or carry over from the summer break into the returning first week of term, will be referred to the Local Authority. They may decide to issue a Penalty Notice to parents/carers of that child.
What happens if my child is late for school?
Should your child arrive to school after 8.40am then they will receive a "late" mark on their attendance record for morning registration. An accumulation of 2 late marks in the period of a week (Thursday to Thursday) will result in a 75 minute Friday detention with Mr Stalham.
Should your son or daughter's punctuality not improve over a period of time, your child will be placed on a Punctuality Report and a meeting with parents will be scheduled.
If your child arrives after 10am they will be marked with a "U" code showing that they arrived after the start of the first lesson. The "U" code is an unauthorised absence code and will be used unless sufficient evidence is received regarding the absence i.e. medical evidence. This code will affect your child's overall attendance percentage. Students will however be marked in for each individual lessons they attend for fire regulation purposes.
Punctuality procedures at Post 16 are included in the action chart below.
Sending work home
Sending work home when my child is absent from school
It is extremely important that you communicate with the Academy should your child be absent from school for a defined period of time. Once the circumstances for the absence have been discussed, we will inform your child's college office and ensure work is sent home for completion where appropriate.