Under Section 44 of the Education Act 1996, parents and carers are legally required to ensure their child attends school every day. Churchfields Academy aims to ensure that pupils receive a full-time education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their true potential.
- Parents/Carers must send their children to the Academy regularly and they may risk prosecution if they do not.
- It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children attend punctually and remain in the Academy.
- The Academy must support attendance and take seriously any problems which may lead to non-attendance.
- By law, the Local Authority (LA) must enforce school attendance. Our Education Welfare Officer (EWO) acts on behalf of the LA.
- By law, only the Academy can authorise absence, not the parent/carer
- Parents/Carers must ensure that their children arrive at the Academy punctually, in full uniform, properly equipped and ready to learn.
- Having a good education will help to give your child the best start in life.
- If your child does not attend the Academy regularly, he or she will have gaps in their learning and will not be able to make good progress
- It helps pupils maintain good relations with their peers
- Employers want people they recruit to be reliable, so pupils that have a poor attendance record have statistically a lesser chance of getting a good job.
- Young people who are absent from the Academy for no good reason are at risk of becoming victims of anti-social and safeguarding concerns.
- The official leaving date for pupils in Year 11 is the last Friday in June in the academic year in which the child reaches age 16. This requirement is binding on all children and their parents/carers.
All educational research would suggest that there is a strong correlation between good attendance and good achievement.
We endeavour to work with pupils and families to ensure that we provide the best education possible for your child in order for them to achieve their potential and goals in life. We can only do this if they are in the Academy!
Our minimum expected attendance is 96%.
90% or 95% sounds good, but table below demonstrates the impact of such an attendance figure:
95% Attendance– 2 weeks off per year – 50 lessons missed (50 hours learning missed)
90% Attendance– 4 weeks off per year – 100 lessons missed (100 hours learning missed)
85% Attendance– 6 weeks off per year – 150 lessons missed (150 hours learning missed)
80% Attendance– 8 weeks off per year – 200 lessons missed (200 hours learning missed)
At Churchfields Academy, I LEARN Tutors record pupils as present or absent on their laptop computers at 8.40 a.m., as do class teachers at 2pm at the start of Period 5. Any pupil who arrives during the registration period, but after these times will be recorded as late by their I LEARN Tutors or class teachers. Pupils who arrive after 9.00am must sign in at Student Services.
Subject teachers also record attendance at every lesson on their lap top computers, which are fitted with a programme called “Lesson Monitor”. It is a legal requirement to record attendance carefully as records may be used as evidence in a court of law.
This is an automatic communication system that will contact you directly where appropriate if your child is marked absent from AM registration. Please ensure that you have signed up to ParentMail alerts; if you are unsure, please contact the school.
Parents/carers must inform the Academy via the dedicated absence line of a reason for absence on the first day of absence; this absence line is available via the Academy’s main switchboard and the telephone number is on the front of this leaflet. Parents/Carers must send a note to cover all dates of absence on the pupil’s return to the Academy.
An absence may be authorised if:
- The Academy is satisfied that the pupil is absent because of genuine illness or bereavement and a note has been received to that effect.
- The Academy is informed in writing of the absence before it happens, e.g. a medical appointment. We ask that where possible, such appointments are not made in Academy time.
- The absence is on a day which is of religious significance to the family.
An absence is unauthorised if:
- There has been no explanation for an absence.
- The absence is for a reason that is unacceptable to the Academy, e.g. shopping, birthday treat, care of younger siblings.
- The absence is one which should not have happened but has been supported by parents.
- The pupil is frequently late without good reason.
- The pupil arrives late and does not register at Student Services.
- The pupil has truanted.
In September 2013, the law changed regarding taking holidays in term time. The Academy’s Directors have decided that pupil holidays will not be authorised for any pupils regardless of year group except in exceptional circumstances. A ‘leave of absence request form’ must be completed and submitted regarding any requests for absence providing full details A letter will be sent from the Headteacher regarding the decision made.
There are approximately 175 non-school days each year – PLEASE use these for holidays.
1 week holiday – 2.5% drop in Attendance – 25 lessons missed – 25 hours missed learning
2 week holiday – 5% drop in Attendance – 50 lessons missed – 50 hours missed learning
NB: If a child takes unauthorised holiday in term time a penalty notice fine may be issued to each parent.
Churchfields Academy recognised attendance levels between 95% and 90% as ‘irregular’ and levels 90% and below as ‘persistent absence’ in line with Local Authority and Government guidelines.
- Pupils must bring a dated and signed note to explain the absence and this must be handed in to their I LEARN Tutor on the day of return.
- The note should include days and dates of absence.
- All notes will be checked and, if necessary, followed up.
- Pupils should arrange with their teachers, to catch up on any missed work.
- In exceptional circumstances, the school may require a Doctor’s note for every absence.
- The Academy will contact home in the first instance.
- If necessary, the Academy will ask for the help of our EWO, who may arrange a home visit and act as a link between home and the Academy.
- The Academy has agreed to follow the Swindon Borough Council’s code of conduct on Fixed Penalty Notices. These are issued, where appropriate, in cases where absences are unauthorised.
We aim to recognise pupils with good or improved attendance, via texts, postcards and letters home, achievement certificates, as well as inter-I LEARN group competitions.
The Academy monitors your child’s attendance in the following ways:
Lesson by lesson recording by ‘Lesson Monitor’ – electronic recording device
Daily checking of pupils on ‘Priority List’
Contacting parents/guardians via texts, phone call or letter
Placing pupils on ‘Attendance Report’ where movements in lesson can be closely monitored
A full copy of the school’s attendance policy is available from the school, and is also on this website’s ‘Academy Policies’ page.
Attendance Liaison Assistant:
Mrs Sue Pocock – email@example.com
Student & Family Welfare Officer:
Mrs Irene Stollery – firstname.lastname@example.org