Attendance Guidance

Attendance Guidance

Access to Learning:

Attendance Matters!

Approaches for Improving Pupil Attendance in

Islington’s Schools and Education Settings

“To improve pupil attendance, all staff must be insistent, consistent and persistent.”

Julie Keylock, Headteacher, Samuel Rhodes School

September 2015

Contents

Section One: Overview 6

1.1 Background …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

1.2 A Staged Intervention Approach to Attendance ………………………………………………………….. 11

- Stage 1 - Universal …………………………………………………………………………………………………….

- Stage 2 - Low (Vulnerable) ………………………………………………………………………………………..

12

12

- Stage 3 - Multiple ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

- Stage 4 – Intense ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14

1.3 Links to Ofsted ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15

1.4 A Borough-Wide Agreement for all Schools and Academies ………………………………………… 16

Section Two: Managing Attendance 17

2.1 Expectation of School’s Role in Improving Attendance ………………………………………………… 18

2.2 Suggested Roles and Responsibilities of Staff ……………………………………………………………… 20

2.3 The Role of Parents/Carers …………………………………………………………………………………………. 22

- How Parents/Carers can help their child have good attendance ………………………………. 23

2.4 Having an Attendance Policy in Place ………………………………………………………………………….. 25

2.5 Early Intervention: Punctuality and Attendance in Early Years …………………………………….. 30

2.6 School Attendance and SEN ………………………………………………………………………………………… 34

2.7 Special Schools ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 34

2.8 Term Time Absence …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36

2.9 Persistent Absence (PA) ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 38

- Background ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

- Developing an Escalation Process for Intervention and Support ……………………………….

38

38

- Attendance and Punctuality Target Setting with Pupils …………………………………………….. 39

- Information to Share with Pupils ………………………………………………………………………………. 40

- Information to Share with Parents/Carers ………………………………………………………………… 42

2.10 Making Use of the Data Available ……………………………………………………………………………….. 44

2.11 Accessing School Attendance Data ……………………………………………………………………………… 45

- Department for Education (DfE) Website …………………………………………………………………. 45

- Ofsted’s School Data Dashboard ………………………………………………………………………………. 46

- Ofsted’s RAISEOnline Report ……………………………………………………………………………………. 47

- FFT Governors Dashboard for Schools ……………………………………………………………………… 47

- SIMS Reports ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 48

- Attendance Quintile Data …………………………………………………………………………………………. 48

2.12 Attendance Codes, Descriptions and Meanings …………………………………………………………… 50

- Approved Educational Activity …………………………………………………………………………………. 50

- Authorised Absence from School ……………………………………………………………………………… 51

- Unauthorised Absence from School …………………………………………………………………………. 52

- Administrative Codes ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 53

2.13 Using SIMS …..................................................................................................................... 54

- Entering an INSET Day/Public Holiday into the SIMs …………………………………………………

- Taking the Register in SIMS ……………………………………………………………………………………….

- Absence Notes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

- Printing Absence Letters ……………………………………………………………………………………………

- Registration Certificates ……………………………………………………………………………………………

54

55

56

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2.14 SIMS Attendance Reports ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 59

2.15 Managing Sickness Absence ………………………………………………………………………………………… 62

- Sickness Certification ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 62

- Minor Childhood Illnesses ………………………………………………………………………………………… 62

- Long-Term Conditions ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 63

- Persistent Absence …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 63

- Islington’s Multi-Disciplinary Teleconference …………………………………………………………… 64

- Adding a Medical Condition to an Individual Pupil Record in SIMS …………………………… 64

- Updating the Medical Condition Database in SIMS …………………………………………………… 65

Section Three: Punctuality and Persistent Lateness 66

3.1 Why Poor Punctuality must be Addressed …………………………………………………………………… 67

3.2 Advice to Schools …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 67

3.3 Recommended Practice ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 67

- Policy ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 67

- Procedures for Admitting Late Pupils ………………………………………………………………………… 68

- Marking the Register …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 68

- Responding to Patterns of Persistent Lateness …………………………………………………………. 68

3.4 Strategies to Improve Punctuality ………………………………………………………………………………… 69

Section Four: Advice, Guidance and Expectations 71

4.1 What does ‘Good Attendance’ mean? …………………………………………………………………………. 72

4.2 Early Help and Early Help Assessment and Planning ……………………………………………………. 73

- What Early Help Means …………………………………………………………………………………………….

- Using an Early Help Assessment for Attendance ……………………………………………………….

73

74

4.3 Marking Registers before, during and after Year 11 Exams …………………………………………. 74

- Before … Study Leave ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74

- During … Exam Periods ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

- After ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

75

75

- Examinations and Illness …………………………………………………………………………………………… 75

4.4 Part-Time Arrangements ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 75

4.5 Exclusions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 76

4.6 Penalty Notices ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 77

4.7 Off Rolling ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 78

4.8 The Role of the Local Authority …………………………………………………………………………………… 80

4.9 Securing Education Board ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 82

- Primary Application Process ……………………………………………………………………………………… 82

- Secondary Application Process …………………………………………………………………………………. 83

4.10 Access & Engagement Service (formerly EWS) …………………………………………………………….. 85

- Procedure to be used by schools where they deem that legal intervention is

necessary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 87

- Safeguarding …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 90

- Children Missing Education Protocol ………………………………………………………………………… 91

- Child Performance Licensing …………………………………………………………………………………… 92

4.11 Elective Home Education (EHE) ……………………………………………………………………………………. 94

4.12 Flexi-Schooling …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 96

4.13 Alternative Provision …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 97

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4.14 Families First ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 99

4.15 Health & Wellbeing (Healthy Schools) …………………………………………………………………………. 100

4.16 School Improvement Service ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 101

4.17 Virtual School ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 101

Section Five: Whole-School Approaches to Improving Attendance 103

5.1 Assemblies …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 104

5.2 Curriculum Links ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 104

5.3 Data and Attendance Reports ……………………………………………………………………………………… 105

5.4 First Day Response ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 105

5.5 Home-School Agreement …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 105

5.6 Communicating with Parents/Carers …………………………………………………………………………… 106

5.7 Communicating with New Parents/Carers …………………………………………………………………… 106

5.8 Parents’ Evening ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 107

5.9 Poor Attenders – Meetings with Parents/Carers and Pupils ………………………………………… 108

5.10 Pupil Premium …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 108

5.11 School Noticeboard ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 109

5.12 Rewards and Incentives ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 109

Section Six: Case Studies and Best Practice

111

6.1 Examples of Good Practice at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School ……………………………….. 112

6.2 Procedures in Place at Gillespie to Support Good Attendance and Punctuality …………… 114

6.3 A Whole-School Approach to Improving Attendance and Punctuality at Grafton ………… 116

6.4 Highbury Grove Preventative Work – Whole School Procedures and Good Practice

To Help Raise Attendance …………………………………………………………………………………………… 117

6.5 Good Practice to Improve Attendance at Islington Arts & Media School ……………………… 118

6.6 Good Practice to Improve Attendance and Punctuality at Montem …………………………….. 119

6.7 Requesting Leave of Absence during Term Time at Newington Green Primary School … 123

6.8 Improving Punctuality at New North Academy ……………………………………………………………. 125

6.9 Improving Pupil Attendance at New River College ………………………………………………………. 126

6.10 Attendance Procedures at Rotherfield Primary School ………………………………………………… 128

6.11 St. Mary Magdalene Academy’s Attendance Triangle – Levels of Support Required ……. 132

6.12 Our Approach to Improving Attendance at Winton …………………………………………………….. 133

Section Seven: Statutory Action Documents 135

7.1 Penalty Notice Code of Conduct ………………………………………………………………………………….. 136

7.2 Application to Request the Local Authority to take Statutory Action …………………………… 139

7.3 Notice to Local Authority of Intention to Issue a Penalty Notice for Term Time Leave … 141

7.4 Notice to Local Authority of Intention to Issue a Penalty Notice for Poor School

Attendance …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 142

7.5 Penalty Notice …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 143

7.6 How to Pay: Educational Penalty Notice (Non Attendance) …………………………………………. 144

7.7 Guidance on the use of PACE in Prosecutions for Irregular School Attendance …………… 145

7.8 Sample School Letter …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 151

7.9 Sample School Letter 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 152

7.10 Sample School Letter 3 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 153

7.11 Sample School Letter 4 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 154

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7.12 Sample School Letter 5 ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 155

7.13 Sample School Letter regarding Lateness ……………………………………………………………………. 156

7.14 Sample Parenting Contract ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 157

7.15 Sample General Letter to all Parents about Punctuality ………………………………………………. 163

7.16 Sample Warning Letter to Parents about Persistent Lateness ……………………………………… 164

Section Eight: Appendices 165

8.1 Definition of Key Terminology ……………………………………………………………………………………… 166

8.2 Who to Contact …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 171

8.3 Legal Powers and Duties that Govern and/or are Relevant to School Attendance ……….. 173

8.4 Ofsted Grade Descriptors for Attendance ……………………………………………………………………. 178

8.5 Attendance Data: Everybody’s Business – Steve Baker ………………………………………………… 180

8.6 Sample Attendance Policy …………………………………………………………………………………………… 183

8.7 Questions to Consider when Writing an EYFS Attendance Policy …………………………………. 189

8.8 Sample EYFS Attendance Policy …………………………………………………………………………………… 189

8.9 Monitoring Attendance in Reception …………………………………………………………………………… 192

8.10 School Attendance Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………. 194

8.11 Questions for Senior Managers to Consider ………………………………………………………………… 195

8.12 Questions for School Attendance Leads to Consider ……………………………………………………. 195

8.13 Analysing Pupil Premium Cost Effectiveness ……………………………………………………………….. 197

8.14 Islington Off-Rolling Process ………………………………………………………………………………………… 198

8.15 LA Off-Rolling Notification Form ………………………………………………………………………………….. 199

8.16 LA Missing Pupil Alert Form …………………………………………………………………………………………. 200

8.17 LA Notification of Pupil on Part-Time Provision …………………………………………………………… 201

8.18 Securing Education Board: Primary Preference Summary ……………………………………………. 202

8.19 Securing Education Board: Primary Pupil Summary …………………………………………………….. 203

8.20 Securing Education Board: Risk Assessment ………………………………………………………………… 206

8.21 Securing Education Board: Secondary Preference Summary ……………………………………….. 208

8.22 Securing Education Board: Secondary Pupil Summary …………………………………………………. 209

8.23 Request for a Pupil to Receive Education for Medical Reasons ……………………………………. 211

8.24 Multi-Disciplinary Teleconference - Schools Referral Form ………………………………………….. 218

8.25 Sustaining Progress for a Child with Persistent Absence ……………………………………………… 219

8.26 Persistent Absence Tracking Sheet ……………………………………………………………………………… 220

8.27 Persistent Absence Action Plan …………………………………………………………………………………… 221

Please note that there is a section for attendance on Fronter.

This can be accessed using the following link:

www.londonmle.net/islington/login

Once you have logged on, click on the LB Islington tab -> School Improvement -> Attendance

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Section One

Overview

The importance of school attendance

Education provides a means of advancement for all young people to improve their life chances.

Regular school attendance is a legal requirement for those registered at a school. Without it the efforts of the best teachers and schools will come to nothing.

Pupils need to attend regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.

Irregular attendance undermines the educational process and can lead to educational disadvantage. It places children at risk and in some cases it can result in pupils being drawn into patterns of anti- social or criminal behaviour.

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1.1 Background

Good attendance at school is the single most important factor in ensuring that children and young people have the maximum life chances - attendance is strongly linked to educational achievement. Promoting positive school attendance is

therefore everyone's responsibility.

When a child attends school

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on a regular basis, they take an important step towards reaching their full potential, and are given the greatest opportunity to learn new things and develop their skills.

According to the Department for Education (DfE), if schools can improve their attendance by 1%, they will see a 5-6% improvement in attainment.

Children who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and do less well in exams.

The more time a child spends around other children, whether in the classroom or as part of a school team or club, the more chance they have of making friends and feeling included, boosting social skills, confidence and self esteem.

What the data tells us

Islington has seen an improvement in attendance, with all phases having reduced absence rates each year from 2008/09 to 2013/14. Although primary absence rates in 2012/13 were higher than the previous year, this was mirrored nationally. In 2013/14, absence levels in Islington primary schools were only slightly above the Inner London and national averages.

Primary Schools – Percentage Absence 2010/11 to 2013/14

Source: DfE Statistical First Release - 2 terms data

Islington’s rates of primary absence are still higher than all of our comparators but the gap is now just 0.1% between Islington and London, Inner London and our statistical neighbours and 0.2% between England and Islington. As a result our rank position and percentile figures have improved.

In Islington’s secondary schools, absence levels have been falling and were at or below the national average in each of the last four years; and the gap between Islington and the Inner London average has narrowed to just 0.1 percentage points in 2013/14.

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In relation to this guidance, ‘school’ will be used as a blanket term to include all types and phases of maintained schools, Academies, Early Years and other educational settings. ‘Child’ is used to mean children and young people.

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Islington’s rates of secondary absence (at 4.7%) are equal to that for London and our statistical neighbours, and 0.4% lower than that for England as a whole, giving the borough a rank position of

26 out of 152 authorities. The borough’s secondary Persistent Absence (PA) figure, at 4.5% is now lower than all our comparators and is 1.3% below England, putting Islington 20 th

out of 152 authorities.

Secondary Schools – Percentage Absence 2010/11 to 2013/14

Source: DfE Statistical First Release - 2 terms data

The DfE only collect absence levels of special school pupils once a year, covering the first 5 half terms of the year (although this is now changing to look at the whole school year). Absence levels from Islington’s special schools have been below the Inner London average in the last 3 years for which data has been published and were below the national average in 2012/13. Absence is due largely to health-related reasons or unexplained unauthorised absence. Two of Islington’s special schools, however, do cater for children with very complex health needs.

Special School Absence (5 half terms) 2010/11 to 2012/13

Source: DfE Statistical First Release - 2 terms data

Although education is not compulsory until the age of five, figures on attendance in reception, when children are aged between four and five, are now published by the Department for

Education. Compared to 2012/13, Islington’s 4 year olds’ absence reduced by 1.5 percentage points to 6.0%. Out of our comparators, Inner London had the largest fall of 1.2%. Our 4 year old absence rates are still higher than our comparators but the gap between the borough’s rate and

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our comparators varies from 0.7 (England) to 0.3 (London & Inner London) compared with a range of 1.0 to 0.6 in 2012/13.

Persistent absence (PA)

Persistent absentees are those pupils with high levels of absence from school. The data below relates to a persistent absence threshold of 15% or more absence. From September 2015, this threshold has been changed so that pupils who are considered to be persistent absentees have 10% or more absence (see page 38 for a more detailed explanation).

The proportion of primary school pupils in Islington who were persistently absent has been reducing, and the gap between Islington and the Inner London and national averages has narrowed significantly. The gap between LBI and the comparator with the best result is now 0.5% rather than

1.0% as was the case in 2012/13.

Primary Schools – Persistent Absence 2010/11 to 2013/14

Source: DfE Statistical First Release - 2 terms data

The level of persistent absence amongst Islington’s secondary school pupils has more than halved over the last 4 years and is now below the Inner London and national averages.

Secondary Schools – Persistent Absence 2010/11 to 2013/14

Source: DfE Statistical First Release - 2 terms data

The level of persistent absence amongst pupils at Islington’s special schools has also reduced during this period, and was below the Inner London and national averages in 2012/13.

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Special School Persistent Absence (5 half terms) 2010/11 to 2012/13

Source: DfE Statistical First Release - 2 terms data

Tacking Absence - ‘insistent – consistent – persistent’

Evidence has shown that tackling absence can be most effective when a number of different approaches are adopted. Initiatives used by schools to encourage attendance are dictated by a number of factors including age of pupils, parental engagement, geographical location and social and economic circumstances. Individual schools need to respond to their own particular problems in a way that ultimately works best for them.

While the parent/carer is primarily responsible for ensuring their child attends school regularly, where school attendance problems occur, the key to successfully resolving these problems is collaborative working between the parent/carer, the child, the school and the Local Authority.

However, there are broadly three key considerations for all schools in order to improve the attendance of their pupils: a) Data: Does the school have accurate self-knowledge about specific attendance issues and the pupil groups that may be affected? b) Systems: What is the school doing well to promote attendance and what can it do better? c) Whole-school approach: A genuine whole-school approach means that attendance (and punctuality) is a constant feature of all aspects of school life - assemblies, wall displays, parent consultations, newsletters etc. Attendance targets should be visible everywhere. Most importantly, the school should feel like a welcoming, safe and appropriately challenging place.

Does every adult know the part that they have to play in improving attendance?

A Common Approach …

On admission, the Scottish Government expect all schools to have the same conversation with parents/carers about attendance:

As a parent/carer, YOU are legally responsible for making sure your child attends school regularly.

Missing school causes severe disruption to your child’s education and WILL affect their chances in later life.

The law is TOUGH if it is decided that you have allowed your child to miss school regularly – this includes holidays in term time, which all schools are strongly advised not to authorise.

If your child shows any reluctance to attend school, TALK to us immediately.

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1.2 A Staged Intervention Approach to Attendance

Staged Intervention is a process to identify, assess and support the needs of children and young people. It is an inclusive approach that involves parents/carers, children and young people, relevant staff and support services. It provides a solution-focussed approach to meeting needs at the earliest opportunity, with the most appropriate and least intrusive level of intervention that enables services to plan how best to meet the needs of individual children, young people and families. It should assist in clearly setting out the support that is available and when it should be offered.

Staged Intervention should also enable practitioners to provide “early help”

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by effectively identifying, understanding and supporting the needs of children, young people and families.

LEVEL 1

UNIVERSAL

Children, young people and families requiring personalised universal services.

LEVEL 2

LOW (VULNERABLE)

Children, young people and families with low level additional needs requiring possible single agency support or an integrated response using a common

/early help assessment.

LEVEL 3

MULTIPLE

Children, young people and families with high level needs who require integrated, targeted support.

LEVEL 4

INTENSE

Children, young people and families with complex additional needs requiring specialist/statutory integrated response; includes child protection and children whose needs/safety cannot be managed in the community.

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See Section 4.2 for more information on Early Help.

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Stage 1 - UNIVERSAL: Needs met by universal services available to all

Criteria: Attendance Level is between 90% and 100% over a 12 week period

Service Provider: Schools

Children with levels of attendance between 90% and 100% will usually receive support from the school’s attendance officer through a mixture of telephone calls, letters and informal meetings with parents.

The expectation is that schools will:

1. Have in place a first day contacting system with parents of children who are absent from school to establish why the child is absent, and when the child is expected to return.

2. Administer the School Attendance Monitoring Process when absence and/or punctuality become a concern.

3. Consider the use of Penalty Notices as an early intervention tool should the criteria within the

LA’s Penalty Notice Code of Conduct be met.

4. Have a praise/reward system in place for children who exceed the school’s attendance target or who enter stage 1 from stage 2 or 3.

When a pupil’s attendance reaches Stage 2, evidence will be requested to demonstrate that Stage 1 intervention was implemented at the appropriate time.

Stage 2 – LOW (VULNERABLE): Child/Family may be vulnerable or have a low level need requiring single or multi agency support

Criteria: Attendance Level is between 85% and 90% over a 12 week period

Service Provider: Schools

Children with attendance between 85% and 90% will require additional support to return them to over 90%. The support will take the shape of either pastoral support or via the initial stages of statutory action. As it falls below the Persistent Absence threshold, the school may commission external home-school or attendance services. The table below outlines what actions should be undertaken within this stage.

Pastoral Support Initial Statutory Action

Pre-Common Assessment Form (CAF)

CAF/Early Help Assessment

Team around the Child/Family

School Meeting

Home Visits

In-School Pastoral/Mentoring Support

Referral to Support Services (i.e. Families First,

IFIT)

Specialist Assessment (i.e. SEN, CAMHS)

Penalty Notice Request (if attendance meets criteria – early intervention tool)

Enforcement Letter 1 (Warning letter)

Enforcement Letter 2 (Invite to attend meeting)

School Meeting

Parenting Contract

Home Visit (Should previous actions not result in engagement from the parent/carer)

Stage 3 Intervention Request (Start of Criminal

Investigation)

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The amount of pastoral support/statutory action undertaken by the school or their Attendance

Officer should be judged on a case by case basis, but there is an expectation that pastoral support underpins any statutory action, and vice-versa. Therefore prior to a child’s attendance being progressed to Stage 3 action, there should be evidence that initial statutory action has been undertaken (letters 1 and 2 have been sent, and Parenting Contract attempted), and pastoral support put in place where additional need has been identified. There should also be evidence that the parent/carer(s) have failed to effectively engage with Stage 1 and 2 interventions.

Stage 3 (MULTIPLE): Child/Family may have a level of need requiring higher level intervention, including referral to specialist assessments & services.

Criteria: Attendance Level is below 85%, with 20 sessions + of unauthorised absence in a 12 week period.

Service Provider: Access and Engagement Service (via referral from school)

When all attempts to engage with the family at intervention stages 1 and 2 have failed, and the criteria has been met, the school can refer to the Access and Engagement Service (AES)

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to undertake a Stage 3 Intervention, which initiates a criminal investigation in line with the Criminal

Investigation Process.

To ensure that the investigation is as speedy as possible, the school should ensure the Stage 3 request is completed thoroughly, ensuring as much information and evidence of previous intervention is included, as well as naming any other practitioners who are currently involved with supporting the family.

The Criminal Investigation process is a minimum 3 step process which involves the examination of evidence presented to the local authority by the school together with questioning of the parent/carer. The aim of the investigation is to establish whether or not an offence has been committed. If the AES establishes that an offence has been committed, the parent/carer(s) will then be formally made aware (notified) of this and requested to attend a PACE

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meeting as a last opportunity to disclose any further information before the LA instigates legal action.

If at any point during the Criminal Investigation process an additional need is raised that is currently unmet, or support for that need has not been sought, then the investigation will cease and the case returned to Stage 2 intervention.

If the AES proceeds with legal action, a witness statement may be requested from the school outlining what intervention has preceded stage 3 intervention. In all instances the Headteacher would as a minimum have to sign a prepared attendance certificate, and submit a statement authenticating the process around how absence codes are recorded, and in what circumstances any changes in attendance/absence codes were made.

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The Access and Engagement Service will replace the Education Welfare service in Islington from September 2015.

4

Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) which sets out fair procedures for investigating crime, including making parents aware of their right to silence and to legal representation. See section 4.6 for more information.

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Stage 4 (INTENSE): Child/Young person has needs that require statutory intervention to promote and protect the welfare of children/young people (applies to all levels of pupil attendance).

Service Provider: Everyone has a responsibility to promote and protect the welfare of children and young people.

This stage relates to any instances where the child/young person is identified as being at risk of, or has experienced, harm. Should a child be identified at being at stage 4, a referral should be made to Islington Children’s Social Care immediately so they can instigate a statutory response to protect the child. Action at this stage supersedes any ongoing intervention at any previous stage

– the priority is to protect the child.

What are the schools responsibilities in terms of attendance?

Maintenance of the school’s attendance and admissions register Schools must adhere to the

Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 (and subsequent amendments) which sets out the requirements for the contents of the registers, how they are marked, when pupils can be removed from the registers and when returns should be made to the local authority (i.e. when a child is missing from education – CME). It is also the school’s decision on whether or not to authorise a pupil absence.

Section 12 – Statutory Returns to the Local Authority

Schools must notify the Local Authority in the following circumstances:

A child fails to attend regularly - Islington Council defines a child who hasn’t attended regularly as any child who is persistently absent (below 90%) over the period of one term. Submissions are normally made automatically via SIMS and the B2B system.

A child has been continuously absent for 10 school days and the absence is unauthorised. A return should be made to the Local Authority each time a pupil is absent for 10 continuous school days. A referral to the Children Missing from Education team should also be made should a child be absent from school and no contact has been received from the parent, despite the attempts of the school and/or their Attendance Officer.

A child is removed from the admissions register (in specific instances). A return should be made to the Local Authority when a child is removed from the school roll.

The duty of schools to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of pupils

Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places the duty on schools to make arrangements to ensure functions are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at the school. Poor Attendance is an early warning sign that a child’s welfare is at risk, and therefore there is an expectation placed on schools to address attendance to secure a child’s welfare.

Attendance and Ofsted Inspections

Ofsted will also focus on attendance during their inspections of schools. They will examine the school’s performance at the point of inspection and compare it to the previous 3 years via

RaiseONLINE and the school’s own data. They will also examine the school’s strategies for promoting good attendance, analysing attendance across a range of vulnerable groups within the school, whether school attendance figures match that observed within lessons, and how schools support pupils with long term absence. Poor attendance can also trigger a Section 8 inspection.

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1.3 Links to Ofsted

Attendance forms part of Ofsted's judgements on the behaviour and safety of pupils at school.

Inspectors should consider:

Overall and persistent absence and attendance rates for different groups; inspectors will compare the school’s data on attendance against the national figures for all pupils and, when considering whether attendance is consistently low, will compare it with figures for the lowest

10% of schools (in 2012/13, 93.72% in primary schools and 92.46% in secondary schools).

Punctuality over time in arriving at school.

The impact of the school’s strategies to improve behaviour and attendance – this includes the use of rewards and sanctions, the effectiveness of any additional on-site provision to support behaviour, work with parents/carers and any other absence ‘follow-up.’

Taken from the behaviour and safety section of the Ofsted Inspection Handbook (January 2015) -

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/391531/Scho ol_inspection_handbook.pdf

A copy of the Ofsted Grade Descriptors for Attendance can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.4.

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1.4 A Borough-Wide Agreement for all Schools and Academies

The aim of this agreement is to enable Islington’s

Community of Schools to provide consistent practice that encourages and facilitates the regular attendance of all pupils.

Regular attendance at school is crucial to increase pupil progress and enjoyment of learning, and for this reason Islington’s Community of Schools agree to the following principles:

Roles & Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of parents/carers to get their child to school on time every day. They need to be aware that daily attendance is compulsory and that there is an expectation for families to minimise all types of termtime absence.

Headteachers are ultimately responsible for the

 monitoring and tracking of attendance for all pupils in their schools, although promoting positive school attendance is everyone's responsibility.

All schools should identify a member of staff as the

Attendance Lead.

Promoting Attendance

Good practice around attendance means that information

 should be displayed around the school (in classrooms and/or on a designated notice board) and shared with and discussed regularly with parents/carers and pupils.

Discussions should happen both during and outside the regular school day, through lessons, tutor time, assemblies, newsletters, meetings and parents’ evenings.

Statutory Action/Penalty Notices

Any poor attendance is contrary to each school’s attendance policy and therefore the school should be a

‘visible’ part of any steps put in place to support families.

At times this may be in partnership with other agencies.

The key consideration in deciding whether to issue a penalty notice will be whether it can be effective in helping improve school attendance.

Make parents/carers aware that penalty notices can be issued if a pupil has more than 15 sessions of unauthorised absence in a ten week period.

Term-Time Absence

Amendments to the 2006 regulations, which took effect from

September 2013, make clear that Headteachers may NOT grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are

‘exceptional circumstances’.

Most absences for acceptable reasons will be authorised by schools:

Illness.

Unavoidable medical or dental appointments (although parents/carers should be instructed to arrange these for after school or during school holidays).

Day of religious observance.

Exceptional family circumstances, such as bereavement.

An interview with a prospective employer or college.

When determining any ‘exceptional circumstances’ for authorising term-time absence:

The child’s attendance record over a period of three years should be assessed to determine the rate of previous absence.

Where there are siblings in other Islington schools, attempts should be made via the Attendance Lead in partnership with other agencies to contact the Headteacher to discuss a possible coordinated response and outcome.

If the Headteacher considers that the child’s attendance has previously been excellent, the Headteacher of any siblings has been consulted with and the circumstances for the request are exceptional, then they can decide to authorise the absence and not to issue a penalty notice.

Reasons that might constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’ include:

Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.

Visiting a parent/carer who is imprisoned.

Where an absence is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.

The death or terminal illness of a person close to the family.

Suitable supporting evidence would be required in each case.

Schools should ensure parents/carers are clear that Government guidance states that a school can remove a child’s name from the school roll if they do not return following a term-time absence of ten school days (unless the child is sick or for any unavoidable cause).

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Section Two

Managing Attendance

“Headteachers need to find their courage, have the tricky conversations and then be prepared to deal with the fallout.”

Andrew Rigby, Headteacher

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2.1 Expectation of School’s Role in Improving Attendance

The greatest difference to improving attendance will be made by the school itself. There should be systems in place to alert them to any deterioration in attendance or of developing patterns of absence at an early stage. Intervention at this point can prevent problems escalating. Schools should have their own plan for improving attendance. This should be a whole school approach where there is a designated senior leader and all responsibilities clearly defined.

All schools should:

Ensure they have an up to date attendance policy in place.

- The value of regular attendance should feature prominently in the school prospectus and other publications.

- Regular messages should be given about the importance of attendance in school newsletters, school assemblies, parents’ evenings, staff meetings and governors meetings.

- Include good attendance information on the school website and use the website to inform parents/carers and pupils about incentives for good school attendance, projects, themed weeks, late gate patrols, competitions etc.

Ensure attendance practices are understood by all school staff and that attendance practice is followed consistently.

Provide an accurate and consistent registration system.

Attempt to make first day phone contact to all parents/carers whose child is absent without notification.

Log pupils’ movement in and out of school.

Ensure that routine letters are sent out at the earliest opportunity following absence. Where possible, these should be written in the language read by the parent/carer (see p.53 for additional information). These should reflect the importance of good attendance.

Ensure that attendance is a fixed agenda item at school meetings.

Ensure that parents/carers are aware of the importance of regular attendance and understand their role and responsibilities in supporting school attendance.

Ensure parents/carers know that Families First is available to provide early help if their child is reluctant to attend or difficulties in the family are having an impact on attendance.

Where appropriate, inform the Families First family support worker, so any potential problems and/or barriers to good attendance can be addressed as early as possible.

Access staff training on attendance issues.

Ensure that systems to track and challenge sporadic absence are thorough, and provide "catch up" opportunities for work missed during absence.

Provide incentives for good attendance, e.g. league tables for individual classes or forms, attendance competitions, poster competitions, prizes, certificates, special class trips, praise postcards etc.

Ensure regular emphasis on the connection between attendance and attainment, e.g. in assemblies, registration/tutor time, parent meetings, new parent meetings, drama productions/nativity plays/school productions, e.g. choir or any other performance.

Provide regular information to parents/carers of children whose attendance deteriorates.

Provide individual attendance targets for pupils. All persistently absent (PA) pupils should have an individual attendance plan.

Provide meetings with parents/carers to address attendance issues. Consider use of Parenting

Contracts.

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Ensure that patterns of attendance across classes, year groups or vulnerable groups are examined.

Ensure parents/carers are aware of the guidance regarding holidays in term time and of the impact this can have on their child's overall achievement.

Ensure that staff regularly patrol the school building and surrounding areas to ensure pupils are not truanting in the vicinity of the school.

Appoint an Attendance Lead to deal with all attendance issues including the analysis of data.

Ensure that all relevant information re: destinations for pupils who are de-registered are ascertained from parents/carers prior to de-registration, and shared with all relevant Islington

Council personnel in order to ensure that young people have continuous access to educational provision.

Develop an attendance survey for parents/carers and/or pupils.

Advertise successes within the school and the local community.

The following is strongly recommended:

Identify an Attendance Lead to act as the overall leader and manager for attendance.

Schools should produce a policy including early intervention thresholds with a clear escalation process when a trigger point is reached.

Identify resources, including human resources to administer and manage the process of managing attendance. Ensure adequate time is allowed to meet the roles in the policy.

Ensure administrative and support staff have clear responsibilities and procedures to follow in order to promote and manage attendance. Ensure they have the time and the permission to follow procedures through.

For pupils whose attendance still continues to deteriorate, multi disciplinary discussion needs to take place with regard to child’s needs, barriers to education, work already undertaken and whether there are other appropriate providers that can be considered to enable the child to access appropriate education.

Ensure early help assessments are initiated by schools where appropriate to request support from Islington’s services and also for Children’s Social Care (CSC) referrals.

Schools should strategically consider when they set their INSET days to minimise low pupil school attendance.

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2.2 Suggested Roles and Responsibilities of Staff

Roles

Headteacher

School or

Setting

Attendance

Lead

Responsibilities

Ensure there is an attendance policy for staff! Make sure staff do not simply phone in and leave a message, text or email the reason why they are not at work. Ensure your attendance policy for staff says they must call you or your deputy. Lead by example.

Set challenging targets to meet (and exceed) national averages for the school overall. Ensure a strategy is devised to make solid progress towards them.

Appoint the Attendance Lead at a reasonably senior level. Provide sufficient time for

Attendance Lead to supervise attendance management and to become involved with poor attenders. Also ensure there is sufficient time to analyse data, liaise with teachers and Local

Authority officers. Give the Attendance Lead the full responsibility to lead on whole school policy and strategy.

Receive reports on attendance at whole school, year group and class level. Discuss both strengths and weaknesses publicly and give attendance a high status in the school. Talk personally to teachers whose classes show poor attendance. Encourage these teachers to take responsibility for making improvements.

Support intervention with the poorest attenders.

Report statistics to the Attendance Governor and as part of the termly report to governors.

Show comparative figures, not isolated statistics. Compare each half-term’s figures with those for the previous year at the same time.

Ensure the Local Authority receive attendance data for your school or academy. Good communication is key!

Work with the Headteacher to agree relevant internal attendance targets. Monitor attendance weekly and evaluate progress towards the targets. Identify pupils who are likely to jeopardise their own progress and the school’s performance and plan early intervention to avoid bad habits being established.

Monitor attendance at school, year group and class level.

Ensure there is a clear attendance policy, showing who will do what and at what threshold, keeping attendance at the forefront of each member of staff’s mind.

Convince all staff that attendance is their responsibility.

Liaise regularly with your local Families First team to ensure a joined up approach to tackling persistent absence. A whole family approach can tackle root causes of poor attendance and avoid a recurrence of problems.

Promote regular attendance, by making use of reward systems, assemblies, parents’ evenings, performance reviews, etc.

Involve the governing body, mainly through the Attendance Governor. Seek the support of governors in promoting good attendance.

Supervise Business Support staff. Ensure registers are checked daily and that the required action at each threshold level is taken at the earliest moment possible. Discourage any sense of collusion with parents/carers who allow absence without good reason.

Coach Business Support staff in how to deal with difficult parents/carers, those who call in regarding their child’s minor illness, or who call in with an excuse as to why their child is not in school. Also coach them on how to carry out first day response.

Advise appropriate members of staff to initiate early help assessment. Ensure they have completed eCAF training and have an active login.

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Class Teacher

Form Tutor

Attendance

Administrator

Do not accept poor attendance. Make 100% attendance the expectation.

Get to know your pupils well, find out what they like about school and generate whole class discussion about the positive aspects of school and the negative aspects of poor school attendance.

Talk with the child who comes back after absence from school, be positive and welcome them back.

Promote regular attendance through rewards and other encouragement. Make it your business and make it clear that poor or erratic attendance is not expected or acceptable.

Ensure that registers are always completed appropriately. Where you are using hard-copy registers never leave blank spaces. Never complete in pencil. Never amend with correction fluid.

Look carefully at attendance data. Make it your business to spot patterns of absence and overall levels of attendance of individuals.

Make a personal connection with parents/carers of pupils who have regular absence, or patterns of irregular attendance.

Ensure the Headteacher or Attendance Lead is informed of attendance concerns.

Following absence, do your best to provide catch-up opportunities so absentees do not fall behind. Where appropriate, ask parents/carers to play a part in reinforcing missed learning.

Follow the school’s procedures for first day calling. If no explanation has been received by the time registers close, seek one.

Ask for training to respond more assertively with difficult parents/carers or with those who give poor excuses for their child’s absence, if you feel you need it.

Learn to challenge absences due to minor illness.

Be prepared to be assertive. Parents/carers must explain absence. Explanations need to be plausible. Avoid any sense of collusion with parents/carers over unnecessary absence.

Do not show sympathy over absence unless you are convinced it is genuine.

Issue attendance letters where required, using the parent/carer’s full names and the child’s full names Make sure they have the effect intended, make them accurate, date them and include a warning regarding the impact on their child’s achievement. Do not tolerate a lack of response. Send to all those with parental responsibility for the child. Seek advice when you need it.

Hold regular discussions with the Attendance Lead. Ensure the system works. If it does not, come up with suggestions to improve it.

Advise the Attendance Lead of any teacher who fails to maintain their register properly.

Registers are legal documents and must be kept carefully and accurately.

Provide data on a weekly basis to class teachers and the school’s Attendance Lead.

Make sure the Attendance Lead and/or the Headteacher know about families where bad habits are forming. Make sure action is taken to break bad habits at the earliest opportunity.

Assist the Attendance Lead, Attendance Officer and others in collating data for inclusion in reports, attendance returns, etc.

Check and file all absence notes that are received, and ensure that details are reflected appropriately through categorisation of absence in the registers.

Pass messages from parents/carers to the class teacher or other relevant staff.

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2.3 The Role of Parents/Carers

Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that their child receives an education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude and any special needs.

Most parents/carers fulfil this obligation by registering their child in a school.

Children must legally be in education between the school term after their 5 th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.

The Education and Skills Act 2008 increased the minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning. Raising the participation age means that if a child is currently in Year 11 they must stay in some form of education or training until the end of the academic year when they turn 18.

If a child is registered at a school he/she must by law attend that school regularly and punctually. The child should only miss school if he/she is ill or unable to attend for some other unavoidable reason. If a child is absent and the school either does not receive an explanation from the parent/carer, or considers the explanation unsatisfactory, it will record the child’s absence as

‘unauthorised’, and the parent/carer could be at risk of receiving a penalty notice or being prosecuted for poor attendance.

Most absences for acceptable reasons will be authorised by the school:

Illness.

Unavoidable medical or dental appointments (if possible, these should be arranged for after school or during school holidays).

Day of religious observance.

Exceptional family circumstances, such as bereavement.

An interview with a prospective employer or college.

Information on common childhood illnesses is available in the publication ‘Minor Illnesses and

School Attendance – A Guide for Parents’ produced by Whittington Health and updated in June

2014 and a summary can be found on page 62.

Some of the following examples are reasons why a school may not authorise absence:

Shopping during school hours.

Day trips.

Birthdays.

Looking after brothers or sisters or ill relatives.

Term-time holiday.

Caring for a disabled parent.

Failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school is a criminal offence and if, with support from the school's attendance officer and/or the Local Authority, the child’s attendance fails to improve, any of these courses of action will be considered:

Issuing a penalty notice (fine).

Prosecution in the Magistrates' Court.

Application for an Education Supervision Order in the Family Proceedings Court.

School Attendance Order.

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It is the responsibility of each parent/carer to ensure regular school attendance at the child’s registered school and failure to do so will result in each parent/carer being charged with the offence. If convicted, both parents/carers may be punished by the courts, resulting in a fine of up to

£2,500 each parent/carer and/or up to three months custodial sentence. The court could impose a community sentence, a parenting order and/or a conditional discharge.

