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Attendance & Punctuality 2023 / 2024

Aims

Crampton Primary School is committed to providing a ‘Welcoming and Caring Environment’, whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and secure.

We believe that:

  • All pupils benefit from education and from regular and punctual attendance and good behaviour.
  • Good attendance correlates with high levels of achievement and pupils need to attend school regularly and punctually if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.

 

Crampton Primary School is therefore committed to every pupil achieving the maximum possible attendance at school.

 

Key Staff Responsible

Staff

 

Position

Contact

Miss Marian Kennedy

 

Head Teacher

admin@crampton.southwark.sch.uk

 

Mrs Lydia Frankenburg

Assistant Head Teacher & SENDCo

lfrankenburg@crampton.southwark.sch.uk

 

Mr Christopher Giles

Home School Liaison Officer

cgiles@crampton.southwark.sch.uk

 

 

 

Legislation and Guidance

This policy meets the requirements of the working together to improve school attendance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from the following legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:

It also refers to:

 

 

 

All Pupils

 

Parents are expected to:

 

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

  • Ensure their child attends every day the school is open except when a statutory reason applies
  • Notify the school as soon as possible when their child has to be unexpectedly absent (e.g. sickness)
  • Only request leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and do so in advance
  • Book any medical appointments around the school day where possible
  • Have a clear school attendance policy on the school website which all staff, pupils and parents understand
  • Develop and maintain a whole school culture that promotes the benefits of good attendance
  • Accurately complete admission and attendance registers
  • Have a robust daily process to follow up absence
  • Have a dedicated senior leader with overall responsibility for championing and improving attendance

 

  • Take an active role in attendance improvement, support their school(s) to prioritise attendance, and work together with leaders to set the whole school culture
  • Ensure school leaders fulfil expectations and statutory duties
  • Ensure school staff receive training on attendance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Have a strategic approach to improving attendance for the whole area and make it a key focus of all frontline council services
  • Have a school attendance support team that works with all schools in their area to remove area-wide barriers to attendance
  • Provide each school with a named point of contact in the school attendance support team who can support with queries and advice
  • Offer opportunities for all school in the area to share effective practice

 

 

 

Pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent

 

Parents are expected to:

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

 

  • Work with the school and local authority  to help

them understand their child’s barriers to attendance

  • Proactively engage with the support offered to prevent the need for more formal support

 

  • Proactively use dates to identify pupils at risk of poor attendance
  • Work with each identified pupil and their parents to understand and address the reasons for absence, including any in-school barriers to attendance
  • Where out of school barriers are identified, signpost and support access to any required services in the first instance
  • If the issue persist, take an active part in the multi-agency effort with the local authority and other partners. Act as the lead practitioner where all partners agree that the school is the best placed lead service. Where the lead practitioner is outside of the school, continue to work with the local authority and partners
  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus report support on the pupils who need it.
  • Hold termly conversation with every school to identify, discuss and signpost or provide access to services for pupils who are persistently or severely absent or at risk of becoming so.
  • Where there are out of school barriers, provide each identified pupils and their family with access to services they need in the first instance.
  • If the issue persists, facilitate a voluntary early help assessment where appropriate. Take an active part in the multi-agency effort with the school and other partners. Provide the lead practitioner where all partners agree that a local authority service is best placed to lead. Where the lead practitioner is outside of the local authority, continue to work with the school and partners

 

 

Persistently absent pupils

 

Parents are expected to:

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

 

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.
  • Proactively engage with the formal support offered – including any parenting contract or voluntary early help plan to prevent the need for legal intervention.
  • Continue support for pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent and: Where absence becomes persistent, put additional targeted support in place to remove any barriers. Where necessary this includes working with partners.
  • Where there is a lack of engagement, hold more formal conversations with parents and be clear about the potential need for legal intervention in future.
  • Where support is not working, being engaged with or appropriate, work with the local authority on legal intervention.
  • Where there are safeguarding concerns, intensify support through statutory children’s social care.
  • Work with other schools in the local area, such as schools previously attended and the schools of any siblings.
  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.
  • Continued support as for pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent and:
  • Work jointly with the school to provide formal support options including parenting contracts and education supervision orders.
  • Where there are safeguarding concerns, ensure joint working between the school, children’s social care services and other statutory safeguarding partners.
  • Where support is not working, being engaged with or appropriate, enforce attendance through legal intervention (including prosecution as a last resort).

