Contents: • Policy • Principles • The ZHA expectations • School Responsibility • Term time holidays • Definitions • Monitoring absence • Signing out procedure • Record of revisions to policy • Penalties • Uniform PolicyZHA Policy Page 2 of 10
• ATTENDANCE POLICY Regular and punctual school attendance is important. Students need to attend school regularly. Zenith Heights Academy fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours. Our policy applies to all students registered at this school and this policy is made available to all parents/carers of students who are registered at our school. Regular attendance at school is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable children to extend their potential. The attendance pattern for all children is monitored weekly with the school seeking to work actively with parents to ensure a regular pattern is maintained. We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session, if they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and to put in place appropriate procedures to support this. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes towards school and learning. Poor attendance can seriously affect each child’s: • attainment in school • relationship with other children and their ability to form lasting friendships. • confidence to attempt new work and work alongside others. Each child’s attendance can be summarised as:
Non-attendance is an important issue that is treated seriously. However, each case is different, and the school acknowledges that no one standard response will be appropriate in every case. Consideration is given to all factors affecting attendance before deciding what intervention strategies to apply. a) In every case, early intervention is essential to prevent the problem from worsening. It is essential that parents keep the school fully informed of any matters that may affect their child’s attendance; they are reminded of this duty in the school prospectus. b) The school may issue letters to parents clearly defining the concerns within school regarding a pupils’ absence. It is hoped that a quick response and change in levels of absence will prevent the low level of attendance. Further details regarding roles and responsibilities is identified in the appendix to this policy. PRINCIPLES The school recognises that children need to be punctual and attend school regularly if they are to fulfil their spiritual, moral and academic potential. Arrival and Registration All children should be in the school ready to register before 7.00 a.m. each day although children are entitled to enter the school from 6.30 a.m. when doors open. The register is taken during the homeroom time. Morning registration ends at 7.30 a.m. If a child arrives after the registration period, he/she must report to the school office and will be marked in as ‘Late’. Arrival after 8.00am is recorded as an un-authorised late mark. 1. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their child attends school and arrives on time. 2. Students need to arrive at school in time to be registered at 7:00 am and at the start of the period. Students who arrive more than 5 minutes after these times are deemed late. 3. Students who arrive late and are unable to register with their Form Teacher need to register at the Administration Office. They need to explain why they are late. ZHA Expectations Parental Responsibility Throughout this policy, the term ‘parent’ represents one parent, both parents, and carer with whom the child resides. Parents are informed of their responsibility to ensure their children attend regularly. Punctuality is also stressed as lateness impacts on learning not only for the individual, but the class. Attendance is discussed with each parent at parent evenings, with the current percentage attendance being reported. Parents have a legal obligation to ensure their children receive a full-time education. This is achieved by regular attendance at school. 1. If your child is absent from school, we would expect you to telephone school before 9:00am with the reason why. If no contact is made, the school will contact the parents on the second day of the consecutive absences. 2. Pupils should return to school with a note to confirm the reason for absence. 3. If no explanation for a child’s absence is given, the absence is recorded as unauthorised. 4. Parents can check on their child’s attendance by contacting the Attendance officer. 5. Absences are recorded as being authorised or unauthorised. • An authorised absence would cover such issues as illness, medical appointments, and Religious observance. • Unauthorised absences are those where the reason for absence is unknown to the school, or the reason is inappropriate. These may include absence without notification, going shopping, haircuts, sleeping in, family holiday, etc. Illness and Medical Appointments When a child is unwell, parents should contact the school before 9.00am on the first day of absence informing the school of the reason for absence. When a child is absent, the class teacher will record the absence in the register. As part of our Safeguarding Procedures, the Attendance Officer will endeavour to contact the parent or carer and other emergency contacts, if no message has been received regarding the reason for the absence, to check on the safety of the child. a) Every effort should be made to arrange medical appointments outside school hours. b) An appointment card or verification by the doctors/dentist/hospital is required for absence of more than 2 days. c) If it is necessary for a child to be out of school for this reason, the child should be returned to school directly after the appointment. d) If your child is absent due to vomiting, then they should not return to school for the next 24 hours after the last time that the child is sick. This is to reduce the risk of infection to other children and adults at the school. e) For more than two days of absence, the school require a written explanation of why the child was absent. The school office will request this if it is not produced. f) Medical certificates are required for absence greater than 2 days. School Responsibility The Administration Team and all staff work to ensure a high level of enjoyment and commitment to learning as a means of ensuring regular attendance. The Administration Team holds responsibility for attendance matters, supported by the Administration staff. Where school attendance problems occur, the school will endeavour to work with parents in the interests of the child to achieve a resolution. Attendance is recorded and data stored in the school Information Management System. It is a statutory duty for class teachers to call and maintain accurate registers; these are legal documents and may be called for as evidence by the court. Class Teachers are legally responsible for marking their class attendance register twice per day at the start of each session. The Principal not parents, authorises absence. Absence for any reason during term time is discouraged. Absence known to be for the following reasons would be authorised: • Illness • Religious observance • Attendance at medical appointments which cannot be made outside school hours When it has become necessary to make a referral to Administration Office, all further absences will be unauthorised pending investigation. Term Time Holidays The School recognise that pupil absence during term time can seriously disrupt a pupil’s continuity of learning. Parents are therefore strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday in term time. Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday. When an absence is authorised, parents will be provided with written evidence. 1. The School policy states that pupils should attend school each day it is open. In exceptional circumstances, the Principal can allow parents to take their child out of class for a maximum of ten days in a school year. Parents need to request permission in writing from the Principal before they take a child out of school. 2. No holidays should be taken during examination periods. 3. Only one holiday can be authorised in a single Key Stage. 4. In the following circumstances, a Penalty Notice may then be issued: a. Where the Principal has refused the request, but absence still occurs. b. Where the Principal has agreed to authorise an absence, but the pupil does not return on the agreed date, with no satisfactory explanation. c. Where parents have not sought permission from the Principal before taking the child out of school for a term time holiday. Definitions Every half-day absence must be classified by the school (not by the parents) as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. Therefore, information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing or by telephone. Authorised Absence An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or guardian and the parent has received a letter from the school stating the absence has been authorised, for example, if a child has been unwell and the parent writes a note or telephones the school to explain the absence. Only the school can make an absence authorised. Unauthorised Absence An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the Principal. Unauthorised absences are those, which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no ‘authorisation has been given. This includes: • Parents keeping children off school unnecessarily. • Truancy before or during the school day. • Absences that have never been properly explained. • Holidays not agreed. Signing In and Out If students have a legitimate reason to leave during the day, they must first sign out at reception. Parents are requested to email the Administration staff in advance, giving the reasons for leaving early. Parents are reminded that they should look to make appointments outside of school hours whenever possible. Approval will be granted by the teacher, after an email has been received at Administration Office. If students try to sign out without a confirmation email or if Administration staff have any doubts about the students leaving, they will call a parent to confirm. This will also take place if an adult other than a student’s parent arrives asking to take them. A student cannot be allowed to leave until the Administration staff are satisfied about the authenticity of their appointment/reason for leaving and the identity of the adult collecting the student. If there is any doubt, teachers and Key Stage Leaders should be contacted by Administration staff. Monitoring absence 1. The attendance registers are monitored by the Attendance officer to see if any patterns of attendance are emerging. 2. A letter will be sent to parents if we have concern over a child’s attendance. 3. If there is no improvement following this initial letter, we will invite parents to an interview to discuss why their child isn’t attending school regularly or is frequently late for school. 4. The school and parents need to work together to ensure that the children are able to do their best in school. In order to do this, children need to attend on a regular basis. 5. The MINISTRY OF EDUCATION has strict ruling with regards to absence during term time, and students with absence below 85% may not pass the Academic year. Promoting good attendance 1. The school highlights attendance through charts on an attendance notice board. 2. Each year, attainable but challenging attendance targets are set for each pupil and the school. 3. Positive encouragements for good attendance are given in the form of merits marks, attendance certificates, form attendance trophies and letters to parents. 4. Pupils who are persistently absent are given support on returning to school to aid their re-integration. 5. Assemblies regularly focus on the need for good attendance at school. Evaluation of attendance 1. Attendance to improve steadily. 2. Attainment to be in line with school targets (internal and external examinations results). 3. Students recognise the value of school (Questionnaire). 4. Pupil and parent surveys are used to solicit feedback on attendance to help us improve the education and guidance we give your child. 5. An annual survey to identify attendance trends is used to inform future planning. Penalties 1. 3 consecutive or non-consecutive lateness is equals to 1 absence. 2. If a student is absent for 3 consecutive or non-consecutive days per term without authorized excuse, 2 marks will be deducted from the behaviour of the student across all subjects. 3. If a student is absent for 5 consecutive or non-consecutive days per term without authorized excuse, 5 marks will be deducted from the behaviour of the student across all subjects. Behaviour is 10% of the overall mark of a student. Authorized absence is granted by the school’s management and not by the parents. • UNIFORM POLICY Rationale School uniform policies can promote school safety, improve discipline, and boost the learning environment. Some benefits of school uniforms include: • Instilling students with discipline • Helping parents and students resist peer pressure • Helping students concentrate on their schoolwork; and • Helping school officials recognize intruders who come to the school Reminders Footwear School shoes should be all black and PE shoes should be white or black rubber shoes/sneakers only. Shoes with open toes or backless shoes (including flip flops, crocs, mules, and slides) are not allowed. Wearing of high heels is forbidden. Accessories Wearing of excessive accessories especially gold jewelleries are not allowed. Gold jewelleries will be confiscated by the homeroom teacher, and parents will be asked to collect it. Big and colourful headbands and hair ties are also not permitted. For a complete guide on the school’s uniform kindly refer to table 1.1 School Uniform Penalties Abiding by the school’s uniform is mandatory. Students who fail to abide by the school’s uniform policy will: 1. Be called to collect their child/ren or to bring the proper uniform to school. 2. A warning notice will be given to the student every time an offense is made. 3. If a student fails to abide by the uniform policy thrice (3 times), 3 marks will be deducted from the student’s grade in behaviour.