If a child lives with a family friend or relative for a period of time who has day to day care of the child, each responsible adult is considered as 'parent' under the Education Act and can equally be charged with the same offence and prosecuted.

How parents/carers can help their child have good attendance

From starting at nursery, parents/carers must make sure their child arrives at school on time, every day. This encourages habits of good timekeeping and lessens any possible disruption to development and learning.

If their child arrives after the register has closed without a good reason, this will be recorded as an ‘unauthorised’ absence for that session.

If their child has to miss school it is vital that parents/carers let the school know why, preferably on the first morning of the absence. (All schools will have an attendance policy explaining how this should be done).

Make sure parents/carers are clear about what the school’s procedures are for alerting them to absence – call (first day?), text or letter.

Know the school’s daily routines to avoid issues such as whether they have their PE kit or not.

Parents/carers should:

- Show an interest, attend parent meetings, concerts and other school events and ask about what their children are doing at school.

- Encourage their children to take part in school activities.

- Don’t let their children take time off school for minor ailments - particularly those which would not stop parents/carers from going to work.

- Where possible, make appointments after school, at weekends or during school holidays. A morning appointment does not mean a whole day of school should be missed. Parents should be encouraged to bring their child back to school in the afternoon.

- Take family holidays outside of term time - find out the school’s term time dates well in advance and plan holidays around these dates.

- Encourage their children to tell them about any problems they may have at school.

If parents/carers know or think that their child is having difficulties attending school they should contact the school. It is better to do this sooner rather than later, as most problems can be dealt with very quickly.

Parents/carers should:

- Find out regularly their child’s attendance and absence record and check that this matches with their own records.

- Acknowledge, praise and reward good or improved attendance, even small successes, e.g. arriving for school promptly, even when the first lesson is their least favourite!

Other tips - Assure parents/carers that:

If there is a problem, talk calmly to their child and listen to the explanation.

Always pursue the reason for their child’s non-attendance.

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Know who to talk to at the school should they need to resolve issues. The school can support them and their child. They are not alone!

Be particularly mindful in the run up towards assessments and tests and be aware of any coursework deadlines.

Check their child’s homework diary regularly for gaps, as well as for completed activities.

Help their child catch up with missed work so that a missed day does not mean missed (or incomplete) learning.

Remember, attendance needs to be above 95% in order for children to achieve what they have been predicted. In Islington good attendance is seen as 96% (or better).

Remind parents and carers, that if problems at home are affecting their ability to get their child to school on time every day, support is available in the community through Families First.

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2.4 Having an Attendance Policy in Place

A school’s attendance policy should set out its systems and procedures for ensuring regular school attendance and investigating the underlying causes of poor attendance. It is important that it is not just one member of staff who writes the policy. The policy will be more meaningful if developed in consultation with teachers, pupils, families, the Access and Engagement Service, administrative and ancillary staff, governors and senior management.

Before you begin to develop an attendance policy you need to look at what improves attendance and why some young people don’t attend school. The following should therefore be taken into consideration:

Work between schools

Setting up expectations and patterns in primary school.

Support for transitions of vulnerable pupils.

Sharing relevant information to support attendance.

Peer challenge.

School policies and procedures

Whole school approach – clear policy with daily routines providing consistency in registration procedure and follow up to all staff. This creates an attendance culture.

Policy clearly makes the link between performance (learning and attainment) and attendance and focuses on improving punctuality and attendance, getting the 95%s to 100% as well as 50%s to 60%.

Use of IT – use of Business Support staff to support teachers/senior managers to analyse trends in data. Senior managers use data to generate action. Is the non attendance class based, subject based, related to lunchtimes, lack of pre/post school provision, supply teachers?

Attendance data is linked to performance data and should be used for target setting.

First day contact made by a known and respected individual.

Collection and use of attendance data

Collect and analyse attendance data regularly.

Identify attendance patterns and the needs and characteristics of individuals and groups of pupils.

Publish attendance figures and focus on pupil achievements.

Encourage competition between year groups and class groups.

Provide detailed information to parents as part of the pupil’s annual report and at other appropriate times.

Inform the attendance managers of developing patterns and trends.

Authorised and unauthorised absence

Ensure all staff are aware of the current guidance on the categorisation of absence taking into consideration national guidance and local arrangements.

Inform parents that the school decides if an absence is authorised and not the parent.

Inform parents that unauthorised holidays/leave of absence in term time are not acceptable and will not be authorised (except in exceptional circumstances).

Ensure that parents understand that unauthorised absence is not acceptable.

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Following up non-attendance

Make contact with a pupil’s parent on the first day of absence.

Make sure you have full details of all those with parental responsibility.

Ensure that you have current telephone numbers and contact details for each pupil’s parents.

Develop a structured series of contact letters to challenge any lack of parental response.

Ensure that all staff are aware of their own responsibilities for following up absent pupils and for referring them to senior colleague.

Welcoming school

A positive welcoming school environment.

Curriculum that motivates all pupils.

Rewards system that values academic and non academic progress.

Young people are given positions of responsibility.

Involvement of the senior management team

Identify a senior member of staff with oversight and responsibility for attendance.

Establish clear lines of responsibility.

Ensure good communication within the school.

Ensure the attendance policy is updated frequently and adopted as an integral part of the pastoral policy of the school.

Use every public forum to comment on attendance and punctuality (parents’ meetings, new starters, assemblies, etc.)

Regularly monitor the effective use of the school’s registration system.

Involvement of parents

Communicate frequently with parents about positive achievements and improvements and in ways that emphasise the responsibility and role of parents in partnership with the school.

Ensure parents are welcomed into the school and can gain easy access to staff.

Create a warm and inviting entrance area.

Ensure parents understand their role in promoting good attendance by including attendance and punctuality as part of the home school agreement.

Involvement of pupils

Seek the views of pupils through questionnaires, discussion, and school council meetings.

Consider and implement, when appropriate, pupil suggestions for school improvements.

Give pupils responsibilities and encourage them to take an active part in the life of the school.

Invite feedback from pupils who usually attend school regularly.

Develop social areas and facilities for pupils.

Provide a range of planned games, leisure and play facilities during breaks.

Involvement of the school staff

Provide frequent feedback to pupils on their progress, referring to attendance when appropriate.

Ensure the curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils.

Enable pupils to make some choices when applicable to encourage a reduction in absenteeism.

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Ensure school staff are aware of, and plan for, cultural and religious events and occasions when particular pupils are likely to be absent.

Staff frequently welcome pupils into the school at the beginning of the day and there is a formal conclusion or summing up of the pupils’ experience at the end of the day.

Bullying is identified and tackled by school staff, sometimes using confidential and anonymous means for pupils to identify problems. (Some schools have used a worry box for anonymous

complaints and a video camera to record incidents that are then discussed by teachers and

pupils, and sometimes resolved by pupils themselves).

There is a good level of adult supervision and presence around the school at all times, with positive interaction, which has a powerful influence on pupils, especially as they enter and leave the school.

School staff lead by example, are punctual and have good attendance.

Visit homes when that will improve communication and help to improve pupils’ achievement and attendance.

Support for children

Anti bullying – policy, action by all staff, curriculum in PSHE. Collect and analyse data on bullying and implement strategies using this information.

Behaviour Support and/or counselling with identified Pastoral staff.

Specific work targeted at vulnerable groups: young carers, travellers. Structured pre/lunchtime and post school activities targeting vulnerable children.

Creating quiet and safe places around the school.

Potentially threatening areas of the school are supervised at lesson change over; pupils are kept on school site at lunch.

Peer support processes set up.

Systems to help non-attendees/excludees catch up missed work – this can be via in-school centres, on line learning or other support resources.

Reintegration processes that welcome children back in.

Induction processes for in year admissions that help them catch up missed work.

Use of alternative education projects for KS4 long term non-attendees to re-engage.

Use of youth workers to mentor young people and help them cope emotionally and socially with school.

Support for parents, e.g. Families First.

Support for parents

Clear expectations (home school agreement) and consistent follow up to counter casual attitudes. Home school relationships set up and maintained.

Building schools links with parents who are hostile/defensive about schools.

Complaints dealt with promptly and fairly.

Helping parents cope with their children: including parenting programmes and early intervention services.

Support for language.

Peer support processes set up.

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Support for teachers

Clear written daily routines, especially for supply staff.

Use of Business Support staff to support tutors/pastoral staff.

Non contact time for pastoral staff/tutors.

Use of youth workers to mentor young people and help them cope emotionally with school/parents.

Training in use of IT systems.

Clear role as tutor, planned programme to start each day and planned PHSE curriculum. “Form tutors have a significant influence on pupil’s attitudes and progress” [Ofsted].

Induction of new pupils and staff

The school has developed procedures for welcoming and inducting new parents and pupils, and using constructively any information on the needs and backgrounds of pupils.

Introduce new members of staff to their responsibilities for attendance management.

Brief new staff on the school’s philosophy and policy on attendance.

Re-entry strategies for absentees

Pupils who are late or have been absent are positively welcomed into the class on their return.

Ensure absent pupils will have work adapted to help them to catch up and to minimise problems on return to school.

Offer extended day, extra tutorial and homework provisions so that pupils can catch up and have more individual or small group attention from teachers.

Rewards and sanctions

Have a structured approach to rewards and sanctions.

Recognise and praise good attendance and punctuality.

Frequently use merits, stickers, certificates, golden time or similar systems to reward good attendance and punctuality.

Key components of an attendance policy:

1. The principles underlying the policy and how they apply to the whole school community:

- How the policy ties in to the school’s approach to promoting emotional well-being.

- How the policy links with the school’s other policies.

- How these principles relate to the school’s overall aims and relate to the rest of the curriculum.

2. Aims and targets:

- Specific but realistic targets for improving and maintaining attendance figures.

- The resources a school invests in improving attendance.

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3. The rights, roles and responsibilities of governors, staff, pupils and parents:

- Details of the school’s partnership agreement with the Access and Engagement Service.

- The legal responsibilities of the Local Authority, school and parents should be cited.

- Emphasis on a partnership approach between senior management, governors, and those working to support attendance with parents and pupils should be outlined – a whole school approach, because attendance is everyone’s business.

- Expectations of all parents/carers.

4. Procedures:

- The stages, processes and staffing involved in registration.

- The practical system for lateness.

- How and when problems with attendance are communicated to parents/carers.

- Processes used to reintegrate students returning to school after an absence.

- Procedures for involving other support services around the child and family.

5. School action: monitoring and evaluation:

- How the school will evaluate the effectiveness of its strategies.

- When will monitoring and evaluation take place?

- Who will be involved in monitoring and evaluation and how will they contribute.

- How evaluations will be fed back into the policy.

A sample attendance policy can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.6 and a sample EYFS attendance policy can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.8.

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2.5 Early Intervention: Punctuality and Attendance in Early Years

Much of the advice and recommended good practice contained in other sections in this document should be applied to early years settings and to early years classes within schools, but as attendance for children under 5 is not statutory, there is not the same recourse to legal sanctions.

However, the early years are a critical time to establish the good habits and routines needed throughout life and to get the key messages about the importance of attendance and punctuality at nursery and school across to parents and carers. This section therefore contains some specific guidance applicable to all providers with children aged 2 to 5.

Early education and childcare

All early years providers and schools with children in nursery and reception classes work to the same standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Many families access early years provision as a means of childcare but once a child turns 3, they are then entitled to a funded parttime early education place from the term following their 3 rd

birthday. The entitlement of 570 hours per year (equivalent to a part-time place in nursery throughout term time) has recently been extended to some 2 year olds. Many children attending nursery classes in primary schools in

Islington are given a full-time place from the age of 3. Attendance becomes statutory for the child in the term after their 5 th

birthday.

Regular attendance is important for all children, even babies, insofar as it is only through regular, consistent routines that children build up the secure attachments they need for healthy development. Parents need childcare for very obvious reasons and there are generally few issues about attendance for children accessing early years provision for childcare purposes. However, we are concerned that all children accessing their funded early education entitlement and children throughout their reception year should have good attendance and punctuality.

Why is good attendance and punctuality important

in early years?

Regular attendance has a positive impact on all aspects of a young child’s learning and development. A regular routine supports the young child to feel settled and secure. Unsettled children have higher stress levels which, in turn, prevent them from being able to benefit fully from the learning opportunities available.

Research shows that regular part-time attendance from the age of 2 in a good quality early years setting has a lasting impact on children’s social development and intellectual attainment throughout school. (Research Brief RBF15-03 The

Effective Provision of Pre-school Education Project: Findings from the Pre-school Period. Sylva et al, IOE, 2003)

Islington’s Early Years Foundation Stage Profile results

(summer 2013) showed a clear correlation between children’s attendance and their attainment of the “good level of development” standard.

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What schools and settings can do to promote good attendance and punctuality in the early years?

Have clear expectations: Families need to know that good attendance and being punctual are expected when their child takes up a place. As attendance is a borough-wide initiative and an issue that affects all age groups, there needs to be as much consistency as possible between early years and school settings. This includes expectations around holidays, which for school-aged children are not permissible in term time. See Section 2.8 – Term Time Absence of this guidance for more information. Your expectations and why they are so important should feature in induction meetings with new parents, in printed information and be visibly evident on, for example, a display board in your setting.

Create a policy: Like schools, early years settings should have a policy about attendance and punctuality which parents are asked to sign to show that they have received and understood the information. The policy should clearly set out the expectations and the steps the setting will take to follow up on any issues of attendance or punctuality.

Adopt the borough-wide target: Schools have a target of 96% and although early years attendance is likely to be significantly lower, use this initiative as an opportunity to work towards the borough’s target so all children have 96% attendance by the time they enter reception class.

Attendance is everyone’s business: It is not just up to the Head of Centre or manager to deal with attendance and punctuality issues, nor the job of the Business Support officer. All staff need to understand and value the importance of attendance and punctuality and follow the setting’s procedures in raising the issues with parents. The role of the key person in initially talking with parents about attendance should be clear but senior management need to be supportive and involved in reinforcing the messages.

First day calling: Have a clear expectation that parents will telephone by 9:00am on the day if their child is absent. If the parent does not let you know, always follow up all absences with a telephone call early in the morning. It is important to ensure that the child is safe but it also gives a clear and consistent message that in Islington absence from nursery will be treated in the same way as for older children and that without a valid reason, absence will be challenged.

Monitor children’s attendance: Use a system that allows you to monitor attendance so you can keep parents informed about the attendance of the whole group but also about their individual child. Explain that this is part of the Islington approach to improving outcomes for all children and that early years education is regarded as just as important as any other phase. Praise and celebrate good attendance whenever you can. Bringing the child’s attendance record to parents’ attention and having a conversation about it can often make a real difference.

Form good relationships: Fundamental to children’s and families’ positive perceptions and experiences of childcare and early education are good relationships between families and settings.

The inclusive environment with, for example, posters reflecting the ethnicity and language of families in the setting will make all families feel welcome and help practitioners to talk with parents in a constructive way about issues of lateness or irregular attendance.

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Clear communication: Use a range of means to communicate your messages about attendance and punctuality. Visual ways, such as the use of posters, can help to get the message across. Think too about the needs of parents for whom English is an additional language and where possible, have some materials in translation or use bilingual family support workers to engage families in the issues.

Follow up consistently: As a general rule, always follow up on poor attendance and punctuality with parents and carers as soon as you can but be sensitive and supportive. You may have to choose your time carefully to talk to a parent about these issues, so the conversation can be productive.

Find ways to support: Many parents will need support at times to feel confident and empowered in their skills to meet the challenge of parenting. Families do find themselves in circumstances with very young children that can make leaving the house in good time difficult, for example, when there is a new baby. Find ways you can support parents: for example, by pairing them up with another parent who lives nearby, who may sometimes bring in the child.

Explain the Early Years Foundation Stage: Parents may not be aware of the importance and benefits of early years education and particularly of the importance of play for learning and development. They may be unaware that any absence or late arrival at the setting can affect the child’s ability to fully participate and benefit from the day’s activities. Use as many means as possible to explain to parents the EYFS and the practice and routines in your setting so they have the information they need to allow them to value the importance of early education and play for their child’s development.

Families who need extra support: There may be particular families for whom your strategies to improve attendance do not appear to work. Children with below 85% attendance are regarded in school as persistent absentees and those with attendance of less than 60% likely to be referred to

Children’s Social Care.

If the family already has Social Worker or Family Support worker involvement, you must bring issues of poor attendance in early years to their attention, so it can be further discussed with the family in the Team Around the Child/Family meeting and action agreed about what to do.

If a child who has been placed in your setting through the Early Years Priority Referral Team has persistent poor attendance, then please contact Wendy Davey (0207 527 5625) before withdrawing their place.

For other families, where children’s attendance is poor and not improving despite your efforts to engage the family, you can make a referral with parents’ permission to your local children’s centre for targeted family support. The child’s poor attendance may be a manifestation of other underlying issues the family is facing which a period of family support will help to address. Very poor attendance can be an indication of neglect (see Neglect Toolkit ISCB 2014).

Clearly every effort should be made to support good attendance and punctuality, as suggested above. However, if there are no other indicators of concern or vulnerability and the child has failed to attend for 4-6 consecutive weeks, without a justifiable reason, the child’s place can be

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withdrawn. This can only happen once all other routes have been exhausted and the setting has provided evidence of this to and sought the approval of the Early Years Service. Parents must have been made aware when they took up the place of the possible consequences of their child not attending for 6 consecutive weeks.

The process for formally withdrawing a child’s place is as follows:

The setting attempts to contact the family twice weekly to meet with them to seek a justifiable explanation (by telephone or home visit and followed up by email), including, of course, first day calling.

The setting sends a recorded delivery letter during the fourth week to invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the situation and warning them of the action that will be taken after 6 weeks.

The setting continues to attempt twice weekly contact through phone and email.

The setting sends a recorded delivery letter in the final week, explaining that the place will be withdrawn on a specific date.

If you have any concerns about the safety of the child, you should always contact Children’s

Services Contact Team (020 7527 7400).

If you have any queries about the action you can take with regards to a child’s attendance, please contact the Early Years Service (020 7527 5921).

The following documents may be of use to colleagues working in EYFS settings:

Questions to consider when writing an EYFS attendance policy can be found in Section 8:

Appendix 8.7.

A sample EYFS attendance policy can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.8.

Guidance around monitoring attendance in Reception can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.9.

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2.6 School Attendance and SEN

Children with SEN have higher patterns of non-attendance. However, attendance strategies for pupils with SEN must have the same focus, challenge and expectations as for all other pupils. Therefore, our aim is a minimum of 96% attendance for all Islington children.

For children with SEN

Pupils with SEN are more likely to require multi-agency services to address their full range of needs. These services should not be delivered as an alternative to the school curriculum, and should not impact on school attendance.

All the agencies involved with the family of an SEN pupil must ensure that parents understand the importance of regular school attendance and have the capacity to put this into practice, and that low levels of attendance can indicate difficult home circumstances and/or concerns about a safeguarding.

Poor or deteriorating attendance can indicate that a pupil is becoming disaffected from an environment where they feel they cannot succeed, and that this is reinforced on a daily basis.

Different interventions or more appropriate curricular provision might re-engage the pupil, improving both attendance and progress.

2.7 Special Schools

As stated above, attendance strategies in special schools and for pupils with SEN in mainstream schools must have the same focus, challenge, stretching targets and expectations as for all other schools and pupils. This will entail developing and implementing ways of addressing particular challenges that can arise.

A focus on school attendance for pupils with SEN entails schools and local authorities considering a number of issues that can help them plan actions to promote high attendance at both whole-school and individual-pupil level. These might include:

Focus on teaching and learning, monitoring and evaluation.

Curricular provision.

Multi-agency services.

Serious, long-term and terminal illness.

Disagreements about provision.

Transport.

All schools, including special schools, should be working to eradicate all avoidable absences and to maximise pupils’ attendance. All schools, including special schools, are required to return absence data via the annual School Census. Schools should aim for and expect high levels of attendance.

Some smaller special schools have low numbers of pupils, and consequently the absence of one pupil may have a higher impact on the overall percentage of absence. Therefore, schools and local authorities need to judge absence data not only by percentage but also by pupil numbers.

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It is important to look for trends in absence as part of self-evaluation. The questions schools might ask themselves include the following:

Are attendance rates for pupils with SEN improving year on year, proportionate to those for all other pupils?

Are the attendance rates of individual pupils improving?

If not, what is the impact on progress and attainment, and what plan of action is in place to address attendance issues?

If either attendance or attainment is not improving, what does the school’s monitoring and evaluation of interventions indicate about the changes needed to the provision being made for the pupil?

Pupils with SEN may require a higher proportion of medical appointments as a result of their particular needs. Schools should consider ways of making parents, GPs and other health workers aware of the fact that appointments should be made out of school time wherever possible. Schools may find it useful to work in partnership with health colleagues in order to promote clinics on school premises.

All pupils in special schools have statements of SEN, or from September 2014, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that must be reviewed at least annually. Other mainstream schools also have pupils with statements of SEN. Attendance should be considered formally as part of the annual review process as well as on an ongoing basis.

In effective schools and local authorities, the attendance record of the pupil forms an integral part of the review process. The pupil’s attendance data will be presented at the annual review meeting and any challenges in relation to regular attendance will be raised, which can then be discussed at the meeting. This ensures that all those involved with the pupil’s education are able to plan to remove any barriers to regular school attendance during the following year. In effective local authorities the attendance record of a pupil is a key element of information required during special educational assessment and review processes.

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2.8 Term Time Absence

Amendments to the

Education (Pupil Registration) (England)

Regulations 2006

, which took effect from 1 September 2013, remove references to family holiday and extended leave, as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days, which

Headteachers had previously been able to use to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances.” The Taylor Review carried out on behalf of the DfE in 2012 reported that many parents and some schools had interpreted this law as an automatic entitlement to an annual two-week term time holiday.

Therefore, the amendments now make it clear that

Headteachers may NOT grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances.”

Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.

Schools are increasingly concerned about the effect that term time absence has on overall attendance figures. Therefore, their aim is:

1. To reduce absences due to term time holidays.

- The absence codes revised in November 2013 make it easier to calculate the amount of absence due to term time absence. (H = term time holiday authorised by school; G = term time holiday NOT authorised by school.) Statistics should be communicated to parents/carers.

- If you have not got something similar already, you could include the following statement in your attendance policy:

…………….. School, working with representatives of the Local Authority, have decided that from

(insert date), we will no longer authorise holidays in term time or leave of absence in term time.

If you feel that there are exceptional reasons why you need to take a leave of absence in term time, please discuss these with me/the Headteacher (OR RELEVANT PERSON FOR YOUR

SCHOOL) before making your plans. Leave of absence in term time will NOT be authorised, unless there are exceptional circumstances and these will be at the Headteacher’s discretion.

2. To make parents/carers aware of the impact on attainment of term time absence.

- Ensure that your attendance policy makes clear that holidays during term time will definitely not be authorised. Use your noticeboard to remind parents/carers of this at intervals throughout the year.

- Remind parents/carers that ALL members of the class or form/tutor group suffer if pupils take term time holidays as the teacher has to spend time helping some pupils catch up.

- Remind parents/carers also that children miss out on the social side of school life if they are absent during term time, particularly at the start of the new school year.

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- Encourage parents/carers to be honest about term time absence, rather than claiming that their child is ill. Teachers often find out, by overhearing conversations etc. that pupils are going on, or have been on holiday. Challenge parents/carers about this. Make it a standing item at parent’s meetings and school productions to praise the regular attenders for their achievements.

- Do not authorise any leave of absence in term time retrospectively.

3. To make parents/carers aware that any term time leave of absence is not an automatic right.

- Government guidance states that a school can remove a child’s name from the school roll if, following a term time absence, they do not return in the following ten school days (unless the child is sick or for any other unavoidable cause).

- Regularly advise parents/carers that leave of absence in term time is not an automatic right and must be requested in advance.

- Regularly advise parents/carers that leave of absence in term time will not be authorised,

EXCEPT IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

When determining any ‘exceptional circumstances’ for authorising term-time absence:

The child’s attendance record over a period of three years should be assessed to determine the rate of previous absence.

Where there are siblings in other Islington schools, attempts should be made via the Attendance

Lead in partnership with other agencies to contact the Headteacher to discuss a possible coordinated response and outcome.

If the Headteacher considers that the child’s attendance has previously been excellent, the

Headteacher of any siblings has been consulted with and the circumstances for the request are exceptional, then they can decide to authorise the absence and not to issue a penalty notice.

Reasons that might constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’ include:

Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.

Visiting a parent/carer who is imprisoned.

Where an absence is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.

The death or terminal illness of a person close to the family.

Suitable supporting evidence would be required in each case.

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2.9 Persistent Absence (PA)

Background

From the beginning of the academic year, 2015 to 2016, the government is reducing the persistent absence threshold from 15 per cent to 10 per cent. Therefore, a pupil is now considered to have persistent absence if their attendance falls below 90%.

This change came about because to have 85% attendance means a pupil has to be absent for 56 sessions (28 days) of school. This is a great deal of schooling to miss and, in the government’s opinion, setting the bar too high.

The following table shows estimated cumulative absent session thresholds for around 15 per cent and 10 per cent:

Half term 1

15% 10%

10 or more sessions 7 or more sessions

Half term 1-2 (autumn term)

Half term 1-3

22 or more sessions

30 or more sessions

14 or more sessions

20 or more sessions

Half term 1-4 (autumn term and spring term combined) 38 or more sessions 25 or more sessions

Half term 1-5

Half term 1-6 (full academic year)

46 or more sessions 31 or more sessions

56 or more sessions 38 or more sessions

The DfE and Ofsted continue to have a sharp focus on persistent absence as there is a direct link between persistent absence from school and ‘not in employment, education or training’ (NEET) status. These pupils tend to come from families that have complex needs and require concerted multi-agency approaches to help them make significant progress.

Developing an Escalation Process for Intervention and Support

It is important to develop an escalation process for working with and supporting Persistent Absentees. With the change to the threshold schools will now be expected to work with those pupils whose attendance falls below 90%.

One suggested way of developing an escalation process is to start by working out what your attendance thresholds are going to be (the diagram opposite provides some suggestions).

Once you have done this, then you could list all the school staff and wider support agencies you have at your disposal, before working out who should be involved at which threshold.

Don’t forget to include the Headteacher and Governors in the process.

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Attendance and Punctuality Target Setting with Pupils

Most schools are currently working with their pupils and supporting them in setting attendance and punctuality targets, but why do they do this?

Benefits of target setting with pupils:

1. To ensure an accurate and up to date record of attendance.

2. To enable parents/carers to support high attendance and 100% punctuality and also be aware where attendance may be a cause for concern.

3. To identify the causes of non-attendance and act upon them.

4. To identify those students classed as Persistent Absentees and to work to increase the attendance levels of these students.

5. To use existing monitoring systems for early identification of Persistent Absenteeism in order to prevent decline in attendance.

6. To raise attendance of vulnerable groups of students (SEN, FSM, LAC, EAL).

7. To monitor and reduce absence through holidays in term time.

8. To ensure all staff understands their roles in the monitoring and recording of attendance and that it is part of a whole-school approach.

9. To maintain and improve attendance throughout the school through target setting and rewarding.

10. To give clear information on expected levels of attendance to all stakeholders.

For most pupils, setting termly targets should be sufficient:

However, where pupils are at risk of becoming persistent absentees, these targets might need to be worked on with the pupil on a daily/weekly basis.

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One suggested activity to carry out with older children: How are you doing currently?

Using the grids below, tick the appropriate box for yourself, but as if you were your form tutor or class teacher.

If you were an employer or worked in a college, would you employ/give a place to this pupil? Why?

Information to share with Pupils

Good attendance at school is the single most important factor to ensure that young people have the maximum life chances - attendance is strongly linked to educational achievement.

Promoting positive school attendance is everyone's responsibility.

Pupils who miss school risk failing to achieve what they are capable of.

Figures have shown that 90% of persistent, poor or non‐attenders fail to achieve five or more good grades at GCSE and approximately one third achieve no GCSEs at all.

Developing good habits of attendance and punctuality are key life skills.

When pupils miss school … they miss out!

Good attendance is important in order for children to:

- Achieve their potential.

- Develop a positive attitude towards school and good habits of punctuality and attendance.

- See themselves as an important part of the school community and to value and respect school life.

Schools recognise that this can only be achieved through a close partnership with parents.

Questions to consider:

Do you know what your current attendance and/or punctuality figure is?

Do you know what it means?

Do you know what effects it could have on your future?

What does 90% attendance mean?

90% attendance = ½ day missed every week!

Over one school year this is 4 weeks of learning lost!

Over the 5 years at your secondary school you will have missed half a year!

What impact might this have on your child’s future …?

8 days absence = 96%. 19 days absence = 90%.

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Punctuality matters too! missed minutes = missed learning = missed opportunities!

Being frequently late for school adds up to lost learning:

- Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year.

- Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year.

- Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year.

Some Strategies to Improve Punctuality

Bedtime routines – packing school bag ready for the next day, getting to bed earlier, setting a time for television, iPad, computer, mobile phone and other devices to be turned off.

Morning routines – setting the alarm earlier, no television until ready for school (and maybe not even then), having breakfast before leaving home, so no need to call in at the shop, meeting a reliable friend to walk to school with.

Coming to school for breakfast club if available.

The more you learn, the more you can earn – what your potential earnings could look like:

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Your school attendance is vitally important to give yourself the best start in life.

All employers and colleges look at attendance and punctuality as major factors in recruiting people.

What else will colleges/employers ask for?

Are you hard working?

Do you always try your best?

Are you reliable?

How do you get on with and work with others?

What is your behaviour and general attitude towards learning like?

Colleges will also ask the school for information on your predicted grades and what sort of person you are.

What else you need to be successful outside of school, apart from a good school attendance record?

Communication skills – be polite, ask questions.

Written skills (formal and informal language) – C.V., letter, report, email.

Presentation – how you look, talk, write.

Team work.

Understanding diversity.

Key Messages:

Your attendance and punctuality is being monitored all the time, but targets should be set each term.

Pupils with low attendance and punctuality will be highlighted and given extra support to improve this.

In Islington, 96% or above is considered to be good attendance.

Nationally 90% or below means a pupil is considered to be a persistent absentee, so there must be involvement and monitoring in order to improve this and avoid prosecution.

Information to share with Parents/Carers

Good attendance at school is the single most important factor to ensure that young people have the maximum life chances - attendance is strongly linked to educational achievement.

Promoting positive school attendance is everyone's responsibility.

Pupils who miss school risk failing to achieve what they are capable of.

Figures have shown that 90% of persistent, poor or non‐attenders fail to achieve five or more good grades at GCSE and approximately one third achieve no GCSEs at all.

Developing good habits of attendance and punctuality are key life skills.

When pupils miss school … they miss out!

Good attendance is important in order for children to:

- Achieve their potential.

- Develop a positive attitude towards school and good habits of punctuality and attendance.

- See themselves as an important part of the school community and to value and respect school life.

Schools recognise that this can only be achieved through a close partnership with parents.

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Questions to consider:

Do parents know what their child’s current attendance and/or punctuality figure is?

Do they know what it means?

Do they know what effects it could have on their future?

The Role of Parents/Carers:

It is a legal obligation of all parents/carers to ensure their child attends school regularly. By law all children of compulsory school age (5–17) must get a proper full time education.

Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring children attend school regularly, and in a condition to learn.

Children should be at school by 9.00am each morning.

Parents/carers should contact the school as soon as possible if a child is going to be absent or late for any reason e.g. doctor, dentist and provide an appointment card. The school has a dedicated phone line for reporting absence.

Parents/carers should send a written note into school with the child on their return, giving reasons for the absence. Parents/carers may be required to provide medical evidence to substantiate that their child’s illness required them to be absent from school, i.e. some form of medical verification.

What does 90% attendance mean?

90% attendance = ½ day missed every week!

Over one school year this is 4 weeks of learning lost!

Over the 5 years at your secondary school you will have missed half a year!

What impact might this have on your child’s future …?

8 days absence = 96%. 19 days absence = 90%.

Punctuality matters too! missed minutes = missed learning = missed opportunities!

Being frequently late for school adds up to lost learning:

- Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year.

- Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year.

- Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year.

Some Strategies to Improve Punctuality

Bedtime routines – packing school bag ready for the next day, getting to bed earlier, setting a time for television, iPad, computer, mobile phone and other devices to be turned off.

Morning routines – setting the alarm earlier, no television until ready for school (and maybe not even then), having breakfast before leaving home, so no need to call in at the shop, meeting a reliable friend to walk to school with.

Coming to school for breakfast club if available.

Key Messages:

Your child’s attendance and punctuality is being monitored all the time, but targets should be set each term.

Pupils with low attendance and punctuality will be highlighted and given extra support to improve this.

In Islington, 96% or above is considered to be good attendance.

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Nationally 90% or below means a pupil is considered to be a persistent absentee and so there will be involvement and monitoring in order to improve this and avoid prosecution.

“Young children don't play truant from school, they are off because their parents allow it.”

Charlie Taylor, the Government’s expert advisor on attendance and behaviour.

The same can be said about punctuality – young children are late for school because of their parents’ poor organisational skills …

2.10 Making Use of the Data Available

All schools hold a great deal of information about attendance in the School Information

Management System (SIMS). Schools that have been successful in improving attendance and reducing persistent absence have a clear understanding of the attendance issues within the school; they identify these through the reporting and analysis of their data. Anecdotal evidence about reasons for absence and patterns of absence can be misleading.

Attendance data helps strategic planning and can enable schools to manage attendance issues more effectively. Whole school attendance figures produced monthly, termly or yearly, based on year groups, can indicate factors such as:

Declining attendance in year groupings.

The effect of seasonal attendance e.g. attendance may decline during colder months and preceding school holidays, at the end of terms and beginning of new terms.

Weekly figures may illustrate the:

Effect of staff absenteeism.

Fall in attendance preceding teacher training days, half terms, study leave or work experience.

Effect of ending terms on a Monday or Tuesday.

Effect of activity days, day trips or residential trips.

Effect of the timing of the school day.

Effect of pupil holidays in term time.

The effect of time/timings of religious observance days e.g. Eid.

Continuous analysis of individual pupil attendance and across the whole school can give scope for strategic planning. By identifying those levels which the school considers are indicators of persistent absenteeism or irregular attendance, it is possible to identify the extent of the problem.

The school can then target resources more effectively by producing:

Individual attendance records which highlight reasons for absence and the pattern and rate of unauthorised absence; and

Lists of all pupils with unexplained absence which can be fed back to the responsible member of staff.

Pastoral staff will then be able to identify and work with those pupils who give cause for concern.

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2.11 Accessing School Attendance Data

Department for Education (DfE) Website

All schools and settings can access their performance data, which includes attendance at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/

Entering specific school information on the front page will provide schools with their two term attendance data for the previous academic year, collected from Schools Census submissions.

However, should they require attendance figures from previous years, then they should use the link: Performance Tables 1994-2013 (found in the lower left hand corner of the home page – see below).

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Ofsted’s School Data Dashboard

This data dashboard provides a snapshot of performance in a school (for the end of each Key

Stage), college or other further education and skills providers and can be found at:

http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk/

.

The dashboard can be used by school governors and by the public to check the performance of a school. It complements the Ofsted RAISEonline report by providing an analysis of performance over a three-year period. The attendance data should be used by governors to generate key questions to support and challenge the leadership team.

Level of attendance at this school

Percentage of sessions attended in the school and calculated as (100% - percentage of overall absence). All schools have two sessions per day; morning and afternoon.

Attendance is calculated at school level and not at key stage level.

The national level includes the relevant schools for the key stage of interest. The types of school included in the national level are maintained state nursery, primary, middle and secondary schools

(including academies) and city technology colleges, but special schools are excluded. These averages are further split by phase of education into primary, middle deemed primary, secondary and middle deemed secondary.

Comparison with other schools

Quintiles are used to split a dataset into five groups each representing 20% of the data. The groups may not be evenly split as there may be several identical scores in the dataset which would be placed in the same quintile. A school in the 3 rd

quintile is in the middle 20% of schools in the group and performing around average.

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For the ‘all schools’ measure the quintiles are constructed by ranking the results across all maintained schools in England.

For the ‘similar schools’ measure the quintiles are constructed by ranking the unique results within the grouping. The groups are based upon prior attainment of pupils at the previous key stage [for this subject], where each school has its own unique group. For more information, please refer to the similar schools methodology within supporting documents.

School Data Dashboard Guidance can be found at:

http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk/sdd_guidance.pdf

.

This document provides an explanation of the data used to populate Ofsted’s School Data Dashboard.

Specifically, it provides information on the definitions used, the limitations of the data and any changes in methodology that may have impacted on the data.

Ofsted’s RAISEOnline Report

This will show two term absence and persistent absence data compared with the overall England figure and the median figure for schools in England with the same percentage of free school meal pupils as the governors’ school:

This report will be the first thing an Ofsted Inspector looks at before inspecting your school.

FFT Governor Dashboard for Schools

All Islington maintained schools and most academies subscribe to FFT that have their own Governor Dashboard.

Developed in partnership with the National Governors’

Association and the Wellcome Trust, the dashboard provides a range of information to help governors support and challenge the school leadership team.

It shows a summary of pupil attainment and progress, subject performance, the progress of pupil groups, school context and attendance, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the school’s data, also useful when preparing for Ofsted inspections.

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‘Inspectors will expect governors to know about the strengths and weaknesses of the school.

Inspectors will expect school governors to be familiar with, and understand, performance data.’

Ofsted Inspection Handbook, January 2014.

All subscribing schools can download these Governor Dashboards from FFT Aspire - https://fftaspire.org/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2f and share it easily with governors, or schools can give governors their own log ins.

SIMS Reports

It is possible to extract from SIMS a number of reports that including those that give a breakdown of absence by reason and by registration group. These reports look at attendance from the 1 st

of

September of the current academic year to the day before the report was run.

Attendance Quintile Data

The Attendance Quintile data can be found on the School Data Dashboard. Attendance data relates to the percentage of sessions (mornings and afternoons are classified as sessions) attended by the whole school, not just the key stage. Attendance is calculated as 100% minus the percentage of overall absence.

What are similar schools?

Similar schools are defined as those with similar prior attainment. Prior attainment and cohort data from the January Schools Census are extracted for each school in the relevant key stage.

Similar schools are grouped using a statistical neighbours approach:

Key Stage 2 schools are compared with the most similar 110 schools;

Key Stage 4 with the most similar 60.

The similar schools group sizes were chosen by grouping those schools that had very similar pupil attainment on entry. The group sizes differ because, as a minimum number, all schools with the same prior attainment score must be in the same group. This minimum number is larger for Key

Stage 2.

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Attendance Quintile (2014) – Islington outcomes

Quintile

No. of schools

Highest

Top 20%

2

Top 40%

3

Middle 20%

2012 2013

2014

2012 2013

2014

2012 2013

2014

4 9

7

9 7

10

11 15

8

Primary*

Secondary**

Quintile

Breakdown

2012 2013

2014

2012 2013

2014

2012 2013

2014

3

1

6

3

5

2

6

3

4

3

7

3

9

2

13

2

6

2

No. of schools

4

Bottom 40%

2012 2013

2014

2012 2013

2014

12 11

13

19 13

16

Breakdown

Lowest

Bottom 20%

Primary*

Secondary**

2012

10

2

2013

10

1

2014

11

2

2012

17

2

2013

12

1

2014

15

1

*Primary National Level: 96.1%

**Secondary National Level: 94.9%

The School Data Dashboard Guidance provides guidance on the measures used to populate the

School Data Dashboard. Specifically, it provides information on the definitions used, the limitations of the data and any changes in methodology that may have impacted on the data. This can be found at:

http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk/sdd_guidance.pdf

.

