Important Attendance Information For All Parents / Carers
As we begin a new academic year it allows pupils to reset and set new goals and challenges for the year ahead. One of our targets for pupils is to have the highest possible attendance. It is widely recognised both nationally and here at Co-op Academy North Manchester that pupils who attend school every day have improved outcomes in all areas of their life.
All parents should promote good attendance and work in partnership with school to ensure learning opportunities are achieved. We all want the best for our pupils, to nurture and care for them. Having an excellent attendance record at school contributes greatly to this goal. Working together, we can give pupils every chance of reaching their academic and social potential. However, the more days a pupil is absent from school the greater the risk of underachievement and social isolation. Each pupil should aim to have 100% attendance and a minimum of 97%. Where there are exceptional circumstances, for example, long term illness supported by medical evidence, school will set a bespoke target for pupils and will work with them and their parents to maximise attendance whilst appreciating any unique challenges and rewarding success.
At Co-op Academy North Manchester we fully appreciate that there may be occasions when a pupil’s attendance or punctuality may be affected due to exceptional circumstances. In these cases support and advice will always be available from the academy. If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance, or you wish to speak to someone about this, then please contact your child’s year team or the Attendance team on 0161 681 1592 or at email@example.com
Please can we remind parents/carers that:
- If your child can not make it to school for any reason, parents/carers must advise contact the academy by 8am on the first day of absence in one of the following ways:
- Call the academy by on 0161 681 1592
- Send a ParentMail
- Email the attendance team using firstname.lastname@example.org
Please provide us with the child’s name, their form and the reason for absence and an expected date of return. Parents/carers should contact the academy on the morning of each day their child is absent. This should be followed up in the form of a written note from the parent/carer, though verbal explanations may be acceptable where this is considered appropriate. A phone call by a member of staff will also be made for every day of absence to support the pupil in their return to the Academy. As part of our safeguarding initiative, home visits can be made even if we have received a call to say that a pupil will not be in school in order to fulfil our duty of care.
- All pupils are expected to be on site for 8.25am. Registration begins at 8.35am and pupils arriving after this time will be marked as present but arriving late (code L). The register will close at 9.05am, pupils arriving after the close of register will be recorded as late (code U); this is unauthorised and will count as an absence for that school session and statutory action may be taken where appropriate. Late detentions are issued by the academy for all late arrivals. This will consist of a 30 minute detention that evening for L codes; and a C3 (50 minute detention) for a U code. Parents/Carers will be contacted by parent mail during the day to let them know if their child is in detention. Failure to attend the detention will result in further sanctions, unless parents/carers provide a satisfactory explanation.
- Any medical appointments should be made outside of school hours. However, if a pupil has to attend a medical appointment during the day, then evidence must be supplied. It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to collect their child from the academy within a reasonable time to attend any appointments and return them back to the academy once the appointment has ended. Pupils should not be absent from school for a whole day to attend an appointment, unless in exceptional circumstances e.g medical procedures
- In instances of long-term or repeated absences for the same reason, medical evidence may be requested to assist in assessing whether the pupil requires additional support to help them to attend more regularly, and whether the illness is likely to prevent the pupil from attending for extended periods.
- In line with national guidelines and our attendance policy, holiday requests during term time will not be agreed and will be recorded as unauthorised absence. Taking holidays during term time means that pupils miss important learning opportunities and other school activities. It will be difficult for pupils to catch up on work when they return to school. Only in exceptional circumstances may a leave of absence be authorised during term time – this will be decided by the Principal. When requesting leave of absence in term time, this must be done as far in advance as possible. The minimum is 1 months’ notice. Please complete a ‘Leave of Absence Request Form’ and on the school website. If you think your child needs to be taken out of school, you should discuss the reasons with the school as soon as possible. If the Principal is satisfied with the evidence and the notice period, they may authorise the absence, but it is important that you understand this would only happen in extreme cases. The request should be rare, significant, unavoidable and short.
- Co-op Academy North Manchester acknowledges the multi-faith nature of British society and recognises that on some occasions, religious festivals may fall outside academy holiday periods or weekends and this necessitates a ‘Leave of Absence Request Form’ to be completed by the parent/carer. In the interests of both supporting the academic potential of every pupil and limiting the authorised absence rate, it is usual, but not the rule, that a leave of absence of 1 day may be granted per celebration. Any further absence will be categorised as unauthorised.
All pupils’ attendance is closely monitored by the academy and only the Principal can authorise any absence.
The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education either by attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school. Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure their child attends that school regularly. This means their child must attend every day that the school is open, except in a small number of allowable circumstances such as being too ill to attend. A link to the Public Health Guidance on whether your child is fit enough and medically able to attend school can be found on our website.
Ongoing, persistent absence from school has a negative impact on a pupil’s learning. Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly. Although school has a responsibility to liaise closely with the Local Authority (LA) and provide information which may be required to support legal action, our aim is to prevent this from being necessary. At Co-op Academy North Manchester we pride ourselves on our ability to support families and help young people thrive. We have the will and expertise to help and even in specialist circumstances where we are unable to help, we can signpost you to the right services and support you in this process. If you are experiencing difficulties with your child, please ask to speak with your child’s Head of Year. Staff at Co-op Academy North Manchester will work alongside families to improve attendance and will refer to other support services such as Early Help. We may also work with families to develop a parenting contract in order to improve poor attendance. This is intended to support and offer an alternative to statutory measures.
However, please be aware that unauthorised and persistent absences, (which includes unexplained lateness after 9:05am), will result in Penalty Notices being issued. Penalty Notice warnings may be issued to parents & carers after just 10 sessions of unauthorised absence, (there are two sessions in each day, including morning registration). Failure to pay a penalty notice may result in legal proceedings being taken. These measures may include a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) or a prosecution under 1996 Education Act, section 4441 or section 4441 (a). Other statutory action may also be considered under the Education Act, which may result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
If you are experiencing difficulties in ensuring the regular attendance of your child, please do not hesitate to contact the Academy to arrange a meeting. Please also refer to our school website page on attendance further information and advice.
Once again thank you for working with us to ensure that your child attends school on time every day. By working together we will be able to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Lauren Kelly, Assistant Vice Principal - Attendance and Safeguarding