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May 10 2018

Attendance

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Attendance and Punctuality

Success begins with being at school!

Bedmond Academy is committed to promoting excellent levels of attendance and punctuality, enabling our pupils to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.

Our aim is for our pupils to meet at least the Government target of 95% attendance. We would appreciate your support to ensure that all our pupils achieve this, enabling them to fulfil their potential.

Mums, Dads and Carers are responsible in law for ensuring that their children attend the school at which they are registered, regularly and punctually, in the best condition possible to learn. The information below clarifies our attendance expectations.

If your child is absent from school, please contact us with the reason by 8.30am on the first day of absence.  Please call on every morning of absence. It is the Principal’s decision as to whether this absence is authorised or not.  In most cases, absence is regarded as genuine and marked as authorised on the register.

Classroom doors are open at 8.45 am to allow entrance for all children. All classroom doors are closed at 8.50am (this ties with the closing of the main gates).

Registers are taken electronically twice daily at 8.45am and 1.05pm. Should your child arrive between 8.50am and 9.00am, your child will be marked as late.  If your child arrives after 9.00am, this will be marked as an unauthorised absence unless you provide a reasonable explanation in agreement with the Principal. Any children arriving late will need to be signed in by an adult at the main office.

As a school, we will follow up any persistent lateness, unauthorised absence and pupils with low levels of attendance.  Our registers are inspected regularly by our Attendance Improvement Officer to ensure mums, dads/carers fulfil their legal responsibility of making sure their child(ren) attend school regularly and punctually. Letters will be issued to mums, dads/carers whose children have been absent less than 90% in any term.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 states that the Headteacher may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances outlining the conditions under which leave of absence may be granted. Should a parent/carer wish to request leave of absence during term time for exceptional circumstances a letter must be sent, for the attention of Miss Harris via the school office, no less than 4 weeks before the date wanted for the period to start.  She may request an appointment with the parent/carer and will inform them of her decision in writing.

Absence will be unauthorised if:-

* Should a request for leave of absence be declined but the time taken

* If a parent/carer takes a child out of school for leave of absence without authorisation

* When a child fails to return to school following authorised leave of absence for exceptional circumstances on the agreed date

Should a child have 15 or more sessions absence in the current and/or previous term, the school can apply to the local authority for a Penalty Notice to be issued to the parents/carers.

As a school we encourage good attendance and punctuality through various awards and celebrate any improvements in attendance. We aim to work with our pupils and their parents/carers so that the course of action detailed above are not necessary.

If you have any questions about attendance or would like a copy of our Schools Attendance Policy please contact the school office or refer to the policy section on this website.

We look forward to continuing to work with all parents/carers to ensure that all of the children attending Bedmond Academy are able to reach their full potential.

Penalty Notices

What is a penalty notice?

Penalty notices for unauthorised absence were introduced by the government as part of the AntiSocial Behaviour Act 2003 to support schools to improve attendance. They are an alternative to prosecution and allow parents to discharge their potential liability for an offence of failing to ensure their child’s regular1 attendance at school by payment of a penalty.

When are penalty notices used?

We use penalty notices as part of our whole school approach to improving attendance. Penalty notices may be issued once a pupil has 15 or more sessions (a session is a half day) of unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous school term. The absences may have occurred in a block or a series of odd days and/or unauthorised holiday.

It is a Headteacher’s or Principal’s decision on whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised based on the information provided by you as the parent.

If we decide to apply for a penalty notice we make this application to the Local Authority and it must comply with Hertfordshire Code of Conduct.

Once issued there is no statutory right of appeal however the Local Authority may withdraw a notice if it has been issued incorrectly. This does not mean that a notice will be withdrawn because you disagree with it.

What happens if you do not pay?

If the penalty notice remains unpaid after 28 days the Local Authority will prosecute you for the original offence of failing to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school. You need to be aware that this is a criminal offence and upon conviction you may receive a fine of up to £2,500 (each parent) and will have a criminal record.

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