Similar guidance for Special schools can be found at:

http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk/Special-

Schools-Dashboard-guidance-2014.pdf

.

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2.12 Attendance Codes, Descriptions and Meanings

The national codes enable schools to record and monitor attendance and absence in a consistent way which complies with the regulations. They are also used for collecting statistics through the

School Census System. The data helps schools, local authorities and the Government to gain a greater understanding of the level of, and the reasons for, absence. The codes are:

Code Description

/

Present (AM)

\

Present (PM)

L

Late

Meaning

Present in school during registration.

Pupils must not be marked present if they were not in school during registration. If a pupil were to leave the school premises after registration they would still be counted as present for statistical purposes.

Late before registers closed.

Schools should have a policy on how long registers should be kept open. A pupil arriving after the register has closed should be marked absent with

code U, or with another absence code if that is more appropriate.

Approved Educational Activity

5

Attendance codes for when pupils are present at approved off-site educational activity are as follows:

Code Description Meaning

B

Educated Off-

Site (NOT Dual

Registration)

D

Dual

Registration

(i.e. pupil

This code should be used when pupils are present at an off-site educational activity that has been approved by the school. Ultimately schools are responsible for the safeguarding and welfare of pupils educated off-site.

Therefore by using code B, schools are certifying that the education is supervised and measures have been taken to safeguard pupils. This code should not be used for any unsupervised educational activity or where a pupil is at home doing school work. Schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the provider of the alternative activity notifies the school of any absences by individual pupils. The school should record the pupil’s absence using the relevant absence code.

Consortia Schools

Pupils attending consortia schools as part of their course only need to be placed on the registers of their ‘main’ school rather than on all of the schools they attend. They should be treated as guest pupils at the other consortia schools. The consortia schools however, must ensure they have suitable systems in place for monitoring and reporting the attendance and absence of the pupils involved, which must be shared with the ‘main’ school.

This code is not counted as a possible attendance in the School Census. The law allows for dual registration of pupils at more than one school. This code is used to indicate that the pupil was not expected to attend the session in

5

An approved educational activity is where a pupil is taking part in supervised educational activity such as field trips, educational visits, work experience or alternative provision. The activity must be of an educational nature approved by the school and supervised by someone authorised by the school. The activity must take place during the session for which the mark is recorded.

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attending another establishment) question because they were scheduled to attend the other school at which they are registered.

The main examples of dual registration are pupils who are attending a pupil referral unit, a hospital school or a special school on a temporary basis. It can also be used for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children, but only when the pupil is known to be registered at another school during the session in question.

Each school should only record the pupil’s attendance and absence for those sessions that the pupil is scheduled to attend their school. Schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby all unexplained and unexpected absence is followed up in a timely manner.

This code should be used to record time spent in interviews with prospective employers or another educational establishment. Schools should be satisfied that the interview is linked to employment prospects, further education or transfer to another educational establishment.

J

At an interview with prospective employers, or another educational establishment

P

Participating in an approved sporting activity

V

Educational visit or trip

This code should be used to record the sessions when a pupil is taking part in a sporting activity that has been approved by the school and supervised by someone authorised by the school.

This code should be used for attendance at an organised trip or visit, including residential trips organised by the school, or attendance at a supervised trip of a strictly educational nature arranged by an organisation approved by the school.

W

Work experience

Work experience is for pupils in the final two years of compulsory education.

Schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the work experience placement provider notifies the school of any absences by individual pupils. Any absence should be recorded using the relevant code.

Authorised Absence from School

6

Absence codes when pupils are not present in school are as follows:

Code Description

C

Leave of

Absence authorised by the school

E

Excluded (no alternative provision made)

Meaning

Only exceptional circumstances warrant leave of absence. Schools should consider each request individually taking into account the circumstances, such as: the nature of the event for which leave is sought; the frequency of the request; whether the parent gave advance notice; and the pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling.

If no alternative provision is made for a pupil to continue their education whilst they are excluded but still on the admission register, they should be marked absent in the attendance register using code E. Where alternative provision is made they should be marked using the appropriate attendance code.

6

‘Authorised absence’ means that the school has either given approval in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be away, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as justification for absence.

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H

Holiday authorised by the school

I

Illness (NOT medical or dental appointments etc.)

M

Medical /

Dental appointments

R

Religious observance

S

Study leave

Headteachers should not grant leave of absence unless in exceptional circumstances. The application must be made in advance and the head teacher must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which warrant the leave. Where a leave of absence is granted, the Headteacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion.

Schools should advise parents/carers to notify the school as soon as possible when a child is ill. If the authenticity of illness is in doubt, schools can request parents/carers to provide medical evidence to support illness. Schools can record the absence as unauthorised if not satisfied of the seriousness of the illness but should advise parents of their intention. Schools are advised not to request medical certificates unnecessarily (particularly retrospective certificates), especially if the illness was not treated by a doctor at the time.

Medical evidence can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards, etc. rather than doctors’ notes.

Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence. Schools should, however, encourage parents to make appointments out of school hours. Where this is not possible, the pupil should only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment.

Schools must treat absence as authorised when it is due to religious observance. The day must be exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parents/carers belong. Where necessary, schools should seek advice from the parent/carers’ religious body about whether it has set the day apart for religious observance.

Schools must record study leave as authorised absence. Study leave should be used sparingly and only granted to Year 11 pupils during public examinations. Provision should still be made available for those pupils who want to continue to come into school to revise.

Unauthorised Absence from School

Unauthorised absence is where a school is not satisfied with the reasons given for the absence.

Absence codes are as follows:

Code Description

G

Holiday not authorised by the school or in excess of the period determined by the

Headteacher.

N

Reason not yet provided for absence

Meaning

If a school does not authorise a leave of absence and the parents/carers still take the child on holiday, or the child is kept away for longer than was agreed, the absence is unauthorised. The regulations do not allow schools to give retrospective approval. If parents/carers did not apply for the leave of absence in advance the absence must be recorded as unauthorised.

Schools should follow up all unexplained and unexpected absences in a timely manner. Every effort should be made to establish the reason for a pupil’s absence. When the reason for the pupil’s absence has been established the register should be amended immediately.

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O

Absent from school without authorisation

U

Arrived in school after registration closed

If the school is not satisfied with the reason given for absence they should record it as unauthorised.

Schools should actively discourage late arrival, be alert to patterns of late arrival and seek an explanation from the parent.

Administrative Codes

The following codes are not counted as a possible attendance in the School Census:

Code Description

X

Not required to be in school

Y

Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

Z

Pupil not on admission register

#

Planned whole or partial school closure

Meaning

This code is used to record sessions that non-compulsory school age children are not expected to attend.

This code can be used where a pupil is unable to attend because:

The school site, or part of it, is closed due to an unavoidable cause.

The transport provided by the school or a local authority is not available and where the pupil’s home is not within walking distance.

A local or national emergency has resulted in widespread disruption to travel which has prevented the pupil from attending school.

This code can also be used where a pupil is unable to attend because:

The pupil is in custody; detained for a period of less than four months. If the school has evidence from the place of custody that the pupil is attending educational activities then they can record those sessions as code B (present at approved educational activity).

This code is collected in the School Census for statistical purposes.

This code is available to enable schools to set up registers in advance of pupils joining the school to ease administration burdens. Schools must put pupils on the admission register from the first day that the school has agreed, or been notified, that the pupil will attend the school.

This code should be used for whole or partial school closures that are known or planned in advance such as: between terms; half terms; occasional days (for example, bank holidays); weekends (where it is required by the management information system); up to 5 noneducational days to be used for curriculum planning/training; and use of schools as polling stations.

7

7

Different Term Dates for Different Pupils - Schools and local authorities can agree to set different term dates for different year groups – e.g. for ‘staggered starts’ or ‘induction days’. Code # can be used to record the year group(s) that is not due to attend. This is only acceptable where the school ensures that those pupils not attending on that day are still offered a full education (i.e. 380 sessions) over the school year.

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2.13 Using SIMS

SIMS (School Information Management System) is a school management information system currently developed by Capita. School leaders and governors should know what’s working in a school and what isn’t – SIMS can provide them with an overview of everything that’s happening in their school, so they can generate the evidence they need and communicate effectively with staff.

With real-time data, school staff can also track the impact of the strategies they put in place.

As well as recording attendance, schools use SIMS to track every student’s progress, helping them understand every child’s needs and raise attainment across the school. SIMS can give parents easy online and remote access to daily attendance and attainment records, making them more actively involved in the progress of their child and their school life.

Entering an INSET Day/Public Holiday into SIMS

INSET Days are normally added as part of the End of Year routine, however, if the dates are not known they can be added during the school term by the Administrator:

1. Select: Focus | School | School Diary. 2. Right Click on the required date and select

‘New Staff Training Day (if adding an INSET or ‘New Public Holiday if adding a Bank

Holiday).

3. Enter ‘INSET Day’ in the Description box and select ‘Staff Training’ as the category. Ensure ‘the check box is ticked for ‘am’ and’ ‘pm’ if the INSET day is for the whole day. Click Save to finish.

Please note that you may need to log out of SIMS for the change to take effect.

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Taking the Register in SIMS

Registers need to be taken every day. To do this in SIMS, open and enter ‘username’ and

‘password’.

1. Go to ‘Focus’ > ‘Attendance’ > ‘Edit Marks’ (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1 Fig. 2

2. Adjust the ‘week beginning’ tab to the date of the beginning of the week. Make sure that the

‘Group Type’ tab is set as ‘Reg group’ (Fig. 2)

3. Press search.

4. Double click on the class that you want to input the information to. The screen will look like this (Fig. 3):

Fig. 3 Fig. 4

5. To enter a mark click the am or pm box, the blank boxes with the ‘ - ‘ in (see above) is where the information is entered, enter the required code i.e. / for present for that session. When the class is completed, save. Should you need to change a code press the ‘preserve’ button so that it says ‘overwrite’. Without doing this, it won’t register any changes you make.

6. Enter any absences by clicking the box and entering the right code (e.g. I for illness, M for medical appointment, N for no reason provided).

7. To get a full list of the codes press any key (except a letter)

8. When all of the pupils in the class have been entered press ‘Save’. If for any reason you are adding/changing the information in previous or future weeks you can access this by using the

‘previous week’ and ‘next week’ arrows at the top left of the page (see Fig. 4 above). Press

‘Browse’ to get back to the list of classes. Repeat this for all of the classes.

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Absence Notes

Every week schools receive absence notes from parents, explaining why their child has been off school.

1. Check the box for the absence notes.

2. Put the information into SIMs: There is a ‘medical events’ field in the pupil record that many schools use to record sickness whether in school or out of school (Fig. 5). It records:

- Type of event, and one is illness

- Description of event, a drop-down gives a variety of common ailments

- Date of event

- Notes field

The first three can be reported on.

Fig. 5

By ensuring that the information is on SIMS before you print out absence letters (see below) this will stop parents receiving letters when they have already told the school why their child was absent. If the child is off due to circumstances (C) then remember to write the reason for absence in the comments section. This should also be done for illness (I) too.

Printing Absence Letters

Schools send out letters to parents whose children have any absences from school that haven’t been explained to them. (This is shown as ‘N’ on SIMS). This can be done electronically and printed out from SIMS.

1. Go to Reports > Attendance > Letters > Print letters (Fig. 6)

Fig. 6 Fig. 7

2. Adjust the date in the ‘from’ and ‘to’ boxes. The dates used are from the beginning of the half term – to the date of the previous Friday. In the first week back after half term send letters from the previous half term, to give parents one more chance to let you know.

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3. Make sure that the ‘group type’ is Reg group (Fig. 7). This makes it easier to organise once they are printed.

4. Press search.

5. Double click the class that you want to start with. Or, highlight the class and press ‘Next’. A pop-up like the one below (Fig. 8) will appear on the screen:

6. Highlight ‘unexplained.doc’ and press Print. A word document will appear that will have all the letters for the children in that class. If there aren’t any unexplained absences in that class for the specified dates then it will say “ ”

7. Go to file > print.

Fig. 8

8. Exit the word document that you have printed, as well as the template word document that has also popped up. You can also ignore the pop-up that is a list of the pupils needing a letter.

9. Press ‘back’ to go back to the page, and select a new class. Repeat for all classes.

10. These letters should be given to teachers so they can hand them to the parents/children.

It is worth asking the office staff to have a quick look at the letters to see if there are any messages that have been missed. This should hopefully avoid too many parents receiving the letter when they have actually already notified the school about why their child was absent. Enter these on to

SIMS straight away.

Registration Certificates

Registration certificates are a way of looking at an individual’s pattern of attendance for the whole school year, or to get an individual’s attendance percentage for a specific period of time.

1. Go to Reports > Attendance > Individual Pupil Reports > Registration Certificates

2. Change the dates in the ‘from’ and ‘to’ tabs.

3. Make sure Group Type is Individual Students.

4. Press search (Fig. 9).

5. Double click on the name of the pupil you would like to check.

6. Press OK on the pop-up. The document will look like Fig. 10.

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The first box will show the pupil’s pattern of attendance with the list of codes in the Key to Codes box. The ‘Summary’ box will break down the attendance for the date period that has been selected.

Fig. 9 Fig. 10

Registration certificates are a good way of seeing a child’s attendance percentage, and whether these are authorised or not. It is also easier to identify any patterns of absence over the course of the year, term, or half term.

Registration certificates are also a good way of showing parents/carers how many days their child has missed (as long as the codes are explained to them).

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2.14 SIMS Attendance Reports

There are a number of useful attendance reports on SIMS which schools can use for individual pupils, selected groups or the school as a whole.

Type of report Use

Official Registers

This is a statutory requirement.

Must be printed at the end of each

Individual pupils’ attendance in detail

Less than or more than ?% attendees in the whole school, year group or form/tutor group

Whole school attendance to date by year group/form/tutor group

 month and kept for 3 years.

During any meeting with parents, to show attendance for their child for whole school year, day by day, with codes.

To send in letter to parents to

 demonstrate why pupil’s attendance is causing concern.

To identify pupils causing concern

(below 80/90%).

To identify pupils with 100% attendance (to receive a certificate or letter home).

To identify attendance for each year group/form/tutor group if rewards are being given for the group with the best attendance.

To compare the attendance of different years/form/tutor groups and consider why there may be differences e.g. are some registers being closed before the rest of the

How to access this report on SIMS

 Reports

 Attendance

 Whole Group Pupil Reports

 Official Register

 Select Group Type

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Individual Pupil Reports

 Registration Certificates

 Individual Students

 Search

 Select

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Selected pupil reports

 Percentage attendance report

 Group type (e.g. year group)

 Less than … or more than …. Or exactly

100%…..

 By name

 Select dates

 Search

 Select the ones (or groups) you want – use

CTRL to select more than one

 Print

 OK

 Reports

 Attendance

 Group reports

 Group session summary report

 Check dates

 Group type – year group or registration group– select all using CTRL (or restrict to years 1-6 or 7-11)

 Search

Print school?

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Pupils with a specific code

Whole school showing all codes

To identify those pupils who have had an absence for a particular reason e.g. M for medical or dental appointments during school time or for a holiday.

To identify if any type of absence is high across the whole school e.g. holidays in term time.

Minutes late

To provide date, session (am/pm) and number of minutes late for a pupil and the total minutes lost over a period of time.

Comments on minutes late

Registration

Certificates ON

SCREEN for a selected group e.g. less than 90% in a form/tutor group

To provide comments relating to a pupil’s late arrivals in school.

During a consultation visit, to check individual pupils’ attendance without printing registration certificates.

 Reports

 Attendance

 Selected pupil reports

 Pupils with chosen code report

 Codes – take out present and select codes to look at e.g. G, F, H

 Check dates

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Group reports

 Group analysis by code

 Group type – whole school

 Check dates

 Restrict dob range (to take out sixth form, if required)

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Selected Pupil Reports

 Minutes late

 Group type (e.g. whole school)

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Selected Pupil Reports

 Comments

 Group type (e.g. whole school)

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance (or go into Lesson Monitor and choose attendance)

 Individual pupil

 Registration Certificate

 Check dates

 Group type – Individual Students

 Search

 Choose student, click and keep CTRL pressed,

 Print

 OK (output to web browser)

 Click on Registration Certificate at bottom

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Individual pupil’s overall attendance

To provide attendance totals

(sessions) for end of year reports.

Individual pupil’s or other groupings attendance by session during a week

Individual pupil’s or other groupings attendance by code

Whole school attendance in all sessions of the week

Can identify if a pupil is absent at the same time each week e.g.

Monday (after weekend with parent with whom they do not normally live?) or on days when PE or swimming takes place.

To show by percentage or number of sessions how absences are categorised across the school by absence code.

To show by percentage or number of sessions how an individual’s absences are categorised by code.

To show by percentage whole school attendance for each session of the week. If a particular session is shown to be low, school can seek ways to improve it.

To create User

Defined Group

To create a list of poor attenders whose progress is checked frequently.

 Reports

 Attendance

 Whole Group Pupil Reports

 Pupil Analysis by Attendance Category

 Make Selections

 Check dates

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Whole Group Pupil Reports

 Pupil Analysis by session in week

 Make selections

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Whole Group Pupil Reports

 Pupil Analysis by attendance code

 Make selections e.g. whole school, registration group, year group

 Check dates

 Search

 Print

 Reports

 Attendance

 Group Reports

 Group Analysis

 Session in Week report

 Check dates

 Make selections – e.g. present only, percentage

 Search

 Print

 Focus

 Groups

 User Defined Group

 New

 Group Description and short name - complete

 Active state – Active

 Check academic year

 Action button (in ‘membership’) and add member

 Group Type – Year Group, School tier (cannot have whole school)

 Search (next to group). This provides all tiers

 OK

 Search again

 OK

 Save

Then access the User Defined Group via reports.

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School Report

The school report highlights key information for your school and provides instant overview of your school based on all data held in

SIMS

 Reports

 School Report

 Choose reference Date

 Assessment Term (e.g. autumn/ spring/summer) for which the assessment data will be displayed

 Choose the fields which you want displayed on the report

 Click generate to display the report

2.15 Managing Sickness Absence

Sickness Certification

General Practitioners (GPs) are not contractually obliged to provide a sick note for children who are off sick from school (ref GPC website, Jan 2010). In normal circumstances when a child has been absent from school, the parent should give the child a note to take into school when s/he returns, explaining the reason for absence. However, through their attendance policy, some schools also ask for parents to provide additional medical verification to show they have sought medical advice.

This could be a copy of an appointment card or a copy of a prescription or the medicine being taken.

Most minor illnesses are self-limiting and do not require contact with a GP or a medical certificate.

The GP’s role is to provide advice and treatment for childhood illnesses, when needed, to facilitate an early return to school.

In cases of prolonged illness (five days or earlier if there are parental concerns), parents should telephone their GP for medical advice and will be offered telephone advice and/or an appointment if clinically necessary. Medical certification for short term illness is not appropriate and should not be requested as standard school policy.

On the rare occasion medical evidence is deemed necessary by the school, due to recurrent absences related to illness, a request may be made in writing by a senior member of staff, with the parents informed and written consent, and a fee will be payable. The Attendance Lead may also contact the GP directly to discuss any attendance concerns, although the GP may not disclose confidential medical information without parental consent.

GPs can only give a private medical certificate when they have documentary evidence to confirm actual illness; i.e. from the date that the child has sought medical advice. This is a ‘private’ certificate and the GP is entitled to charge a fee for this service. Retrospective certificates are not valid and should not be issued. Doctors will exercise caution when asked to provide medical certificates based on hearsay.

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Minor Childhood Illnesses

The following table provides guidance on some common childhood illnesses:

Illness

Chicken Pox

Recommendations

Children can return to school 5 days from onset of the rash.

Conjunctivitis No need to be off school.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting Children can return to school 48 hours from last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting. They can usually go swimming on return to school. If not,

Flu (Influenza)

German Measles (Rubella)

Glandular Fever a doctor will advise.

Children should return to school as soon as they have recovered.

Keep off school for 6 days from onset of rash.

No need to be off school.

Head Lice (Nits)

Impetigo

No need to be off school.

Keep off school until lesions are crusted or healed or 48 hours after

Measles starting antibiotic treatment, whichever is shorter.

Keep off school for 4 days from onset of rash.

Molluscumcontagiosum

Mumps

No need to be off school.

Keep off school for 5 days from onset of swollen glands.

Ringworm

Scabies

It is not usually necessary to keep off school.

Child can return after first treatment.

Threadworms

Warts and Verrucae

Whooping cough

Children should attend school.

Children should attend school.

Five days from starting antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of illness if no antibiotic treatment has been given.

Information from Guidance on Infection Control in Schools and Other Child Care Settings (HPA 2010).

Table taken from: ‘Minor Illnesses and School Attendance – A Guide for Parents’ produced by

Whittington Health and updated and approved by members of the Haringey CCG in June 2014.

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Long-Term Conditions

For children with chronic health conditions who are absent from school for longer than three months, their consultant hospital or community paediatrician may be asked for information, or their school nurse if involved, with the family’s informed consent.

If the reason for poor attendance is linked to a mental health issue then advice is available to schools, GPs and/or parents from the triage service at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Service (CAMHS).

Persistent Absence

Where there is a concern sufficient for aditional support to be accessed, and medical reasons have been given for the absences, the parents may be asked to sign a consent form giving permission for a designated person to liaise with their GP. There is a statutory duty to fulfil, and parents are subject to being prosecuted for failing to secure regular attendance for their child(ren). Parents/ carers can be liable to pay a maximum fine of £2,500 or receive a custodial sentence of up to three months.

Cases of persistent absences (previously 85%, but 90% from September 2015) or with a pattern of unauthorised absence often involve complex medical, psychological and social factors. In these cases it is essential that the GP retains the full confidence and trust of the child and the parents. It is not the GP’s role to ‘police’ absenteeism, as this may undermine the doctor-patient relationship and have a negative impact on the outcome. However, persistent absenteeism without a clear justification may raise safeguarding concerns and a referral to social services should be considered by the schol or by the GP.

When a formal request is made, GPs can provide factual information to schools, with the parents’ informed consent. A proforma has been designed to standardise the information contained on medical certificates and will help determine whether non-attendance cases have valid medical reasons to explain persistent absence. This has been discussed with the Local Medical Committee

(LMC) and a suggested fee for completion of £20 has been agreed.

Islington’s Multi-Disciplinary Teleconference

Each month Islington hosts a Multi-Disciplinary Teleconference (MDT). The Multi-Disciplinary

Team is a group of health care professionals who provide different services for patients in a coordinated way. Core members of a team include a GP locality chair and IC administrator, the patient’s GP, Children’s Community Nurse, Health Visiting team, School Nurse, Families First,

Paediatrician Pharmacist and Paediatrician Consultant. Additional members may join the team, depending on the patient's needs and the condition or disease being treated.

When unresolved health concerns are raised at school – schools can refer to the MDT teleconference via the school nursing service.

A copy of the MDT Teleconference - Schools Referral Form can be found in Section 8: Appendix

8.24.

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Adding a Medical Condition to an Individual Pupil Record in SIMS

1. In SIMS select ‘Medical’ - tab 7

2. Select the condition from the drop down menu, complete the date the information was received and any notes, click ‘save’

Updating the Medical Conditions Database in SIMS

1. If you need to add a medical condition to the database, select Tools | Lookups| Maintain

2. Type Medical Condition into the description box and ‘search’

3. Double click on ‘Medical Condition under the Description to open

4. Select ‘New’ to add the details, you will need to create a unique code for the medical condition, save.

5. You will need log out of SIMS in order for the changes to take effect, click ‘ok’ to the message.

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Section Three

Punctuality and

Persistent Lateness

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3.1 Why Poor Punctuality must be Addressed

The issue of poor punctuality must be taken very seriously. When a pupil arrives late, they miss out on essential instructions given at the beginning of the lesson/school day. This reduces their chances of academic success. Poor punctuality can also cause social disruption – children and young people may feel uncomfortable and embarrassed arriving to the classroom when everyone else is already settled. In fact, when one pupil arrives late it disrupts the teacher and the rest of the class, compromising everyone’s learning.

3.2 Advice to Schools

Schools should actively discourage late arrival and provide a policy on the matter.

Schools are advised that pupils arriving late after the registers close must be marked as unauthorised absence (U) when there is no valid reason to mark it otherwise. Persistent patterns of late arrival can provide grounds for prosecution.

Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996, a parent is responsible for ensuring that their child of compulsory school age (5-16) receives sufficient and suitable education, either by regular school attendance or other arrangements. This means that the parent of a child registered at a school has a legal duty to ensure the child’s regular attendance. Failure to fulfill this duty is an offence under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 and could result in a penalty notice or prosecution.

3.3 Recommended Practice

Ensure parents/carers and pupils know that punctuality matters, both for individuals and for the smooth running of the school community.

Policy

All schools should have a published late policy (either a separate policy or as part of the school attendance policy) that explains the following:

The expected time of arrival for pupils.

The fact that any arrival after the start time could be considered an unauthorised absence.

The process for admitting late pupils.

The legal consequences of persistent lateness.

The policy should be made available to new parents upon their child’s admission to the school and all parents should receive periodic reminders of the policy (e.g. in letters home or in the school newsletter). Steps should be taken to ensure that parents with a limited understanding of written

English understand the policy.

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Procedures for Admitting Late Pupils

Schools should follow a documented and consistent procedure. Points to consider include:

Recording the arrival pupil’s arrival time (either in the register or in a late book).

Having a system that prevents late-arriving pupils from being admitted to the classroom without having been marked late.

Operating a visible system for admitting late arriving pupils that actively discourages poor punctuality. Examples of existing good practice in Islington schools include:

- A late pass system whereby pupils cannot be admitted to the classroom without a late pass, which can only be obtained at the school office after signing in/providing a reason for being late.

- A member of staff standing on the door each morning recording late arrivals, handing out late passes and challenging pupils/parents as appropriate.

- Periodic ‘late gates’ during which a member of school SMT are on the door challenging latearrivals.

- Primary school parents being made to supervise their children in a late ‘holding room’ until such a time as the children can be admitted to the classroom without disrupting the rest of the class (e.g. 9:45am, after end of the first lesson).

Schools are also advised to use positive encouragement to promote good punctuality (displays, competitions and rewards).

Marking the Register

Registers should be marked as follows:

L for late arrival before the close of registers (present).

U for late arrival after the close of registers (unauthorised absence).

Under normal circumstances, the registers should be kept open for 30 minutes after the school start time. In the event of mass public transport failure or very poor weather conditions, the school should use their discretion in keeping the registers open later.

Please ensure the staff group is aware of how to mark the registers correctly.

Responding to Patterns of Persistent Lateness

Islington defines persistent lateness as 12 late arrivals over any 6 week period. This includes L, U or any combination of L and U.

In cases of persistent lateness a penalty notice could be issued provided the following conditions are met:

A pupil is persistently late.

The school has sent a warning letter to a pupil’s parent/carer as they approach the threshold for persistent lateness, informing them of this and of the legal consequences of continued lateness.

There have been at least two incidents of lateness subsequent to the above letter being sent.

All arrival times need to have been recorded and must be made available to the Access and

Engagement Officer and, if needed, the courts.

If parents have not been warned of the legal consequences of persistent lateness statutory action cannot be taken.

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Strategies to improve punctuality could include:

Parents’ Evenings: Teachers can discuss the importance of good punctuality. Schools can calculate the total number of pupil late arrivals for the previous academic year to display on a noticeboard and state the amount of learning time lost.

Interviewing Parents: Parents/carers of pupils who arrive late and who do not respond to usual school strategies could be invited into school to discuss the situation. The discussion could involve pastoral staff. Explain to parents/carers the difference between codes L and U (late before/after registers close) and the implication of a U code (unauthorised absence for the whole morning or afternoon session). The interview is a means to discuss the impact of persistent late arrival on the child’s education and on his peers and teachers. You can ask parents/carers to implement the following strategies:

Bedtime routines – packing school bag ready for the next day, getting to bed earlier, setting a time for television, iPad, computer, mobile phone and other devices to be turned off.

Morning routines – setting the alarm earlier, no television until ready for school (and maybe not even then), having breakfast before leaving home, so no need to call in at the shop, meeting a reliable friend to walk to school with.

Coming to school for breakfast club if available.

Following Improvement:

Send a letter (or praise postcard) to parents/carers acknowledging any improvements in punctuality.

Reward pupils in assemblies with ‘most improved’ certificates and small prizes.

Late Patrols - Good Practice Guidelines:

School gate patrols (or ‘late gates’) can be a useful way of targeting punctuality issues within the school setting, in conjunction with other methods to support and improve whole school attendance and punctuality. However, they only have a real impact if they can be sustained. Schools that have been successful in improving their punctuality using late gates have found that doing one ‘every so often’ has limited, if any impact. The expectation should be that they are carried out every day

Aims:

To improve punctuality of pupils arriving for school each day.

To make pupils and parents/carers aware of the importance of good punctuality and the impact this has on learning and achievement.

To highlight issues of poor punctuality.

To target specific areas e.g. lateness on mornings when assembly takes place.

To work with pupils and parents/carers as appropriate to improve punctuality.

To support school strategies to improve punctuality and attendance, including statutory action where attendance and/or punctuality and unauthorised lateness can be instigated.

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Issues to Consider:

School gate patrols can be useful and the following issues should be considered:

Who will undertake the gate patrol? The Attendance Lead, if involved, must be accompanied by either the Headteacher or a senior member of school staff, to demonstrate a joint approach and to ensure that those pupils who have genuine issues are not approached. All staff must wear ID badges.

Parents/carers should be told that school gate patrols are about to happen.

Pupils arriving on time should be praised and stickers given (primary schools).

When will the gate patrol take place? – It is important to ensure that gate patrols are well planned, and that the times chosen will highlight the importance of good punctuality (e.g. from

10 minutes prior to the start of school to 20 minutes after the start of school).

Where will the gate patrol take place? – Where will staff stand to ensure that pupils are seen and can be spoken to easily? At the school gate, on the path leading into school, at the school door (dependent on number of entrances used), outside a particular targeted form room or key stage area?

How frequently will the gate patrol take place? – Maybe several occasions close together initially, and then further ad hoc occasions to remind pupils of the importance of punctuality.

Who will speak to pupils – will this be the role of the staff member or the Attendance Lead?

Plan what will be said in advance, to ensure that messages are consistent and appropriate.

What follow up will be required? – Agree who will deal with any issues that require follow up, e.g. letters to parents/carers, punctuality awards for improvement in schools. It is good practice to follow up with an article in the school newsletter, or letter to parents/carers explaining the piece of work.

A sample general letter to all parents about punctuality can be found in Section 7: Appendix 7.15.

A sample warning letter to parents about persistent absence can be found in Section 7: Appendix

7.16.

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Section Four

Advice, Guidance and

Expectations

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4.1 What does ‘Good Attendance’ mean?

Is 90% good attendance?

What does 90% actually mean?

90% attendance = ½ day missed every week!

One school year at 90% attendance = 4 weeks of learning missed!

Over 5 years of school = ½ school year missed!

From September 2015, 90% is also the threshold for persistent absence.

For children and young people to work towards achieving their potential, attendance needs to be above 95%.

So, the message here needs to be that 90% attendance is simply not good enough! There is no relationship between school attendance percentages and test/examination marks (where 90% would be considered good) and this must be communicated to parents/carers.

Remember that from the beginning of the academic year, 2015 to 2016, a pupil is now considered to have persistent absence if their attendance falls below 90%.

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4.2 Early Help and Early Help Assessment and Planning

Early Help requires those whose work has an impact on the lives of children to ask:

How could we, within the limits of our existing resources, do things differently, so that we get help to children and families earlier?

Islington is committed to making sure that families get support when they really need it, quickly and with the minimum of fuss, and to avoid the need for statutory intervention, which few families welcome.

What Early Help Means

Early Help can mean taking action at an early stage in a child’s life or at an early stage in the development of a problem. It is about stepping in as early as possible, either at the first signs of a problem, or even before it becomes apparent, to prevent things getting worse. It is about supporting children and their families and helping them build resilience.

Early Help is a strategic priority for Islington, recognising its importance in breaking the cycle of poverty, social exclusion and disadvantage. It requires local partners to work together, and with families to ensure that all available resources (services, workforce, finances and capital) are used in the best way possible and at the earliest possible opportunity.

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Using an Early Help Assessment for Attendance

An early help assessment, using the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a shared assessment and planning tool and gives parents/carers and school staff the opportunity to discuss any additional needs in relation to the child or wider family and to make a plan that can help address the wider needs and improve attendance.

Additional needs can consist of a wide range of problems such as coping with illness, disability or bereavement, risk of homelessness, debt or money worries, lack of confidence in managing challenging behaviour, as well as more serious issues related to mental health, domestic violence or substance misuse.

All parents/carers of persistent absentees (attendance below 90%) should have an early help assessment to collect evidence and ensure they receive multi agency support to improve their child’s school attendance so that they make progress and have good outcomes. However, schools may decide to make use of an early help assessment if there is a sudden change in a child’s attendance and/or punctuality or if falls below their own threshold for intervention.

For further information, see Section 8: Appendix 8.1 – Definition of Key Terminology - Common

Assessment Framework (CAF), also known as Early Help Assessment.

4.3 Marking Registers before, during and after Year 11 Exams

Before … Study Leave

Study leave should not be granted by default, once the exam syllabus has been taught. The

DfE’s advice is that study leave should be used sparingly and only granted to Year 11 pupils during public examinations.

Provision should still be made available for those pupils who want to continue to come into school to revise. Schools usually offer support to pupils alongside their study leave, in the form of taught study sessions or drop in sessions to speak to teachers as required.

It is worth noting that in their advice on School Attendance (2012), the DfE state that, ‘Many

schools are electing to seek alternatives to study leave as many pupils do not have the skills, or are not inclined, to make the best use of unsupervised and unstructured revision time. When revision and exam preparation sessions are carefully planned and delivered, schools can

eliminate the need for home study and provide school-based sessions.’ This is particularly important for vulnerable pupils, for example, pupils with SEND or those known to the Youth

Offending Service.

Ultimately, it is the Headteacher’s decision whether a school offers study leave to Year 11 pupils.

As study leave is largely unsupervised, schools must record it as authorised absence, using the ‘S’ code.

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During … Exam Periods

Pupils will either be sitting exams or else they should be attending supervised lessons, preparing for future exams.

Therefore, registers should be taken as usual and be marked in the same way they would usually be, in that pupils are either present or absent.

If pupils are absent (whether from an exam or a lesson) then the appropriate code should be entered, dependent on the reason.

After

After the last Friday in June all Year 11 pupils should be ‘off-rolled’ and the ‘X’ code (not required to attend) should be entered for all from this point onwards.

However, should any pupil/s have an exam during this time, or need to be in school for any reason, they should be asked to simply sign in and out of the visitors’ book for health and safety reasons.

Pupils should not be marked in a formal register as this will have a negative effect on individual and whole-school attendance figures for this period.

Examinations and Illness

When a pupil misses an exam due to sickness, the examination boards do not require the GP to provide a certificate. Self-certification is acceptable.

If a pupil performs badly in an exam because s/he is “feeling unwell”, a GP letter is not appropriate unless medical advice has been sought at the time. Parents should be advised to seek early medical advice from the school nurse (where available) or GP for treatable medical conditions such as recurrent dysmenorrhoea (painful periods) or severe hay fever, which may interfere with school attendance and exam performance.

4.4 Part-Time Arrangements

The expectation is that all children of compulsory school age, including those with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and emotional, social and behavioural difficulties receive their entitlement to full time education (usually defined as 25 hours per week), whether at school or alternative provision.

The use of part-time timetables should only be used in exceptional circumstances, as part of a planned reintegration programme that is sanctioned by the head teacher as a short-term strategy for engaging children and young people with a return to full-time education.

One of the concerns raised in Ofsted’s report, Pupils missing out on education: low aspirations,

little access, limited achievement (November 2013) is that too often, children and young people

who receive only a part-time education can become invisible. This can be a safeguarding, as well as an educational matter. The report goes on to recommend that schools should inform the LA of any pupil not receiving full-time provision.

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Schools are therefore asked to complete the LA Notification of Part-Time Provision

Arrangements (Section 8: Appendix 8.17) which should be sent to [email protected] for any child/young person receiving pert-time provision.

On the occasions that pupils are not present in school, they should be marked in the register using the attendance code ‘C’ (authorised absence).

4.5 Exclusions

The DfE’s statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils from local authority maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units,

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England

(2012) states that ‘good discipline in schools is essential to ensure that all pupils can benefit from the opportunities provided by education.’

Exclusions should be for the shortest length possible and be proportionate to the offence.

Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort, in response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches, of the school's behaviour policy; and where allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school. The decision to exclude should not be made in the heat of the moment and the pupil in question should be given the opportunity to provide their version of events.

The decision to exclude a pupil must be made using the balance of probabilities and in line with judicial review principles ensuring the decision is lawful, reasonable, fair and proportionate.

Schools should give particular consideration to the fair treatment of pupils from groups who are vulnerable to exclusion, for example looked after children or those with special educational needs.

Schools should have a strategy for reintegrating pupils that return to school following a fixed period exclusion, and for managing their future behaviour. The statutory guidance places a duty on schools and LAs to ensure that excluded pupils have access to continuing education with a requirement for full-time, supervised education provision in place from Day 6 (or sooner where possible).

Schools should take reasonable steps to set and mark work for pupils during the first five school days of an exclusion.

Marking Registers during an Exclusion

For the first 5 days of any exclusion, pupils should be marked in the register with an ‘E’ code.

After day 5 of a fixed term exclusion, they should be marked in the register with a ‘B’ code, where alternative provision is in place. If no alternative provision has been arranged by Day 6, then the ‘E’ code should continue to be used.

Where there has been a permanent exclusion, pupils should be marked in the register with a ‘D’ code after day 5.

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Summary

Fixed Period Exclusions

Register from

Days 1-5

Use code ‘E’ during the first 5 days of an exclusion. This counts as an absence.

Notification

Inform the parent by phone and letter on Day 1, using the LA exclusion template letters. Please contact Gabriella Di-Sciullo for copies of these.

Provision

Register from

Day 6

For exclusions of 6 days or more, the school is responsible for organising full-time, supervised provision from

Day 6.

If the provision outlined above is in place, pupils can be marked with a

‘B’ which counts as a present mark.

Permanent Exclusions

Use code ‘E’ during the first 5 days of an exclusion. This counts as an absence.

Inform the parent by phone and letter on Day 1 using the LA exclusion template letters.

Notify Islington LA on Day 1 (email [email protected]

) and the Home LA if the pupil is not an

Islington resident.

