Attendance

Good attendance is an important part of your child’s school life. At Abbot Beyne School we encourage our students to achieve outstanding attendance of at least 97% in the knowledge that this will contribute to them achieving their best possible outcomes.

We expect students to arrive punctually in order to develop and sustain effective professional behaviours. When your child completes their education at Abbot Beyne School they will be moving on to the Sixth Form, further education or employment. Your child’s attendance and punctuality record from school is an important part of the information references requested. Therefore, securing a good attendance discipline at school will be a valuable asset in later life. Our Attendance Officer is Mrs L Lynch

Parents or Carers responsibilities

Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age attend school regularly. The attendance of each student can be viewed on the school Bromcom app. This is updated daily. Parents must

  • Inform school straight away if your child cannot attend and give the reason
  • Try to make medical, dental or other appointments outside the school day
  • Ensure the school is aware of any circumstances at home that may be likely to affect attendance Encourage good routines at home which promote a healthy lifestyle including enough sleep
  • Talk to your child about school and let the school know if your child is worried about any issues such as difficulties with homework or friendship problems
  • Do not book holidays in term time – following Government guidelines we are unable to authorise this
  • Seek advice from your G.P. if you are not sure how long to keep your child off school with an illness
  • Ensure school has all your up to date contact details
  • Encourage your child to enjoy school and make the most of all the opportunities available to them

School responsibilities

Our school aims to meet its obligations with regards to attendance by:

  • Promoting good attendance and reducing absence, including persistent absence
  • Ensuring every student has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
  • Acting early to address patterns of absence
  • Working with parents to resolve problems which may affect a child’s attendance and will involve representatives of other agencies that work with the school such as the School Nurse or representatives of the Local Support Team such as Education Welfare Workers where required in order to ensure all children can benefit from consistently good punctuality and attendance
  • Wherever possible the school will take action to improve a student’s attendance and address any underlying cause of problems before making a referral to the EWO.
  • Being proactive in encouraging attendance for all students through ensuring parents and students receive information on the importance of good attendance and punctuality and will react swiftly to intervene to improve attendance of individual children should this become a concern.
  • If the student is known to have been in school, but has not attended all, or some of their lessons without reason, then they are classed as truant. If this is to occur, then there are a range of sanctions which can be issued. This process will be administered by the relevant member of the pastoral team.

Elective Home Education

A parent has a right to educate their child at home and can request to home educate their child at any point. On receipt of written notification from the parent/carer, we will inform the LA and once approval has been received, the student may be taken off roll and a leaver’s form will be completed.

School Procedures

The following “in-school” procedure is followed for monitoring children’s attendance:

  • The Attendance Officer monitors all students whose attendance is less than 95%. In the first instance, where there are concerns, students are spoken to regarding their attendance
  • Attendance continues to be monitored and if there is no improvement parents/carers are informed and support offered
  • Where there is still no improvement, parents/carers are invited to a meeting at school with the Attendance Officer A referral to the EWO will be made on all students whose attendance drops below 90% and there is no known genuine reason for the absence. They will try to resolve the situation if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed
  • Following investigation any unresolved issues could result in the parent/carer receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice or ultimately a prosecution under the Education Act 1966 s.444. Parents who are subject to a penalty notice have 3 choices:
  1. A fine of £60 per parent/carerper child if paid within 28 days
  2. A fine of £120 per parent/carer per child if paid after 28 days but within 42 days.
  3. In the case of non-payment of the fine, the Notice will be withdrawn and Magistrates’ Court proceedings will start. This could result in a fine of up to £1000 for each child whose attendance is causing concern and for each parent involved in the prosecution. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of £2500 and/or 3 months’ imprisonment. Please be aware that it is the Local Authority that issues Fixed Penalty Notices and not the school
  • EWOs can also seek an Education Supervision Order or School Attendance Order on the child
  • Alternatively, parents or children may wish to contact the EWO themselves to ask for help or information. EWOs are independent of the school and will give impartial advice

Children who cannot attend school because of health needs

In line with Section 19 of the Education Act 1996 the Local Authority (LA) have a duty to: “make arrangements for the provision of suitable education at school or otherwise than at school for those children of compulsory school age who, by reason of illness, or otherwise, may not for any period receive suitable education unless such arrangements are made for them.”

This applies to children and young people who are of statutory school age and who:

  • are permanently resident in the LA and
  • who are not in school for 15 days or more, whether consecutive or cumulative due to ill health and
  • where the health need and necessity for absence has been validated as necessary by a doctor
  • will not receive a suitable full-time education unless the local authority makes arrangements for this

Health problems include physical illnesses, injuries and clinically defined mental health problems. Suitable medical evidence will be required. This would include details of the health problem, how long the condition is expected to last and the likely outcome, and a treatment plan. This must be provided by a suitable medical professional, normally a hospital consultant. However, where specific medical evidence is not available quickly, the local authority will liaise with other medical professionals (e.g. the child’s GP), so that provision of education is not delayed.

Arrangements for alternative provision will be made as soon as it is known that a child has not attended the school for 15 days for health reasons or as soon as it is clear that a health related absence from the school will be 15 days or longer, verified by a medical doctor. The 15 days may be consecutive or cumulative. The provision will commence as quickly as possible. There may be circumstances in which suitable alternative education is already in place e.g. if the school has made arrangements for a student, or the child is receiving education at a hospital school.