Attendance and Punctuality
At The George Eliot Academy, we strive to provide the best learning environment for all pupils in order for all pupils to achieve beyond expected levels of progress. Consequently, it is of fundamental importance that students meet the school attendance target of 95%. Lost hours of learning time can have a detrimental effect on learning and achievement.
Here at The George Eliot Academy, we pride ourselves on having high expectations of ourselves as professionals and of our pupils as learners. Consequently, it is vital that pupils arrive at school on time; punctuality is a legal requirement.
Your child deserves a rigorous education and all the opportunities that The George Eliot Academy has to offer. Coming to school every day is essential for your child’s academic and personal development.
What are Parental Responsibilities?
If your child is aged between 5 and 16, you must make sure he/she attends school regularly and stays in school. This is law. You can be taken to court for breaking this law (Section 444 of the Education Act 1996).
Parents should ensure their children arrive at school on time, properly dressed and in a condition to learn.
This means pupils should wear school uniform. They must have their books, pens, pencils, PE kit etc, and not be too tired, worried or hungry. Parents must also make sure that pupils complete homework on time and keep to school rules about behaviour.
What can I do as a parent to support excellent attendance?
- Have a regular bedtime
- Limit digital technology use – e.g. gaming, social media etc and finish at least one hour before bed
- Ensure your child has their own alarm clock
- Get their bag and all of their equipment and kit ready the night before
- Establish routes to school in advance
What is the role of the pupil?
- The Academy day starts at 8:40am. Gates will close 5 minutes before this.
- Pupils are expected to arrive on time for each period of the day (including registration)
- Pupils arriving late will be marked as late in the register and a 30 minutes, same day detention will be issued.
- Late to school is defined as any pupil arriving to school after the gates have closed at 8.35am.
- Late to lesson is defined as arriving to the classroom after the door has been closed by the class teacher
Why is good attendance important?
- To avoid gaps in learning
- To help achieve good exam results
- To help with applications to sixth form, college or an apprenticeship
- To prevent further action from the school and/or the local authority
- To show a good attitude to learning
What absences are not appropriate?
- To look after the house or other members of the family
- To go shopping or visit relatives
- For girls: because they are menstruating
- Because of waking up late
- For family birthdays or outings
What is a ‘Persistently Absent (PA)’ pupil?
A pupil is defined as ‘persistently absent’ when their attendance falls below 90%
What rewards are there for excellent attendance and exemplary punctuality?
All pupils in school with 100% attendance on their record (for the academic year) are placed in a raffle to have the chance of winning a prize at the end of each term.
Regular attendance and punctuality assemblies take place throughout the year with pupils rewarded for their excellent attendance and punctuality to school.
What about a holiday or an extended leave of absence?
As you will all be aware, current attendance regulations stipulate a Principal may not grant a leave of absence during term - time unless there are exceptional circumstances. We are unable to grant any requests for leave of absence due to holiday. Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case - by - case basis and on its own merits. It is for the Principal to decide what she views as ‘exceptional’ and it is at their discretion if the circumstances warrant the leave to be granted.
If the leave is granted, the Principal is able to determine the number of school days a child can be absent for.
The school can only consider leave of absence requests which are made by the ‘resident’ parent. Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application.
If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice. Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s). Where a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued and not paid within the required timeframe as set out on the notice, the matter will be referred to Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal proceedings under S444 Education Act 1996.
Parents are asked to respect the new regulations under which the School must work and if there is a need to take a child out of school during term - time, an application or request must be made in advance and make clear how the circumstances are exceptional.
What if absence is essential?
If your child is unable to attend school, the parent/carer must inform the school Attendance Officer before 9am that day.
If you are leaving a message to report a student absence, please include their name, year or form group, reason for absence and expected length of absence.
If you are unsure of the length of absence please inform the Attendance Office before 8:30am on each day of absence.
To contact the Attendance Officer please use the details below:
Attendance Officer: Nicola Paton
Email Address: Nicola.Paton@GeorgeEliotAcademy.org.uk
Telephone Number: 02476 744 000 Ext: 224
What is an authorised absence?
Parents and carers can explain absences but they cannot authorise them. Only the school can decide whether explanations about absences are acceptable and can be authorised.
For all pupils whose absence is below 93%, the school will insist a doctor’s note or some form of medical evidence is provided. All other absences will be coded as ‘O’ and will not be authorised.
What about absence for Dental/Medical treatment?
A pupil may have to be absent from school for medical or dental treatment. The school must be informed if during school time, but where possible appointments should be arranged after school.
Please ensure that evidence is provided for appointments within school hours, staff will check this before allowing students to leave lessons. Alternatively, please inform the Attendance Officer and they will mark this accordingly on the register.
If students are leaving school site for any reason they must sign out at reception. Reception staff will ensure that students have permission to be leaving school site before allowing them to sign out.
What if a pupil feels unwell during the school day?
If a pupil feels unwell during the school day they should inform their class teacher, the class teacher will then make an assessment of the child’s ability to stay in school. If there is a medical emergency a pastoral manager will be called for immediately. If a child is deemed too ill to stay in school, a decision will be made by their pastoral manager and the attendance officer, and parents will be informed.
What if a pupil needs to take medication during the school day?
If a pupil needs to take medication in school, we advise that parents/carers inform the school via a telephone call or a letter and the school will make arrangements to safely store the medicine in school.
What happens if a pupil misses too much school?
Punctuality - What happens if pupils are late?
- They will be at a disadvantage
- They may miss important knowledge/content at the start of the lesson and interrupt learning.
- The school day starts at 8.40am when all pupils are expected to be in their designated area for line up.
- Pupils are expected to arrive on time for each period of the day including registration and assemblies.
- Pupils arriving late with be marked late in the register and a consequence will be applied.
- Late to school is defined as any pupil arriving after 8.35am.
- Late to lesson is defined as arriving to the classroom after the classroom door has been closed by the class teacher.
- Pupils who arrive at school after 8.35am will receive a 30 minute detention on the same day.