The Home LA is responsible for organising full-time supervised provision from Day 6. Please complete

Islington’s ‘Pupil Summary’ and ‘Risk

Assessment’ forms asap.

The register of the originating school

(subsidiary dual registration base) should be marked with a ‘D’ code for

Dual Registration (i.e. pupil attending another establishment), along with the name of the ‘main’ provider. This code is not counted as an absence in the

School Census.

4.6 Penalty Notices

Penalty Notices are fines of £60/£120 imposed on parents/carers and can be issued as an alternative to prosecution for poor or non-school attendance or unauthorised term time holiday or leave of absence in term time and enable parents/carers to discharge potential liability for conviction for that offence by paying a penalty.

The key consideration in deciding whether to issue a penalty notice for poor or non-school attendance will be whether it can be effective in helping improve school attendance. The usual response to a first offence of poor or non-school attendance is a court warning rather than a penalty. However, a penalty notice can be issued without a Local Authority warning in exceptional circumstances and in all cases of unauthorised term time holiday or leave of absence in term time.

Penalty Notices may also be issued where parents/carers allow their child to be present in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification during the first five days of a fixed period or permanent exclusion.

The parents/carers must have been notified by the school at the time of the exclusion of this and the days to which it applies.

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Headteachers may apply to the Local Authority for a Penalty Notice to be issued and may authorise their staff to do so. However, they must first gain the agreement of their governing body. The school’s attendance policy should be revised accordingly.

Schools are given the opportunity to opt into the process of issuing their own penalty notices, but must apply to the Local Authority for a Penalty Notice issue number, having provided all the relevant information regarding the child and his/her circumstances. Further information is currently available from the AES Team Manager, including the Local Code of Conduct.

A parent/carer cannot be prosecuted or issued with a penalty notice under the Education Act 1996, section 444 for a registered pupil’s failure to attend school regularly and punctually if the pupil’s absence has been authorised or where schools have marked the register with the ‘L’ code.

A pupil’s absence must be authorised if:

The absence has been approved beforehand by the school.

The pupil is sick or unable to attend school for any other unavoidable reason.

The pupil is absent on a day that the parents/carers’ religion sets aside for religious activities.

Please note that there is an e-payment facility for Penalty Notices. This means that families will only be able to pay penalties using this facility. Should you be asked about this, please advise families of the following webpage in relation to the payment of a penalty notice:

www.islington.gov.uk/educationpenaltynotice

4.7 Off Rolling

A pupil can lawfully be deleted from the admission register on the grounds prescribed in regulation

8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. The reasons below provide a summary.

NB. Islington’s local protocol requires schools to notify the local authority of any pupil who has been absent for ten consecutive school days or more without permission using the LA Missing Pupil

Alert Form. In such cases, the pupil must be kept on roll until the local authority authorises their

deletion from the school’s register.

A pupil can be off-rolled if s/he has:

1. Been taken out of school by their parent/s and are being educated outside the school system.

The parent must put this in writing and state how their child will be educated (e.g. to be electively home educated – NB. Pupils with a Statement of SEN or EHCP must not be removed

from roll until the LA has assessed the provision as different rules apply).

2. Ceased to attend school and no longer live within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered. The school should obtain written confirmation of the new address.

3. A medical condition certified by the school medical officer that the pupil is unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school.

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4. Been taken into custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and the proprietor does not reasonably believe they will be returning to the school at the end of that period.

5. Been permanently excluded (once the exclusion and appeal process have been completed).

6. Been registered at another school and written confirmation has been received from the proprietor of the other school.

7. Been required to attend another school named on a School Attendance Order or other Court

Order, or an Education Health and Care Plan.

8. Has died.

9. Ceased to be of compulsory school age.

Recording a Leaver in SIMs

Here are the three fields to complete in SIMs when a pupil leaves:

The above fields are completed once the record is saved. The pupil will then come off roll.

Preservation of the Admission Register and Attendance Register

Every entry in the admission register and attendance register must be preserved for a period of three years after the date on which the entry was made.

A copy of the Islington Off-Rolling Process can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.14.

A copy of the LA Off-Rolling Notification Form can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.15.

A copy of the LA Missing Pupil Alert Form can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.16.

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4.8 The Role of the Local Authority

Broadly, the Government expects schools and

“Young children don't play truant from school, they are off

Local Authorities (LAs) to:

Promote good attendance and reduce

 absence, including persistent absence.

Ensure every pupil has access to full-time

because their parents allow it.”

Charlie Taylor,

Government’s expert advisor on attendance and behaviour education to which they are entitled.

Act early to address patterns of absence.

They also expect parents/carers to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly, and all pupils are punctual to their lessons.

The Education White Paper, ‘The Importance of Teaching’ emphasises the role of the LA to act as champions of children and parents/carers, ensuring that the school system works for every family.

The LA must use its ‘democratic mandate’ to challenge every school to do the best for their local population. Ensuring regular engagement with and attendance at school is an integral part of the

LA’s role.

The LA and schools have legal powers to use parenting contracts, parenting orders and penalty notices to address poor attendance and behaviour in school. However, where these are being used they need to ensure that parents/carers affected have access to clear, accurate information, including about their own rights and responsibilities. The LA also has other powers to enforce school attendance where this becomes problematic, including the power to prosecute parents/carers who fail to comply with a school attendance order or fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school.

The LA will coordinate a borough-wide approach around attendance, which applies to all services, schools and providers and is premised on:

Effective partnership working and engagement with service users.

Effective use of data, information and analysis.

Developing the capacity of schools to manage attendance.

Specific targeted actions and programmes that will have direct impact on improving attendance.

Commitment to a shared priority across partners, parents/carers and schools that improving attendance at school is essential to success.

The LA strongly recommends that all schools adopt a 'distributed leadership' model of managing attendance, with all staff having a clear role and responsibility for improving attendance and reducing persistent absence. Staff should be supported to implement this model through professional development opportunities, such as reflective practice, coaching and the shadowing of others.

Intervention must be based on what works. The following are key features from approaches taken by LAs that have successfully improved school attendance:

A focus on early intervention and prevention through enhanced support for primary and other schools where attendance is raised as a concern with a particular focus on improving attendance of vulnerable pupils in primary schools.

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Of pupils who miss more than 50% of

Partnership working with Early

Years Foundation Stage;

Children's Centres and PVI's to

school, only 3% manage to achieve five or more GCSE grades A*-C. 73% who have 95% attendance achieve five or more A*-C grades.

Department for Education promote 'being ready' for school, with support for targeted families. This recognises that many schools do not take measures to improve attendance until their pupils reach statutory age, but for some children this is already too late!

Focussed work with particular primary schools with well below national average attendance levels. Non-attendance in the early years is approved by parents. This can soon become a pattern and establishes poor attitudes towards school.

Reinforcement of parental, school and LA responsibilities in promoting positive school attendance.

Effective multi-agency working practices in order to facilitate early intervention and the delivery of a seamless service. Poor attendance can often be a sign that there are more serious issues going on in the child's home.

Identification of families where poor attendance is systemic, for example, via engagement with the 'Troubled Families' programme to offer intensive support and intervention.

Family approaches that work holistically to overcome barriers through more effective use of an early help assessment and flexible early intervention services with appropriate levels of intervention, including parenting programmes.

Use of a wide range of support and sanctions through to criminal prosecution or child protection legislation. The best schools work with their parents to improve attendance and they offer a wide range of support to help them get their children to school.

Actively pursuing prosecution for those parents who fail to carry out their legal responsibility of ensuring their children attend school regularly.

Stressing the clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement.

Strengthening of fixed penalty notice warnings for unauthorised holidays and extended holidays in term time incorporated into common school attendance policy or parent/school agreement.

Extended holidays continue to be one of the main reasons for absence in Islington – there needs to be modelling of ‘structured conversations’ so that there is a consistent message to all parents, no matter which school their child attends.

Good use of publicity to promote positive school attendance.

The legal powers and duties that govern and/or are relevant to school attendance are detailed in

Section 8: Appendix 8.3.

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4.9 Securing Education Board

Primary Application Process

The Primary Securing Education Board considers the admission of pupils to mainstream schools

(including managed transfer requests) under Islington’s Fair Access protocol, as well as preventative placements at New River College Primary Pupil Referral Unit. Decisions will be evidence based, taking into account the pupil’s needs, and interventions already undertaken to address these needs.

Schools should complete:

Preference summary (see Section 8: Appendix 8.18).

Pupil summary (see Section 8: Appendix 8.19), which must be signed by the parent and Head teacher.

Risk assessment (see Section 8: Appendix 8.20).

Attendance print-out covering the last three terms.

Any relevant education plan/s (e.g. SEN Support Plan, Pastoral Support Plan, Personal Education

Plan, Health Care Plan, etc.).

Supporting evidence of any multi-agency involvement/intervention, for example:

– Educational Psychology.

– New River College Outreach.

– Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

– GP/Paediatrician.

– Children’s Social Care.

– Targeted Youth Service.

– Outreach Services (e.g. PRU/Special School).

For some Fair Access applications, it may only be possible for the school to complete the pupil summary (e.g. in-year application received for an unplaced new arrival to Islington).

Only applications completed in full (including prior attainment and parental signatures) and received by the deadline can be considered. Dates for 2015-16 are as follows:

Day Date Deadline for receipt of papers

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday

17 Sept 2015

15 Oct 2015

19 Nov 2015

7 Jan 2016

11 Feb 2016

16 Mar 2016

14 April 2016

19 May 2016

16 Jun 2016

08/09/15

01/10/15

05/11/15

10/12/15

28/01/16

03/03/16

17/03/16

05/05/16

09/06/16

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Secondary Application Process

The Secondary Securing Education Board considers the admission of pupils to mainstream schools and other education provision made under Islington’s Fair Access Protocol. The Board also considers requests for preventative placements at New River College Pupil Referral Unit (other than the KS3/4 Aspire programme). Decisions will be evidence based, taking into account the pupil’s needs, and interventions already undertaken to address these needs.

Schools should complete:

Preference summary (see Section 8: Appendix 8.21).

Complete the revised and slimmed down pupil summary (see Section 8: Appendix 8.22), which must be signed by the parent, Head teacher and pupil, together with:

– A completed assessment of the pupil’s needs using Islington’s e-CAF.

– A completed risk assessment (see Section 8: Appendix 8.20).

– An attendance print-out covering the last three terms.

– Any relevant education plan/s (e.g. SEN Support Plan, Pastoral Support Plan, Personal

Education Plan, Health Care Plan etc.).

Provide copies of supporting evidence of any multi-agency involvement/intervention, for example:

– Educational Psychology.

– Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

– GP/Paediatrician.

– Children’s Social Care.

– Targeted Youth Service.

– Outreach Services (e.g. PRU/Special School).

For some Fair Access applications, it may only be possible for the school to complete the pupil summary (e.g. in-year application received for an unplaced new arrival to Islington)

Only applications completed in full (including prior attainment and parental signatures) and received by the deadline can be considered. Dates for 2015-16 are as follows:

Day Date Deadline for receipt of papers

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday

7 Oct 2015

4 Nov 2015

9 Dec 2015

6 Jan 2016

3 Feb 2016

9 Mar 2016

13 April 2016

11 May 2016

08 Jun 2016

06 July 2016

23/09/15

21/10/15

02/12/15

10/12/15

20/01/16

24/02/16

16/03/16

27/04/16

18/05/16

22/06/16

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Support

If you experience any technical problems using e-CAF (e.g. logging on) please contact the Helpdesk:

T: 0207 527 8886, E: [email protected]

If you need support or training in using the e-CAF please contact Michelle Virdi:

T: 020 7527 5595. E: [email protected]

The form to Request for a Pupil to Receive Education for Medical Reasons can be found in Section

8: Appendix 8.23.

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4.10 Access & Engagement Service (formerly EWS)

Service Objectives

The AES helps schools, children, young people and their families with the following:

School attendance

Pupil Engagement and attitudes to learning

Safeguarding

Children in employment or entertainment

Children missing from education

Educating children at home

The objective of the AES is to support schools, children and families to secure good attendance and engagement, and ensure that all children are properly safeguarded by:

Advising schools in their delivery of a whole school approach to promoting good attendance and engagement.

Operating to a code of conduct.

Empowering parents to meet their legal responsibilities regarding school attendance through statutory action.

Supporting efficient and effective partnerships in the best interests of the child or young person.

The service will always act in the best interests of the child. Children will be consulted when major decisions are taken about them whenever they are able to understand the implications, and formal action will not be taken in relation to a child unless clearly in his or her best interests.

Service Outcomes

The key outcomes we expect to see are:

Effective whole-school attendance strategies in place in all schools.

Improved overall levels of attendance and improved outcomes for children.

Reduced absence for holidays and unauthorised leave in term time.

Reduced numbers of pupils missing school due to unauthorised absence.

All pupils educated at home being monitored and receiving an education suitable to their age, aptitude and ability.

All pupils removed from school rolls in Islington without a known destination are identified or included on the national missing pupil database.

Information sharing agreements in place with all partner agencies to identify pupils without a school place.

Compliance with service standards e.g. complaints, meeting timescales.

An officer will be available on email or phone from 09:00 and 17:00 in term time. The Service aims to respond to all emails and telephone calls within one working day.

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Principal Officer, Safeguarding in Education

Ensure all statutory duties of the LA are fulfilled in a

 safeguarding context

Act as designated professional lead for safeguarding in Education, liaising closely with the Local Authority

Designated Officer

Keep School and LA policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding under review

Provide advice and guidance to promote, evidence and monitor best safeguarding practice

Maintain an overview of practice and training requirements across providers

Investigate and provide reports for Serious Case

Reviews (SCR)

Represent the Education Service at ISCB sub-groups and other forums as appropriate

Provide clear best practice / model guidance

Maintain a centralised Safeguarding in Education database, reporting on key information (including

Headteacher’s annual report, training compliance, safeguarding issues log and good practice, evidence etc.)

Procedure to be used by schools where they deem that legal intervention is necessary

School Attendance and the Law

1. The Education Act 1996 states that parents must ensure their children receive appropriate fulltime education according to their age, ability and aptitude. This usually means ensuring a child registered at school attends regularly and punctually.

2. Parents who refuse to register a child at a suitable school without good reason may receive a

School Attendance order from the LA. Failure to comply with the order can result in prosecution.

3. Any person who has the care of a child or who has parental responsibility is responsible for ensuring good attendance. Failure to do so can result in a Penalty Notice (PN) being issued or prosecution. Failure to pay the penalty in full in the required time will result in a prosecution being taken.

Prosecution process

4. Case review/formal caution meetings must be held to give Parents/Carers the opportunity to explain the child's absences. Parents/Carers have the right to be legally represented at these meetings.

5. Parents/Carers have the right to challenge the grounds for prosecution for the following reasons:

The Headteacher authorised the absence.

Sickness or unavoidable cause - sickness should be covered by medical evidence.

Religious observance.

The nearest appropriate school with available places is beyond the statutory limits for walking and no transport is provided. The limits are 2 miles for children under 8 and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over.

6. Parents must demonstrate that one or more of these grounds apply if they wish to challenge the reasons for non-attendance recorded on the register.

Systems for non-school attendance legal interventions

7. The Access and Engagement Service is responsible for legal interventions in response to nonschool attendance. AES Officers will support this work alongside a range of other duties.

Procedure that schools should use if they feel consideration of a legal intervention is required

8. Schools should make arrangements to encourage full attendance and take appropriate action including letters home, home visits and/or school meetings. This early stage activity is essential in providing a sound case if prosecution becomes necessary later on.

Action schools should consider before a referral is made

9. It is important that all absence is monitored and action is taken by school staff before serious cases are referred to the AES for prosecution. Therefore, before a referral is made the school will have applied all school resources without success e.g.:

On the first day of absence, contact should be made to alert parent/s that pupil is not in school.

Letters should have been sent to parent(s) by the school.

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Pupils will have been interviewed at school to obtain the child’s perception of any difficulties.

A member of staff will have already tried to contact parent/carer(s) to discuss possible attendance difficulties.

Ideally, parents/carers will have been invited to a TAC or Attendance Concern Meeting.

An eCAF should be completed and where appropriate, the family advised about Families

First.

Where ill health is a factor, the school will seek to confirm the medical problems identified by the child/parent, and sought the parents’ permission to talk to the GP.

Guidance for Referrals and Legal Intervention for Schools

10. Where there is no response as a result of the above interventions, Schools should consider sending out a formal PN warning letter. Schools should also check if there are siblings at other schools: if they also have attendance issues best practice would be to take a joint approach between the relevant schools, including warning letters.

11. Where there are wider concerns about a child or family of which non-attendance is one of the issues, schools may wish to refer to Families First or Children’s Social Care (CSC). Any intervention will also provide evidence for any legal case if that becomes necessary.

12. When issuing warning letters, schools should follow the guidance below:

PN warning letters tend to be used for late arrival or as a 'short sharp shock'.

There must be at least 10 unauthorised sessions over a 12 week period to issue a warning letter. The warning letter is effective for six calendar months but the PN cannot be issued for at least three weeks after the warning to give time for attendance to improve, or sooner in more serious cases.

Copies of the warning letter should be sent to the AES Officer, who will record and monitor the number issued and have the appropriate information available if there is a further requirement for a PN to be issued or if there is non-payment of a PN.

For a ‘standard’ Section 444 (1) prosecution there is a requirement for an overall attendance of below 85% over the last 12 week period, with some unauthorised absence in the last 4 weeks.

13. There are no limits to the number of times a warning letter can be sent.

14. The Secretary of State for Education has removed the discretion of Headteachers to grant leave in term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. It is up to the discretion of the

Headteacher to grant leave in these cases. If leave is not granted but still taken, a PN may be issued (see below).

15. If a warning letter does not lead to the desired improvement and the school wish to pursue a

PN, the AES should be contacted.

Penalty Notices

16. At this stage documentary evidence of the interventions already attempted should be provided by the school. (A copy of the warning letter(s) will already have been sent to the LA by the school). If it meets the criteria (see point 12), a PN will be issued and a copy sent to the school.

17. Failing to pay the fine will result in prosecution.

18. Income from penalty notices will go to the Local Authority, to help meet the cost of enforcing notices, or the cost of prosecuting recipients who do not pay within the time scale. The difference between the actual cost and the penalty notice income is found by the Local

Authority.

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Prosecution

19. If the school wish the LA to pursue prosecution and criteria are met, an AES Officer will write to the parent/carer(s) and invite them to a PACE (Police And Criminal Evidence Act) Interview.

The letter will offer a date and give the parent/carer the option of suggesting another more convenient date.

20. The PACE interview will be carried out following the guidelines given to LAs by the DfE. A police caution will be given to the parent/carer(s) in accordance with Code C of the Police And

Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). A school representative must attend the interview and will be asked to share information regarding their endeavours to engage the parent/carers and to improve the child’s attendance. Parent/carers will be asked a set of questions under formal caution. The aim of this interview will be to establish if an offence has been committed under the Education Act 1996.

21. If the decision of the PACE interview is that an offence has been committed and the case should be referred to court, the AES officer will write a Section 9 statement based upon the

PACE Interview and the supporting evidence provided by the school and/or other agencies.

The case will be referred to legal services for prosecution or for an application to the Family

Court for an Education Supervision Order. The decision of the PACE interview may be that a short review period is set, following which the Chair of the PACE meeting will review the pupil’s attendance and decide at the end of the period under review, whether the case should be referred to court.

22. The school will be required to provide a signed Attendance Record which will become the first exhibit in the Witness Statement.

23. If convicted, both parent/carers will be punished by the courts, resulting in a fine of up to

£1,000 for the summary offence under S444(1) Education Act 1996, or up to £2,500 for each parent/carer and/or up to 3 months custodial sentence for the aggravated offence under

S444(1A) Education Act 1996.

24. If a child lives with a family friend or relative for a period of time who has day to day care of the child, each responsible adult is considered as 'Parent' under the Education Act and can equally be charged with the same offence and prosecuted.

Education Supervision Order

25. The court may also direct that the Council applies for an Education Supervision Order. The LA has a legal duty to consider an ESO in every case and may also recommend this option as an alternative to prosecution. Applications for Education Supervision Orders are heard in the

Family Court, and if granted the parent/carer and child will be directed by the court to cooperate with the Council to ensure that the child attends school regularly.

Parenting Orders

26. The Magistrates may also impose a Parenting Order.

27. Magistrates are able to impose a Parenting Order as well as other disposals. A parenting order would require the parent to attend counselling/guidance sessions for up to 3 months and may also require a parent to comply with a specific requirement for up to 12 months, such as escorting a child to school each day. Breach of the order can result in further prosecution.

The Penalty Notice Code of Conduct can be found in Section 7: Appendix 7.1.

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Safeguarding

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on local authorities to have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including:

A clear line of accountability for the commissioning and/or provision of services designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

A culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, both in individual decisions and the development of services.

Arrangements which set out clearly the processes for sharing information with other professionals and with the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

A designated professional lead for safeguarding. Their role is to support other professionals in their agencies to recognise the needs of children, including rescue from possible abuse or neglect. Professionals should be given sufficient time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil their child welfare and safeguarding responsibilities effectively.

Safe recruitment practices for individuals whom the organisation will permit to work regularly with children, including policies on when to obtain a criminal record check.

Appropriate supervision and support for staff, including undertaking safeguarding training.

Ensuring staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role.

Staff should be given a mandatory induction, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare.

All professionals should have regular reviews of their own practice to ensure they improve over time.

Clear policies are in place in line with those from the LSCB for dealing with allegations against people who work with children.

Any allegation must be reported immediately to a senior manager within the service and the

LADO informed within one working day of all allegations.

If an individual member of staff is removed from the workplace (or would have been removed, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the senior member of staff or human resources must make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is an offence to fail to make a referral without good reason.

Due regard must be given to the London Child Protection Procedures and the statutory duties upon local authorities and parents as set out in the Education Acts 1996 and 2002, the Children Acts 1989 and 2004. In particular the guidance regarding children missing from education provides for professionals seeking to exercise their duty under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and

Section 11 of the Children ‘Act 2004 to ensure that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

From the first day that a child does not attend school and there is no explanation or authorisation of the absence, the following steps should be taken:

A trained member of staff will make contact with the parent/carer to seek reassurance that the child is safe at home.

The outcome of the contact should be assessed and if there are any concerns a consultation with the school’s designated safeguarding lead should take place to consider the child’s vulnerability.

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In the following circumstances a referral to Children’s Social Care and/or the Police should always be made promptly:

The child may be the victim of a crime.

The child is the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

The child is subject of s47 enquiries.

The child is looked after.

There is a known person posing a risk to children in the household or in contact with the household.

There is a history of the family moving frequently.

There are serious issues of attendance.

If a child is missing from school for four weeks and is then removed from the school roll, the

Children Missing Education officer must be informed. If the CME officer becomes aware the child has moved to another school, the service should ensure all relevant agencies are informed so that arrangements can be made to forward records from the previous school.

Schools should be advised to use the School Risk Assessment for Children Missing Education, found in Safeguarding Children Missing from Care, Home and Education to assess a child’s vulnerability and to inform future action.

Children Missing Education Protocol

To reduce the risk of children and young people 'slipping through the education net' Islington has systems in place to identify and monitor children and young people who are missing education.

Central to these systems is the CME Officer, who will:

Receive notification of children and young people who are 'missing education.'

Be responsible for follow up, involving other personnel within the local authority as appropriate, to arrange education provision.

Act as a link with regard to Children Missing Education between the Council and outside agencies such as Health, other LAs and the Police.

These systems promote consistent practice across all agencies so that Islington can:

Fulfil its statutory duty to provide an education for all children of compulsory school age.

Implement a range of processes to locate, assess, monitor and track children and young people missing from education children, including young people who leave Islington without a forwarding school, in order for them to reach their full potential.

Identify those at risk of becoming missing from education and accordingly allocates appropriate staff to intervene.

Maintain contact with those missing from education and those at risk of becoming so.

Produce, monitor and evaluate data.

Ensure responsibilities are carried out through a strategic and multi-agency framework where all agencies share information on the identification of children and young people missing education.

These procedures are an extension of current good practice in Islington Schools and the Local

Authority.

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The role of the Children Missing Education Officer (CMEO) is to ensure that all children identified within Islington access appropriate provision and that correct procedures are followed as listed below.

Accurate recording of data and actions that identifies CME.

Children Missing Education Database regularly maintained and kept up to date.

CME tracked.

Casework is co-ordinated and supported through assessment, planning Annual reporting

Awareness raising of procedures.

Child Performance Licensing

All children that take part in theatre, broadcasting, modelling or any other performance work as outlined in the following legislation:

Children and Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963;

Children (Performances) Regulations 1968;

Television Act 1964;

The Children (Performance) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998(1);

The Children (Performance) Amendment Regulations 2000;

The Children (Performance) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2000;

Statutory Instruments: 1968 No. 1728, 1998 No. 1678, 2000 No. 10, & No. 2384 will require a child performance licence. The purpose of the licence is to ensure that all children are adequately safeguarded and supported. The Access and Engagement Service (AES) will consider a number of standards that the licence holder must meet before a licence can be issued:

1. Education

The Licensing Authority has a duty to not grant a performance licence unless they are satisfied that the child’s education will not suffer through taking part in the performance. For example, therefore, if a child’s school attendance record is poor, or there is concern that the performance may or is having a negative impact on their school attendance (such as if the child is regularly too tired to attend school after taking performing the night before), the Licensing Authority may refuse to issue, or withdraw, a performance licence.

Where a child will be absent from school to perform, the Head or Deputy Head Teacher at the child’s school must consent to the arrangement and provide a letter to the Licensing Authority

(usually the Local Education Authority (LEA) of the Borough in which the child resides). In this way, the school is consenting to authorising the child’s absence for the agreed period for which the licence will be issued. Any absence due to an unlicensed performance will be recorded as an unauthorised absence on the child’s attendance record.

A tutor must be supplied, where appropriate, on longer productions. The tutor must be registered with the Licensing Authority and hold valid CRB clearance. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to negotiate this with the head teacher prior to the licence application.

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2. Health

A child should not perform, or be licensed to perform, if they are unwell or are at risk of becoming unwell due to the nature of a performance. Performances of 3 days or more in any 6 month period will require a letter from the child’s GP. This letter should clearly state that the child is fit to perform. A one-off performance does not require a GP letter; however the Licensing Authority can keep GP letters on file, valid for 6 months from the date of issue, which could be useful for future performance applications.

3. Welfare

The Licensing Authority may refuse to issue a licence if the performance is believed to be detrimental to the: health, care and/or education of the child (1968 Act Section 39(6)). The

Licensing Authority may acquire additional information from the applicant before a licence is issued and in some cases may include certain provisos or refuse a licence altogether. The Licensing

Authority may also revoke previously issued licenses (licenses which are currently running) if there are concerns about the welfare of the particular child named in the application.

The Licensing Authority has a great deal of discretion within this legislation as they have a duty to

'check out' any areas of concern in order to confirm that the performance will not have a detrimental effect on the child in question. These concerns may not be obvious to the applicant i.e. educational concerns, child protection concerns etc. and this is normally the main reason why all

Licensing Authorities require a reasonable length of time to process licenses and why they may appear to be 'inconsistent' in their approach to the legislation.

When considering applications for performance licences, the Licensing Authority will always take into account whether the material is suitable for the age of the child.

4. Chaperones

It is the responsibility of the licence holder to provide a suitable adult to act as chaperone for the child. Children taking part in performances need to be accompanied by a parent or registered chaperone at all times. The parent / chaperone will be responsible for ensuring the welfare need of the child is met, including the child’s journey to the performance, during the performance, and during any intervals or periods of quiet.

5. Inspections

The Licensing Authority can refuse to issue a licence if it is not satisfied these standards are met.

The Licensing Authority has the right to inspect any performance to ensure the conditions of the licence are observed, that the place of performance is deemed suitable, and that the child’s needs are met.

An authorised officer of Licensing Authority or police officer may under a magistrates’ warrant enter any place where there is reasonable cause to believe that employment is taking place or a person is believed to be taking part in a performance or being trained for dangerous performances contrary to the provisions of the Act and make enquiries about that person.

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An authorised officer of an LA or a police officer may also:

Without a warrant, at any time enter any place used as a broadcasting studio or film studio or used for the recording of a performance with a view to its use in a broadcast or in a film intended for public exhibition and make enquiries about any children taking part in performances.

At any time during the currency of any licence granted under S.37 or relating to training for dangerous performances enter any premises where the performance or training is authorised to take place and make enquiries about the person to whom the licence relates.

The Licence Holder (applicant) is obliged to hold individual licences for each child in their care, at the place of performance (it is not adequate to hold these documents at the applicant or agent's office during a performance, which is at a different location from the performance). An inspecting

LA Officer will wish to check each child's Licence together with their record sheet/s. These should detail such things as: arrival/departure/tutoring and performing times throughout a production for which the Licence was issued. Inspectors may also want to talk to the children, chaperones, parents and applicant. They may, if it is felt appropriate, make enquiries regarding health and safety and risk assessments, especially where dangerous performances, under the regulations, are taking place.

At any time the Licensing Authority has the right to revoke the license.

4.11 Elective Home Education (EHE)

Legal Framework and Local Arrangements

The law states that it is the duty of parents/carers to ensure the education of their children.

Parents/carers may choose to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school.

Providing a child is not a registered pupil at a school the parent/carer is not required to:

Seek permission to educate “otherwise.”

Take the initiative in informing the LA.

Have regular contact with the LA.

Meet with the LA.

However, the LA might make enquiries of parents/carers who are educating their children at home to establish that a suitable education is being provided. Parents/carers are under no duty to respond to such enquiries, but it would be sensible for them to do so. Sections 437–443 of the

Education Act 1996, dealing with school attendance orders, confers a duty on the LA if it appears that a child of compulsory school age is not receiving education suitable to age, ability, aptitude and special needs.

The legal duty of LAs is concerned only with children who appear not to be receiving a suitable education. However, case law (Phillips v Brown (1980) QB 424/78) established that an LA might make enquiries of parents who are educating their children at home to establish that a suitable education is being provided and that, “where an authority has a duty to take action in particular circumstances, it also has a duty to be alert in order to detect the possibility that those circumstances exist.”

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The LA also has a duty under section 175(1) of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. These powers allow the LA to insist on seeing children in order to enquire about their welfare where there are grounds for concern. It does not however give the LA power to enter the home of, or otherwise see children for the purpose of monitoring the provision of elective home education. The LA has a duty to seek information from home educating families to ensure they are providing a suitable education for their children.

In Islington we currently:

Provide an Elective Home Education (EHE) Advisor to liaise with parents/carers.

Maintain a register of pupils being educated at home. This is not a statutory duty.

Parents/carers do not always inform the LA directly (or there may be a time delay) where they may return/begin to attend school. Thus this list may not always reflect the current picture accurately.

Publish details of other organisations that can support and advise parents/carers enquiring about educating children at home or who are already home educators.

Issue a School Attendance Order requiring the child to attend a named school after offering support and allowing parents/carers a reasonable amount of time to address concerns, if it appears to the LA that a child is not receiving an appropriate education.

Ensure the Advisor who has contact with home-educating families receives safeguarding and child protection training and has a full understanding of the essential difference, variation and diversity in home education practice, as compared to schools.

The Advisor receives professional guidance from the School Improvement Service (who also QA reports) and meets regularly with the responsible Pupil Services Team Manager to discuss all cases. There is also regular contact with the Team Manager on a case by case basis, where the need arises.

When the LA is informed that a child is to be home educated, we check for records indicating a cause for concern with colleagues in Children’s Services. In these cases the LA will immediately refer these concerns to the appropriate service using established protocols and/or make early contact with the family. These checks form our early ‘risk assessment’ of the circumstances of the child.

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4.12 Flexi-Schooling

The Department for Education describes flexi-schooling as “an arrangement between the parents

and the school where the child is registered at school and attends only part time.” For the time the child doesn’t attend school, they are home educated. This can be either a long-term arrangement or a short-term measure for a particular reason. It is a legal option provided that the Headteacher at the school considers there are exceptional circumstances that warrant the arrangement. The child will be required to follow the national curriculum whilst at school but not whilst he or she is being educated at home.

Flexi-schooling should only be considered if parents specifically request it and should not be promoted by schools. Combining schooling and non-schooling education in any ratio is perfectly legal, provided that the outcome is the provision of suitable full-time education for the child (ren), and the Local Authority must satisfy itself that this is so. However, the Headteacher must consider that there are exceptional circumstances before agreeing to the arrangement. Any school, maintained or independent, may accommodate flexible-schooling if it wishes to, but no school is under an obligation to do so.

Flexi-schooling represents a significant commitment by both the school and parent to work together to provide the child’s education. In general, for the vast majority of children, their educational outcomes and attainment will be served best by full time attendance at school.

However in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to consider flexi-schooling as a way forward.

The advice of the Local Authority to Headteachers of maintained schools who receive parental requests for flexi-schooling is to:

Listen constructively to the reasons given by parents.

Consult with the Local Authority.

Give consideration to the full range of factors in this document.

It is the advice of the Local Authority that Headteachers should agree to accommodate flexischooling only in exceptional circumstances and when it can be demonstrated, beyond reasonable doubt, that such arrangements are consistent with:

The needs and welfare of the child.

The provision of efficient education and the efficient use of resources.

The enhanced educational benefit of the child concerned.

The limitation of the risk of exposure to subsequent claims against the Local Authority and the school.

The avoidance of an unreasonable additional workload for members of staff at the school.

In deciding whether to agree to a flexi-schooling arrangement a Headteacher should consult the

Local Authority for advice and should consider:

Safeguarding.

Current and anticipated level of educational attainment.

If the proposed programme of activity is educational and appropriate.

How schools will monitor the child’s education at home to ensure it is happening and is effective.

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The critical aspects of the curriculum/teaching in school which will be missed and how these are to be addressed.

The duration/timescale of the arrangements proposed by the parents.

The reasons for flexi-schooling request.

The effect on the school organisation and any additional burden that would fall on school staff.

The effect on school resources.

Any possible effect on school discipline and the morale and motivation of other children on roll at the school.

The fact that school continues to be legally responsible for the child’s education whilst the child is on the roll of the school.

The school must inform the Local Authority of the flexi schooling arrangement within five school days.

If a Headteacher agrees to a flexi-schooling arrangement s/he should notify the Access and

Engagement Service T: 0207 527 5833 E:

[email protected]

at the earliest opportunity and provide details of the agreed arrangements.

For further information around procedures and issues pertaining to Flexi-School, please refer to the

Islington guidance document, ‘Flexi-Schooling Arrangements: Guidelines for Schools and Parents.’

4.13 Alternative Provision

The Government define alternative provision as: a) Education arranged by LAs for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education; b) Education arranged by schools for pupils on a fixed period exclusion; and c) Pupils being directed by schools to off-site provision to improve their behaviour.

Alternative Provision (Statutory Guidance for LAs) January 2013 (DfE) makes clear that:

Schools may direct pupils off-site for education, to help improve their behaviour.

Statutory guidance sets out the Government’s expectations of LAs and maintained schools who commission alternative provision.

While there is no statutory requirement as to when suitable full-time education should begin for pupils placed in alternative provision for reasons other than exclusion, LAs should ensure that such pupils are placed as quickly as possible.

While ‘full-time’ is not defined in law, pupils in alternative provision should receive the same amount of education as they would receive in a maintained school. Full-time can be made up of two or more part-time provisions.

Power of schools to direct a pupil off-site for education to improve behaviour

Governing bodies of maintained schools have the power to direct a pupil off-site for education to improve his or her behaviour related primary legislation

8

. The Secretary of State has made regulations

9

10

, concerning schools’ use of this power.

, as is required by the

8

See section 29A of the Education Act 2002, introduced by the Education and Skills Act 2008.

9

The Education (Educational Provision for Improving Behaviour) Regulations 2010

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The governing body must:

Ensure that parents (and the LA where the pupil has a statement of SEN) are given clear information about the placement ( why, when, where, and how it will be reviewed).

Keep the placement under review and involve parents in the review.

Have regard to guidance from the Secretary of State.

This legislation does not apply to Academies, but they can arrange off-site provision for similar purposes under their general powers.

Islington’s Alternative Provision (AP) cohort consists of students made up from schools in the borough, New River College (PRU), Samuel Rhodes School, Securing Education Board, Children

Missing Education and School Admissions.

Attendance is monitored through a system called CLM and all providers are able to log into the system to record the attendance for their cohort. Access to this system has also been given to school attendance officers, the designated AP Attendance Officer and senior school leaders.

A member of the AP team is in charge of the attendance. Their role is to monitor and check that all providers complete their registers on a daily basis and to contact providers when appropriate. They are also expected to identify when a student has not attended for a period of five days. When this occurs the AP Attendance Officer is informed immediately and asked to contact the child and parent.

For periods of less than five days the provider is expected to make contact via phone calls home and meetings in order to challenge poor attendance. The provider is expected to keep a log of all contact made with the parent and also record this on CLM – all attendance tracking is by the provider is analysed regularly by the AP team and during the quality assurance process.

Persistent Absentees

In regards to persistent absentees (attendance of less than 90%), at least 50% of the cohort fall into this bracket. To combat the number of persistent absentees there are regular meetings held once a fortnight between the AP team and the Attendance Officer. During these meetings targets are set and actions are agreed.

10

Section 29A of the Education Act 2002

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4.14 Families First

“We have come to rely on the service very much, and would be lost without it. In a school like this, with many disadvantaged families, it provides an invaluable service.”

(Islington School, 2013)

11

We know that being a parent is not always easy and that all families need extra help at some stage as children grow up. Poor school attendance is often a sign that the family is in some difficulty therefore early help to parents is a priority if improvement is to be made and sustained. A named

Families First family support worker is linked to each Islington school. Families First work with families who have a child between the ages of 5 and 19 years, who live in Islington or are temporarily housed in another borough. This is a voluntary service that works with families at an early stage of their problems, below the threshold for Children’s Social Care involvement. Schools and professionals can refer to Families First or families can self-refer.

Families can get support from Families First for a wide range of problems including: practical worries like debt or rent arrears; problems in managing the behaviour or a child or teenager, help with establishing routines for bedtime, homework time or getting up in the morning; or to help them get back on track when physical or mental health problems are holding them back; or when there is conflict or difficult relationships in the family.

If a child in school has attendance that has reduced suddenly or absence is 10% or more

(attendance is 90% or below) then the school should speak to their linked family support worker to determine what practical support can be put in place to improve attendance and/or behaviour at school.

The family support worker can also provide information to parents/carers about parenting programmes. Islington has a range of parenting programmes that have been proven internationally to improve outcomes for children. These are groups run over a number of weeks that help with behaviour management and parenting confidence. They also build a network of support for families who are often made more vulnerable by isolation.

The school’s linked family support worker can help staff to engage Families First to support a family or the service can also be contacted on 0207 527 4343 or through completing an ECAF and sending to

[email protected]

.

11

Early Impact Report – Families First (2013).

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4.15 Health & Wellbeing (Healthy Schools)

The Health and Wellbeing team, within the School Improvement Service, supports schools’ and early years settings’ work on physical and mental health. The team consists of experienced teaching and learning consultants, a dietician and project officers with extensive experience of working with parents/carers and vulnerable young people.

