September 22, 2017

Attendance Policy

To download the Attendance Policy document, please click here.

DSTC Attendance Policy Updated September 2016

Aim

The aim of this policy is to encourage students to attend school every day (190 days per year). Regular and punctual attendance at school is a legal requirement. At DSTC we recognise that good attendance is essential in order for students to maximise their chances of success. There is clear evidence showing strong links between excellent GCSE results and excellent attendance.

Key Staff

Principal: The Principal is the only person who can authorise leave and this will only be in exceptional circumstances.

Vice Principal in charge of attendance Ms Cane

Attendance officer: Mrs Sohal

Responsibilities

The Education Act 1996 requires parents and guardians to ensure that their children receive efficient, full-time education. Parents/Guardians are responsible for their child’s attendance and punctuality to College. The College is responsible for recording student attendance twice a day: once at the start of the morning session and once during the afternoon session. An entry must be made in the attendance register for all students of compulsory school age who are on the College’s roll. In addition, lesson registers are taken each lesson.

The staff at DSTC will ensure that:

  • Students are registered accurately and efficiently.
  • Attendance targets are set for individual students, year groups and the College as a whole.
  • Attendance and punctuality data is regularly reviewed.

Students are expected to:

  • Attend school regularly and be registered punctually.
  • Inform staff if there is a problem that may lead to absences.

Parents/Carers will:

  • Ensure good attendance (96% and above).
  • Inform the school on each day of absence and give specific reason.
  • Discuss planned absences with the school in advance and seek the appropriate leave of absence.

College Day:

  • The College day for students begins at 8.40am — by this time all students should be in form rooms.
  • Any students who are late to school without good reason (after 8.40am) will receive a break and lunchtime detention. Continual lateness to College may result in prosecution.

 

Form Tutors (FT):

  • FT have the responsibility of registering students’ attendance at the beginning of the morning session.
  • FT will ensure that the registers are completed in accordance with the appropriate regulations.
  • FT have a major role to play in encouraging students to be punctual and to attend school each day.
  • Absence notes from parents will be checked by FT for their authenticity and will be passed to the Attendance Officer for filing.

Daily role of the Attendance Officer:

  • Will ensure that the registers are available for scrutiny and for emergencies e.g. for fire drills.
  • Will make first day absence calls/texts to parents/guardians.
  • Is responsible for notifying parents of unauthorised absences on those occasions when a student has been absent for three days when no reason has been received from the parents.
  • Will meet regularly with Pastoral Leaders to support students who are persistently late or absent.
  • Will ensure that all absence notes are logged onto SIMs and paper copies stored in a secure place.

Role of the Attendance Officer in raising concerns:

  • If concerns are raised about a student’s attendance or punctuality then the Attendance

Officer will invite the parents in for a meeting.

  • If no improvement is seen parents will be asked to complete an ‘Attendance & Punctuality

Contract’. (See Appendix)

  • The Governing Body have agreed to adopt the Government initiative of imposing Penalty Notices (PN) in cases of persistent unauthorised absence and persistent lateness to College. These will be implemented by the Attendance Officer but can only be authorised by the Principal.
  • Parents will receive a written warning of the possibility of a PN being issued and will have

15 days to ensure an improvement in attendance and / or punctuality. Failure to ensure improvement will lead to the issue of a PN.

  • In circumstances where a PN has been served with no impact or attendance patterns show chronic poor attendance the College may request a prosecution through Section 444 (1) of the 1996 Education Act. This will result in prosecution through the courts if there is no improvement in attendance.

Pastoral Leaders:

  • Are responsible for notifying the Attendance Officer of any pastoral issues that may impact

on a student’s attendance.

Punctuality:

  • All students are expected to be punctual to College (students should aim to be at school for

8.30am). Any student who is late to College must attend the detentions set.

  • Students arriving after the registers close at 9.15am will be marked as an unauthorised absence and the absence must be explained by parental contact. This will be coded as a U.
  • Any students late to a lesson will be coded as late on SIMs and an appropriate sanction put in place by the class teacher.

Attendance procedures

  • Parents are asked to telephone the College before 8.45am to notify of a student’s absence.
  • Authorised absence, e.g. illness, must be supported by a letter from the parents explaining the reason for the absence.
  • Students who wish to leave the premises during the College day will be expected to bring a letter from their parents notifying the Attendance Officer of the reason the Attendance

officer will then issue a pink slip. Students should sign out at Reception.

  • Where parents fail to make contact providing a reason for absence, the Attendance Officer will endeavour to contact them.

Unauthorised Absences

  • An absence will be recorded as unauthorised if:
  • The College has not given approval in advance for a student to be absent.
  • The College does not accept a given explanation as satisfactory justification for absence.
  • Medical evidence requested by the College is not forthcoming.
  • No explanation of absence is received within two weeks.

If a student of compulsory school age is absent, the register must show whether that absence is authorised or unauthorised by the College. In cases where parents seem to condone unauthorised absence, the College may involve outside agencies including ‘Early Help’ and the Local Authority Attendance Officer.

Leave of Absence

Taking a child out of College in term time will affect their schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children away during this time. We will aim to remind parents that any savings they may make by taking a holiday in term time are offset by the cost to their child’s education.

DSTC will not authorise any holidays/leave during term time except in exceptional circumstances.

Parents who wish to apply for a leave of absence must put this in writing as soon as possible to the Principal. Leave in term time will not be agreed by the College at any time unless circumstances surrounding the request can be evidenced. A leave of absence will not be authorised retrospectively.

In considering the request we will also look at various factors such as:

  • The timing of the request:
  • Students should not be absent both immediately before and during assessment periods e.g.

GCSE or any other public examinations.

Where a student’s attendance rate is already below 96% or will fall to or below that level as a result of taking leave.

  • The student has a serious work deficit.
  • Other periods of leave which the student may have had, either during the current or previous academic year.

Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the College, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a Penalty Notice. Unauthorised absence is shown on reports and ultimately the College references.

Unauthorised absence of ten or more College sessions in a half term can lead to the authority issuing a penalty notice. The fine for unauthorised absence currently stands at £120 per parent per child.

In certain circumstances, parents risk losing their child’s place on the College roll if the student does not return to College on the agreed return date. Readmission cannot be guaranteed.

The specific circumstances which outline when a student can be removed from roll are laid out in Regulation 8 (1) (f) (i-iii) of The Education (Student Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (Amended 2010 and 2013).

DSTC Attendance & Punctuality Contract – 2016