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The King’s Academy is a successful school and your child plays their part in making it so. We aim to provide a safe, secure learning environment and a rich, motivating curriculum which enables all members of the community to achieve their personal best by making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being. Our goal is to ensure that all students achieve their full potential in a learning environment where they feel safe, happy, accepted and included. To enable our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend school regularly and on time every day, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. It is very important, therefore, that parents and carers make sure their child attends regularly and on time and this Policy sets out how, by working in partnership, we will achieve this.

Why regular attendance is so important?

  • Attendance is essential if young people are to achieve their personal best, it is the foundation of equality of opportunity, and has a direct impact on attainment and opportunities for future employment.
  • Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. In addition, any student’s absence or lateness disrupts teaching routines, which may impact upon and negatively affect the learning of other students.
  • 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 ( The Education Act 1996, Sections 444(1) and 444(1a).

AttendanceUnderstanding 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 reason for any absence is always required, preferably in writing. Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a valid reason such as illness, emergency medical/dental appointments; which unavoidably fall in school time, family emergencies or any other cause which cannot be prevented. Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been agreed. This type of absence can lead to the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. This includes:

  • Parents/carers keeping students off school unnecessarily
  • truancy before or during the school day
  • absences which have never been properly explained
  • students arriving at school too late to get a mark
  • looking after family members
  • shopping, birthdays, day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.

If your child appears reluctant to attend school, please ensure that you contact a member of school staff immediately to discuss any issues that might be negatively affecting your child’s school attendance. Please do not give in to pressure to excuse your child from attending school as this may give your child the impression attendance does not matter and can make the situation worse. It is much better to contact the school and request support and advice with any issues negatively impacting upon your child’s attitude to school attendance.

Parent/Carer contact details:
There are times when we need to contact parents about lots of things, including absence, so we need to have your accurate contact details at all times. Please help us to help you and your child by making sure we always have an up to date home address and telephone number. This is particularly important if we need to make urgent contact with you, for example if your child is unwell.

AttendancePersistent absenteeism:
A pupil becomes a ‘Persistent Absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason and irrespective of whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parents and carer’s full support and co-operation to avoid this. At The King’s Academy we monitor all absence thoroughly. Any case seen to have reached the Persistent Absence mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and action is taken to address this. It is very important that you cooperate with school staff to enable appropriate strategies and support to be put in place for your child. If irregular attendance persists despite the ongoing support available; we have a duty as a school to inform the Local Authority Attendance Service.

Holidays during term time:

Parents are required under the Education Act (1996) to ensure their child attends school regularly. There is no automatic right to take a child out of school during term time but the law allows Head Teachers to consider individual requests to authorise a leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.

The Head Teacher must be satisfied that the exceptional circumstances justify an authorised absences and it is entirely the responsibility of the parent submitting the request to provide sufficient information and evidence in order to establish this fact.

The request for an authorised leave of absence must be made at least four school weeks in advance and the Head Teacher may invite the parent into school to discuss the request before a decision is made.

If the circumstances relating to this request are considered exceptional and the absence is authorised by the Head Teacher, the expectation is that the child’s attendance will be of a satisfactory level both prior to and after the date covered by the request.

If the request for leave of absence is refused and the absence is taken and recorded as unauthorised, the Head Teacher may refer the matter to the Local Authority requesting a Penalty Notice be issued against you, which will go on record.

A Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if the notice is paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 days period the Local Authority may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies.

Where there is more that one child, each parent may be issued with a Penalty Notice in respect of each child.

As a parent/carer you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not allowing your child to miss school for anything other than an exceptional and unavoidable reason. Research suggest that children who are taken out of school may never catch up on the learning they have missed, which ultimately affects exam and test results.


Advice for parents: What to do if your child does not want to attend school? 

Don’t ignore it! You need to find out why they don’t want to come and act. In all cases, please contact The Academy (your Child’ Tutor, Head of Year or Mrs E lynch for KS4 attendance matters or
Mrs R Staines for KS3 and KS5 attendance matters on 01642 577577) ASAP so we can discuss the different ways we can help.

Common reasons for a student not wanting to attend include; 

  • Problems with learning – Talk to your child, see if you can identify where they are struggling. 
  • Problems at home – Bereavement, divorce, illness, housing problems, debt, stress and domestic violence will all affect your child. We have a counselling service based in school, lots of contacts with external specialist agencies and a member of staff dedicated to families suffering hardship and relationship issues. Anything you share with us will be treated sensitively and confidentially.  
  • Bullying – This is a common reason for children refusing to go to school and is a worry for parents. We have a zero tolerance approach but if we don’t know it’s happening we can’t help. 
  • Illness/mental health – Any health problem that keeps your child away from school regularly should be investigated. Your GP will be a good source of advice. Again, where a referral to our counsellor is appropriate we will make it with your consent. We also use Young minds, Kooth and Childline so check out their websites for what they offer.