The team uses a ‘whole school approach’ to health and can support schools with their:

Policies.

Curriculum, teaching and learning.

Support for vulnerable pupils.

Work with parents/carers.

Culture and environment (including school food, playground, pupil voice and work with the community).

Team members support staff to develop expertise and confidence in what can be sensitive or controversial issues: sex and relationships, mental health, healthy weight, physical activity, drugs, alcohol, smoking and oral health.

The Health and Wellbeing team members work alongside other services to support pupils’ physical and mental health and wellbeing:

CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service).

Educational Psychology Service.

School Nursing: school nurses can provide advice to the school regarding health issues, including liaison with other health professionals, for any pupils with attendance of 85% or less.

School Home Support.

The team can advise schools on agencies that can support pupils and parents/carers, for example:

Family Action Young Carers Service.

CASA Family Service (for families who are having difficulties because of parental use of alcohol or other drugs).

Community dental service.

Nutrition and dietetics, allergy and weight management services (including MoreLife).

The team’s support for schools is funded through public health and could be used to support attendance in a variety of ways, including:

Coaching and mentoring for teachers in ‘happy classrooms’.

Establishing groups for more vulnerable pupils (e.g. ‘girls groups’).

Improving breakfast clubs and school lunch provision.

Pupil participation, including on toilets, food, anti-bullying and behaviour.

Improving the playground experience.

Advising on evidence based practice to support positive mental health.

Categorising illness to understand patterns and possible prevention strategies.

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4.16 School Improvement Service

The School Improvement Service has a clear focus on leadership, management and teaching and learning to support school improvement priorities. It can support schools in the Early Years,

Primary and Secondary areas.

The teams who deliver these services consist of experienced teaching and learning consultants with a wide range of expertise, who have held senior leadership positions in schools. The consultants offer a range of services to meet the needs of individual schools across all phases.

School improvement support provision might consist of:

Coaching and mentoring for leaders and teachers.

Lesson observations and feedback.

Supported self-reviews against focused school priorities or for individual subjects/phases.

Co-planning, teaching and evaluation.

Support with strategic planning and self-evaluation.

A comprehensive range of centrally-run professional development for teachers and leaders that can be adapted and run within schools.

Regular workshops and updates on policy and practice for Headteachers.

Advice on intervention planning and evaluation.

Therefore, support around attendance could be offered in any of the following ways:

Working collaboratively with EWS and/or Families First – setting up strategy meetings either before or during initial work with schools.

Structured conversations with Headteachers and other senior leaders as part of the school’s preparation for inspection.

Promoting and supporting schools in the setting up of whole-school attendance systems.

Working with school leaders and other key staff around data – the monitoring and tracking of particular groups of children;

Talking with staff and/or pupils about how to strengthen pupil voice in relation to attendance.

This could involve supporting the setting up of a school council and ensuring that attendance is a recurring agenda item, in order to ensure that pupils are actively involved in a whole-school approach to attendance.

4.17 Virtual School

Local Authorities have a statutory responsibility to make sure that they promote the educational achievement of the children they look after, regardless of where they are placed. This means that Local Authorities must consider the educational implications of every decision taken about a child's care and placement. This reflects their wider role as a corporate parent – Local Authorities must strive to offer all the support that a good parent/carer would provide, in order to make sure that the children they look after reach their full potential.

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Having a Virtual School model is one of the key ways in which a Local Authority can demonstrate that it is undertaking its statutory duty. In Islington, the Virtual School team is part of the Children’s

Social Care Service.

The Virtual School offers a specialised education service, which involves:

Supporting and challenging schools to enable the best outcomes for children looked after (CLA).

Offering educational advice and guidance to social workers, schools, carers and other professionals, as well as updating corporate parents about new education policy, legislation and practices.

Attending Personal Education Plan meetings (PEPs).

Monitoring how schools are using the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) to raise the attainment of CLA.

Advising schools on the most effective ways of how the grant can be used to maximise positive outcomes for all CLA.

Arranging additional tuition for CLA, mainly in Year 6 and Year 11.

Finding appropriate/new schools where necessary.

Arranging visits to universities through the ‘Widening Participation’ programme.

Promoting literacy through the ‘Books for Keeps’ programme.

Running training sessions for social workers, carers, ‘designated teachers’ and governors.

Hosting an annual education celebration event at the Emirates stadium.

Providing opportunities for residential trips as part of the inclusion work.

What the Virtual School does around attendance

The Virtual School employ a company called ‘Looked After Call’ which tracks the daily attendance of all CLA wherever they are placed. This daily information is then followed up when required, to maintain good attendance levels. As all CLA are also allocated to Virtual School staff, there is an additional level of monitoring by the ‘class teacher.’

It is Islington policy that young people CLA do not take unauthorised leave e.g. holidays during term time. In ‘exceptional circumstances’ social workers have to consult with the Virtual School

Headteacher, Head of Service and the ‘home’ school Headteacher. Any reported exclusions are followed up with social workers, foster carers and schools where necessary and Virtual School staff attend all reintegration meetings if the young person has had more than one fixed term exclusion.

At the weekly ‘Child in Focus’ meeting chaired by the Virtual School Headteacher, attendance, exclusion, possible school and placement changes are discussed; plans are then put in place to ensure that no CLA is without a school place. CLA identified as needing extra support and/or plans to improve attendance, are discussed at TAC meetings convened and chaired by Virtual School staff. The Personal Education Plan (PEP) meeting is also used as another opportunity to discuss attendance and whether additional support could be put in place; for example mentoring.

The Virtual School has a member of staff who runs peer mentoring and group sessions for CLA with attendance and behavioural difficulties. The young people involved in this work have reported less instances of exclusion and improved levels of attendance and engagement in school.

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Section Five

Whole-School Approaches to Improving Attendance

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5.1 Assemblies

These should be used to acknowledge and celebrate excellent or improved attendance or punctuality and also raise awareness of attendance issues. At the end of an assembly, on a regular basis, provide pupils with a statistic or question relating specifically to attendance to think about.

These could then be discussed further with their class teacher/form tutor.

Examples might be:

There are only 40 teaching weeks in the school year; there are 12 weeks of holiday.

Missing six days every term of every year is the same as missing one whole school year.

95% attendance sounds good, but means that you are taking one day off a month.

Would you think it was acceptable if one of your teachers did not come to school to teach you for a week because he/she had gone on holiday in term time?

If your parents were prosecuted for your non-school attendance, how long might they have to spend in prison? [3 months].

Parents can be issued with a penalty notice of up to £120 if you have more than 15 sessions of absence in any ten week period.

Ask pupils to take part in poster competitions advertising good school attendance.

Certificates can be presented in assemblies to acknowledge excellent or improved attendance or punctuality either at the end of each half term, term or academic year.

Competitions can be organised - best attending class, best attending year group, best individual improvers, lateness, attendance, 100% attender clubs. Rewards can include trips to local bowling alleys, cinemas, fact finding/treasure hunts using local libraries, Arsenal stadium tours etc.

Good attendance assemblies can be reinforced with individual class workshops, one per term to include, what the reasons for authorised absences could be, quizzes and poster competitions.

Also see section 5.12 on Rewards and Incentives.

5.2 Curriculum Links

Schools could have a whole week where school attendance is the focus for all activities. Examples might be:

Education round the world in Geography, or Modern Foreign Languages.

Development and history of education in History.

Attendance graphs in Maths. These can be printed in colour and laminated and put outside classrooms for all to see. The best attending class that week will win a prize.

In PE, tournaments could be held in team sports. Teams would be placed according to their scores but points would then be added or taken away for attendance, merits etc. of team members.

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5.3 Data and Attendance Reports

There are a number of useful attendance reports on SIMS (see Section 2.14) which schools can use for individual pupils, selected groups or the school as a whole. They can help with EWO consultation visits, Ofsted inspections, parents’ evenings, progress reports, reward giving and general analysis to improve attendance.

Whole school attendance data as mentioned in Section 2.11, as well as school absence profiles should be used to evaluate school performance and inform action planning for the current academic year.

5.4 First Day Response

Make sure that first day response procedures are included in the school’s attendance policy. When setting up first day response, consider the following:

Is this for all pupils or targeted groups? For example, a particular class or year group with poor attendance, a list of named pupils?

Does the target group change regularly and how? For example, class teachers/form tutors can give the Attendance Worker a different list each month.

Who carries out first day response? Do they need training/coaching?

How challenging/probing is the first day response?

After what time are first day response calls made? This should be immediately after the time at which registers close.

How is the telephone contact list updated?

How is information from first day response used to update the registers? Is the sheet given back to class teachers/form tutors with responses or does the Attendance Worker mark the register electronically?

Is the person receiving the information able to authorise the absence?

How is information from first day response collated and disseminated? Is it used at parents’ evenings?

Who is responsible for ensuring the quality and consistency of first day response calls? Are they challenging? The questioning should be rigorous and not too sympathetic where appropriate.

5.5 Home-School Agreement

A home-school agreement is a statement explaining:

The school’s aims and values.

The school’s responsibilities towards its pupils who are of compulsory school age.

The responsibility of each pupil’s parents/carers.

What the school expects of its pupils.

All maintained schools and academies are required to publish a home-school agreement and associated parental declaration. Schools must take reasonable steps to ensure that all registered

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parents/carers of pupils sign the parental declaration to indicate that they understand and accept the contents of the home-school agreement.

Suggested topics to cover in your home-school agreement include:

The ethos of the school;

The importance of, and responsibility for, regular and punctual attendance;

The importance of, and responsibility for, good discipline and behaviour;

What is expected from schools, parents/carers and pupils in relation to homework;

The information schools and parents/carers will give one another.

5.6 Communicating with Parents/Carers

Ensure you have a real person at the end of the phone, who can challenge and probe reasons for absence, following a parent/carer calling the school to report their child’s absence.

Avoid having an automated message requesting the caller to “press 1 to report a child’s absence” as this will make it easier for parents/carers to continue to do so and undermines the school attendance policy.

Letters to parents/carers of individual pupils with poor school attendance can be very effective, and we recommend that they be in the language read by the parent/carer.* If you have a computerised registration system, you can easily run off a list of those with, for example, attendance of less than 90% and identify those pupils for whom a letter may be appropriate.

There may be pupils who, for example, have had a serious illness or a bereavement, whose parents/carers should not be sent a letter. Otherwise, class teachers/form tutors can be asked to provide names of pupils about whom they have attendance concerns.

Letters to parents/carers should be addressed to individuals, not “Dear Parent/Carer” and should refer to children’s individual names and attendance percentages.

* At

www.primaryresources.co.uk/letters

there is a very useful bank of translations of standard letters for primary and secondary schools that include letters on absence and on attendance in general.

5.7 Communicating with New Parents/Carers

Schools need to invest time and resources to ensure the need for good attendance is effectively communicated to new parents/carers, including those of pupils arriving mid-year who may be facing additional barriers linked to temporary accommodation, understanding the school system and being new to English. It is also important to develop coordinated messages on attendance with other agencies, including the community and voluntary sector. Robust admission systems that give time to building trust and good communication with new parents/carers are therefore vital.

Schools have also found special evenings or sessions for new parents/carers to be an effective way of promoting good attendance. These sessions present the chance to talk to parents/carers about school attendance when they may be new to the school environment and open to hearing about the school ethos on attendance.

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Topics for a presentation could include:

To authorise or not to authorise - The responsibility for deciding whether an absence is authorised or not authorised is the Headteacher’s. Parents/carers should be made aware that merely providing an explanation for their child’s absence does not automatically constitute an

‘authorisation’ for this absence. This is the Headteacher’s decision alone.

Pupil sickness - No school can predict or prevent pupils from becoming unwell. Talks to new parents/carers can be used to promote parental co-operation with the school. You can request that parents/carers contact school on the morning that their child is unwell. Parents/carers should be encouraged to bring children into school ‘if in doubt’ as the school can contact them if their child worsens during the day. Parents/carers must provide the school with current contact addresses and telephone numbers to facilitate this.

Term time absence/unauthorised absence in term time - You can discuss the impact term time absence has on pupils’ academic attainment. Tell parents/carers about the arrangements in place for requesting a term time holiday and make it clear that these absences are unlikely to be authorised.

The ‘odd day off’ attitude - Some parents/carers feel that the ‘odd day off’ as a treat for a birthday or day out really doesn’t matter. Parental attitudes like this can be extremely difficult to change. New parent/carer talks are inclusive and non-judgmental and can be a means of promoting a positive discussion about the subject.

Lateness - Tell parents/carers about the impact of lateness on their child’s opportunities to learn. If registration time/form periods happen at the start of the school day, pupils arriving late and missing part or all of these sessions will be severely disadvantaged as they will not receive important information about school matters or receive documents to take home. Ask parents/carers to imagine their own embarrassment when they arrive late to an event, have to slip in at the back without bringing attention to themselves, try to get up to speed with what is being said, try to piece together what has been said already, and then imagine their child having to do that when they arrive late at school.

Medical/Dental appointments - Ask parents/carers to make these appointments outside school hours or in the school holidays wherever possible. Also clarify that if an appointment is made during school time, these do not last for the whole day. Pupils are expected to return to school afterwards.

5.8 Parents’ Evenings

Parents’ Evenings are an ideal opportunity to talk about attendance with every parent/carer who attends so that individuals do not feel as if they are being singled out. Strategies to use could include:

Attendance records - an individual registration certificate can be given to parents/carers as they arrive so that accurate information can be discussed in confidence if they are meeting their child’s class teacher, form tutor or pastoral head. The class/form average, school average or school target can be compared with that for the child.

Questionnaires - you can use these to increase parents/carers’ awareness of the ethos of the school on attendance and punctuality. If form tutors or subject teachers do not have enough time to do this, can you enlist another member of staff to carry out this task?

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5.9 Poor Attenders - Meetings with Parents/Carers and Pupils

Analysis of your attendance data will identify those pupils whose attendance is at a level which causes concern. You will need to decide where you set this level and plan strategies for working with those pupils below it.

One strategy may be to invite parents/carers and pupils to a meeting with the Headteacher or

Attendance Lead and identify:

Reasons for the poor attendance.

Strategies to address improving the attendance.

Targets to achieve.

A date for a review to take place.

5.10 Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is an additional amount of money that is put into a school budget to support pupils who may benefit from extra support. This may include children who are in the care of the

Local Authority, children who are entitled to free school meals (FSM) or children who have additional education needs.

The purpose of the Pupil Premium is to ensure support is in place to allow pupils to reach their full potential. Support may be targeted individually, as part of a group, or through resourcing for a class room or curriculum area.

Pupils are unlikely to make the expected levels of progress required or realise their full potential unless they attend school regularly. Pupil Premium money could therefore be used to employ an attendance officer, to ensure capacity is in place to provide additional support for individual pupils and their families. It could also be used to fund someone who focuses on tracking the attendance of students, ensuring the early first response procedures are in place and supporting the work of the attendance officer.

An additional focus on attendance may not only help to improve the whole school attendance figure, but more importantly Pupil Premium pupils’ attendance will increase and therefore the gap between Pupil Premium and non-Pupil Premium pupils will narrow.

Please see Section 8: Appendix 8.13 for information around analysing cost effectiveness.

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5.11 School Noticeboard

The school noticeboard should be prominent with the latest information on attendance and punctuality figures. However, you may like to create a noticeboard purely for attendance statistics which you can use in various situations:

Remind parents/carers what your school’s attendance policy says about term time absence.

Give parents/carers the school holiday dates well before the start of the school year, preferably in the previous academic year and with a reminder later.

Display graphs showing current attendance

Attendance noticeboard located in the reception area at

Vittoria Primary School and punctuality statistics (hopefully highlighting improvements).

Reports can provide whole school attendance or for specific class/form group or year groups.

Reports can show how certain types of absence, such as family holidays in term time, affect the whole school attendance figure.

Update your noticeboard whenever rewards are given, either for individuals or form/tutor groups.

Inform parents/carers that attendance will be discussed during parents’ evenings.

5.12 Rewards and Incentives

These can be given to individuals or class or form/tutor groups:

Individuals:

Pupils can receive certificates for excellent or improved attendance or punctuality.

Pupils can receive a raffle ticket (could be virtual) for each week when they have full attendance.

At the end of each term, the winning ticket is chosen. A larger prize can be given at the end of the school year. Obviously, the more tickets a pupil has, the greater chance they have of winning.

Points can be given for good attendance (as well as other achievements).

Rewards can be given for gaining an agreed number of points (e.g. cinema tickets, phone vouchers).

Year 6/11 are only allowed to attend the leaver’s party or prom if they have enough points.

Golden tickets are issued to 100% attenders and/or they can join the ‘100%s club’ where they are given special benefits and/or responsibilities e.g. opportunities to become peer mentors, monitors, school council representatives, organisers of events/competitions etc.

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Class or form/tutor groups:

The class or form/tutor group with the best attendance or the fewest late arrivals (depending on your priority) each week, month or half term could receive a reward.

The reward can be something which is free, such as being first in for lunch for a week. You may be able to identify a reward which would be particularly valued by your pupils or you may choose to ask your pupils what they would like to receive as a reward.

The task of calculating which pupils or class or form/tutor groups should receive rewards needs to be done regularly for it to be effective. It is easy to let this slip and be forgotten.

Some suggested rewards and incentives:

Primary: As part of an ‘attendance tree’ project, pupils are given a gold leaf for 100% attendance, silver for over 98%, and bronze for over 96%. At the end of each term, the pupils add their leaves, with their names on, to the tree, and are presented with a certificate in assembly. At the end of the year, those with over 96% attendance over the whole year are entered into a prize draw.

Secondary: The school runs a weekly lottery for a five pounds cash prize. At assembly, a tutor group is drawn at random from a bag, and then a pupil number is drawn from another bag. If that pupil has a 100% attendance record for the week, they win the prize money, but if not the prize rolls over to the next week. Pupils enjoy the event and it helps to increase their motivation to come to school.

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Section Six

Case Studies and Best Practice

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6.1 Examples of Good Practice at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School

Attendance

Prompt follow up by the Attendance Officer on absence – first day calling and text messaging.

‘Keep Kids Safe’

Very close cooperation between the Attendance Officer and EWO.

EWO meets fortnightly with the Attendance Lead (Assistant Headteacher).

Fortnightly meetings between Heads of Year and EWO.

Community Support Officers play an active role in attendance – regular telephone calls home.

CSO’s attend meetings with parents in school where possible. CSO’s also assist in tracing nonreturners and CME.

Twice-yearly meetings are organised by the Attendance Officer and EGA’s CSO’s for Bengali and

Somali parents/carers, where detailed information about school’s expectations for attendance is given. Similar meetings are planned for Turkish parents/carers.

Fortnightly home visits are carried out by Bengali CSO and EWO to targeted group of poor attenders – the visits are either scheduled or unscheduled. These have proved particularly helpful where parents/carers do not attend scheduled meetings in school and have brought about marked and sustained improvement in the attendance of a group of long-term persistent absentees.

Holiday penalty notices are routinely issued to parents/carers where a minimum of 5 days unauthorised leave have been taken. Follow-up is consistent and the vast majority are paid.

EGA has taken a robust stance where statutory action is concerned – prosecutions have helped to improve attendance in the worst cases.

An EWO is employed full-time and this has been helpful in improving attendance as EWO capacity is greater and allows for earlier follow-up, impromptu home visits and telephone calls, more meetings with parents/carers, greater participation in meetings (TAF, TAC, Pupil Support Panel etc.)

More preventative type attendance work is taking place at EGA. Typically, poor attendance cases are taken up by EWO/Heads of Year at an earlier point – around 92% so that the number of persistent absentees is greatly reduced.

HOY 7 and EWO have regular meetings with girls to discuss any problems/potential attendance concerns.

At EGA there is a very strong ethos of collaborative working with other agencies, i.e. Families

First, CAMHS and IFIT to combat attendance problems.

The school nurse is very actively involved in cases of poor attendance, has access to consultants and other medical bodies and relays medical information to schools where relevant.

The strategic placement of professionals helps to improve communications e.g. EGA’s CP professional and EWO share an office.

‘Think Forward’ group is working to help engage those pupils in Years 10 and 11 who do not engage well with education. Effective collaboration with the EWO and joint home visits have helped to improve attendance and punctuality in under-engaged pupils.

Year 11 peer mentors help to support under-engaged pupils in Years 10 and 11.

Senior Leadership team encourages very active competition between year groups. Attendance is the first subject on the agenda of SLT meetings.

EWO arranges meetings with parents/carers of pupils in alternative provisions to address attendance problems of AP pupils who remain on the school’s roll.

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EWO carries out joint home visits/visits to colleges with AP Coordinators where there are attendance concerns.

Medical reasons for absence are followed up promptly and efficiently. Parents/carers are expected to call on a daily basis to update school when pupils are ill.

EWO runs parenting workshops for attendance and punctuality.

Punctuality

Free breakfast club is provided for all pupils every day to encourage punctuality.

There is currently a drive to improve punctuality at EGA.

The importance of good punctuality is communicated though displays and assemblies. Weekly figures for best attendance and punctuality are published.

All late-comers sign in with attendance officer in morning and explain reason for lateness. Pupils who are late for school automatically have 15 minutes ‘punctuality payback’ at lunchtime on the same day.

Privileges are removed from pupils who are persistently late or fail to attend punctuality payback.

Heads of Year are encouraged to concentrate on a group of the least punctual pupils. The

Attendance Officer meets regularly with Heads of Year to examine lateness data and identify the worst offenders.

School requests proof of medical appointments when a pupil is late.

The Attendance Officer telephones all parents/carers of pupils who arrive at or after 9:30am without authorisation. EWO uses ‘U’ codes to enable statutory action for punctuality.

Heads of Year and form tutors issue punctuality reports to monitor lateness.

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6.2 Procedures in Place at Gillespie to Support Good Attendance and Punctuality

A strong ethos of good attendance and punctuality supported by all staff (Deputy Headteacher and Attendance Officer not just working in isolation).

Clear attendance policy in place reviewed and shared regularly with parents/carers. Policy shared at the start of each new academic year.

School newsletters regularly include attendance information and highlight messages we want to get across to parents/carers.

In foyer of school, attendance display reflects importance of 95+ attendance and being on time.

Each week class attendance figures (%s) for all year groups are displayed for parents/carers to see.

Beginning of summer term, a letter goes out reminding parents/carers that children need to have good attendance right up until the end of the summer term and that early leave for holidays will not be authorised.

Good attendance is also being pushed with youngest children (in nursery and reception classes).

Good attendance is highlighted at home visits and at the meetings for new nursery and reception parents/carers.

Regular reminders given to parents/carers that where leave from school is required, a leave of absence form needs to be completed and again key points are highlighted and reinforced to parents/carers.

Parents/carers who speak directly to the Headteacher or another member of staff re: leave of absence is directed to the Attendance Officer and Deputy Headteacher. In this way there is a consistency of approach and all requests for leave are considered carefully and in context of previous history etc.

Attendance Officer and Deputy Headteacher take a strong line with parents/carers that we want to intervene early to avoid penalty notices, EWS involvement etc. We want to support families and to work with them.

Attendance Officer and Deputy Headteacher meet with parents/carers where there are concerns, to discuss how things can improve and how school can help. We will meet even where a child is coming regularly to school late, even by a couple of minutes and discuss the overall impact on both the child’s learning and the schools attendance. We meet with parents/carers of children Under 5 who request leave, to explain the importance of good attendance and how it impacts on whole school. We make it clear that for under 5’s, although attendance is non statutory it does impact on our attendance figures and we want to set patterns of excellent attendance as early as possible.

We are consistent in our approach which is key and quite relentless in pursuing parents where necessary. The school’s expectations re: attendance and punctuality are made clear to parents.

Where parents have to take leave e.g. visiting a sick relative abroad, we strongly request travel documents, contact details.

The Attendance Officer (working 2 days a week) and other office staff will make first day phone calls home where children are absent.

Where there is no reply, a letter is sent out requesting reason for absence.

Where parents/carers phone school to say that their child is sick and therefore will not be in, office staff will ask what is wrong so that we know the reason for sickness. Office staff consistently pursues things with parents/carers so that we can build up patterns in absences.

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Reasons for absence are recorded clearly in registers for teachers. Teachers will also relay reasons for absence to the office if parents/carers approach them directly.

An ongoing log is kept by the office of some communications with parents/carers that need to be shared, or that are ongoing or that indeed need to be monitored or followed up in some way.

In this way we can build up a picture of a child’s attendance.

Attendance figures for classes are taken off the computer half termly and concerns flagged.

Letters are sent to parents/carers where attendance falls below that expected and sometimes they are invited in for a meeting to discuss concerns with the Attendance Officer and Deputy

Headteacher.

Our annual report to parents/carers includes an attendance page at the front, highlighting the correlation between attendance and achievement.

Rewards

In assemblies each week, the attendance cup is awarded to the class with the best attendance for the previous week and ‘Early Bird’ certificates given out to classes with the best punctuality.

Stickers are also given to the classes.

Each term certificates and small prizes are given out to children with excellent attendance and at the end of the academic year a class prize is given for the class with the best overall attendance.

At the end of year all children who have 98% attendance receive an individual prize and those with 100% attendance receive £10 gift vouchers.

Where children improve on personal attendance after being of some concern, individual rewards may be given e.g. pens, books, book marks etc.

We use incentive schemes from time to time. For example, we monitor attendance closely over a 5-6 week period and the children get a sticker for each day they’re in school to fill up a card.

All the cards with 100% attendance are put into a draw and a certain number are picked out in an assembly and win a prize. We emphasise with children regularly the importance of good attendance and how it links to excellent learning achievement.

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6.3 A Whole-School Approach to Improving Attendance and Punctuality at Grafton

Essentially getting all the staff on board and sharing the responsibility for attendance has been the key to improving our data. Teachers and support staff understand the importance of children being at school on time and take pride in their classes attendance. This filters down to the children through a combination of celebration, rewards but also reinforcing the issues around non-attendance and the affect this has on learning.

Grafton children want to be at school as learning here is fun and staff want to be here focusing on their children and raising attainment; our staff want their children to be here and want to know why if they aren't in.

All the other initiatives simply add to the picture and help the focus maintain momentum:

Early Bird weeks where children are rewarded for full attendance and 100% punctuality.

Weekly cups.

Extra time on the play structure.

Termly and year awards and rewards for attendance only work because they are part of the bigger picture.

Keeping the message precise is important, a simple message often repeated in different ways. Staff therefore understanding the importance of attendance and punctuality and that ultimately as education staff it is all our responsibility to improve attendance and punctuality, not compartmentalising our children and seeing this area as someone else's job.

As teachers we are often nurses, social workers and Education Welfare Officers, children are holistic and as people who work in education we must see the whole child if we are really going to continue to make a difference.

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6.4 Highbury Grove Preventative Work - Whole School

Procedures and Good Practice to Help Raise Attendance

Attendance is given a very high priority at HGS. HGS follows the usual routines of every school, for example first day absence calls, letters and meeting parents but below are what may be unique to

HGS.

Every Monday all tutor groups receive a poster (that is displayed) showing their attendance percentage for the previous week. At the start of term the tutors get posters showing percentages for the previous term. This promotes a tutor group discussion where the tutees have responsibility for each other. Each poster will highlight the top attenders with a star.

School procedures are followed for students who have attendance that is falling. The Head of

Year, the Attendance Officer and the Director of Studies meet every week and agree actions for every student in their year group who is falling below 90% and 85%. These actions are recorded on the PA case studies spreadsheet held centrally by an admin officer, who fills it in. Although much of the information is confidential, this means that nominated people will be able to track any student’s progress. This spreadsheet also shows Pupil Premium information. It is this meeting that agrees fines and penalties. This team will also analyse trends and underlying reasons for poor and/or falling attendance.

There is a raffle at the end of the year with great prizes for any pupil who achieves 100% attendance. Pupils are also given certificates, which are awarded in a whole school assembly with other prizes.

Our Heads of Year assist the Attendance Officer by calling the parents/carers of the pupils who are presenting persistent absence, which ensures we always know where this pupil is.

The pupil handbook has a dedicated section to attendance, which emphasises for pupils the importance of good attendance and punctuality.

We are going to make much more use of our website to display posters and messages about attendance (especially in regards to reminding parents/carers not to take holidays during term time).

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6.5 Good Practice to Improve Attendance at Islington

Arts & Media School

Attendance Day

Once a term each Head of Year at Islington Arts & Media School carries out an attendance day along with the Education Welfare Officer to promote attendance.

The aim of the attendance day is to carry out home visits to targeted pupils where:

Attendance falls between 85%-90%.

There has been a sudden decrease in attendance.

Parents/carers do not engage with the school.

Pupils are absent on the day of the home visits without communication from parent/carer.

The home visits are used as a tool to offer support to families, strengthen engagement between families and the school and increase overall attendance. Appointment letters are left at home visits where there has been no response to show parents/carers that a home visit was carried out and a meeting is required to discuss a student’s attendance.

Attendance days have proven to be very successful in bridging the gap between home and school and showing parents/carers that we go the extra mile when supporting pupils with their education.

Late Detention

Late detention was initiated in September 2012 to reduce the number of pupils that were arriving late to school. If a pupil is late, even by a minute, they will receive an hour’s detention at the end of that school day.

At first some parents/carers were not keen on this initiative and would oppose the hour’s detention for their child at the end of the day, however this policy soon became an accepted part of the expectations of pupils at Islington Arts & Media School. The percentage of pupils arriving late to school between 2011-12 and 2012-13 decreased by 4%.

Rewards

Each year group rewards pupils who have achieved good attendance:

Year 7, 8 & 9 give out attendance badges termly; this allows all pupils to have the opportunity of receiving a badge each term regardless of their attendance previously.

Year 10 have an attendance reward that picks names at random from the best attending tutor group to win vouchers for Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Year 11 pupils are able to go out for lunch on Friday if they have attended school all week and have modelled excellent behaviour.

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6.6 Good Practice to Improve Attendance and

Punctuality at Montem

Escalation

We have tightened up our escalation procedures during the 2014-15 academic year. Below details the escalation process that we have put in place this year:

Attendance

90-94%

1. Attendance report is run through SIMS (repeated on a monthly basis). If a child falls into the above category, the registration certificate from the previous academic year is also analysed to see if further escalation is needed. If there is no trend then a letter (1A) will be sent out in the first instance. The child is then put on the monitoring caseload and they are monitored over the next month.

2. If poor attendance continues, an initial meeting with the parent/carer and DHT is set up identifying that tracking systems have highlighted an attendance concern. The registration certificate is given to the parent for the current year with the coding explained. The child’s attendance is then monitored over a two week period.

3. If there is further unauthorised absence again without explanation and supporting evidence, another letter (1B) is sent out to the parent/carer requesting an explanation for the child’s absence.

4. If absence continues a second meeting is arranged. If the evidence given is not sufficient, a final warning is given regarding a potential referral for statutory action. At this point, a referral to

Families First is considered through the weekly Pastoral meeting in school. A further letter (1C) is given out at this point.

5. If absence continues and there is no satisfactory explanation provided, it is referred for statutory action and a formal meeting is arranged or a home visit is carried out.

85% OR BELOW - Persistent absenteeism

1. Attendance report is run through SIMS. If a child falls into the above, the registration certificate from the previous academic year is analysed to see if further escalation is needed. A letter (1C) is sent out in the first instance.

2. If absence continues and there is no satisfactory explanation provided, it is referred for statutory action and a formal meeting is arranged or a home visit is carried out.

3. If poor attendance continues, a penalty notice is considered (15 unauthorised sessions over 10 consecutive weeks) or a referral through the multi-disciplinary teleconference around a child with medical needs.

Unauthorised holiday/children late back from holiday when term time begins

1. PREVENTATIVE – A letter (2A) is sent out before all major holidays.

2. PREVENTATIVE – All families have to make a request for any additional holiday through completing a form. Families receive a letter (2C) when holiday is refused, which is 99% of the time!

3. PREVENTATIVE – If lots of requests for holidays are made, a letter (2D) is sent out.

4. If the parent/carer takes an unauthorised holiday, the parent/carer meets with DHT when the child returns to school. A penalty notice is usually given except in extreme circumstances, as authorised by the Headteacher.

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5. If an unauthorised holiday is a repeat offence or a child has an unauthorised holiday and is also a persistent absentee, a court summons may be considered.

Punctuality

Any family identified as being persistently late (10+ lates per half term) or having a prolonged period of lateness (5+ consecutive days late) are in the first instance referred to the School Home

Support worker where:

1. There is an initial meeting with the parent/carer stating that tracking systems have highlighted a punctuality concern. The child’s or children’s registration certificate are shown to the parent/carer.

2. Reasons for lateness are identified.

3. Strategies and routines are then discussed for improving punctuality, including offering the child or children a place at breakfast club if they are in year 1 or above.

4. The child’s lateness is monitored by DHT and School Home Support worker over a 2 week period to identify if it has improved. DHT or School Home Support worker puts in place a daily reward system with a short term incentive (punctuality band/punctuality sticker bug) to encourage the child/ren to be on time each day. School Home Support worker then makes calls and texts to the family to praise and follow up.

5. If lateness does not improve, a second meeting with School Home Support worker is arranged to discuss reasons why. At this point, a referral to Families First may be considered.

6. If over the next week the punctuality still does not improve DHT sends letter (3A) to parent/carer.

7. If following this letter punctuality still doesn’t improve a meeting is organised with DHT.

8. Continued lateness is then referred for possible statutory action.

Late Gate

In the first instance, a letter was sent out reminding all families about the importance of being on time and the escalation process attached to Late Gate. Late Gate was then carried out on the following dates:

Friday 28

 th

November 2014

Thursday 11

Monday 12 th th

December 2014

January 2015

It was important to get a good range of days in order to identify persistent lateness rather than penalising families where a particular day in the week was proving difficult. Parents/carers were

not made aware of these dates. The DHT, EWO, Learning Mentor and Headteacher then approached all parents/carers of children arriving after 8:55am. Children were sent straight into school and signed in through the usual process (attendance administrator) and the parents/carers were kept for a short conversation. If the parent wasn’t present, a phone call home was made.

Once reasons for lateness were established the following escalation was applied on each Late Gate:

In the first instance details of lateness were taken and then a letter was then posted reminding the family that the conversation had taken place and reinforcing timings and expectations.

If the same family was identified on the next late gate, the parent/carer received a formal letter from the Education Welfare Service detailing the escalation and that notes had been added to the child’s files detailing this.

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If the same child was late a third time during ‘Late Gate’, the parent/carer was asked to attend a formal punctuality hearing either at school or 222 Upper Street, alongside the EWO and HT with a formal minute taker.

Absences and First Day Calling

At Montem we have worked extremely hard around first day response. The details below outline what this looks like:

1. Admin office is attended from 8:00am onwards. Calls are taken regarding absence. The following details are taken in BLOCK CAPITAL LETTERS:

Full name (as it appears on SIMS).

Class.

Who is reporting?

Time.

Day number (Is it a consecutive day/s illness or absence?) If this is a second consecutive day of absence parent/carer advised to seek a medical appointment. If it is a 3 rd

consecutive day’s absence then medical evidence should be provided in the form of a surgery/ appointment card with a stamp, prescription, sticker from a medication bottle with child’s name and date, doctor’s note).

Nature of absence (Illness/Sickness/Medical appointment/religious observance).

When they are expected back.

Any action taken.

2. Registers are taken in class on SIMS by 9:05am.

3. At 9:30am, the attendance administrator adds appropriate information from class that had been taken and information from the late book. The attendance administrator analyses morning registers, adds any comments to communicate any absent CP children to the Head Teacher

(DHT/AHT if HT is absent) and cause for concern families that are either absent or were late to

DHT and School Home Support worker as a matter of urgency.

4. After taking morning registers parents/carers of children marked as absent (not recorded on the absence reporting sheets) are called to find out where they are and why they haven't attended school. Where there is no answer from parents then calls are repeated as often as possible during the day. Where there is a possibility of leaving a voicemail message, this is left requesting the parent to call the school. At 13:30pm if still no answer then a follow up text message is sent.

If this is a second day’s unauthorised absence with no correspondence with parent/carer, all emergency contact numbers are then called and the same procedures are followed as above.

However, if the child appears on the monitoring caseload all emergency contacts are called on day one.

5. Documentation of these calls are kept in the absence reporting folder.

6. At 10:45am, absence report from SIMS (today's unauthorised absences) and a photocopy of the current day’s absence reporting sheet from folder is given to the DHT to analyse and identify next steps.

7. Absence reporting paper work and records are kept over a two year period to support with any future CP concerns or statutory action involvement.

Incentives and Rewards

At Montem, we celebrate attendance and punctuality. We also have phase assemblies each week where the class with the best attendance receive the school’s coveted attendance plaque to display in class for the week. We also celebrate the class with the least number of lates who receive the

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Early bird puppet. All of this data is shown on the school’s attendance and punctuality board displayed outside the school.

We also celebrate attendance and punctuality half termly, termly and across the year. The table below shows the different prizes and incentives that our children receive. We also include the child identified from each year group who has the most improved attendance or punctuality in our trip to IAMS theatre for a cinema experience at the end of the academic year. We have a separate budget for attendance and punctuality to ensure incentives and rewards are of high quality ensuring good publicity and to energise and motivate the children.

Time of Year

HALF TERMLY

TERMLY

END OF YEAR

Attendance

Phase 2 100% attendance silicon band

Phase 3 100% attendance silicon band

Phase 2 100% Attendance

Medal

Phase 3 100% Attendance gold Badge

100%

Trip to IAMS theatre for popcorn and Film experience afternoon

Punctuality

Phase 2 ON TIME NEVER

LATE Punctuality sticker bug.

Phase 3 ON TIME NEVER

LATE Punctuality Pencil

Phase 2 - Toy chosen from a selection (99p shop)

Phase 3 - Toy chosen from a selection (99p shop)

0 lates

Trip to IAMS theatre for popcorn and Film experience afternoon

Should you require copies of the letters referred to in this case study, please contact Tom

O’Donnell, Deputy Headteacher on 0207 272 6556 or

[email protected]

.

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6.7 Requesting Leave of Absence during Term Time at Newington

Green Primary School

Since using this format parents have taken less leave and seem to understand the consequences of taking term time leave.

Newington Green Primary School

Matthias Road, London N16 8NP

Tel: 020 7254 3092 Fax: 020 7275 9061

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.newingtongreen.co.uk

Headteacher: Abi Misselbrook-Lovejoy

_____________________________________________________________________________

REQUEST FOR CHILD’S LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME

This form needs to be submitted at least four weeks prior to proposed leave.

Please complete this application form and return to the school office or the Home School Worker.

PLEASE USE CAPITAL LETTERS TO FILL THIS FORM IN

1. Name of child: ____________________________ Date of Birth: _______________ Class:

_______

I wish to apply for my child to be absent from school during the following dates:

Date of last day of school: _________________ Date of return to school:

_______________________

Total number of days missed:

__________________________________________________________

If your child will not be able to attend on the date of return to school please make sure that you inform us. This needs to be done by phone or email. Failure to follow this requirement could result in your child being deleted from the school roll and it may lead to a referral to Children’s Social Care,

Educational Welfare Officer or ‘Children Missing from School’ Investigation Team.