 

 

Severely absent pupils

 

Parents are expected to:

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

 

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.
  • Proactively engage with the formal support offered – including any parenting contract or voluntary early help plan to prevent the need for legal intervention.
  • Continue support as for persistently absent pupils and:
    • Agree a joint approach for all severely absent pupils with the local authority.
  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.
  • Continued support as for persistently absent pupils and:
    • All services should make this group the top priority for support. This may include a whole family plan, consideration for an education, health and care plan, or alternative form of educational provision.

 

  • Be especially conscious of any potential safeguarding issues, ensuring joint working between the school, children’s social care services and other statutory safeguarding partners. Where appropriate, this could include conducting a full children’s social care assessment and building attendance into children in need and child protection plans.
 

 

Support for cohorts of pupils with lower attendance than their peers

 

Parents are expected to:

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

 

Not applicable.

  • Proactively use data to identify cohorts with, or at risk of, low attendance and develop strategies to support them.
  • Work with other schools in the local area and the local authority to share effective practice where there are common barriers to attendance.
  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.
  • Track local attendance data to prioritise support and unblock area wide attendance barriers where they impact numerous schools.
 

 

 

Support for pupils with medical conditions or SEND with poor attendance

 

Parents are expected to:

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

 

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.
  • Proactively engage with the support offered.
  • Maintain the same ambition for attendance and work with pupils and parents to maximise attendance.
  • Ensure join up with pastoral support and where required, put in place additional support and adjustments, such as an individual healthcare plan and if applicable, ensuring the provision outlined in the pupil’s EHCP is accessed.
  • Consider additional support from wider services and external partners, making timely referrals.
  •  Regularly monitor data for such groups, including at board and governing body meetings and with local authorities.
  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.
  • Work closely with relevant services and partners, for example special educational needs, educational psychologists, and mental health services, to ensure joined up support for families.
  • Ensure suitable education, such as alternative provision, is arranged for children of compulsory school age who because of health reasons would not otherwise receive a suitable education.
 

 

 

Support for pupils with a social worker

 

Parents are expected to:

Schools are expected to:

Governors are expected to:

Local authorities are expected to:

 

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.
  • Proactively engage with the support offered.
  • Inform the pupil’s social worker if there are any unexplained absences and if their name is to be deleted from the register.
  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.
  • Regularly monitor the attendance of children with a social worker in their area.
  • Put in place personal education plans for looked-after children.
  • Secure regular attendance of looked-after children as their corporate parent and provide advice and guidance about the importance of attendance to those services supporting pupils previously looked after
 

 

 

Monitoring

 

Parents

 

Schools

Governing body

Local Authority

  • Schools regularly update parents on their child’s attendance.
  • Ofsted considers schools’ efforts to improve or sustain high attendance as part of inspections. Multi-academy trusts regularly review attendance data and support schools.
  • DfE Regions Group considers multi academy trusts’ efforts on attendance as part of decision making. Ofsted considers governing bodies’ efforts as part of inspections.
  • DfE Regions Group monitors local authority efforts as part of regular interaction

 

 

Promoting a positive attitude to Attendance and Punctuality

We will encourage good attendance by: 

  • Accurately completing attendance registers at the beginning of each session
  • Following up absence on the first day
  • Undertaking regular attendance checks
  • Informing parents and guardians if the child’s attendance is cause for concern
  • Reminding parents and guardians at the beginning of the school year and at regular intervals of the importance of building a good record in attendance, which will feature on the child’s end of year report
  • Teaching children to value good attendance, and praising them when there is an improvement in attendance particularly where there has been a problem in the past
  • Rewarding perfect and good attendance for classes and individuals

 

 

Term time Leave 

 From 1st June 2014, the local authority (Southwark Council) introduced Penalty Notices to families in cases of unauthorised absence e.g. Holidays taken during term time.

 

The Head Teacher has the discretion to authorise a short period of absence; when making a decision the following will be taken into consideration: 

  • Attendance over 90%
  • Punctuality 
  • Number of absences 
  • Circumstances for request

 

An online application form, emailed by the Home School Liaison Officer, must be completed to request term time absence and returned to school. The parent will be emailed of the decision taken.

