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Attendance

Principles

Hodge Hill College believes that punctual and regular school attendance is an essential precondition of social inclusion and a prerequisite to 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.

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

50 lessons

90%

19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons

80%

38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons

70%

57 days

11.5 weeks

290 lessons

 

 

We have adopted the SPOTLIGHT ON ATTENDANCE program in order to rigorously promote excellent attendance and punctuality and support families who may be struggling. The Spotlight campaign continues throughout our academic year.

 

Roles & Responsibilities

The school Governors along with the Head Teacher will at the beginning of each school year set an attendance target for the school. Our target for 2017/2018 is 96.5%.  The school Governors are also responsible for ensuring that pupil’s names are recorded on the school admissions and daily register.

The Head Teacher 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 have a responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly.

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

 

Managing & Monitoring Pupil Absence

At Hodge Hill College School the attendance of pupils is recorded electronically. This helps us to produce termly 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 of pupils attending this school have a responsibility to make sure their child is as close as possible to reaching this target.

Through data analysis, we track which pupils fall below this threshold and take action. Pupils with a pattern of poor attendance (more than 3 separate absences) will be contacted either by telephone or letter. Parents/carers may also be invited to school to meet with a member of their child’s pastoral team.

Pupil’s attendance patterns are monitored on a half termly basis by the Senior Leadership Team and any patterns, issues or significant absence will be further investigated.

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. If attendance does not improve after meetings with parents, the court section of the Education Welfare Service will issue Penalty Notices. Legal Action Information for parents. In the case of fines not being paid, this may lead to prosecution.

 

Absence From School

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

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

 

Unauthorised Absence

At Hodge Hill College we have an expectation that parents will telephone the school to inform us of their child’s absence. We may not accept a parent’s reason for absence especially if they have had 3 separate individual absences. Regular unauthorised absences where a parent has not provided a reason for absence mean that a parent or parents 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 may be invited to school to discuss their child’s absences, this discussion may include a referral to the school nurse. When a pupil is regularly absent due (after 3 separate individual absences) to illness the school will request that a parent 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 out of school during term time. The school is closed for 14 weeks of the year and parents are expected to use this time for taking holidays and visiting family abroad.

We have a request form that a parent in exceptional circumstances may complete and return to the Head Teacher for consideration. Families, who take their child out of school for unauthorised leave during term time, risk receiving a Formal Warning, or Education Penalty Notice. Hodge Hill College has the full support of our Governors and the Local Authority in this matter.

 

Puncuality

The register is taken at the beginning of tutor period and period 5 (period 4 on Friday) for afternoon registration. Pupils arriving after the 8:45am are marked as late. Pupils arriving after 9.00am sign in at the Main Office. This will record as a late mark on the register. If a pupil is late, they are kept back for 30 minutes after school on the same day. Parents/carers will be informed that their child has a 30 minute detention via a text message.

 

Dental & Medical Appointments

Wherever possible, parents 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’ responsibility to collect their child from school to take them to appointments and to bring them back to school once their appointment is over. Medical appointments should not normally result in a whole day’s absence from school.

Authorisation to leave school for a medical appointment should be sought from the relevant Achievement Coordinator or Assistant Achievement Coordinator prior to the appointment.  The appointment card/letter should be signed by your child’s AC or AAC and taken to the Main office 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 parent 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 Birmingham Leave Without Trace Team after we have made every responsible effort to find out where the pupil gone.

How to Notify School of Your Child’s Absence

Notification of absence must be made as early as possible prior to the beginning of the school day. Please inform the school by phoning 0121 783 7807.

Children should not be attending appointments during school time. Routine appointments such as dentist or doctor check-ups will not be authorised by school and should be made outside of school hours.

All other appointments in school time must be supported by a letter from the relevant establishment which should be brought to show their Achievement Coordinator/Assistant Achievement Coordinator before the day of the appointment.