(Please state the purpose of this period out of school and why this must be taken during term time and not school holidays).

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

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2. Contact details whilst abroad/absent from school

If your child is being taken out of school during the term time and the details of their location is not provided, this could turn into a serious safeguarding issue. When a child is absent or missing from school, they could be at risk of harm. The school has a duty to keep children safe and this includes knowing where they are. If the Parents/Carer fails to provide required information than the school may make a referral to the International Police and International Social Services as a ‘missing child’.

Address whilst away:

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

Telephone number whilst away: _______________________________________________________

Email address whilst away____________________________________________________________

3. Please attach proof of where you will be whilst away.

I make application for my child named above to have authorised absence from school. I understand that if this is not agreed then any absence will be treated as unauthorised and this will be brought to the attention of the school Education Welfare Officer which could lead to a penalty notice.

4. Parents/Carers Details:

Mother/Carer: Title _______ Full Name ___________________________Tel. ___________________

Signature: ________________________ Date _______________________

Father/Carer: Title ______ Full Name ____________________________Tel:

____________________

Signature: ________________________ Date: ______________________

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY

Check list:

* All sections are filled in: Yes ___ No ___

* Copies of proof of where and when child is away: Yes ___ No ___

* Date of receiving the application: ________________

* Received by: ____________________________________

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6.8 Improving Punctuality at New North Academy

‘Every minute counts’

Children have an entitlement to their education. This means they must be in school, every day and

on time to access it. This is the stance of our school and we are un-wavering in that message and expectation.

Context and Identifying Issues

As ever, we started with the data! We gave ourselves an attendance and punctuality ‘health check’ and asked ourselves some challenging questions. We then identified specific areas to target that would feature in our attendance action plan.

Action for Improvement

Communication

We ‘re-set’ the expectations of the school, making sure every parent and child is clear on our expectations.

The profile of attendance across the school has been raised. Attendance Focus Weeks are published in the academic calendar and these are matched with incentives (certificates and

100% attendance medals each term) to motivate and encourage children and families.

In raising the profile we have planned in coffee mornings where our Attendance Lead and the

Local Authority join to keep sharing the message and to build positive partnerships.

We meet with families to understand the difficulties they may be facing, and help where we can, whilst still keeping expectations high.

Our attendance plan and goals are shared with staff and children so that there is an understanding of its importance.

Responsibility and Review

Job roles have been reviewed, making one person the central contact for attendance and punctuality, and ensuring they have strong links with the inclusion team, AES and other external agencies.

Data and progress against our attendance targets are reviewed regularly. We ask, ‘So what/so

why?!’

Training – we have invested in training to ensure our Attendance Lead is well equipped to analyse data, spot patterns, use data to influence next steps, use research and, hold challenging conversations.

Attendance data has been included in teacher’s appraisal discussions.

A governor has a link responsibility for attendance.

Practice and Purpose

Procedures have been tightened. The gate shuts at 9am on the dot!

We draw on a range of day to day activities to improve attendance: late gates, senior leaders out each morning, attendance assemblies, display, newsletters etc.

Are we irresistible?! - What is it that we can offer that makes coming to school (on time) irresistible and too good to miss? We are reviewing ‘our offer.’

We all speak from the same sheet - you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Celebrate success! We’re happy to have the hard conversations, but equally happy to celebrate and say thank you to those who have improved.

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6.9 Improving Pupil Attendance at New River College

New River College aims to encourage and support all pupils to achieve excellent standards of attendance and punctuality. For many pupils, irregular patterns of attendance in the past have only served to compound their educational problems and increase their level of disaffection.

New River College therefore places great emphasis on the need to encourage and support full attendance amongst its pupils. This is achieved through:

Fostering positive teacher-pupil relationships.

Developing and maintaining close home-school links to promote a joint commitment to learning;

Providing access to a needs’ focused curriculum.

Developing good relationships with other pupils and adults within the school community, thus developing their social skills and enhancing their emotional wellbeing.

Rewarding regular attendance.

Ensuring prompt follow-up in cases of non-attendance, to develop personalised strategies.

Collaborative working with other external professional and voluntary agencies involved in a pupil’s care.

Working in partnership with the Education Welfare Service (EWS).

Attendance Thresholds

Universal

All pupils aim for 100% attendance

Policy and procedures understood and known to whole school community.

Positive links made between attendance – behaviour – learning – progress – social and emotional wellbeing and safeguarding.

Celebrate and reward good attendance with pupil and family.

Focused

94% - 90% attendance

Early intervention and prevention by responding to pupil and family needs.

First letter and text home to alert parents/carers of pupil attendance.

Pupil and parents alerted to impact on progress links between attendance and outcomes.

Form and build positive relationship with parents/carers.

Review attendance data on a 2 week cycle, if no improvement is seen then a second letter is sent out inviting parent/carer in for a holistic meeting to discuss the needs of the pupil.

Ensure all support is documented to support monitoring and review cycle.

Attendance action plan - Record what all parties agree to do: school, parents and pupil.

Targeted

90 -85% attendance

Third letter and text sent home to invite parents/carers to a meeting to discuss pupil

attendance, this time escalated to involve the EWO, possibly the Deputy Head.

As pupil is at risk of persistent absence, the use of appropriate formal intervention needs to be considered – CAF, SAP, parenting contract, parenting support etc.

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Promoting and Rewarding High Standards of Attendance and Punctuality

New River College works hard to promote and reward good attendance and punctuality. Strategies include:

Regularly reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it is exciting and stimulating making pupils eager to come to school.

Group and individual rewards are awarded on a regular basis. These are most often agreed in consultation with pupils.

Maintaining an attendance display which shows how each class is doing against the school’s attendance target.

Presenting individual awards to those pupils who achieve 100% attendance over each term and those who have greatly improved their attendance and/or punctuality.

Including guidance, advice and information about attendance and punctuality on a regular basis in newsletters.

Reporting on a pupil’s attendance and punctuality on a regular basis

Holding well-structured meetings with parents/carers and the Education Welfare Officer to support improved attendance and any returns to school following extended periods of absence.

Guidance to Staff on Attendance and Punctuality Matters

1. The role of SEAL and PHSE in securing good attendance and punctuality.

To promote good attendance and punctuality, school staff should:

Regularly review the curriculum offered in an attempt to make it as topical, exciting and fun as possible so that pupils want to come to school and join in.

Work hard to create a welcoming and positive school ethos where children feel safe, settled and valued.

2. The roles and responsibilities of class teachers and support staff

The member of staff in charge of the class at the beginning of each session should:

Call the register promptly and any absence notes are returned to the office.

Mark pupils present as long as they arrive before the calling of the register has been completed.

Communicate any concerns or observations about emerging patterns of absence or lateness to the school’s Attendance Lead.

Apply this policy consistently and fairly to all members of the school community.

Reflect high standards in their own attendance and punctuality practice.

3. Confidentiality

Issues surrounding attendance and punctuality can sometimes be of a sensitive or distressing nature. All school staff should maintain the highest level of confidentiality when dealing with such issues.

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6.10 Attendance and Punctuality Procedures at Rotherfield

Primary School

Attendance procedures

All pupils are registered in SIMs each morning. Pupils arrive in the playground at

8:50am. At 8:55am the bell rings, pupils line up and walk in with their class teacher and TA. The doors are locked at 9:00am; any pupils arriving after this time have to enter through the main school door. Pupils arriving after 9:05 are late and issued a late pass and names are written in the late book. Pupils give the late passes to teachers so they know they have been registered as being at school. If pupils do not have a late pass they are sent back to the office to collect one. All late pupils are entered into SIMs by the Attendance Officer.

Unauthorised absence

A list of absent pupils is created each day from SIMs once the registers are complete. First day calls are made by the admin team for all pupils whose parents/carers have not provided the school with a reason for absence. These details are held in a file in the school office the details are entered into

SIMs. Registers are printed weekly and those with unauthorised absence are sent letters requesting reasons for absence. These are all filed together on a weekly basis. Holidays are not authorised and penalty notices are issued by Education Welfare Service for those to take unauthorised leave.

Monitoring and rewards

Individual pupil attendance percentages are monitored every two weeks and data is entered on a tracking sheet for pupils with poor attendance. This allows us to see at a glance if a pupil’s percentages are improving or declining.

Each week all classes’ attendance figures are displayed on the school website. The class with the highest attendance is rewarded by a visit to Waterside Adventure Playground the following week.

Each half term 100% and over 95% attenders receive stickers for their achievement in a special attendance assembly.

Each term 100% and over 95% attenders receive certificates for their achievement in a special attendance assembly. We also have a raffle prize draw which all is entered into. Prizes include iPods, items from Arsenal, digital cameras, Lego and games. Children who have made significant attendance progress and also rewarded during these assemblies with stickers and certificates.

Pupils with 100% attendance are members of the 100 club. They are given special badges and their photos are displayed in the playground.

PA pupils

PA pupils are monitored rigorously and each pupil has a running record held in a PA file. There are samples of a PA Case Study Form and our PA Tracking Sheet in Section 8: Appendices 8.25 and

8.26. We write Action Plans for each PA pupil during meetings with parents/carers. An example of

this can be found in Section 8: Appendix 8.27. These record the reasons for absence and actions to resolve these issues and by whom. Pupils are given 4 weekly sticker charts and stickers weekly to encourage good attendance. If they attend for the whole 4 weeks the chart is swapped for a certificate presented in assembly for improved attendance. This process is having a very positive impact!

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Improving Punctuality

Rotherfield Primary School decided to buy in 10 additional days of EWS support for the academic year 2014-15, in order to further support them in their efforts to improve attendance and punctuality across the school.

An initial planning meeting was held in November with the school’s Attendance Lead (PM), where a number of issues were raised/discussed, including punctuality. PM felt that there were some hard core cases that needed to be broken. We talked about ‘late gates’ – the school has not formally carried these out before. It was suggested that January become the focus month for this and the school could be supported in running the late gates.

Therefore, as part of a whole-school drive around improving attendance and punctuality, it was decided to run a more ‘public’ late gate for the month of January in order to raise the profile of good punctuality. Parents were informed that this would be happening via the school newsletter in

December. In deciding how long the drive should last for, it was decided that in order to really start changing parental behaviours, that it needed to be for sustained period. The LA supported the school with this throughout the month of January, so that there were at least two people on duty every day.

What Worked

There was already a clear process in place at the school prior to the drive starting. The only significant change that was made to this was that after the first day Pania moved from the inner door to stand outside the main gate.

There were a number of reasons for this decision:

It helped prevent late parents sending their children into school unaccompanied in order to avoid being asked why they were late.

It made her more visible.

It was a good way of greeting the parents and children in the morning.

Enabled minor issues/questions to be dealt with/answered immediately, rather than parents having to block the office and wait for appointments to see other members of staff.

Helped to build positive relationships with some of the more hard to reach parents/families.

Created an expectation of saying ‘good morning’ to and from everyone, while also questioning and challenging lateness.

Success Criteria

In December (only a three week month due to Christmas) 29 pupils received late slips and this accounted for 123 lates. For January (four weeks) there was a reduction in numbers, with 17 pupils receiving late slips, accounting for 80 lates.

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At the beginning of the drive, it was agreed that a meeting with parents would be requested for any pupil receiving three or more late slips for the month. The breakdown for these pupils was as follows:

Week 1 – 2 pupils (2 x boys in Year 3)

Week 2 – 1 pupil (girl in Year 4)

Week 3 – 1 pupil (girl in Year 1)

Week 4 – 3 pupils (boy in Year2, girl in Year 5 and girl in Year 1 – same pupil as week 3).

Meetings were arranged by the school’s Attendance Lead and supported by the Local Authority.

Late slips issued in January:

Boys

Girls

Nursery Recep. Yr 1 Yr 2 Yr 3 Yr 4 Yr 5 Yr 6 Totals

1

2 7 3

Week 1

5

3

5

6 3

2

3

4 17

27

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

1

2

2

4

3

4

4

5

4

Week 2

4

1

Week 3

4

2

4

2

2

2

2

4

3

3

2

2

2

1

4

1

16

18

20

20

Boys 1 1

Late across all four weeks

Week 4

2

Girls 2 2 1

Patterns of poor attendance across the month:

4

3

Late across three weeks

3

2

3

1

2

11

16

Late across two weeks

Year 1 girl

Year 4 girl

Year 3 boy

2 x Reception girls

Year 1 girl

Year 3 girl

Year 2 boy

Year 6 boy

Year 4 girl

Year 5 girl

Nursery boy

Year 3 boy

Where appropriate, meetings to be arranged with some of these parents. Meetings were arranged by the school’s Attendance Lead and supported by the Local Authority.

Observational Outcomes:

Year 5 boy – punctuality was a concern prior to January – was late on the first day of the drive, was spoken to about this and was then only late once more for the entire month.

A brother and sister (each had 5 lates in December) were late once during the first week, were spoken to about this and have not been late since.

The drive allowed the school to re-establish expectations around attendance and punctuality – parents and children have been running to get to school on time. Subsequently the streets are now emptier at 9:10-9:15am.

Has helped to change parental behaviours around the importance of good attendance and punctuality and start to build resilience in both parents and pupils.

Supported the changing of cultural and long-held attitudes towards lateness.

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Communication has improved with the saying of hello at the gate in the morning. Has created an expectation of starting the day with a smile and a warm welcome. Staff have commented that it has felt like a more positive, welcoming start to the day.

Learning Points/What Could Have Been Done Differently/Next Steps/Recommendations:

It is important that parents and/or children do not feel that the punctuality drive was only for

January. It was meant to be a ‘kick-start’ approach and therefore needs to be sustained for the rest of the school year.

In supporting the Islington Borough-wide Attendance Strategy (2014), which talks about creating and embedding whole school approaches to improving attendance, a member of SLT should ideally be out at the gate with Pania each day in order to:

Support the school’s ongoing drive around improving punctuality.

Engage with parents regularly in an informal way.

Actively support Attendance Lead in her work to ensure it is clear to parents and pupils that improving attendance and punctuality is everyone’s responsibility.

The LA will continue to support the school and will be meeting with parents whose children received three or more late slips during the month of January.

LA will also carry out random follow-up late gate checks throughout the year so that parents see that it is an ongoing piece of work.

A summary of the outcomes from this report are to be shared with parents through the school newsletter.

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6.11 St. Mary Magdalene Academy’s Attendance Triangle

- Levels of Support Required

The Attendance Triangle was initially created to address the need for an attendance procedure.

Below is the most recent version of the Academy’s current attendance procedure:

New Team Around the School Based Attendance Procedures

100 – 96%

Good attendance in line with Academy target.

95.9 – 92%

Standard letter to be sent home by TEL explaining that attendance is less than Academy target.

Year Leader to phone home if attendance is dropping rapidly.

Under 92%

Year Leader to complete referral to Team Around the School panel, unless there is a reason not to do so, using TAS form.

c. 90%

Following feedback from TAS panel about support available, Year

Leader to send standard letter inviting parents to attend meeting.

Year Leader to invite relevant agencies and TJO if TAS panel recommend that a CAF should be used with family.

Under 85%

Referral back to Team Around the School using the TAS form to request SAP referral.

Parents to be issued with court warning at SAP meeting.

It is possible at this stage that the TAS will decide that the pupil’s case should be referred straight to SAP if sufficiently concerning.

If attendance does not improve after ten school days, a penalty notice will be issued at the Academy’s discretion.

If the penalty notice is not paid after 28 days, AES will invite the parent to a Court Assessment Meeting.

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6.12 Our Approach to Improving Attendance at Winton

“Headteachers need to find their courage, have the tricky conversations and then be prepared to deal with the fallout.

Andrew Rigby, Headteacher

Confronting the crisis

“To confront a crisis, a good starting point is to describe reality without laying blame.” In spring

2013, we decided to properly tackle the fact that our attendance was among the lowest in Islington and had been for a number of years. We needed to take responsibility for the position we were in and understand why our actions in the past had not led to the outcomes we had wanted.

Accepting that we needed to raise our expectations for what was acceptable in terms of attendance was essential to creating the drive to improve attendance. The school data needed to be analysed honestly before the issues could be identified and addressed.

What did we do?

Put a plan in place with a clear ‘whole school approach’ to attendance.

Set up an Attendance Improvement Team with clearly defined roles.

Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! – Get the message out to parents/carers as soon as possible! Let them know what’s coming! Posters, displays, leaflets...

SLT present at staff meetings so everyone understands the issues – locally and nationally. Get staff on board. Let them use their imaginations!

Analyse the data – to know what the issues were (term time holidays; “pampering” of younger pupils).

Built a good and emotionally intelligent working relationship with our EWO – so there was a high level of agreement around the approach we would take to change the culture of our school community.

“Blitz” Meetings - 32 parents/carers met during a single day. A further 8 parents/carers met offsite. Tracking system set up and regular communication about the attendance of all identified pupils.

Chase late-comers down the street. Do whatever it takes!

How we did it?

Communication and alignment

Make sure everyone is clear about what will happen before, during and after. Once we communicated our expectations and plan to parents/carers, no excuses were accepted.

Attention to detail – this was all about interrogating the data in order to identify what the underlying problems were around poor attendance at Winton.

Signs and symbols – awards, displays, leaflets, newsletters, prizes, trophies. It is important to remember that schools can be good at this but still have low attendance!

These things should support the culture, but they are not a substitute for the hard work needed to create the culture.

Getting the relationships right – changing the culture of the school. This is about raising expectations and aspirations and then working in partnership with parents/carers and pupils to achieve challenging targets.

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Possible questions for Governors and Leadership Teams

What has been communicated to parents/carers? How is it communicated?

Communication and alignment

How often?

Does what you say match with what you do?

Do you have a communication strategy?

Are you confidently in a position to say that parents/carers are clear and

Attention to detail

Signs and symbols

Getting the relationships right

have no excuses for not understanding the rules?

Is attendance data analysed effectively to identify the issues? (Serious non-

attenders? Holidays in term time? Illness?)

What systems are in place to make sure that the information from the data leads to specific action?

How do you ensure concerns about attendance are quickly identified?

Is it obvious to anyone walking into the school that a high priority is placed on attendance?

Do you have a policy on rewards and awards? Do children understand why attendance is important beyond the ‘sticker’?

Do those responsible for attendance have clearly defined roles in dealing with parents/carers (e.g.: learning mentor, admin officer etc.).

Where attendance is poor –what’s going on for these parents/carers?

Relationship with school? Do you have a knowledge gap?

Do you show willingness to challenge and make tough decisions?

Outcomes

2010-11 2011-12 Autumn

Term 2012

93%

Spring

Term 2013

92.5%

Summer

Term 2013*

96%*

2013-2014 Autumn

Term 2014

95.9% 95.9% 92.5% 94.2%

*

Attendance strategy in place

The Second Year

We are continuing to work hard to sustain good attendance and at the start of Spring term our attendance figure was 96%. Whilst we have come a long way, and good attendance is now a part of the culture of the school, the second year of sustaining our improvement has presented a different kind of challenge.

The parents of younger children entering in Nursery and Reception were not with us as a school during our initial drive to raise attendance, so we need to make sure we have clear systems in place to ensure they understand the importance of good attendance and how it is necessary to give their child a successful early start in the education system. Similarly, whilst attendance has improved in many cases, there remain some persistent families where our support has not had the impact that we had hoped and where we have had to take a more challenging stance to ensure that parents and families understand that good school attendance is non-negotiable. As a Headteacher I never wanted to find myself issuing penalty notices but my willingness to do so where I have done so has rested on a simple answer to a simple question: in this case, is it the right thing to do for this child?

It is a difficult balancing act to take this stance in the context on what are often complex and challenging family situations – but our bottom line remain the same in all cases: children need to be at school to learn and they need to learn to be successful in life.

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Section Seven

Statutory Action Guidance and

Documents

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7.1 Penalty Notice Code of Conduct

1. Legal Basis

• Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 empowers designated Local Authority officers, Headteachers (and Deputy and Assistant Headteachers authorised by them) and the Police to issue Penalty Notices in cases of unauthorised absence from school.

• The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2004 came into force on 27th

February 2004.

• The issuing of Penalty Notices must conform to all requirements of the Human Rights Act and all Equal Opportunities legislation.

• The Local Authority has the prime responsibility for developing the code of conduct within which all partners named in the Act will operate.

2. Rationale

• Regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential for pupils to maximise their educational opportunities.

• In law an offence occurs if a parent/carer fails to secure a child’s attendance at a school at which they are a registered pupil and that absence is not authorised by the school. Penalty

Notices supplement the existing sanctions currently available under Sec 444, Education Act

1996 or Sec 36, the Children’s Act 1989 to enforce attendance at school where appropriate.

• Parent/carers and pupils are supported at school and Local Authority level to overcome barriers to regular attendance through a wide continuum of assessment and intervention strategies. Sanctions of any nature are for use only where parental co-operation in this process is either absent or deemed insufficient to resolve the presenting problem.

• Sanctions are never used as a punishment, only as a means of enforcing attendance where there is a reasonable expectation that their use will secure an improvement.

3. Circumstances where a Penalty Notice may be issued

• The parent/carer has received a formal warning, either from the school or the AES, detailing the consequences of their child’s continued poor attendance, or the taking of leave in term time without authorisation, or in the case of exclusion their child being in a public place within the first five days.

• A registered pupil has been absent for more than 10 school sessions in any 12 week period.

• Where there has been a period of unauthorised absence of not less than 10 school sessions in any 12 week period which has been specifically condoned by the parent/carer e.g. a parent choosing to take their child out of school during term time without authorisation.

• A registered pupil has been late (after the close of registration) for 12 or more sessions in any 6 week period.

• The Local Authority is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to show the parent/carer has committed an offence under S444(1) or S444(1A) of the Education Act 1996.

• When a penalty notice has not been issued in the previous 12 calendar months in respect of the child in question.

• When an offence has been committed under S103 Education and Inspections Act 2006 where a pupil has been found in a public place without reasonable justification in the first five days of an exclusion. Reasonable justification will be considered in each individual case but will include e.g. a medical emergency or a pre-arranged medical appointment, or where it is not appropriate to leave a child alone in the home.

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This is not intended as a definitive list OR

• When a child has been stopped during a truancy patrol but only after due consideration when all the facts are known and the threshold for serving the notice has been met.

Information will be given to anyone stopped on a patrol, pupil and/or parent/carer about the possible support and sanctions used to address poor school attendance.

In cases where families contain more than one poor-attending pupil, multiple issues may occur but this will be the subject of careful consideration and co-ordination as part of the Local Authority’s integrated services.

There will be no restriction on the number of times a parent/carer may receive a formal warning of a possible issue of a Penalty Notice. However, once a warning is issued it will remain in place for the next 6 calendar months.

Schools must consider every aspect of a pupil’s case before considering whether a Penalty Notice would be appropriate. This must include strategic discussions with attendance-support staff at the school and/or Families First or other services who have involvement with or knowledge of the pupil/family.

4. Procedure for Issuing Penalty Notices

• The Local Authority Officer hereby known as the “Authorising Officer” will authorise the issuing of Penalty Notices in Islington.

• This will ensure consistent and equitable delivery, retain school-home relationships and allow cohesion with other enforcement sanctions.

• Penalty Notices will only be issued by post and never as an on the spot action; this is to satisfy that all evidential requirements are in place and to meet Health and Safety requirements.

• The Authorising Officer will receive requests to issue Penalty Notices from schools, the

Police and neighbouring Local Authorities. These requests will be actioned as long as: o All relevant information is supplied in the specified manner; o The circumstances of the pupil’s absence meets all the requirements of this Protocol; o The issuing of a Penalty Notice does not conflict with other intervention strategies in place or other enforcement sanctions already being processed. o The Authorising Officer will respond to all requests within ten (10) school days of receipt, and where all criteria are met will:

– Issue a formal, written warning to the parent/carer of the possibility of a Penalty

Notice being issued.

– In the same letter set a period within which the pupil must have no unauthorised absence.

– Issue a Penalty Notice through the post if the required level of improvement has not been achieved.

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5. Procedure for withdrawing Penalty Notices

• Once issued, a Penalty Notice will only be withdrawn in the following circumstances: o Proof has been established that the Penalty Notice was issued to the wrong person. o The issue of the Penalty Notice did not conform to the terms of the Code of Conduct. o The Penalty Notice contains material errors e.g. wrong address etc. o The Penalty Notice is not paid and the matter is being referred to court. o In the instance of exclusion, reasonable justification was evidenced by the parent/carer.

6. Payment of Penalty Notices

• Arrangements for payment will be detailed on the Penalty Notice. Payments are only acceptable using the e-payment facility for Penalty Notices. Payments by any other means cannot be accepted.

• Payment of a Penalty Notice discharges the parent/carer liability for the period in question and they cannot subsequently be prosecuted under other enforcement powers for the period covered by the Penalty Notice.

• Payment of a Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days and after this time it is £120 payable in 28 days.

• The Local Authority retains any revenue from Penalty Notices to cover enforcement costs

(collection or prosecuting in the event of non-payment).

7. Non-payment of Penalty Notices

• Non-payment of a Penalty Notice will result in the withdrawal of the Notice and will trigger the prosecution process under the provisions of Sec 444, 1996 Education Act. However, the

PN can be withdrawn without a prosecution taking place where it can be shown that the PN has been issued to the wrong person or sent to the wrong address or no offence has been committed or where the imposition of the PN is not within the terms of the Code of

Conduct. Alternatively, Legal Services may deem it not to be in the public interest to prosecute a parent where a prosecution would be contrary to the public interest.

8. Policy & Publicity

• Deployment of Penalty Notices as a sanction must be included in the School’s Attendance

Policy. Information on the deployment of Penalty Notices should be brought to the attention of all parents.

• The Local Authority will include information on the use of Penalty Notices and other attendance enforcement sanctions in promotional/public information material.

9. Reporting & Review

• The Authorising Officer will review the use of Penalty Notices annually and amend the Code of Conduct as appropriate.

The Authorising Officer will maintain a register of Penalty Notices issued, and include details of each child’s school, school year, gender, ethnicity, special educational needs/disability, disposal and outcome, and publish the details at the end of each academic year.

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7.2 Application to Request the Local Authority to take Statutory Action

School/Academy

Name:

Staff Member

Contact Name:

Tel:

E mail:

Pupil’s name:

Address:

Parent/carer(s) full names

Mother:

Father:

Carer:

Please indicate who has parental responsibility:

Address (if different from above):

D.O.B:

If parents are separated and non-resident parent has involvement, please give their address:

Siblings Names/Dates of Birth/Schools

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Record of work undertaken:

Pupil’s attendance record attached

Letters to parents

Dates:

Meetings in school/home

Dates:

Early Help Assessment carried out?

Accepted?

Other professionals involved

Name:

Name:

Name:

Name:

YES/NO

Copies attached? YES/NO

Copies of outcomes attached? YES/NO

YES/NO

YES/NO

Contact:

Contact:

Contact:

Contact:

Court Warning letters

Dates:

Penalty Notice Issued? YES/NO

Absence dates in PN:

Copies attached? YES/NO

Date:

Paid/Unpaid

Mitigating factors (i.e. any reasons a parent may present for the absence or some parts of the absence):

Signed: …………………………………………………………………………………….

Principal/Headteacher

Date: ……………………………

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7.3 Notice to Local Authority of Intention to Issue a Penalty Notice for

Term Time Leave

Under Section 23(1) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and Section 103 of the Education and

Inspections Act 2006

To: Access and Engagement Service

We have complied with the Local Authority Penalty Notice Code of Conduct. We attach a signed

Certificate of Attendance. Please issue a Penalty Notice QSP reference number so that the school/academy can issue the Penalty Notice. The pupil has returned to school in the last ten school days and we have coded the absence ‘G’.

School/Academy

Full Name of Child

Date of Birth of Child

School Year

Full Names of Parents/Carers to be issued

Home address

Overall attendance % for academic year

Actual absence dates for unauthorised holidays (this should not be more 10 school days after the pupil has returned to school)

Siblings names and attendance details

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………

Headteacher/Principal/Assistant or Deputy/Assistant Headteacher or Principal

Office Use: Business Support, Pupil Services

Information for PN

Home/school distance check (up to 8 years: 2 miles, over 8 years 3 miles)

Complete/Incomplete

Attendance Certificate for holiday period only

Warning letter re term time leave

Decline letter

Missing details

PN QSP Reference No.

Reason for not issuing

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7.4 Notice to Local Authority of Intention to Issue a Penalty Notice for

Poor School Attendance

Under Section 23(1) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and Section 103 of the Education and

Inspections Act 2006.

To: Access and Engagement Service

We have complied with the Local Authority Penalty Notice Code of Conduct. We attach a signed

Certificate of Attendance. Please issue a Penalty Notice QSP Reference Number. The absences to be referred to in the Penalty Notice are within the last 10 weeks.

School/Academy

Full Name of Child

Date of Birth of Child

School Year

Full Names of

Parents/Carers to be issued

Home address

Reason for issuing

Penalty Notice

Poor school attendance (more than 10 sessions of unauthorised absence in a 12 week period)

Persistent lateness (arrival after close of register more than 12 sessions in a 6 week period)

Overall attendance % for academic year

Period of attendance/absence to be referred to in

Penalty Notice (within last 10 weeks)

Siblings names and attendance details

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………

Headteacher/Principal/Assistant or Deputy/Assistant Headteacher or Principal

Office Use: Education Welfare Service Administration

Information for PN Complete/Incomplete

Home/school distance check (up to 8 years: 2 miles, over 8 years 3 miles)

Attendance Certificate

Court Warning

Missing Details

PN QSP Reference No.

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7.5 Penalty Notice

PENALTY NOTICE

{SCHOOL HEADER}

S444 Education Act 1996

The Education (Penalty Notice)(England)(Amendments) Regulations 2013

Title First Name Surname

Address

Postcode

Date of Issue: DD Month YYYY

Dear Title Surname ,

A parent/carer is guilty of an offence under S444 Education Act 1996 if their child, of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school, fails to attend regularly.

You are the parent/carer of: First Name Surname , ( DD Month YYYY ) who is a registered pupil at XXXX School.

Between DD Month YYYY and DD Month YYYY your child failed to attend school regularly.

Due to your child’s unsatisfactory attendance you are being issued with a Penalty Notice under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. This gives you an opportunity to discharge your liability under the Education Act 1996. Please note that each parent/carer has a duty to ensure their children's regular attendance at school and will be issued with a separate Penalty Notice.

The amount of the penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of this notice. This rises to

£120 if paid after the 21 days but within 28 days. Payment instructions are overleaf.

If you pay the fine within the time limits no further action will be taken against you in connection to the offence set out in this notice. Late, part payments or instalments will not be accepted.

If £60 payment is not received by DD/MM/YY the fine will rise to £120.

If £120 payment is not received by DD/MM/YY you will be prosecuted for the original offence of failing to ensure your child’s attendance and could be subject to a range of fines or other disposals in the Magistrates' Court.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher/Principal cc. Access and Engagement Service

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7.6 How to Pay: Education Penalty Notice (Non-Attendance)

IMPORTANT:

If £60 payment is not received by DD/MM/YY the fine will rise to £120.

If £120 payment is not received by DD/MM/YY you will be prosecuted for the original offence of failing to ensure your child’s attendance and could be subject to a range of fines or other disposals in the Magistrates' Court.

WEBSITE DETAILS

Your payment should be made online at

www.islington.gov.uk/educationpenaltynotice

You will need the following information to hand:

PARENT/CHILD DETAILS

Name of Parent: First name, Surname

Address: Address, Address, Postcode

Name of child: First Name Surname

School: XXXX

Date of issue of PN : DD/MM/YY

PENALTY DETAILS

QSP Reference: 0 XXXX

QSP Code: EC410 TF08

DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD

Have your Credit or Debit card with you so that you are able to enter the required details to make the payment.

Notes

Code of Conduct – This notice has been issued in accordance with the local code of conduct drawn up by Islington

Council. Any correspondence about the code should be addressed to the Education Welfare Service to the address overleaf.

Withdrawal of the Notice – This notice may be withdrawn by Islington Council if it is shown that it should not have been issued to you or has not been issued in accordance with the code of conduct. If your child has further unauthorised absences within one year of this Notice being issued, the matter may be referred to the Magistrates’

Court for prosecution i.e. you will not be issued with a second Penalty Notice within 12 calendar months of the current

Notice. If the notice is not withdrawn and you do not pay, you will be liable to prosecution (see below).

Prosecution – If you do not pay the penalty and the notice is not withdrawn you will be prosecuted for the offence of failing to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school. You will receive a separate summons for this which will give you notice of the time and date of the court hearing. You may defend yourself and you would be advised to seek legal representation. In some circumstances you may be entitled to legal aid.

7.7 Guidance on the use of PACE in Prosecutions for Irregular School

Attendance

What is PACE?

The Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) sets out the principles of fairness, openness and workability in the investigation of crime. PACE Codes of Practice explain how the principles should be interpreted in practice.

The Codes are largely for use by police staff, but under section 67(9) of the Act, other professionals who are charged with the duty of investigating offences or charging offenders must have regard to any relevant provision of a code issued under the Act.

This includes LA officials involved in investigating and prosecuting parents under s444 of the

Education Act 1996.

In the case of irregular school attendance, LA staff need to be aware of Code C in relation to the interviewing of suspects, and Code E on the recording of interviews with suspects. Both set out the safeguards and protections which should be in place in order to ensure that information gathered can be used in evidence.

The purpose of Code C is to ensure that interviews are carried out fairly. The parent/carer should:

Understand the basis of the interview.

Be made aware of his or her rights (to silence and legal representation).

Have access to legal advice, interpreters and appropriate adults (e.g. where the parent/carer has mental health problems) as appropriate.

The interview should also be recorded, either on tape or by written note. Legal Services advise the use of a tape recorder; Public Protection use these. Otherwise there will need to be someone else present to record/minute the interview.

Code E sets out the procedures to be followed in the tape recording of interviews and the handling and security of tapes.

Why do LAs need to use it?

In carrying out their duties in investigating and prosecuting parent/carers for the non-attendance of their children, LAs will fall within PACE whenever they interview a parent/carer about the nonattendance of their child with a view to obtaining evidence for a prosecution.

Admissibility of Evidence

If an LA does not comply with the relevant provisions of the PACE Codes of Practice, evidence which is obtained in an interview may be inadmissible at court. This can put the entire prosecution at risk.

Inferences which may be drawn by the court

More positively, following PACE will also assist the LA. The effect of the caution is that if the parent raises matters in their defence later in the proceedings of which they made no mention at the interview, the LA can invite the court to draw an inference on the failure to reveal this earlier in the proceedings i.e. calling the truth of the matter raised into question or according it less weight.

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In court, a parent/carer may, for example cite bullying as a reason for the non-attendance, without having mentioned this before.

When should LAs use PACE?

There are 2 offences for non-attendance under the 1996 Act – s.444 (1) and s.444 (1A). The LA has a duty to consider applying to the Family Proceedings Court for an Education Supervision Order under s36 Children Act 1989 in all cases.

Under s444 (1), the LA need only show that the child failed to attend regularly without authorisation. The LA needs to produce a Section 9 Witness Statement with evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the parent/carer contravened s444(1).

Under s.444 (1A), the LA must show not only that the child failed to attend regularly at school without authorisation but that the parent/carer knew and failed without reasonable justification to cause the child to do so. If prosecuting under this section, the LA may well conduct interviews with the parent/carer to ascertain the extent of their knowledge of the non-attendance and whether they have a reasonable justification.

What do LAs have to do to make sure they are compliant?

Code C

Basis of Interview

Before asking any questions relating to the potential prosecution, the Officer should explain to the parent/carer the basis on which the interview is being conducted i.e. that the LA is considering prosecuting the parent under s444(1) or (1A) Education Act 1996 and that they are duty bound to consider an application for an Education Supervision Order. They should explain what the offence is and check that the parent/carer understands what has been said.

Right to leave and right to legal representation

The parent should also be made aware that they are not being held under arrest and are free to go at any time. They should also be informed of their right to independent legal representation and advice at the interview if they so wish.

Caution

The Officer conducting the interview should also caution the parent as follows:

“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

The Officer should be satisfied that the parent/carer understands the effect of the caution. If there is any break in the interview, the parent/carer must be reminded that they are still under caution. This also applies if for example the caution is included in a letter inviting the parent/carer to the meeting.

Interpreter

If a parent/carer has difficulty in understanding English and wishes to have an interpreter, LAs should arrange for a suitable interpreter to be present at the interview.

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Appropriate Adult

In some cases, there may be concerns over the parent/carer’s mental health. If the LA believes that the parent/carer is suffering from a mental disorder or is otherwise mentally vulnerable, the caution should be given and the interview conducted in the presence of an appropriate adult. This may be the adult who is normally responsible for their care, a mental health worker or social worker experienced in dealing with mentally vulnerable people or another responsible adult, but must not be someone employed in the same department as the interviewing officer.

An interview should not be carried out if:

The parent/carer is mentally vulnerable and there is no appropriate adult available.

The parent/carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The parent/carer is suffering from illness, ailment or other condition which may impair their ability to understand and answer the questions put to them in interview.

Record of the interview

An accurate record must be made of each interview stating the place, time at which it begins and ends and (if different) the time the record is made.

If possible, the interview should be tape recorded (see guidance on code E below). However interviews between the officer and the parent/carer can also be recorded through a written note.

If this is the case, the note should be as precise as possible and should be taken (preferably verbatim) during the interview, and the parent/carer should be given the opportunity to read the note and to sign it to verify that it is correct or to indicate which areas he or she considers it to be inaccurate. This requires the presence, whenever possible, of a second LA officer to take the note.

If an interpreter is present, he or she should make a contemporaneous note of the interview in the language of the person being interviewed. Sufficient time should be allowed for the interpreter to make a note of each question and answer after each has been put or given and interpreted.

Code E

If LAs do not have access to equipment, or if a tape recorded interview is impractical, LAs should simply ensure that an accurate written note is made of the interview as set out above. But if LAs are able to tape record, they should follow the guidelines set out below.

If an interview is recorded, it should be recorded openly and preferably on two tapes on a double cassette deck. The interviewer should state that the interview is being recorded. The tapes should be clean and unwrapped and loaded into the machine in the parent’s presence.

Once recording has started, the interviewer should:

State their name and position and the name and position of any other interviewer present.

Ask the parent/carer and any other party present to identify themselves for the tape.

State the date, time and place of the interview.

Confirm that the parent/carer will be given a notice about what will happen to the tapes.

If the parent/carer has impaired hearing, a written note of the interview should also be made.

If the parent/carer objects to the interview being tape recorded, they should be asked to record their objections on the tape before it is switched off. If they will not record their objections, the

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interviewer should record what they understand these to be on the tape instead. A written note of the interview should then be made as set out above.

The taking of any break and reason for it should be recorded on the tape.

After any break, the parent/carer should be reminded that they are still under caution or the caution should be given again.

At the end of the interview, the parent/carer should be asked if they wish to clarify or add anything. The time should be recorded, the tape recorder switched off and one tape (the master tape) sealed with a label to be signed by the interviewer, parent/carer and any third party (e.g. solicitor or appropriate adult). If there is a second tape, this can be used as a working copy.

