Sixth Form - Attendance Policy

Introduction

At Goffs School we believe that attending school regularly is one of the foundations of successful learning helping to prepare students for the world of work and adult life. We therefore expect every student to attend school and to be punctual, and to attend all lessons, ATM and additional sessions.  Parents have a obligation to ensure that their child gets to school every day and on time, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.  Permitting absence and low attendance from school without good reason is known to directly affect students’ achievement.

Students who have not attended school for a considerable period of time are integrated back into the normal school routine via the Director of Learning (DOL) and Senior Sixth Form Administrator (SSFA).  They will also benefit from the support of outside agencies where appropriate.

The attendance policy consists of the following sections:

  1. Duties on Sixth Forms, colleges and other training providers
  2. Referral to the Senior Sixth Form Administrator (SSFA)
  3. Motivation and rewards
  4. Procedures for monitoring attendance
  5. Unplanned Absence from school
  6. Authorised absence
  7. Days of Religious Observance
  8. Family holidays
  9. Special Occasions/ Family Emergencies
  10. Close Family/Friend Bereavement
  11. Punctuality (See separate detailed policy)
  12. Unexplained Absences
  13. Unauthorised absences
  14. Measures to tackle concerns about school attendance
  15. Taking registers
  16. Understanding attendance
  17. Useful websites for attendance

 

  • Duties on Sixth Forms, colleges and other training providers

Providers of education or training for 16 and 17 year olds will be under two duties in relation to the Raising the Participation Age (RPA) legislation, as detailed by the Department for Education;

  • Promote good attendance of 16 and 17 year olds (Section 11 Education and Skills Act 2008)
  • Inform local authority support services if a young person (aged 16 or 17) has dropped out of learning (Section 13 Education and Skills Act 2008). This is so the young person can be contacted swiftly and offered support to help them re-engage

 

2. Referral to the Senior Sixth Form Administrator (SSFA)

One of the main objectives of the SSFA is to maintain and improve regular school attendance.  The SSFA monitors registers and attendance, and holds regular consultations with school staff responsible for attendance. The SSFA may follow up referrals by:

  • Communicating with parent(s)/carer(s) by email or phone
  • Seeing a student in school
  • Seeing a student and parent/carer in school
  • Liaising with/ referring to other professionals or agencies

The outcome of any intervention is communicated back to the Director of Learning, Learning Manager (LM) and Assistant Principal, Sixth Form.

 

3. Motivation and Rewards

Students in the Sixth Form are recognised and praised for good attendance and punctuality through assemblies.  Good attendance and punctuality is a pre-requisite to students being awarded Home Study Privilege.

 

4. Procedures for monitoring attendance

Education is a partnership between the home and the school.  Families have a right to expect that school will keep them informed about attendance.

Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996, parents are responsible for making sure that their children of compulsory school age (the term following their 5th birthday until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16 years old) receive efficient full-time education that is suitable to the child’s age and ability and to any special needs the child may have. This can be by regular attendance at school, alternative provision, or by education otherwise (e.g. the parent can choose to educate their child at home).

From September 2013 all 16 year-olds will be required to continue in education or training, until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.  From September 2015 they will be required to continue until their 18th birthday.

If a child is registered in the School Sixth Form, it is the parents who have the primary responsibility for ensuring that their child attends regularly.

  • In the case of an unplanned absence, parents/carers are expected to notify the SSFA each day of their child’s absence. They will be asked to give a reason for absence and an expected return date.
  • If no contact has been made by the third day of absence, an email and a phone call home is made. 
  • All students are monitored weekly on their level of attendance as explained below. The SSFA emails an updated Attendance Report to all Sixth Form LMs and DOLs on a fortnightly basis.  The Attendance Report shows all students with an attendance of less than 90%. 