 

Registration Procedures

 

Year Group(s)

Start of school day

(Arrival after the start of the school day and the closure of the morning register will be recorded as a late arrival)

Morning Register Closed

(Arrival after the closure of the morning register will be recorded as an unauthorised lateness)

End of school day

All year groups

08.55

 

09.15

15.15

 

  • Registration takes place at the beginning of the morning and afternoon sessions.
  • The Head Teacher and Home School Liaison Officer will regularly check the attendance of all pupils together to provide regular reports on the schools attendance and punctuality statistics.
  • The Home School Liaison Officer will complete on and off rolling procedures
  • The Home School Liaison Officer will ensure that reasons for absence or lateness are communicated  to the relevant people either verbally or recorded on the computerised registration system

 

 

Authorised Codes

Unauthorised Codes

 

Other Codes

Code

Definition

Scenario

Code

Definition

Scenario

Code

Definition

Scenario

/

Present (AM)

Pupil is present at morning registration

G

Unauthorised holiday

Pupil is on holiday  that was not approved by the school

X

Not required to be at school

Pupil of non-compulsory school age is not required to attend

\

Present (PM)

Pupil is present at afternoon registration

N

Reason not provided

Pupil is absent for an unknown reason (this code is amended when the reason emerges, or replaces with code O if no reason for absence is provided after a reasonable amount of time)

Y

Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

School site is closed, there is disruption to travel as a result of a local / national emergency

L

Late Arrival

Pupil arrives late before close of register

O

Unauthorised absence

School is not satisfied with reason for pupils absence

Z

Pupil not in admissions register

Register is set  but pupil has not yet joined the school

B

Off-site education activity

Pupil is supervised off-site educational activity approved by the school

U

Arrival after registration

Pupil arrived at school after the register closed

#

Planned school closure

Whole or partial school closure due to half term / bank holiday / INSET day

D

Dual Registration

Pupil is attending a session at another setting where they are also registered

 

 

 

 

 

 

J

Interview

Pupil has an interview with a prospective educational establishment

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

Sporting activity

Pupil is participating is a supervised sporting activity approved by the school

 

 

 

 

 

 

V

Educational trip or visit

Pupil is on an educational trip / visit organised, or approved, by the school

 

 

 

 

 

 

W

Work Experience

Pupil is on a work experience placement

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

Authorised leave of absence

Pupil has been granted a leave of absence doe to exceptional circumstances

 

 

 

 

 

 

E

Excluded

Pupil has been excluded but no alternative provision has been made

 

 

 

 

 

 

H

Authorised Holiday

Pupil has been allowed to go on holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

Illness

School has been notified that a pupil will be absent

 

 

 

 

 

 

M

Medical / Dental appointment

Pupil is at a medical or dental appointment

 

 

 

 

 

 

R

Religious Observance

Pupil is taking part in a day of religious observance

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

Study Leave

Year 11 pupil is on study leave during their public examinations

 

 

 

 

 

 

*T

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Absence

Pupil from a traveller community is travelling, as agreed with the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Code T: Traveller absence

  • A number of different groups are covered by the generic term traveller – Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers.
  • This code should not be used for general absences by those groups. It must only be used when the pupil’s parent(s) is travelling for occupational purposes and the school has granted a leave of absence following a request from the parent. This code should not be used to record any other types of absence by these groups.
  • Pupils from these groups whose parent(s) do not travel for occupational purposes are expected to attend school as normal. They are subject to the same rules as other pupils in terms of the requirements to attend school regularly once registered at a school.
  • Where a pupil has no fixed abode because their parent(s) is engaged in a business or trade that requires them to travel, there is an expectation that the pupil attends at least 200 sessions per year. The pupil must attend school as regularly as the business permits and therefore, if the business or trade permits the pupil to attend for more than 200 sessions per year, they should do so.

 

Authorising Absences

By law, only the school can authorise absences, not a parent or guardian

An authorised absence is when a parent or carer phones, comes in person to the school or when a pupil brings in a note AND the school finds the reason acceptable. An unauthorised absence is when no note or phone call is received or the reason given is not acceptable by the school.

 

Absence for the following reasons would normally be authorised 

  • Illness
  • Medical or dental appointments
  • Days of religious observance
  • School Journey
  • Temporary Exclusion
  • Permanent Exclusion while review or appeal is in process
  • Attendance at a Pupils Referral Unit (PRU)
  • Interviews / Visits to secondary school
  • Exceptional Circumstances e.g. bereavement
  • Absence due to other circumstances may be authorised at the discretion of the Head Teacher

 

Absences for the following reasons would not normally be authorised 

  • Minding the house
  • Looking after other children
  • Shopping trips
  • Forgetting the schools starting dates or times
  • Due to parent / guardian illness over an extended period
  • Sibling illness or hospital appointment

 

Responding to non-attendance

The Home School Liaison Officer has specific responsibility to check on attendance and is committed to keeping pupils safe.