The parent/carer should then be handed a notice explaining how the tape recording will be used

(e.g. as evidence in court), arrangements for access to the tape (e.g. by attending at LA offices or requesting copy of the tape by post) and, if it is decided to proceed with the prosecution, a copy of the tape as soon as practicable. Copies should be made from the unsealed tape (the working copy). Where it is only possible to record on one tape, a copy may be taken from the sealed tape, but a record must be made of the time, date, place, persons present and actions taken when the seal was broken (e.g. “tape placed in tape recorder and played so that copy could be made”).

Other Codes and Legislation: Disclosure

Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996

The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA) sets out certain obligations of disclosure. The Act is supported by a code of practice (The Stationery Office, 1997, ISBN 0-11-

341163-4). The code of practice is primarily concerned with the recording and retention of material and evidence. LA staff investigating or prosecuting under s444 Education Act 1996 should act in accordance with the CPIA and the relevant provisions of the CPIA code of practice.

What should be disclosed?

The LA Officer must disclose to Legal Services all documents which the prosecution intends to rely on in support of its case and any material which might undermine its case or support the parent’s case. The stages and process of disclosing such material are set out below. The officer must provide legal services with a signed Schedule of Unused material (Non Sensitive) and a signed

Schedule of Sensitive material. The prosecutor will disclose the Schedule of Non Sensitive Unused material to the parent. All requests for disclosure by the parent will be dealt with by the solicitor dealing with the case from Legal Services from the point the prosecution papers are handed over to Legal Services by AES.

How does disclosure take place?

First of all the LA should produce a summary of their case setting out the facts on which the LA is relying.

If the parent/carer pleads not guilty, the LA should produce a list of all the material which it has that supports or undermines the LA’s case, setting out whether the material will be served on the parent (i.e. copies made and sent to him or her) or, if not, where it can be inspected. This is known as primary disclosure.

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Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure

LA Staff involved in prosecutions for school non-attendance should also act in accordance with the

Attorney General’s Guidance on Disclosure issued in 2000.

Code for Crown Prosecutors

LA staff involved in prosecutions for irregular school attendance should have regard for the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Copies of the Code are available from the CPS website

www.cps.gov.uk

.

Key points to be aware of are:

Duty to be fair, independent and objective, not letting any personal views about ethnic or national origin, sex, religious beliefs, political views or sexual orientation influence decisions and not be affected by improper or undue pressure from any source.

Obligation to act in the interests of justice and not solely for the purpose of obtaining a conviction.

Duty to review, advise on and prosecute cases, ensuring that the law is properly applied, that all relevant evidence is put before the court and that obligations of disclosure are complied with.

Duty to act in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998.

Application of the evidential test – is the evidence sufficient?

Application of the public interest test – is it in the public interest to proceed with a prosecution?

School Attendance Orders – s437 Education Act 1996

School Attendance Orders can be used to direct parents to send their child to a specified school, if after inspection by the Local Authority’s Elective Home Education Assessor, it is deemed that the education provided at home is unsatisfactory. A School Attendance order can only be used when a pupil is not on roll at any school and the parent has not made suitable arrangements to educate their child at home.

There are three steps involved:

Step 1: Serve a notice in writing on the parent/carer requiring him/her to satisfy the LA within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving suitable education – Section 438(2)

Education Act 1996.

Step 2: If having served the parent/carer with a notice they fail to satisfy the LA within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving suitable education and if in the opinion of the LA it is expedient that the child should attend school, the LA is required to serve on the parent a School Attendance Order, naming a specific school and requiring the parent/carer to cause the child to become a registered pupil at the school – Section 437 Education Act 1996.

Step 3: 15 days from the date beginning with the day on which the notice is served under s438(2) notice, the school attendance order is then served upon the parent in accordance with s437(3).

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Breach of a School Attendance Order – s443 Education Act 1996

1. If a parent/carer on whom a school attendance order is served fails to comply with the requirements of the order, s/he is guilty of an offence, unless s/he proves that s/he is causing the child to receive suitable education otherwise than at school.

2. If, in proceedings for an offence under this section, the parent/carer is acquitted, the court may direct that the school attendance order shall cease to be in force.

3. A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Revoking a School Attendance Order – s442 Education Act 1996

1. If at any time the parent/carer applies to the local education authority requesting that the order be revoked on the ground that arrangements have been made for the child to receive suitable education otherwise than at school, the authority shall comply with the request, unless they are of the opinion that no satisfactory arrangements have been made for the education of the child otherwise than at school.

2. If a parent/carer is aggrieved by a refusal of the local education authority to comply with a request under subsection (2), he may refer the question to the Secretary of State.

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7.8 Sample School Letter

<Date >

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

Dear <name of parent / carer>

According to our records, <name of pupil> has recently been absent from school. You will be aware that it is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school on the first day of a pupil’s absence to explain the reasons why the <s/he> is unable to attend school and an expected date when

<s/he> should return. Unfortunately we have not received any contact from you.

I am therefore writing to you to give you an opportunity to explain the recent absences. Please complete the tear off slip below and return it to the school as soon as possible. Any absence that hasn’t been explained within two weeks will be categorised as “Unauthorised” Absence –an explanation of this term and the possible consequences are attached.

If you wish to discuss this letter further, please contact me on <school telephone number>.

Yours sincerely

<School Contact>

Designation

School

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Please complete this slip and return to <location> as soon as possible.

Dates of unexplained absence:

<Dates of N Codes>

Explanation for the above dates of unexplained absence:

Parent/Carer Signature…………………………………………………………………………. Date……………………….

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7.9 Sample School Letter 2

<Date >

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

Dear <Name of Parent>

As part of our commitment to improving the attainment of our pupils we monitor pupil attendance on a regular basis. During our regular monitoring of pupil attendance we identify any pupil whose attendance causes concern. We then issue a first Letter to register our concern with parents. We are therefore writing to you due to <Name of pupil>’s current level of attendance:

Attendance <current attendance> %

Authorised Absence

Unauthorised Absence

<current AA> %

<current UA> %

The information below shows how attendance can affect your child’s future progression.

Above 97%: Less than 6 days absence a year

Excellent attendance! These young people will almost certainly get the best grades they can, leading to better prospects for the future. Pupils will also get into a habit of attending school which will help in the future.

95%: 10 days absence a year

These pupils are likely to achieve good grades and form a habit of attending school regularly.

Pupils who take a 2 week holiday every year can only achieve 95% attendance.

90%: 19 days absence a year

The Government classes Young People in this group as “Persistent Absentees”, and it will be almost impossible to keep up with work. Parents of young people in this group could also face the possibility of legal action being taken by the Local Authority.

If you have any queries or would like to talk to anyone about attendance please do not hesitate to contact <named school person> on <telephone number>

Yours sincerely

<School contact>

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7.10 Sample School Letter 3

<Date >

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

Dear <name of parent / carer>

Since we wrote to you on <date of 1st letter>, <name of pupil>’s attendance has failed to improve significantly, and is now <attendance percentage>%. This is below what we expect and to put this into perspective 90% attendance is equivalent to missing 19 days of school per year.

When looking into the reasons why <name of pupil> has been absent from school, we noticed that the majority of the absence was linked to illness and/or medical reasons.

Due to the level of illness and/or medical absence, I must ask that if any further absence occurs, evidence must be received by the school that shows that the pupil has been absent and is being supported by a Doctor. Some examples of evidence that could be used are: Prescriptions,

Appointment Cards, Doctor’s Notes, etc.

If this evidence is not supplied when your child returns after an illness or medical absence, your child’s absence will be recorded as an “unauthorised” absence - an explanation of this term and the possible consequences are attached.

We would appreciate your support to make sure <name of child>’s attendance improves. The school will continue to monitor the situation and will be in touch again if it does not improve.

Thank you for your cooperation

Yours sincerely

<School Contact>

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7.11 Sample School Letter 4

<Date >

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

Dear <name of parent / carer>

Since we wrote to you on <date of 1st letter>, <name of pupil>’s attendance has failed to improve significantly, and is now <attendance percentage>%. This is below what we expect and to put this into perspective 90% attendance is equivalent to missing 19 days of school per year

– your child will spend more time at home than at school this academic year!

Ongoing low attendance is a factor often linked to low levels of academic success. It is important that low attendance is dealt with as early as possible to prevent poor habits of attendance forming with <name of pupil>. Poor attendance habits now will make it increasingly difficult for you to ensure your child attends school regularly as they get older.

We wish to help <name of pupil> to improve <his/her> attendance. If you would like to discuss

<name of pupil>’s attendance please contact <school contact> on <school contact number> and I will be happy to talk with you and if required arrange a meeting.

We would appreciate your support to make sure <name of child>’s attendance improves. The school will continue to monitor the situation and will be in touch again if it does not improve.

Thank you for your cooperation

Yours sincerely

<School Contact>

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7.12 Sample School Letter 5

<Date >

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

Dear <name of parent / carer>

As you will be aware from our previous two letters, we have concerns with regard to <name of pupil>’s attendance of <attendance percentage>%. Unfortunately we have not received a satisfactory reason for <name of pupil>’s absence and their attendance has failed to improve significantly.

I enclose your child’s most recent registration certificate for your information.

Ongoing low attendance is a factor often linked to low levels of academic success. It is important that low attendance is dealt with as early as possible to prevent poor habits of attendance forming with <name of pupil>. Poor attendance habits now will make it increasingly difficult for you to ensure your child attends school regularly as they get older.

We wish to help <name of pupil> to improve <his/her> attendance. I would like you to attend a meeting with me on <date> at <time> to discuss what we can all do to help <name of pupil> attend more regularly.

If you are unable to attend this meeting, please contact me as soon as possible so we can arrange another time and date to meet.

Yours sincerely,

<School Contact>

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7.13 Sample School Letter re: Lateness

<Date >

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

<Address>

Dear <Name of Parent>

As part of our commitment to improving the attainment of our pupils we monitor pupil attendance on a regular basis. During our regular monitoring of pupil attendance we identify any pupil whose attendance causes concern, including those pupils who have arrived late to school on a number of occasions. We are therefore writing to you due to <Name of pupil>’s current number of late sessions:

Attendance <current attendance> %

Number of late sessions <current AA> %

Number of “unauthorised” lates <current UA> %

Being late to school can have a considerable impact over the whole school year. The table below shows you just how much time can be missed over a year just by being 5 minutes late to school every day:

5 minutes late every day = 3 days of school lost a year

10 minutes late every day = 6.5 days of school lost a year

15 minutes late every day = 10 days of school lost a year

20 minutes late every day = 13 days of school lost a year

30 minutes late every day = 19 days of school lost a year

We understand that the school mornings can be hectic, but when your child is late for school they are missing out on vital parts of their education. If your child arrives 30 minutes after the register has been taken, they will have an “unauthorised” late mark – this is the same as an “unauthorised absence” - an explanation of this term and the possible consequences are attached.

If you have any queries or would like to talk to anyone about attendance please do not hesitate to contact <named school person> on <telephone number>

Yours sincerely

<School contact>

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7.14 Sample Parenting Contract (all mandatory apart from job titles)

Parenting Contract – Islington Council/Name of School

Pupil Name

Address

School

Date of birth

Year Group

Attendance during last 12 weeks % Sessions of Unauthorised Absence

Details of Parents/Guardians/Carers (including Absent Parent(s))

Forename DoB

Surname

Relationship

Address

Contact Number

DoB

Details of Supporting Agencies

Member of School Staff

Attendance Officer

Role

Contact details

This Parenting Contract is a formal written agreement with the Parent(s), Pupil(s), school (and

Local Authority) to support the following action plan to address the poor school attendance of the pupil.

A meeting was convened with the parent/carer, pupil, teacher and Access and Engagement Officer to address the following issues:

1. The reasons for the pupil’s non-attendance at school.

2. Actions that can or need to be taken by any or all of the people involved to secure the pupil’s attendance at School.

3. To identify an agreed level of attendance for the pupil to attain during the review period.

4. The potential consequence of legal action being taken should the pupil’s attendance at School not improve.

Any agreement made in this Parenting Contract can only be amended providing everyone is aware and agree to the suggested amendments. Should the issue of attendance and/or punctuality continue to be a problem as a result of the Parenting Contract not being adhered to this document may be used as evidence in any legal action.

Review Date:

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Reasons for Absence:

Views of the School:

Views of Parent/Carer:

Views of Child:

Views of Access and Engagement Officer:

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ACTIONS

The Parent/Carer agrees to:

Suggested Action Tick if

Relevant

Make sure the pupil attend school every day.

Contact the school by phone to check attendance.

Look for the pupil and when possible return him/her to school should he/she have chosen to left the building.

Attend any future meetings that may be called by school staff or Access and

Engagement Officer.

Notify the school on the day of absence, giving a reason and indicating a return date/time.

Contact the school as soon as you become aware of any concerns, issues or problems that you or the pupil have.

Contact the AES Officer if the pupil feels that the school are not dealing with any issue, or if the pupil feels uncomfortable about discussing an issue with the school.

Find out where the pupil goes when he/she is not in school and inform the AES Officer so that action can be taken if this arises.

Notify the school of any occasions when you are aware that the pupil will be late to school, giving reasons.

Keep the school updated with full contact details, including where possible, a telephone number.

Ensure the pupil is seen by a GP when ill and provide medical evidence of any absence due to illness (i.e. appointment cards, prescriptions, letters etc).

The school and/or EAS Officer contacting other professionals involved with providing support for the pupil and the parent/carer(s) (i.e. Children’s Social Care etc).

Any Other Agreed Actions:

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………………

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The Pupil agrees to:

Suggested Action Tick if

Relevant

Attend school as agreed and on time.

Be responsible for obtaining a registration mark, even if he/she is late for school.

Attend any future meetings as felt necessary by parent, school staff or AES Officer.

Be responsible for getting out of bed every morning to get to school on time and be aware that if he/she is late he/she will have to face the consequences.

Make sure they follow the conditions of any attendance report.

Tell his/her parent/carer of any concerns, especially if they are likely to affect attendance.

Contact the AES Officer or the teacher and let them know of any problems he/she has generally or relating to his/her schoolwork.

Any Other Agreed Actions:

I agree to follow the above plan.

(Pupil) Signed ………………………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………………

I agree to support the pupil in following the above plan.

(Parent/Carer) Signed ……………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………………

(Parent/Carer) Signed ……………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………………

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The School agrees to:

Suggested Action Tick if

Relevant

Provide the pupil with a place on roll at the School.

Provide appropriate education and support.

Ensure that the pupil’s attendance is monitored on a daily basis.

Be available to make contact to discuss problems.

Place the pupil on an attendance report.

Liaise closely with the parent/carer and AES Officer should there be any problems, concerns or issues regarding the pupil, including any unexplained absences.

On receiving a call from the parent/carer, check that the pupil is in school.

With the parent/carer’s and pupil’s agreement, the appropriate teaching staff will be made aware of the pupil’s situation.

Respond to, or deal with, any problems, concerns or issues raised by the pupil, parent/carer, school staff or AES Officer.

If appropriate, consider alternative provision.

If appropriate, consider an amended timetable.

Any Other Agreed Actions:

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………………

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The Access and Engagement Officer agrees to:

Suggested Action Tick if

Relevant

Respond as soon as is practicably possible to any issues raised by the pupil, parent/carer or school staff.

Provide support, help or advice to the pupil, parent/carer or school staff on request.

Provide the parent/carer(s) with a place on a Parenting Programme.

Meet with the parent/carer, pupil or school staff in the first instance should there be any further issues or problems identified particularly relating to attendance or punctuality.

Arrange to meet with the pupil regularly or when the pupil requires.

Review attendance with after ……weeks with Line Manager and agree further action as necessary.

Consider the use of the Common Assessment Framework.

Contact other professionals supporting the pupil to clarify roles.

Any Other Agreed Actions:

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………… Date ………………………………………

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7.15 Sample General Letter to all Parents about Punctuality

Dear Parent/Carer,

Re: Punctuality

I am writing to remind you of …………………………………… School’s policy about lateness.

The law requires pupils to attend school regularly and this includes arriving on time each day.

When a pupil arrives late to school, there are many consequences:

He or she misses out on essential instructions given at the beginning of lessons – in fact, arriving 5 minutes late each day adds up to missing 3 entire days of school by the end of the year.

Pupils might feel awkward and embarrassed going into the classroom when everyone else is already settled.

When one person arrives late everyone loses out – the class is disrupted and the teacher must take time away from the other pupils to explain what is going on for the lesson.

There are also very serious legal consequences for parents and carers when children are persistently late. If your child has a high level of lateness you will receive a warning letter. After this, continued lateness could result in Penalty Notice (a £60-£120 fine) or a summons to

Magistrate’s Court.

If you have any concerns about your child’s punctuality please talk to us.

Give your child the best possible chance to succeed – ensure they arrive at school on time each day!

Yours sincerely,

Headteacher

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7.16 Sample Warning Letter to Parents about Persistent Lateness

*** Schools do not have to use this exact letter; however, the text in bold must be included in any letter if statutory action is to be taken on a case ***

Dear ………………………………………………

Re: Persistent Lateness

I am writing to inform you that your child ……………………………………………… is persistently late for school. Between date and date he/she was late on ………… occasions and missed ………… hours of education.

When pupils arrive late, they miss out on essential instructions given at the beginning of the lesson. This can significantly reduce achievement, regardless of academic ability. Your child may also feel awkward arriving to the classroom when everyone else is settled. Furthermore, when one pupil arrives late, it disrupts the entire class and the teacher – everyone’s education is compromised.

Further lateness may result in you being served with a Penalty Notice or a summons to court.

Parents have a duty to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school and failure to do so is an offence under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

The school’s attendance officer will be in contact with you about this matter.

Meanwhile, if anything can be done to support ……………………………………………… getting to school on time, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Headteacher

CC: Access & Engagement Officer

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Section Eight

Appendices

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8.1 Definition of Key Terminology

Children’s Social Care (CSC)

The Children’s Social Care service is responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in need and children in care. The department includes the Children in Need, Children

Looked After and Quality and Safeguarding services. The service works closely with the Islington

Safeguarding Children Board, who is responsible for ensuring that all professionals and agencies in

Islington work well together and, where necessary share information.

Common Assessment Framework (CAF), also known as Early Help Assessment

The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a shared assessment and planning tool used across all children’s services in England. It helps the early identification of children and young people’s additional needs and co-ordinates services to meet those needs.

There are three basic questions to consider before starting a CAF:

Are the needs of the child clear?

Are the needs of the child being met?

Can the needs of the child be met without additional support?

If the answer to any of these questions is NO then you must consider a CAF.

The CAF focuses on three areas:

Developmental Needs - How well the child or young person is developing, including their health, emotional and social development and progress in learning.

Parents and Carers - How well parents and carers are able to support their child or young person’s development and respond appropriately to their needs.

Family and Environmental Factors - The impact of wider family and environmental factors on the child or young person’s development and on the capacity of their parents/carers.

eCAF

CAFs must be completed using the online eCAF – this enables practitioners to share information about children securely across agencies. It is important that all frontline practitioners who work with children receive eCAF training. Information about training and the eCAF ‘User Guide’ and

‘Quick Guide’ can be downloaded by following the links below:

For further information see: The Common Assessment Framework: A Toolkit for Practitioners at

www.islington.gov.uk/publicrecords/library/Education-andskills/Information/Guidance/2010-2011/(2011-02-14)-CAF-Toolkit.pdf

For eCAF User Guide and Quick Guide see:

http://www.islington.gov.uk/services/childrenfamilies/cs-about-childrens-services/change_for_children/practitioners/Pages/eCAF.aspx

Education Supervision Order (ESO)

If a child continues to have poor attendance at school they can be made the subject of an

Education Supervision Order (ESO). This means that an Access and Engagement Officer will supervise and support the parent/carer and their child to make sure that their attendance at school improves and that they are properly educated. The conditions of the ESO could mean that the parent/carer will have to attend meetings at the school, or parenting classes. They will also

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have to keep the council informed if they or their child change address and if they want to change schools they must get the approval of the council first.

ESO's are usually for a period of 12 months. If the child's attendance doesn't improve, or the parent/carer does not co-operate, they will be referred to the Magistrates’ Court, which could result in a fine of up to £2500 and/or three months in prison or referred to social care to consider applying for a higher order, which could include care proceedings.

Family Star

Family Star is an evaluation/outcomes tool used to help engage parents and children in the work they need to do to change family life and measure and record their progress.

The tool covers eight areas of parenting essential to enabling children to thrive:

Promoting good health.

Meeting emotional needs.

Keeping your child/ren safe.

Social networks.

Supporting education and learning.

Setting boundaries and promoting positive behaviour.

Maintaining a family routine.

Providing home and money.

Islington Safeguarding Children Board (ISCB)

The Islington Safeguarding Children Board is a statutory multi-agency body responsible for ensuring that agencies work well together to safeguard and protect all children and young people from harm.

ISCB is responsible for:

Developing and co-ordinating safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures for all organisations in Islington.

Delivering multi-agency training.

Investigating allegations concerning people who work with children.

Co-ordinating, monitoring, evaluating and ensuring the effectiveness of what is done by Board members individually and across agencies.

Advising on ways to improve the welfare of and outcomes for children.

Undertaking Child Death Reviews when a child dies unexpectedly in order to learn any lessons from their death.

Undertaking Serious Case Reviews where a child has died or has been seriously harmed when abuse or neglect is known or suspected.

Developing and disseminating good practice.

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Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

A national Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) programme began in 2011 following the successful development of a model in Devon. According to a recent report from the University of

Greenwich, the turnaround time for child protection cases judged as high or complex needs has almost halved in some areas since introduction. A MASH incorporates a whole range of agencies.

The aim is to identify vulnerable children earlier and more efficiently through better information sharing and to enable agencies to act quickly. The MASH in Islington sits within the Children's

Services Contact Team (CSCT), the single point of contact for requests for services for vulnerable children and young people, and includes Children’s Social Care, Community Health, Education,

Families First, Police, Adult Mental Health, Probation, and Targeted Youth Support.

When a referral is received by CSCT which raises safeguarding concerns, but the level of need or risk is unclear, the referral will be subject to a MASH check. This enables multi agency information to be shared to avoid children falling through the net of services by building a full picture of risk to assist early decision making. The MASH is a confidential environment where information is only shared between designated MASH professionals within a specified timeframe. Once the level of need and risk is clarified, the child will be matched to the most appropriate type of service, through the normal CSCT processes. MASH checks can only be carried out where there is consent or serious safeguarding concerns that indicate that seeking consent would prejudice the child’s welfare.

The role of Education: A manager from within Education is always available to follow up on MASH enquiries. When contacting a school to assist with a MASH enquiry, we will normally ask to speak with the person responsible for Safeguarding. The referral will normally make clear the nature of concern, whether consent has been given for the checks or not, and any particular aspect/s we are keen to have more information on. You will normally be asked for the following information:

1. What is the pupil’s current attendance figure?

2. If there is pupil absence, has this been authorised or unauthorised? Reasons?

3. Is the pupil regularly late to school?

4. Are there any concerns about the pupil’s behaviour? In class? Around the school?

5. Are there any concerns around the pupil’s appearance and/or emotional well-being?

6. Is the pupil currently performing below, in line with or above expected (age appropriate) progress?

7. Are there any concerns around the effort they put into their school work?

8. Does the pupil have any other successes/achievements?

9. Is the pupil receiving any additional support from the school and/or outside agencies for anything?

10. Are the parents/carers supportive and engaged with the school? Are there any particular causes for concern?

11. Are you aware of any health conditions? (Are there any concerns in relation to mum’s engagement, getting to appointments etc.)

12. Any other issues? (Any significant information raising concerns around the overall care of the child? Have there been any other safeguarding issues?)

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Parenting Orders

If a child does not attend school regularly, the court could give the parent/carer a parenting order to help them to correct their child's behaviour and failure to attend school. The parent/carer may have to attend a parenting programme, counselling or guidance sessions for up to three months, where they will get support and advice on making sure their child attends school regularly. Breach of the order is a criminal offence.

Penalty Notices

The Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid within 28 days. A Penalty

Notice can be issued if: a) A registered pupil is absent for 10 sessions (unauthorised) or more in any 12 week period. b) A registered pupil has been late (after the close of registers) for 12 or more sessions in any six week period. c) There has been a period of unauthorised absence which has been specifically condoned by the parent/carer e.g. a parent/carer choosing to take their child out of school during termtime without authorisation. d) A pupil has been found in a public place without reasonable justification in the first five days of an exclusion.

The liable parent/carer will receive a formal warning of the possibility of a Penalty Notice being issued. For term time holidays or leave of absence during term time, there is no requirement to issue a formal court warning. However, schools are expected to have warned parents/carers of the possibility of a Penalty Notice being issued without further notice if they take their child out of school for a family holiday or take leave of absence, during term time.

Safeguarding

“Safeguarding is

The Children Act 2004 states that safeguarding children is about:

Protecting children from maltreatment, abuse and neglect.

Minimising risks of harm to children.

Preventing impairment of children’s health or development.

everyone’s business.”

Addressing children’s needs at an early stage rather than when serious problems have developed.

Ensuring that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Promoting children’s welfare.

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2013) sets out a clear expectation that local agencies will work together and collaborate to identify children with additional needs and provide support as soon as a problem emerges. Providing early help is far more effective in promoting the welfare of children – and keeping them safe – than reacting later when any problems, for example neglect, may have become more entrenched.

School Attendance Order (SAO)

If a child is not on roll at any school the Local Authority can issue a School Attendance Order naming a school the child must start to attend. If the parent doesn’t comply with the order then they may be fined by the Magistrate’s Court.

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Team Around the Child (TAC)

A multi-disciplinary team of practitioners established on a case-by-case basis to support a child, young person or family. TAC supports particular elements of good professional practice in joinedup working, information sharing and early intervention. The TAC is a model of service delivery that involves:

A joined-up assessment, usually a Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

A lead professional (LP) to coordinate the work.

The child / young person and family at the centre of the process.

A virtual or flexible multi-agency team that will change as needs change.

Coordination at the point of delivery.

A CAF/TAC plan to meet the needs of the child / young person.

Regular meetings to which the child / young person and families are invited to attend.

In Islington, the TAC is enlarged to become:

A Team Around the Family (TAF) when dealing with families.

A Team Around the School (TAS) where all the children with additional needs in a school are helped.

Responsibilities of each member of the TAC

Each practitioner in the TAC is responsible/accountable to their home agency for the services they deliver to children, young people and families.

Members of the TAC are jointly responsible for developing and delivering the delivery plan to meet the needs of the child or young person, and achieve the intended outcomes identified through the common assessment.

Each member of the TAC is responsible for delivering the activities they agreed to carry out as part of the delivery plan.

Each member of the TAC is responsible for keeping the other members of the team informed about progress in their area of responsibility providing reports promptly when requested and attending meetings.

All TAC members should contribute to taking minutes and chairing meetings, and take on other tasks as necessary.

TAC members should support the lead professional by providing information, offering guidance and advice.

TAC members should contribute actively and positively to solving problems or resolving difficulties.

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8.2 Who to Contact

If you have any concerns about the safety of a child, you should always report this to the

Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400.

Access and Engagement Service (AES)

Michael Gooch

Salma Rahman

Strategic Lead

Team Manager

0207 527 8748 [email protected]

0207 527 5894 [email protected]

For general enquiries and referrals, please call Pupil Services on 0207 527 3747 or email:

[email protected]

Alternative Provision

Gabby Grodentz

Sally Dahl

Head of Alternative Provision

Coordinator of Alternative

Provision

0207 527 5195 [email protected]

0207 527 4470 [email protected]

Early Years

Penny Kenway

Gwen Fitzpatrick Team Leader Early Years

Workforce Development

Fran Guy

Head of Early Years

Early Years Lead for Attendance

0207 527 6103 [email protected]

0207 527 5629 [email protected]

0207 527 8701 [email protected]

If you have any queries about the action you can take with regards to a child’s attendance, please contact the Early Years Service on 020 7527 5921.

Families First

Families First can be contacted on 0207 527 4343 or if you would like to refer a family you can complete an eCAF and send this to [email protected]

.

Governor Services

Mervin Ellis Head of Governor Services 0207 527 5786 [email protected]

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Health

Sheron Hosking Children’s Health Commissioner 0207 527 1772

Islington Children's Partnership [email protected]

Health and Wellbeing (Healthy Schools)

Helen Cameron

Mary Fox

Health & Well Being Manager

School Nurse Manager

0207 527 5591 [email protected]

0203 074 2637 [email protected]

Pupil Services

Candy Holder Head of Pupil Services

Gabriella Di-Sciullo Head of Universal Services

0207 527 5639 [email protected]

0207 527 5779 [email protected]

Fatma Mehmet Business Support Manager,

Pupil Services

0207 527 8259 [email protected]

For general enquiries and referrals, please call Pupil Services on 0207 527 3747 or email:

[email protected]

School Improvement Service

Jeff Cole

Anthony Doudle

Isabelle Jourdan

Head of Secondary School

Improvement

Head of Primary School

Improvement

0207 527 7668 [email protected]

0207 527 3387 [email protected]

Business Support Manager, 0207 527 5768

Early Years, School Improvement [email protected]

and Governor Support Services

Virtual School (for Children Looked After)

Hermione Michaud Headteacher 0207 527 7708/5972 [email protected]

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8.3 Legal Powers and Duties that Govern and/or are Relevant to

School Attendance

The Education Act 1996 - sections 434(1)(3)(4)&(6) and 458(4)&(5)

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The Education Act 2002 - section 32

The Education Act 1996 – section 551(1)

The Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations 1999

The Changing of School Session Times (England) (Revocation) Regulations 2011

The Children Act 1989 (section 36);

The Education Act 1996

Crime and Disorder Act 1998

The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 (ASB Act)

The Education Act 2005

The Education and Inspections Act 2006

The Education (Parenting Contracts and Parenting Orders) (England) Regulations 2007

Magistrates’ Courts (Parenting Orders) (Amendment) Rules 2007

The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007

The Education and Skills Act 2008 (section 2 and155)

The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.

Legislation regarding Children in Entertainment

Children and Young Persons Act 1933 & 1963

Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 (as amended)

Children (Performances) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998

Behaviour and Discipline in schools

Education Act 1996

School Standards and Framework Act 1998

Education Act 2002

Education and Inspections Act 2006

Education Act 2011

School Admissions

School Admissions and Appeals Codes, 2012

School Standards and Framework Act, 1998 Section 84 as amended by section 40 EIA 2006

Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 (as amended by section 4 of the Education and

Inspection Act 2006)

Section 19 of the Education Act 1996 (as amended by section 3 of the Children, Schools and

Families Act 2010)

The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

The School Admissions Code and School Admissions Appeal Code

School Admissions (Adjudicator Determinations Relating to Looked After and Certain Other

Children) (England) Regulations 2007

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School Admissions (Admission Arrangements) (England) 2008

School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Coordination of Admission Arrangements)

(England) 2012

School Admissions Appeal Arrangements) (England) 2012

School Admission Code (Appointed Day) (England) Order 2010

School Admissions Code and School Admissions Appeals Code (Appointed Day) Order 2012

School Admissions (Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements (England) Regulations 2008

School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 2012

Exclusion from School

The Education Act 2002, as amended by the Education Act 2011;

The Education and Inspections Act 2006;

The School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (Maintained Schools) (England)

Regulations 2012;

The School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (Pupil Referral Units) (England) Regulations

2012; and

The School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (Academies) (England) Regulations 2012

The legislative framework that relates to school attendance is extensive. Therefore, the following is a summary of some of the principal legislation and statutory instruments. For further information, please refer to the appropriate document.

Education Act 1996

Parental Duty (Section 7)

The parent of every child of compulsory school age

12

shall cause them to receive efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, their parent is guilty of an offence.

13

The term ‘parent’ includes those who have parental responsibility for, or care of, a child (which includes the local authority in the case of looked-after children). Magistrates may impose a parenting order if this would help prevent further pupil absence. The order will require parents to attend counselling or guidance sessions for up to three months. It may specify other requirements, for example ensuring the child is escorted to and from school for up to twelve months.

12

In law compulsory school age is the term after the child reaches their 5th birthday until the last Friday in June in the academic school year that the child reaches 16.

13

The child shall not be taken to have failed to attend regularly at the school by reason of their absence from the school (a) with leave, (b) at any time when he was prevented from attending by reason of sickness or any unavoidable cause, or (c) on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his parent belongs.

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Prosecution for irregular attendance (Section 444)

If a pupil of compulsory school age fails to attend school regularly, the LA can prosecute a parent unless the parent can prove that one of the statutory defences

14

apply. LAs must judge whether and when to prosecute on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes prosecution will be a last resort; in other cases, it may be right to begin prosecution at a much earlier stage to prevent problems worsening. Continuity of learning is critical to educational progress, so LAs should adopt a vigorous stance to truancy. A block of prosecutions could help prove to parents how seriously the

LA regards truancy and condoned unjustified absence. LAs should make sure local magistrates are aware of truancy problems, including problems with parentally condoned unjustified absence.

Parents may be prosecuted for the non attendance of their child/ren.

On conviction of a Section 444 section 1 offence the parent of each child may be fined up to

£1,000. In order to prove the higher offence the LA, as the prosecutor, must show that the parent had knowledge of the child’s absence and that there was no justifiable reason. On conviction of a

Section 444 1A offence each parent may be fined up to £2,500 and or imprisoned for up to 3 months. If they fail to attend court a warrant for their arrest may be issued.

Education Act 2002

LAs and the Secretary of State were given powers to intervene in schools which are required to improve or those placed in special measures. The Secretary of State could instruct LAs to seek the involvement of external partners to enable school to improve. An Interim Executive Body could replace governing bodies that obstruct rather than enable progress.

Children Act 1989

Parental Responsibility (Section 3 (1))

Parents married to each other at the time of a child’s birth have shared parental responsibility.

Fathers who are unmarried at the time of a child’s birth prior to 2003, even if their name is on the birth certificate, do not have parental responsibility unless (a) they have a parental responsibility order, (b) have a residency order or (c) become the legal guardian of the child. From 2003 Fathers that are unmarried at the time of birth but are named on the birth certificate do have parental responsibility.

14

The child shall not be taken to have failed to attend regularly at the school if the parent proves (a) that the school at which the child is a registered pupil is not within walking distance of the child’s home, and (b) that no suitable arrangements have been made by the local education authority for any of the following (i) their transport to and from the school, (ii) boarding accommodation for them at or near the school, or (iii) enabling them to become a registered pupil at a school nearer to their home. Walking distance means (a) in relation to a child who is under the age of eight, means 3.218688 kilometres (two miles), and (b) in relation to a child who has attained the age of eight, means

4.828032 kilometres (three miles), in each case measured by the nearest available route.

If it is proved that the child has no fixed abode, the parent shall be acquitted if they prove (a) that they are engaged in a trade or business of such a nature as to require them to travel from place to place, (b) that the child has attended at a school as a registered pupil as regularly as the nature of that trade or business permits, and (c) if the child has attained the age of six, that they have made at least 200 attendances during the period of 12 months ending with the date on which the proceedings were instituted.

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Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006

These regulations govern the creation and administration of admission and attendance registers.

The regulations apply to the maintained sector, independent schools, Academies, Special Schools and PRUs. They contain details relating to:

Putting pupils on the admission and attendance register on the expected/agreed date the pupil should start on.

The information that must be obtained and recorded about a pupil and their parents/carers.

When schools should take the register and that they should record the students as present,

 absent, present at an educational activity or unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances.

The criteria that permit a school to remove a registered pupil from their roll.

The procedures for register inspections.

15

The circumstances in which a school must notify the LA of non attendance or the removal of a pupil from roll.

The preservation of registers.

16

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

This amendment adds a new ground for deletion which will require maintained and academy boarding schools to delete, from the admissions register, the names of pupils of compulsory school age from the school register where their boarding fees are due to be paid by the parent and these remain outstanding by the end of the term to which the fees applied. This amendment came into force on 1 September 2011.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

This amendment adds a new exceptional circumstance in which a pupil may be marked as unable to attend on the school attendance register. The amendment is intended to capture circumstances where a local or national emergency has resulted in widespread disruption to travel that has prevented the pupil from attending school. This amendment came into force on 1 September

2010.

15

(8e)The child has ceased to attend the school and no longer ordinarily resides at a place, which is a reasonable distance from the school. (8f) in the case of a pupil granted leave of absence exceeding ten school days for the purpose of a holiday that (i) the pupil failed to attend school within the ten school days immediately following the period for which leave was granted; (ii) the proprietor does not have grounds to believe that the pupil is unable to attend through sickness or unavoidable cause; and (iii) both the proprietor and the LA failed, after reasonable enquiry, to ascertain where the pupil is.

(8h) The pupil has been continually absent for a period of not less than twenty school days (i) at no time was their absence during that period authorised, (ii) the proprietor does not have reasonable grounds to believe the pupil is unable to attend through sickness or any unavoidable cause, and (iii) both the proprietor and LA have after reasonable enquiries been unable to locate the child. (8m) Where the pupil has been permanently excluded from the school.

16

(13) Every entry in the admission or attendance register shall be made in ink and any amendments shall include (a) the original entry, (b) the amended entry, (c) the reason for the amendment, (d) the date of the amendment, and (e) the name or title of who made the amendment. (14) All admission and attendance register should be preserved for a period of three years from the date of entry or change. (15) If the registers are kept by means of a computer a copy of the admission register and attendance register with a record of change should be made not less than once a month and should be printed regularly.

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The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

This amendment increases the current amounts of penalty notices payable by parents from 1

September 2012. These will apply to any parent who fails to ensure the regular attendance of their child of compulsory school age (5-16) who is registered at a state school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not found in a public place during schools hours without a justifiable reason.

The Education Inspection Bill 2006 (Section 103,104 and 105)

The new DfES Guidance to schools and Local Authorities that came into effect in September 2007 for pupils excluded from school states that any parent of any child found in a public place whilst excluded from school in the first five days of any exclusion may be issued with a PN or be prosecuted. Likewise where a child does not attend an alternative education provision or PRU provision and the arrangements have been confirmed in writing to the parent the parent may be issued with a PN or prosecuted to ensure good attendance.

Crime & Disorder Act 1998

Introduced Anti Social Behaviour Orders

As part of obtaining an ASBO, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts were evolved as a source of evidence. These have now been used for poor attendance and behaviour in school. They have also been incorporated with ABAs being sought by other agencies such as Police and Housing.

Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced in April 2004

Section 19 relates to the making of Parenting Contracts for exclusion from school or truancy.

Section 20 refers to the opportunity to apply for a Parenting Order in relation to exclusion from school or truancy.

Section 23 deals with the authority for the issue of Fixed Penalty notices for truancy.

This Act requires that the local authority draw up a code of conduct in respect of the issue of

Penalty Notices, for consultation with Head Teachers and Police. Included, though not legally required, will be included a code of conduct in relation to both Parenting Contracts and Parenting

Orders

Children & Young Persons Act 1933

Deals with child employment and child health and safety. Any employer of a child of compulsory school age must ensure that they have a work permit which legally entitles them to work. An employer may be prosecuted for employing children and young people illegally.

