The Eastwood Academy

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Parents

Attendance

Academy Target

The Academy's target for all pupils is to achieve an attendance of 100% to afford them the best opportunity to achieve their potential. 

Click here for the Attendance Policy


Parental Role

Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child attends regularly and punctually. Parents should provide the Academy with up-to-date information about points of contact and those with ‘parental responsibility’.

Parents should contact the Academy on each day of their child’s absence, stating the reason. Failure to inform the Academy of the reason(s) for their child's absence will result in it being classified as ‘unauthorised’.

Parents may be asked to provide medical evidence where there are repeated absences due to reported illness. This will usually be in the form of an appointment card, prescription, GP note etc.

Medical appointments should be made outside of school time. Where this is not possible, the appointment card should be shown (in advance) to reception staff, so copies can be made. This is not only important in terms of the categorisation of absence, but it also influences whether pupils are eligible to attend Academy trips. In short, if a pupil’s attendance falls below the Academy’s target (and is not supported by medical evidence) they will not be eligible to attend Academy trips (excluding those required by the curriculum).

Parents should inform the Academy of any relevant factors e.g. bereavement which could affect their child’s attendance and/or behaviour.

Parents should expect their child to be issued with work missed during any period of absence. This will be monitored using a ‘catch-up form’ administered and coordinated by the Head of House and/or SLT Link.

Pupils with an attendance of 96+% will be permitted 5 school days to catch up with any work missed. This will be recorded on a catch-up form and signed off by the classroom teacher. The Head of House or SLT Link will complete the final ‘sign off’ to confirm that all worked missed has been caught up. Pupils who do not catch up within 5 school days, will be directed into ‘catch up sessions’ during break, lunch and afterschool, until such time as the work is caught up.

Unless in exceptional circumstances, pupils with an attendance less than 96% and/or who are absent due to an unauthorised holiday, will be directed into ‘catch up sessions’ during break, lunch and afterschool, until such time as the work is caught up.


Unauthorised Absences

Unauthorised absences’ are those which the Academy does not consider reasonable and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. Although not an exhaustive list, such examples include:

  • Parents keeping children off school unnecessarily.

  • Truancy before or during the school day.

  • Absences which have never been properly explained e.g. a message from another parent or child cannot be used to authorise absence.

  • Children who arrive late to school.

  • Term time holidays.

  • Absence which is not supported by medical evidence when requested by the Academy.

  • All absence under 92%, which is not accompanied by a medical certificate, will be classed as ‘unauthorised’. Pupils falling into this category of attendance will be immediately investigated by the Local Authority Attendance Officer and, if necessary, taken to court and fined.

Legal Sanctions

Under existing legislation, parents commit an offence if their child fails to attend regularly and the absences are classed as ‘unauthorised’ (those for which the Academy cannot or has not given permission). Depending on circumstances, such cases may result in prosecution under Section 444 and 444B of the Education Act 1996 which could lead to a fine of £2500 or imprisonment.

A Penalty Notice is an alternative to prosecution which does not require an appearance in court, whilst still securing an improvement in a pupil’s attendance. Payment of a Penalty Notice enables parents to discharge potential liability for conviction for the period of absence included in the Penalty Notice.

Click here for Details of Fixed Penalty Notices

Click here for Supreme Court Ruling


Holidays in Term Time

The current law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 prohibits a Headteacher granting leave of absence to a pupil, except where an application has been made in advance, and the Headteacher considers that there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ relating to the application.  

Click here for a Term Time Holiday Application  

Please note that if the absence is not authorised, and the holiday is taken, the case will be referred to the Child and Family Early Intervention Team who may issue a Penalty Notice of £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.


Attendance Commendations

Attendance commendations will broadly involve the following:

  • Certificates for 100% attendance during any half-term presented during House assemblies.

  • Star (badge) system – Bronze (1 year), Silver (2 years), Gold (3 years) and Platinum (4 years) for 100% attendance during an academic year.

  • Letters to parents from the Principal.

  • End of year special lunches, trips and prizes.


Children Missing Education (CME)

Refer to section 5.0 in the Academy's Safeguarding Policy           


Attendance Explained

Attendance