Attendance reports will be analysed on a regular basis for one day patterns etc. and where attendance is below 95%.

A child whose attendance falls below 90% is classed as persistent absence, the Home School Liaison officer will continue to monitor attendance which may include intervention from the Head Teacher or Local Authority School Attendance Support Team.

   It is our routine procedure to:   

  • Contact the parent or carer by telephone on the first day of unauthorised absence
  • If no answer is received the Home School Liaison Officer will discuss each individual case with the Head Teacher and a decision will be made as to action taken. Action might include making a home visit where the school has concerns.
  • If no explanation has been given for the unauthorised absence by the third day, make every effort to secure an explanation either by telephone or by post
  • Inform Education Welfare of any continuing unexplained absence
  • Categorise an absence as unauthorised until such time as an acceptable explanation is received
  • If there is persistent unauthorised absences or lateness the parent or guardian will be invited  to a meeting to discuss the problem with the Head Teacher and possible solutions
  • Carefully record and date all action taken by the school
  • If poor attendance / lateness continues to be cause for concern the matter will be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) by the Home School Liaison Officer using the Common Assessment Form (CAF), and the parent or carer informed
  • The school will then work closely with the EWO to ensure the child’s return to maximum attendance

 

 Who are ‘Children Missing Education’?

Children Missing Education Protocol

Taken from Southwark Children’s & Adults Services, February 2017

The Department for Education statutory guidance (2016) defines Children Missing Education as ‘children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at school’.

 

Children may come to miss education for a number of reasons, including the following: 

  • They may never have started in a school
  • They may cease to attend school, due to exclusion or parents withdrawing them
  • They may have left primary school but not completed transition to secondary school
  • They may have moved into a new area, including from abroad.

 

Southwark faces particular challenges with a highly mobile population and significant movement in and out of the borough throughout the school year. Children missing education have been identified as a priority by Southwark Safeguarding Children’s Board.

 

Children missing education are plainly at risk of educational under-achievement, with a potential long-term impact on their opportunities. They may also be exposed to other risks: ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfES, 2016) states that: ‘A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect and such children are at risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation’. Ofsted (2014) has identified that ‘Children who are missing from home, school or care are at greater risk of sexual exploitation’.

 

School Responsibilities

 ‘Keeping children safe in education: statutory guidance for schools and colleges’ (DfES, 2016) explains that we should follow the school procedures for dealing with children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future. We put in place appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education.

 

We must inform the Local Authority when we are about to add or delete a pupil’s name from the school admission register for any reason. This applies to all children with the exception of those starting or leaving school at standard transition points, i.e. at the start of the first year and completion of the final year of education normally provided by that school. The legal basis for these duties is set out in Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, with further details in Annexe A of ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (DfES 2016) and ‘School Attendance: Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities’ (DfES, 2016).

 

We will notify the local authority within five days when a pupil’s name is added to the admission register, and must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register as soon as the ground for deletion is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is deleted from the register. Where we notify the local authority that a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register, we are required to provide: 

  • The full name of the pupil
  • The full name and address of any parent with whom the pupil lives
  • At least one telephone number of the parent with whom the pupil lives
  • The full name and address of the parent with whom the pupil is going to live, and the date the pupil is expected to start living there, if applicable
  • The name of pupil’s destination school and the pupil’s expected start date 
  • The ground under which the pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register.

 

‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfES 2016) states that ‘It is essential that schools comply with these duties, so that local authorities can, as part of their duty to identify children of compulsory school age, who are missing education, follow up with any child who might be at risk of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of being harmed exploited or radicalised’.

 

DfES School Attendance guidance (2016) also states that ‘All schools must agree with the relevant local authority, the regular interval that the school will inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 days or more’.

 

Notification of potential Chid Missing in Education (CME)

 Southwark’s process for identifying and tracking children missing education is led through the Pupil Tracking and Licensing Team in the Education Access division in Southwark Children’s and Adults’ Services.

Where a child remains on our school roll and there are concerns about them not receiving full time education as a result of poor attendance or other factors, we will notify Southwark Early Help Localities Service.

Southwark expects that we will have undertaken reasonable checks to confirm the destination school and/or address of a child leaving the school, including telephone calls, letters and where appropriate home visits to establish this information.

 

Organisation

 In order for this policy to be successful every member of staff makes attendance a high priority and conveys this to the children

 

 Review  

This policy will be subject to evaluation and review and subject to changes in local and national policy.

 

 

Date Reviewed: September 2023

Next Review: September 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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