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Promoting Good Attendance

At Rose Bridge Academy the Attendance Team and Head of Year work with students, staff and families to ensure that nothing gets in the way of student's learning.

Please contact Mrs Heaton or one of the Head of Years on 01942 510712 Ext 215 or 227 if you have any questions, queries or problems and they will endeavour to support you and your child.

  1. Why is good attendance important?
  2. What can I do if my child is starting to present attendance difficulties?
  3. What constitutes good attendance?
  4. What does the Academy do to encourage good attendance?
  5. What can parents do to support their child to achieve good attendance levels?
  6. What is the Academy's position on granting leave for family holidays?
  7. What is an unauthorised absence?
  8. Does it matter if my child has recorded unauthorised absences?
  9. What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?
  10. Can I be prosecuted if I pay the Penalty Notice but my child is still missing the Academy?
  11. Can I get help if my child is not attending regularly?

1. Why is good attendance important?

Good attendance is vital for pupils to achieve their full educational potential. Pupils with good attendance records benefit in the following ways:

2. What can I do if my child is starting to present attendance difficulties?

These difficulties can show themselves in a number of different ways e.g. feigning illness, reluctance or failure to attend school even though the child is sent, missing lessons whilst in school. If a problem seems to be emerging parents should initially contact the Attendance Office (01942 51072 Ext 215 or 227). The attendance team are in place to work with you and your child to resolve any issues which may be preventing your child from attending the Academy.

3. What constitutes good attendance?

Attendance percentages are not like examination results: an attendance percentage needs to be in the high nineties before it can be considered good. Consider the following examples:

In order for an attendance record to be deemed good it must be 96% or above:

Each year, a number of students in every year group achieve 100% attendance records, showing that this is an achievable target. In addition, a number of children have achieved this level of attendance in successive years.

4. What does the Academy do to encourage good attendance?

We consider good attendance to be of such importance that we place a great deal of emphasis on it and put considerable resources into promoting it. Below are listed some of the strategies used:

5. What can parents do to support their child to achieve good attendance levels?

Parents play a very important role in ensuring the good attendance records of their children. Below is a list of suggested strategies:

6. What is the school's position on granting leave for family holidays?

As attendance is so important, the school and governors took the decision, some time ago, not to authorise holidays taken in school time. A two week holiday taken during school time results in a loss of learning time of more than 5%. This makes it impossible for a child to record a good attendance record even if they lose no time at all through illness.

Parents who choose to remove their children from school for a holiday of 5 days or more may be served with a Fixed Penalty Notice by the Education Welfare Service – please see below.

7. What is an unauthorised absence?

Only the school can authorise an absence. A childs' attendance history will be taken into account when authorising absences or not. An explanation given by a parent is not, necessarily, sufficient for the school to authorise an absence. According to guidelines to schools from the Department for Education and Science, an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:

Absences which the school is not able to authorise include:

8. Does it matter if my child has recorded unauthorised absences?

It is the law for parents to ensure that their child has the benefit of regular education. Recorded unauthorised absences show that parents are in breach of this law. Recent changes to the law have given local authorities the power to serve parents with a Fixed Penalty Notice if a child has ten or more unauthorised absences (i.e. 5 days) in one term. Please see below for further information on Fixed Penalty Notices.

In addition, unauthorised absences, including truancy, are recorded on the register in the same way. Thus, future employers, colleges or universities will not be able to differentiate between different unauthorised absences and may decide that the attendance record shows a lack of commitment to education and authority.

9. What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Below is the information provided by The Metropolitian Borough of Wigan on Fixed Penalty Notices.

What is the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003?
Section 23 of the Act gives power to the Local Education Authority and other designated bodies to issue Penalty Notices where a parent/carer is considered capable of, but unwilling to, secure an improvement in their child's school attendance.

The powers came into force on the 27th February 2004.

Why has it been introduced?
Reducing absence from school is a key priority nationally and locally because missing school damages a pupil's attainment levels and disrupts school routines, affecting the learning of others. It can also leave a pupil vulnerable to anti-social behaviour and youth crime.

Above all, missing school seriously affects children's longer term life opportunities.

What is a Penalty Notice?
Under existing legislation, parents/carers commit an offence if a child fails to attend school regularly and the absences are classed as unauthorised (those for which the school cannot or has not given permission). Depending on circumstances, such cases may result in prosecution under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

A Penalty Notice is an alternative to prosecution, which does not require an appearance in Court, whilst still seeking to secure an improvement in a pupil’s attendance.

What are the costs?
Payment within 28 days of receipt of a Penalty Notice is £60 and £120 if paid after this but within 42 days.

How are they issued?
By post to your home address.

When are they used?
The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan considers that regular attendance at school is of such importance that Penalty Notices may be used in a range of situations where unauthorised absence occurs:

Is a warning given?
The normal response to a first offence will be a written warning rather than a Penalty Notice. However, the Authority has the discretion to issue a Penalty Notice for a first offence, without warning

Is there an appeal process?
There is no statutory right of appeal once a Penalty Notice has been issued.

How do I pay?
Details of payment arrangements will be included on the Penalty Notice. You need to be aware that payment in part or by installment is not an option with Penalty Notices.

What happens if I do not pay?
You have up to 42 days from receipt to pay the Penalty Notice in full, after which the Authority is required under the Act to commence proceedings in the Magistrates Court, for the original offence of failure to ensure your child's regular attendance at school.

If proven, parents/carers can be fined up to £2,500 each depending upon circumstances.

The Court is also able to impose other sanctions such as Parenting Orders or Community / Custodial Sentences etc.

10. Can I be prosecuted if I pay the Penalty Notice but my child is still missing school?

Not for the period included in the Penalty Notice - payment discharges your liability in this respect. However, it may be the case that a prosecution might be considered for further periods of poor attendance not covered by the Penalty Notice, depending upon the circumstances. If this is an issue, it is vital that you work closely with your child's school and support agencies such as the Borough Schools' Attendance Service.

11. Can I get help if my child is not attending regularly?

Yes, the Education Authority and your child’s school will give you advice and support if you need help to improve your child's school attendance, although you should be aware that this is ultimately the legal responsibility of the parent/carer.

It is very important that you speak with the school or with the Borough Schools' Education Welfare Service at the earliest opportunity if you have any worries at all about ensuring the regular and punctual attendance of your child at school.

01942 486097 and ask for the Gateway Services.

Websites which may be useful to parents:

Advisory Centre for Education