Attendance and Punctuality Policy
The AQ Khan Schools aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to achieve their best. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and on time and this Policy sets out how together we will achieve this.
Why Regular Attendance is so important:
Learning:- Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any student’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class.
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
Safeguarding:- Your child may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly. Safeguarding the interests of each child is everyone’s responsibility and within the context of this school, promoting the welfare and life opportunities for your child encompasses:-
Health and Safety
Access to the Curriculum
Promoting Regular Attendance:
Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility – parents, students and all members of school staff.
To help us all to focus on this we will:
- Give you details on attendance in our regular newsletter;
- Celebrate good attendance by displaying individual and class achievements;
- Provide ‘First day’ calling to ensure we record reasons for absence;
- Reward good or improving attendance through class competitions, certificates and outings/events;
- Celebrate attendance successes through our weekly assemblies;
- Reward 100% attendance with certificates and annual prizes;
- Run promotional events when parents, students and staff can work together on raising attendance levels across the school;
- Work alongside School Attendance Officers in an attempt to minimise absences;
Understanding Types of Absence:
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given.
Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually make things worse.
Persistent Absenteeism (PA):
A student becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 20% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parents fullest support and co-operation to tackle this.
We monitor all absence thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and you will be informed of this immediately.
PA students are tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system and we also combine this with academic mentoring where absence affects attainment.
If your child is absent you must:
- Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence;
- Send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence – you must do this even if you have already telephoned us;
- Or, you can call into school and report to reception, who will arrange for a member of staff to speak with you.
If your child is absent we will:
- Telephone or text you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you;
- Invite you in to discuss the situation with the Head Teacher
There are times when we need to contact parents about lots of things, including absence, so we need to have your contact numbers at all times. So help us to help you and your child by making sure we always have an up to date number – if we don’t then something important may be missed. There will be regular checks on telephone numbers throughout the year.
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving students also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence. All students need to be at school on time.
How we manage lateness:
The school day starts at 8:00 am and we expect your child to be ready n the classroom at that time.
Registers are marked by 8:20 am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.
At 8.30 am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. We record the number of minutes absent on a regular basis and when the total of minutes late reaches a certain point then further action is taken. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists.
If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Head Teacher to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.
Holidays in Term Time
Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not to take children away in school time.
Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.
Full details of our policy and procedures are available from the school, but it is important that you understand the circumstances when leave in term time will not be agreed by us:
- When a student is just starting the school. This is very important as your child needs to settle into their new environment as quickly as possible.
- Immediately before and during assessment periods (SATS), or end of term assessments.
- When a student’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence.
- Where a student’s attendance rate is already below (90%) or will fall to or below that level as a result of taking holiday leave.
Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised.
he school has targets to improve attendance and your child has an important part to play in meeting these targets.
The minimum level of attendance for this school is 95% attendance and we will keep you updated regularly about progress to this level and how your child’s attendance compares.
Our target is to achieve better than this however because we know that good attendance is the key to successful schooling and we believe our students can be amongst the best.
All school staff are committed to working with parents and students as the best way to ensure as high a level of attendance as possible and that every child’s welfare and life opportunities are promoted.