 

95% plus

90 to 95%

80% to 90%

Below 80%

Excellent

 

No action required

Good

 

No action required

Cause for concern

Learning manager to discuss attendance with students and engage with parents to put strategies in place

 

LM may monitor using an attendance report card

Serious concern

 

Immediate action required: DOL and SSFA to meet parent/student, to put strategies in place including a possible Sixth Form Contract

DOL/SLT link will monitor attendance using an attendance report card

In addition to attending school, students must attend all lessons, ATM sessions and additional study sessions as are relevant to their programme of study. If a student is present in school and fails to attend lessons, the school will contact parents, and the student will be placed on an attendance report card to monitor their attendance in all lessons. They will also be required to complete all tasks missed. Repeated incidents of truancy may result in a student losing their place in the Sixth Form.

5. Unplanned Absence from School

Notification must be provided by parents or carers for all absences from school on a daily basis.  Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school as authorised or unauthorised.  The decision as to whether to authorise the absence rests with the school. 

6. Authorised Absence

This includes serious illness and urgent medical/dental treatment.  The school may authorise an absence for illness if it has received an explanation from a parent/carer. Letters regarding absence and, where applicable, medical certificates should be given to the SSFA. Medical or dental treatment that is either urgent or cannot be made outside school hours can also be authorised.  For example, certain specialist clinics or consultant appointments may have to be made during the school day.  However, attempts should be made for most routine dental or GP appointments to be made outside of school hours.  Parents are encouraged to inform the school prior to these appointments, preferably in writing and including a copy of the appointment letter.

Students unable to attend school for extended periods of time for medical reasons (certified by a medical practitioner) may be referred to the Home and Hospital Education Team.  Additionally, the school may support students with health difficulties through the involvement of the school nurse or the school counsellor or by drawing up an individual health plan to support attendance.

7. Days of Religious Observance

Such absences can be classified as authorised. Parents should inform the school in advance if a student will be absent from school for a day of religious observance. 

8. Family Holidays

In line with the philosophy of ‘Every Lesson Counts’, the vast majority of cases, term time absence for a holiday will not be authorised.

If a family does need to take a student away from school for any length of time, no matter how short, the ‘Application Form for Leave of Absence’ (available at the main reception desk) must be completed.  Requests for holidays will not be granted during exam periods or during periods of exam preparation. Retrospective requests will not be granted. Unauthorised holidays taken in term time may result in the student being placed on a Sixth Form Contract.

9. Special Occasions / Family Emergencies

Schools have discretion over whether to authorise absences for these reasons and will consider the following factors:

  • the nature of the event
  • the frequency of requests/absence required
  • whether advance notice was given
  • the overall attendance of the student
  • any other extenuating circumstances

10. Close Family/Friend Bereavements

The school has discretion to authorise absence for an agreed period in such circumstances.  Early contact from the family is recommended, and where appropriate referrals can be made to the SSFA or the school counsellor for support and guidance for both students and families.

11. Punctuality (Also see full detailed policy on punctuality)

Lateness to school or lesson is not tolerated at Goffs School. If a student arrives late to school (after 8.27am) or arrives late to a lesson, they will attend a 45 minute detention on the same day. If a student is late to school and/or lessons more than once on the same day the detention will be increased to 1 hour.

12. Unexplained Absences

If any child is absent for whom the parent/carer has not yet phoned or emailed to explain the reason of absence, this absence will followed up by email to parents/carers. If there is no response to the email within two weeks, the absence will registered as unauthorised.

13. Unauthorised Absence

Any absence where the school does not receive information from the family, or when the reason for the absence is one that the school cannot authorise, is an unauthorised absence. If there is any doubt as to whether an absence should be authorised the Learning Manager will refer the matter to the SLT link.

In the case of persistent unauthorised absences, this could also result in a referral to Children’s Services as a safeguarding issue. 

 

14. Measures to tackle concerns about school attendance:

In cases where there is concern regarding the level of attendance (attendance below 90%) the DOL/LM/SSFA will consider action to support the student to improve their attendance. Students may be placed on an attendance report card and possibly a Sixth Form Contract. In cases where attendance does not improve, a governor’s panel may also be considered.

15. Taking registers          

Registers are taken for each lesson and must be completed and saved on the system within 10 minutes of the start of the lesson.

16. Understanding Attendance

All staff and students are made fully aware of the importance of excellent attendance and its impact on achievement. DoLs lead assemblies focusing on attendance, and will recognise and reward excellent attendance.

17. Useful websites for attendance