Children (Performance) Regulations 1968 & Children & Young Persons Act 1963

Covers licensing for children employed in entertainment and the licensing of

Matrons/Chaperones. Any child from birth until they cease to be of compulsory school age who is employed in entertainment including modelling, filming, television work, sports or music must be licensed to do so. The law states the hours that children may work and when they may do this.

The production company should apply for the licence for the child to perform at least 21 days in advance. Those wishing to become matrons or chaperones require a DBS check, references, passport photos, proof of identification and address and will need to complete an application form.

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8.4 Ofsted Grade Descriptors for Attendance

Grade descriptors – The behaviour and safety of pupils at the school

Note: These descriptors should not be used as a checklist. They must be applied adopting a ‘best fit’ approach that relies on the professional judgement of the inspection team.

Outstanding (1)

 Pupils consistently display a thirst for knowledge and understanding and a love of learning, including when being taught as a whole class or working on their own or in small groups. This has a very strong impact on their progress in lessons.

 Pupils’ attitudes to learning are of an equally high standard across subjects, years and classes and with different staff. Incidences of low-level disruption in lessons are extremely rare.

 Parents, staff and pupils are unreservedly positive about both behaviour and safety. Pupils are keenly aware how good attitudes and behaviour contribute to school life, adult life and work.

 Pupils’ behaviour outside lessons is impeccable. Pupils’ pride in the school is shown by their excellent conduct, manners and punctuality.

 Pupils are fully aware of different forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying, and actively try to prevent it from occurring. Bullying and derogatory or aggressive language in all their forms are very rare and dealt with highly effectively.

 Pupils’ excellent conduct and behaviour reflects the school’s effective strategies to promote high standards; this makes a strong contribution to an exceptionally positive climate for learning. There are excellent improvements in behaviour over time for individuals or groups with particular behaviour needs.

 All groups of pupils are safe and feel safe in school and at alternative provision placements at all times. They understand very clearly what constitutes unsafe situations and are highly aware of how to keep themselves and others safe in different situations, including in relation to e-safety.

Good (2)

 Pupils’ attitudes to all aspects of learning are consistently positive, including when being taught as a whole class or working on their own or in small groups. These positive attitudes have a good impact on the progress the pupils make.

 Pupils’ attitudes to learning are positive across subjects, years, classes and with different staff.

 Pupils are properly prepared for each lesson, bring the right equipment and are ready and eager to learn.

 Pupils respond very quickly to staff’s instructions and requests, allowing lessons to flow smoothly and without interruption. Low-level disruption in lessons is rare.

 There are no well-founded concerns expressed by parents, staff and pupils about behaviour and safety. Pupils understand the importance of good attitudes and behaviour in school life, adult life and work.

 There is a positive ethos in and around the school. Pupils conduct themselves well at all different times of day, including at lunchtime, attend regularly, have good attitudes and are punctual to lessons.

 Pupils take pride in their work, their appearance and their school.

 Pupils have a good awareness of different forms of bullying. There are few instances of bullying and these are dealt with effectively by the school.

 Pupils’ good conduct and behaviour reflect the school’s efforts to promote high standards. There are marked improvements in behaviour over time for individuals or groups with particular behavioural needs.

 Pupils are safe and feel safe in school and at alternative provision placements; they understand how to keep themselves safe in different situations.

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Requires improvement (3)

 Behaviour and safety require improvement because they are not good.

Inadequate (4)

 Behaviour and safety are inadequate when any of the following apply.

 Pupils’ lack of engagement and persistent low-level disruption contribute to reduced learning and/or a disorderly classroom environment.

 A significant minority of pupils show a lack of respect and intolerance for each other or staff and a lack of self-discipline, resulting in poor behaviour around the school. Pupils exhibit negative attitudes about the value of good manners and behaviour as key factors in school life, adult life and work.

 Incidents of bullying overall or specific types of bullying are frequent and/or pupils have little confidence in the school’s ability to address bullying successfully.

 Pupils or particular groups of pupils are not safe or do not feel safe at school and/or at alternative placements.

Attendance is consistently low for all pupils or groups of pupils and shows little sign of consistent

improvement.

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8.5 Attendance Data: Everybody’s Business

Steve Baker is a freelance behaviour and attendance consultant based in West Yorkshire, following a career in drama teaching, with local authorities and the National Strategies. He works in schools, academies and colleges giving strategic advice. Here he explains how to ensure everyone in school keeps on top of pupil attendance.

‘Mary fixed me with a weary look. Digging deep into her reserves of patience and professionalism, she said: ‘If I didn’t spend so much time chasing teachers for their registers, over-writing their mistakes and apologising to parents who have been told, in error, that their children aren’t in school, then I might just occasionally do the job I’m paid to do!’

Whose job is attendance?

I am continually impressed by the passion that attendance officers exhibit in their desire to improve attendance. When attendance is the focus of my visit to a school, my first question is always, ‘Whose job is attendance?’ I know we’re in trouble when the answer is ‘Attendance? Ah yes! You’ll want Mary; last office on the right.’ We’re in trouble because raising attendance is

everybody’s business.

Headteachers nowadays are making it a disciplinary matter when teachers persistently fail to complete a prompt and accurate register, and not before time. Classroom teachers must be made to see that the registration process is their single most important function. We must always know where students are. Simple as that.

What is less simple is the business of getting the attendance/absence codes right. These fall into three categories: attendance codes, absence codes and admin codes. The complexities of these codes require another article in a future edition of this bulletin. Suffice to say here that when a school ‘cleanses’ its data (e.g. making sure pupils attending elsewhere are taken off-roll) it typically reduces absence by 1%.

Reporting the data

I see many letters sent home by schools about attendance. These letters often display surprising optimism about the literacy levels of parents, some of whom will not understand percentages and may be confused when told that 90% in a test is fantastic but 90% attendance is unacceptable. A table like this will help to get the message across:

Your child’s time at secondary school

Y7

Y8

Y9

Y10

Y11

80% attendance means you miss a whole year!

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Years of learning

Attendance data can be expressed in other striking ways. One of my favourites is ‘years of learning’. If you count up the total number of sessions missed, you’ll have a number in the tens of thousands. 190 days in a school year gives us 380 sessions. Divide the total number of sessions missed by 380 and you have the number of ‘years of learning’ that have been lost due to absence.

This makes a great assembly.

Other ways to report attendance data internally include data for form tutors or coaches so they can have daily discussions with students. Data by form group will establish healthy competition in each year, and house or year group displays can make an eye-catching addition to the corridors.

The school target should be everywhere so all stakeholders know what it is. It would be useful to have targets for year groups, houses and forms too. One Yorkshire secondary school that raised attendance from 89% to 92% in a year gave a bottle of wine to the form tutor with the best attendance each week.

Cross-reference the data

With electronic registration in place we can report attendance by subject. This should be approached with caution; for example, it may not be the fault of the Spanish department that Year

10 attendance is low if Spanish follows PE on a Thursday afternoon. Nonetheless it is a good idea to use the attendance data to cross-reference with what you know about standards of teaching and climate for learning in the school. Isn’t it surprising that Mr Smythe, whom we know teaches outstanding and good lessons and has a warm welcoming approach to all pupils, also has the best attendance in his faculty? Of course in a similar vein, excellent and increasing attendance can be used in your school SEF to demonstrate the impact you are having on attitudes to learning,

Analysing the data

A pattern usually refers to an over-represented group. If boys are 50% of your school but 80% of your persistent absentees then you have a pattern. If last year that last figure was 75% and two years ago it was 65% then you have a trend. It is always a good idea to present inspectors with three years of data if you possibly can.

Disproportionality

This over-representation, or disproportionality as it is sometimes called, is absolutely key when analysing attendance data. You can use a simple pivot table to explore this quite easily. If you add in all your descriptor columns from your school management information system you will be able to use the pivot table to slice and dice the data by year group, ethnicity, English as an additional language (EAL), special educational needs and all manner of other qualities.

Working with an attendance lead and her attendance officer in a Leeds secondary one afternoon, we used a pivot table to discover that the school’s persistent absentees were largely EAL boys in

Year 7 and 8, School Action Plus boys in Year 9 and white British girls from a certain postcode at

KS4. This self-knowledge then informed the allocation of time and other resources.

I have met talented and progressive headteachers who are resistant to this segmenting of the data

– they want to be entirely pupil-centred in their approach and I salute them for this view, but in my opinion knowing the patterns and trends is vital when leading a large organisation and making significant budgeting decisions.

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Celebrating the data

Celebrating improved and excellent attendance should be part of the endless positive self-talk of the school, unavoidable and all-pervasive. Attendance award assemblies are an easy win. They set a positive tone and represent an achievement that is easy to measure and there for all to see.

Incidentally, I prefer to see ‘excellent attendance’ rewarded rather than 100% attendance. If we know Amy had food poisoning for one morning and just could not struggle in, it seems unjust to prevent her effort in attending whenever she physically could from being recognised. If illness strikes Jake in the first week of term, where is his incentive to achieve excellent attendance in the next 14 weeks when he knows the only reward boat has sailed? If we want to add another level for the one-hundred-percenters, fair enough. I heard of one head of a school ‘in challenging circumstances’ who put up £1,000 to be shared among all Year 11 pupils with excellent attendance. My quibble is this: if I’m a Year 11 passing the door of my mate whose attendance is not good, why should I knock on his door? If I bring him in I’m losing money!

Working on attendance is an excellent career move for any ambitious senior leader. One has to establish a whole-school approach, maintain excellent systems and use data effectively to bring about change. I hope this article has been of use to you in this respect.

Article published on 4 th

March 2014 by Optimus Education

http://www.optimus-education.com/attendance-data-everybodys-business

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8.6 Sample School Attendance Policy

[Name of School]

Attendance Policy

Adopted: Review date:

Note: Green boxes and text contain advisory notes which should be read and deleted. These indicate where schools need to make decisions or choices or write sections specific to their school.

1. Aim

The aim of

[name of school’s]

attendance policy is to enable the school to provide a consistent practice that encourages and facilitates the regular attendance of all pupils. Regular attendance at school is key to steady pupil progress and enjoyment of learning, and for this reason the school is dedicated to ensuring its attendance policy is adhered to as much as is possible.

[Name of school]

takes a whole-school approach to maintaining excellent attendance and it is the joint responsibility of parents/carers, pupils, and all staff members to ensure that children are attending school as they should be. We endeavour to work with families to make sure that any problems or circumstances which may lead or be leading to poor attendance are given the right attention and appropriate support.

This policy is supported by our policies on safeguarding, bullying, behaviour, and inclusive

learning.

2. Legal framework

The Education Act 1996 states that:

The parent/carer of every child of compulsory school age shall cause them to receive efficient full-time education suitable —

a) to their age, ability and aptitude, and b) to any special educational needs they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

A person begins to be of compulsory school age —

a) when they attain the age of five, if they attain that age on a prescribed day, and b) otherwise at the beginning of the prescribed day next following their attaining that age.

A person ceases to be of compulsory school age at the end of the day which is the school leaving date for any calendar year —

a) if they attain the age of 16 after that day but before the beginning of the school year next following, b) if they attain that age on that day, or c) (unless paragraph (a) applies) if that day is the school leaving date next following their attaining that age.

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[Name of school]

is dedicated to complying with attendance laws set out by the legal framework and has set out this attendance policy accordingly.

3. Roles and responsibilities

Governing body

As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, the governing body will:

Ensure that the importance of attendance is made clear by promoting the relevant school policies and guidance directed at parents and staff;

Annually review the school’s attendance policy and ensure that all provisions are in place to allow school staff, parents/carers, and children to implement the policy effectively;

Nominate or identify a member of the governing body who will take the lead role in monitoring attendance and coordinating provision and policies for attendance;

Ensure that all legislation regarding attendance is complied with and that up-to-date guidelines are communicated to parents/carers, children, and staff;

Work out appropriate and accurate annual attendance numbers and future attendance targets, and submit these to the LA within an agreed timescale each year;

Take time at governor’s meetings to review and discuss attendance issues that have arisen in order to stay on top of expected attendance targets for the year;

Ensure that the school is implementing effective means of recording attendance and organising that data, including for children who are educated off-site;

Ensure that they are clear on how to analyse attendance data and how to communicate the findings effectively to parents and staff;

Use any data gathered to devise solutions to problems, make the proper adjustments to attendance coordination and target set for the future.

School leadership team

As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, the school leadership team will:

Be active in their approach to promoting good attendance to pupils and their parents/carers, which includes forming positive relationships with families;

Ensure that the school’s teaching and learning experiences encourage regular attendance and that pupils are taught the value of high attendance for their own progression and achievement;

Coordinate with the governing body to monitor the implementation of the attendance policy and its effectiveness, with an annual full policy review;

Ensure that all staff are up to date with the school’s attendance policy and government legislation, and that staff are fully trained to recognise and deal with attendance issues;

Ensure that government legislation on attendance is complied with and that they (the leadership team) are up to date with any legislation changes and how to implement them;

Nominate or appoint a senior manager to take the responsibility of overseeing and monitoring attendance provision and that this person has sufficient time and resources to give to this job;

Report to the governing body

each term

and the lead governor for attendance

half-termly

on attendance records, data and provision;

Ensure that systems to record and report attendance data are in place and working effectively;

Develop multi-agency relationships to help with poor attendance and support families who are having difficulties getting their child to attend;

Document any specific interventions or steps taken to work with families to improve their child’s attendance in case of future legal proceedings.

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Teachers and support staff

As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, the school’s teachers and support staff will:

Be active in their approach to promoting good attendance to pupils and their parents/carers, which includes forming positive relationships with families;

Ensure that the school’s teaching and learning experiences encourage regular attendance and that pupils are taught the value of high attendance for their own personal progression and achievement;

Ensure that they are fully aware and up to date with the school’s attendance policy and government legislation and that they will speak to another member of staff or seek support if they are unsure how to deal with an attendance issue;

Ensure that they are following the correct systems for recording attendance and that attendance is taken daily;

Contribute to strategy meetings and interventions where they are needed;

Work with external agencies to support pupils and their families who are struggling with regular attendance.

Parents and carers

As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, we request that parents/carers:

Engage with their children’s education – support their learning and take an interest in what they have been doing at school;

Promote the value of good education and the importance of regular school attendance at home;

Encourage and support their children’s aspirations;

Follow the set school procedure for reporting the absence of their child from school (see section 4), and include a expected date for return;

Do everything they can to prevent unnecessary school absences, such as by making medical and dental appointments outside of school hours;

Use the school as a support when they or their child are having difficulties, and work to form a positive relationship with the school so that there is easy communication when a problem arises;

Keep the school informed of any circumstances which may affect their child’s attendance;

Enforce a regular routine at home in terms of homework, bedtime, etc. so that the child is used to consistency and the school day becomes part of that routine.

It is vital that the child receives the same message at home as they do at school about the importance of attendance;

Do not take their children out of school during term time. If parents/carers would like to make a special request for this, they may do so to the Headteacher (see section 4.6);

Sign a home-school agreement .

Note: Your school may have a home-school agreement for parents/carers and pupils to sign, which you may want to put in at the end of this policy, make reference to where relevant within this policy, or draw attention to with an explanatory paragraph.

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Pupils

As part of our whole-school approach to maintaining high attendance, we request that pupils:

Be aware of the school’s attendance policy and when and what they are required to attend.

This will be communicated to them through the school staff, parents/carers, and the school timetable;

Speak to their class teacher/form tutor or another member of staff if they are experiencing difficulties at school or at home which may impact on their attendance;

Attend all lessons ready to learn, with the appropriate learning tools requested and on time for the class. Lesson times will be made clear through their school timetable;

Bring a note of explanation from their parents or carers to explain an absence that has happened or is foreseen;

Follow the correct set school procedure if they arrive late (see section 4.9). Pupils are held responsible for this and it is made clear to all students what this procedure is by their class teachers/form tutors. This will help the school to monitor attendance and keep accurate records for the child’s individual attendance, and is also vital for health and safety in the event of a school evacuation;

Sign a home-school agreement. [see the green box note above]

4. Categories of absence and procedure for reporting absences

Absences will be treated as unauthorised unless a satisfactory explanation for the pupil’s absence is given to the school. Parents/carers cannot authorise absences.

Staff should make it clear on the school register when taking attendance whether a child’s absence is authorised or unauthorised.

When a child is to be absent from school without prior permission, parents/carers should inform the school by telephone on the first day of absence and let them know what date they expect the child to return.

For a prolonged absence, this should be followed up with a written note from the parent/carer of the child.

Alternative arrangements will be made individually with non-English speaking parents/carers.

4.2 Illness

Most cases of absence due to illness are short term, but parents/carers will need to make a phone call to alert the school on the first day/each day of absence. When the child returns to school they should bring a note from their parent/carer explaining the absence – this is for the school records.

For prolonged absence due to illness, parents/carers may be asked to provide the school with medical evidence such as a note from the child’s doctor, an appointment card or a prescription paper.

4.3 Medical or dental appointments

Parents/carers should make every effort to ensure these appointments are made outside of school hours. Where it cannot be avoided, children should attend school for as much of that day as possible.

4.4 Authorised absences

There may be some instances where the school will authorise absence such as for a family bereavement.

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4.5 Exclusion

Exclusion is treated as an authorised absence.

The Headteacher/form tutor/class teacher will arrange for work to be sent home.

4.6 Family holidays and extended leave

Parents/carers should ensure that family holidays and extended leave are arranged outside of school term time. Parents/carers do not have the automatic right to remove their child from school during term time for this reason.

Requests for leave from school must be made in writing to the Headteacher XX days/weeks in advance of the leave being taken. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, such as a family bereavement that requires the child to travel to another country, this will be taken into consideration.

Retrospective applications will not be considered and this time taken will be processed as unauthorised absence.

All requests for authorised absence will be responded to in writing, and will outline the details of when the child is expected to return to school. Parents/carers should contact the school immediately if there will be a cause for delay from the stated date of return.

When deciding whether to authorise absence, the Headteacher will take the following into account:

Note: Please list your criteria for deciding whether or not to allow authorise an absence. This may include the child’s previous attendance history, how close the time is to public examinations, the age of the child and the purpose of the leave.

If permission is not granted, but the child is still absent, the absence is classed as unauthorised

and parents/carers may be issued with a penalty notice.

4.7 Religious observance

[Name of school]

recognises that there may be times where children of different faiths observe religious festivals that fall outside of school holidays and weekends, and will allow authorised absence for these times.

Parents/carers will be aware of these dates and should give the school written notification in advance.

4.8 Study leave

The school has a period of study leave leading up to GCSE and A Level examinations where

students are granted authorised absence to revise at home. The school operates study sessions at school within this time to help with revision and to reduce the amount of time spent out of school.

4.8/4.9

Late arrival

Registration begins at

[insert time].

Pupils who arrive after this time but within the registration period will be marked at late. The registration period ends at [insert time.]

Pupils who arrive after the registration period has ended should go straight to the school office to sign in and give a reason for their lateness. Any unjustifiable reason for absence will be marked as

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unauthorised. It is vital that pupils sign in at the office to ensure that appropriate health and safety regulations are followed and that all pupils are accounted for.

A register is also taken at the start of all subject lessons by the subject teacher, and any unexplained absences reported back to the school office. If a student is late to the lesson this will be recorded on the register.

Persistent lateness may result in disciplinary action.

5. School action: following up absences

Class registers are passed to the school office at the end of the registration period. Where there are unexplained or unauthorised absences, the school will contact the parents/carers. If a pattern of unauthorised absences emerges, the

Deputy Headteacher

or class teacher/form teacher will contact the parent/carer to discuss possible reasons and school support systems that could help.

Parents/carers will be contacted if a pupil gives a reason for an unauthorised absence and there is doubt about the truth of the excuse.

Class teachers/form tutors will chase students for written explanation from their parents/carers for their absence upon the student’s return from being away.

This is for the school records and is necessary no matter what the reason or length of the absence.

Where students have been away for either short or long term, the school will support that child when they re-enter school to help them catch up on learning and any work that they have missed.

The school will take disciplinary action against any pupils who are discovered to be truanting and parents/carers will be contacted to discuss possible reasons and school support systems that could help.

Signed by:

……………………………………………………. The Chair of Governors

……………………………………………………. Headteacher

This policy will be reviewed annually.

Date: .......................

Date: .......................

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8.7 Questions to Consider when Writing an EYFS Attendance Policy

Do you ask parents to tell you if their child is going to be absent and provide a reason, for example because they are sick?

Do you expect parents to call you by a certain time on the first day their child is absent?

Do you expect parents to speak to you or do you accept a text or email?

How long do you leave it before contacting the parent if the child does not arrive and the parent has not contacted you?

Who is responsible for calling the parent, for example, manager, key person? Do you record this information?

Do you call a parent and speak to them personally or do you send a text or email?

What do you do if there is no reply when you call the parent and the child does not arrive at your setting the next day?

If you are concerned about the welfare of the child what procedure do you follow? Refer to your safeguarding children/ child protection policy.

Do you ask parents to tell you about any planned holidays in advance?

Payment of Fees

Do you tell parents whether or not they have to pay fees when their child is absent? This information should be included in your parental contract or terms and conditions.

Do you charge parents if your setting closes due to unforeseen circumstances such as a power failure or heavy snow? This information should be included in your emergency closure policy.

Do you charge parents if you are open during poor weather conditions and they are unable to bring their child to your setting? This information should be included in your emergency closure policy.

8.8 Sample EYFS Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Even when you’re very

small

good attendance makes a

BIG

difference’

Aim

To promote good attendance and punctuality in partnership with parents and carers in Early Years, ensuring that good habits are formed early, so that children are school ready.

Rationale

Regular early years attendance is important for all children, even babies, as it is only through regular, consistent routines that children build up the secure attachments they need for healthy development.

Research shows that regular part-time attendance from the age of 2 in a good quality early years setting has a lasting impact on children’s social development and intellectual attainment throughout school. (Research Brief RBF15-03 The Effective Provision of Pre-school Education

Project: Findings from the Pre-school Period. Sylva et al, IOE, 2003). Islington’s Early Years

Foundation Stage profile results (2014) showed a clear correlation between children’s attendance and their attainment of the ‘good level of development’ national standard.

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Although education is not compulsory until the age of five, figures on attendance in reception classes are now published by the Department for Education. Ofsted take reception year attendance into account when a school is inspected.

Regular attendance has a positive impact on all aspects of a young child’s learning and development. A regular routine supports the young child to feel settled and secure. Unsettled children have higher stress levels which, in turn, prevent them from being able to benefit fully from the learning opportunities available.

Once children are five, their attendance in school is statutory and Islington schools all have an attendance target of at least 96%. Establishing good habits of attendance in the early years will help to ensure that all children have at least 96% attendance by the time they enter reception class.

Procedures

At …………………………… we promote good attendance and punctuality by:

Ensuring children attend for the expected hours.

Requiring parents to call the setting if they are going to be late or absent.

Requiring parents to report sickness.

Communicating with parents and following up on non -notification of absences as part of promoting good attendance and punctuality.

Encouraging parents of nursery age children to consider taking their children on holiday outside of term time, so that they are ‘school ready’ and get into good habits.

Monitoring children’s attendance.

Consistently following up poor attendance and punctuality.

Supporting Families

We recognise that sometimes families may need extra support with attendance and punctuality, therefore good communication is essential between you and your key person. The Early Years setting will work with you to support your child’s good attendance and punctuality. Where children’s attendance is poor and not improving, the setting will talk to you about the available support from your local children’s centre, for example, implementing bedtime routines, parenting classes.

Safeguarding

We all have a duty to keep children safe and protect them from harm and very poor attendance can be an indication of neglect and be seen as a safeguarding issue. Children with below 85% attendance are regarded in school as persistent absentees and those with attendance of less than

60% are likely to be referred to Children’s Social Care for neglect.

Withdrawing a place

Clearly we will make every effort to support good attendance and punctuality, as suggested above.

However, if there are no other indicators of concern or vulnerability and your child has failed to attend for 4-6 consecutive weeks or more, without a justifiable reason, we may withdraw your child’s place. We can only do this once all other routes have been exhausted and the setting has provided evidence of this to and sought the approval of the Early Years Service.

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The process for formally withdrawing a child’s place is as follows:

We will attempt to contact the family twice weekly to meet with them to seek a justifiable explanation (by telephone or home visit and followed up by email), including, of course, first day calling.

The setting sends a recorded delivery letter during the fourth week to invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the situation and warning them of the action that will be taken after 6 weeks.

The setting continues to attempt twice weekly contact through phone and email.

The setting sends a recorded delivery letter in the final week, explaining that the place will be withdrawn on a specific date.

Transition

If you decide to move your child to another setting then please inform us so that we can take them off of our register and send on records to the next setting to ensure smooth transition.

At …………………………… we believe that

Regular attendance and good punctuality are important for maximising achievement and obtaining the greatest benefit from education.

Good relationships with children and their families are vital in encouraging regular attendance and punctuality.

Children settle well and want to attend settings when they feel valued and have a sense of belonging.

Good habits of attendance and punctuality are key skills for adult life.

Agreement of Parent/Carer

Signature …………………………………………………………………………………………. Date

……………………………………

Print name ……………………………………………………………………………………….

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8.9 Monitoring Attendance in Reception

“Children in the Early Years have little chance of catching up their peers if their attendance is bad. If they fail to succeed early on in their school careers they are likely to get further behind; disillusionment with education sets in and they become excluded or begin to truant.”

Charlie Taylor,

Government’s expert advisor on attendance and behaviour

Background

Although education is not compulsory until the age of five, figures on attendance in reception, when children are aged between four and five, are now published by the Department for

Education (DfE) so schools can judge their performance on pupil absence and be compared.

Ofsted also take reception year attendance into account when a school is inspected.

In his report, Improving Attendance at School (2012) Charlie Taylor calls for schools to offer support to parents who are failing to get their children into nursery on time. At the launch of his report, he drew attention to one possible sanction: "I was in a school in Battersea the other day where, very harshly, they actually shut the door on parents if they bring their children in late.

They say you can't come into nursery late. Sounds very harsh, but that school has 97% attendance, way above the national average. There is a job [to be done] in terms of educating parents, teaching them that school is important and this is where you need to be."

He went on to argue that missing out on nursery left children like "a jigsaw with lots of pieces that haven't been filled in … Missing bits of nursery means that you're missing out on some of the early learning, some of the key social skills that develop into children's character and ability to function in the classroom.”

The Islington Picture - 2013-14 Autumn & Spring Term Absence

All early years providers and schools with children in nursery and reception classes work to the same standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Regular attendance and good punctuality are important for all children, even babies, insofar as it is only through regular, consistent routines that children build up the secure attachments they need for healthy development. As they get older, it will also support them in maximising their achievement and obtaining the greatest benefit from education. Islington’s Early Years Foundation Stage Profile results show a clear correlation between children’s attendance and their attainment of the “good level of development” standard.

Generally, there has been a fall in absence across the country and this fall has been more marked outside of London. The good news however is compared to 2012-13 Autumn and Spring Term

Absence, Islington’s 4 year olds absence fell by 1.5 percentage points to 6.0%. Out of our comparators, Inner London had the largest fall of 1.2%.

We are still above all of our comparators for 4 year old absence rates but the gap between the borough’s rate and our comparators varies from 0.7 (England) to 0.3 (London & Inner London) compared with a range of 1.0 to 0.6 in 2012-13.

Page | 192

As the DfE are now asking schools to report on the attendance of 4 year olds and Ofsted take reception year attendance into account when a school is inspected, it is advised that settings use the same recording, monitoring and tracking processes for the attendance of this group as they would for their statutory school aged children. Below are the national codes for absence and attendance that might be appropriate for reception-aged children.

Absence and Attendance Codes

The national attendance codes and the meanings have been produced in full and can be found in

Section 2.12.

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8.10 School Attendance Summary

Introductory statement about overall attendance and approach: Example: Our attendance is now

above national and borough averages, and has been consistently increasing over time. We take a zero tolerance approach to absence, following 3 core principles (be consistent, be persistent, be insistent).

The data demonstrates the impact of our success.

2009/10 2010/11 2011/12

Whole school attendance

PAs as % of whole school

2013/14

Referrals for statutory action

Penalty notices issued for holidays

Penalty notices issued for unauthorised absences

Prosecutions in court

Court warning issued

School figure

Islington figure

2012/13 2013/14 Contextual comments

% of Islington figure to which school equates – school represents -% of Islington schools by way of comparison

Absence % by year group

2011/12

2012/13

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5

2013/14

Reasons for absence %

Colours can be used to show the impact of work carried out over time with the same cohort of pupils

Illness Medical Unauthorised

Unexplained

Unauthorised circumstances

Unauthorised late

Religious observance

Year 6

Exclusion Unauthorised holiday

School

Islington

Colours can be used to show the areas of focus which link to your action plan for 2014/15

Absence by ethnicity %

White

British

Turkish Black

African

Somali Bangladeshi

School

Islington

Indian Chinese

2012/13 Persistent

Absentees

Persistent Absentees

(below 85%) for

2013/14

XX 80.9%

2013/14 Court Action

XX 84.47% (improved to 89.95% July 2014)

XX – low attendance

Allows individual pupils to be identified - example in italics

2014/15 Penalty

Notices issued so far for holidays

XX Year 3

2014/15 Court Action so far

XX repeated holiday in term time

With thanks to Newington Green Primary School for originally producing this work.

Page | 194

8.11 Questions for Senior Managers to Consider

Do you currently have a school attendance policy that includes roles and responsibilities for

Governors, Leadership team, Teachers/Support Staff, Parents/Carers and Pupils?

Has this policy been shared with all stakeholders?

Is there a lead person responsible for attendance in your school?

Are attendance targets included in performance management outcomes for all key staff?

Do you have first day calling set up for pupils that are missing from school?

When calling the school do parents/carers always get to speak to a member of staff to explain the reason for their child’s absence?

Are you using SIMS to record your attendance?

Do you have attendance figures displayed on a school noticeboard?

Do you use a home-school agreement?

- If yes, are attendance expectations included in this?

- If no, how are parents/carers aware of what acceptable and unacceptable reasons for absence are?

Are attendance figures communicated with parents/carers on a regular basis? If so, then how?

Are attendance figures communicated with pupils on a regular basis? If so, then how?

Are incentives used with pupils for excellent and/or improved attendance?

Are you using pupil premium funding to support work around improving attendance?

Consider what you feel the current issues are around your work on attendance. What are the barriers that you feel are preventing you from making significant progress?

8.12 Questions for School Attendance Leads to Consider

There are three key areas that all schools need to be encouraged to address and be supported with, in order to improve the attendance of their pupils: Data, Systems and Whole-school approaches:

1. Data: Does the school have accurate self-knowledge about specific attendance issues?

Suggested questions:

 What are the school’s thresholds for attendance as far as interventions are concerned?

 What are staff roles and responsibilities:

– Whole school?

– Within a specific team?

 Who are the persistent absentees (90% or below)?

 Are there attendance issues with particular groups of students?

 Do whole school attendance figures produced monthly, termly or yearly, based on classes or year groups, indicate factors such as:

– Declining attendance in year groupings; and

– The effect of seasonal attendance e.g. does attendance decline during colder months and preceding school holidays, at the end of terms and beginning of new terms?

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2. Systems: What is the school doing well to promote attendance and what can it do better?

Suggested questions:

 How are the following being used to promote attendance and to what effect?*

– Attendance Policy

– Registration/Form time

– First Day Response

– Home-School Agreement

– Pupil Premium

– Rewards and Incentives

* Lots of these things are often taking place in schools, but if they are not actually making a positive difference to the overall attendance, then questions need to be asked about purpose.

3. Whole school approaches: Does every adult know the part that they have to play in improving attendance?

A genuine whole-school approach means attendance is a constant feature of assemblies, wall displays, parent consultations, newsletters etc. Attendance targets should be visible everywhere.

Most importantly, the school should feel like a welcoming, safe and appropriately challenging place. Suggested questions:

 What are staff roles and responsibilities:

– Whole school?

– Within a specific team?

 How are the following being used to promote attendance and to what effect?

– Assemblies

– Parents’ Evenings

– School Newsletter

– School Noticeboard

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8.13 Analysing Pupil Premium Cost Effectiveness

Jack Sloan, the Deputy Head at Hanover Primary School explains how he uses ‘user-defined groups’ in SIMS to analyse the cost effectiveness of the interventions funded by the pupil premium

At Hanover, as in all schools across the country, we are developing systems to spend our Pupil

Premium allocation effectively. We are lucky to have excellent teaching and support staff who are committed to improving outcomes for all children, and this year we have been monitoring progress like never before!

The model we have developed for monitoring cost-effectiveness of interventions has made extensive use of SIMs and the SIMs Assessment Analysis. For each intervention or group, we set up a ‘user-defined group.’ This enables us to easily track the progress of children over time, and helps us build a picture of whether a strategy is working.

When we set up an intervention using Pupil Premium funding, we cost out the programme using the following formula: cost of the intervention, per FSM6 child, per hour. We then multiply this up and work out the cost to date at key analysis points. As these children will form a user-defined group, we can then easily check on their progress.

This year, it has become clear that most of our interventions are cost-effective (children who participated have made expected or better progress as set against their individual targets). However, we discovered in April that one particularly costly intervention was not working. 6 out of the 11 participants were not on track to meet their targets. This enabled us to quickly intervene and to begin to ask questions. This resulted in our re-training of the staff-member in the strategies needed to deliver the intervention, and we are looking forward to seeing improved outcomes by the end of this term.

We are finding the use of user-defined groups particularly helpful in many ways – we use them as described above to work out cost-effectiveness of interventions, but also to hold teachers and other members of staff to account. It is, of course, important and useful to be able to analyse data by year group, registration group or SEN category, but we find the flexibility of being able to set up our own groups a particularly powerful tool at Hanover.

Page | 197

8.14 Islington Off-Rolling Process

Page | 198

8.15 LA Off-Rolling Notification Form

GOLDEN RULES

Do obtain a named school destination

Do not use vague destinations (e.g. gone to Scotland/Birmingham/moved abroad)

Do confirm with the new school that the pupil is attending before off-rolling

Please complete all fields on this form

Ensure this form is signed by the head teacher.

PUPIL DETAILS

Current school

Child’s name

Child’s DoB

UPN

Parent/Carer name/s

Address

Telephone numbers Mobile

Home

Work

Forwarding address, contact number, (even if

international), email

NEW SCHOOL DETAILS

Name of new school

New school contact details

Start date at new school

Have you confirmed the pupil is attending?

Has the new school requested the pupil file?

YES/NO

YES/NO

Has the pupil’s CTF (Common

Transfer File) been uploaded to s2s?

Has the new school been added to SIMS (School History – Tab

11)

YES/NO

YES/NO

Are there any safeguarding concerns?

YES/NO

If yes, what actions have you taken?

REASON FOR LEAVING

Reason code/grounds for off-rolling

(please see guidance overleaf)

DECLARATION

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

I confirm that this pupil has been removed from the school’s roll in line with statutory regulations (The Education (Pupil Registration)

(England) Regulations 2006. Head teacher’s signature

Please send completed form by secure email to:

[email protected]

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8.16 LA Missing Pupil Alert Form

Current school

Child Name

DOB

UPN

Date of last attendance

Parent/Carer Name/s

Address

Telephone numbers

Mobile

Home

Work

Other known contacts

(name, relationship, telephone number, email)

PLEASE COMPLETE THE RISK ASSESSMENT OVERLEAF

DECLARATION

I confirm the pupil remains on the school roll in line with Islington’s procedure for Missing

Pupils

Head teacher’s signature

Please send completed form by secure email to:

[email protected]

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8.17 LA Notification of Pupil on Part-Time Provision

School Name

Child Name

DOB

UPN

Is the pupil known to Children’s Social Care?

Is a Team Around the Child (TAC) in place?

Yes

Please state in which capacity

(i.e. Child in Need, Child

Protection Plan etc.)

Yes

No

No

If yes, has the proposal for part-time provision been discussed and agreed by the

TAC?

Reason for implementing part-time arrangements

Planned start date of part-time arrangements

Yes No

Planned date for return to full-time provision

(usually no longer than half a term)

Please attach reintegration plan including support arrangements

Attendance register

Please note that pupils should be marked using the code ‘C’ authorised absence.

DECLARATION

I confirm I have authorised the part-time arrangements as detailed in the reintegration plan attached.

Dated

Head teacher’s signature

Please send completed form by secure email to:

[email protected]

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8.18 Securing Education Board: Primary Preference Summary

Pupil Name Ethnicity Male / Female Year Group

Address Parent name and Tel Contact

School History

Request type

For Managed Move requests only

Preference 1

Preference 2

Preference 3

Nearest school

Admissions to provide

ON ROLL &

ATTENDING

ON ROLL NOT

ATTENDING

NOT ON ROLL

Managed

Move

Distance

Admissions to provide

Distance

Admissions to provide

Short term PRU place

Vacancy

Long term

PRU place

Admissions to provide

Vacancy

Admissions to provide

Distance

Admissions to provide

Distance

Admissions to provide

Vacancy

Admissions to provide

Vacancy

Admissions to provide

Agency Involvement

NRC Outreach

YES/NO

EPS

YES/NO

CAMHS

YES/NO

Does the pupil have a CAF? YES/NO

Other considerations

YOS

YES/NO

CSC

YES/NO

Why is the proposed course of action the most/only appropriate option?

What other options have been considered and why were they discounted?

What would be the impact if the placement were not agreed?

Would you be willing to take the pupil back after the intervention?

FAP Category

Admissions to complete

Decision

Admissions to complete

Other

YES/NO

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8.19 Securing Education Board: Primary Pupil Summary

Information provided will be used to:

Determine whether the pupil should be prioritised for admission under Islington’s Fair Access protocol.

Support placement planning and reintegration.

Ensure information is shared transparently.

PUPIL NAME

DOB

HOME ADDRESS

HOME TELEPHONE

M/F FSM

YES/NO

UPN

Ethnicity Is the pupil looked after?

YES/NO

If yes, by which LA?

NAME OF PARENT / CARER

Any other holding parental responsibility:

MOBILE

CURRENT SCHOOL & LOCAL AUTHORITY YEAR GROUP Attendance %

Is the pupil currently attending? YES/NO

Date of last attendance

Does the pupil have SEN? YES/NO

School Support / Statement / EHCP

SCHOOL HISTORY

(please include complete school history from age 5)

School Name Local Authority From To

KEY STAGE RESULTS: Please ensure all key stage information is completed.

Reading

Writing

Most recent assessment

Date Result Teacher assessment

KS1

Result

Spelling Grammar

Punctuation

Maths

Science

ICT

Teacher assessment

KS2

Result

Page | 203

EXCLUSION HISTORY

Date Length Reason

AGENCY INVOLVEMENT

Has a CAF been initiated? YES/NO

If yes, please attach a copy (subject to parental permission) and specify who the lead professional is:

Lead professional (name and contact details)

If no, please give reasons

Please indicate which external agencies are currently involved with this pupil:

Name & contact details

CAMHS CHILDRENS SOCIAL

CARE

EDUCATION WELFARE

Name & contact details

HEALTH

SEN

HOUSING POLICE

TARGETED YOUTH

SUPPORT

VOLUNTARY/COMMUNITY

GROUP

Name & contact details

Name & contact details

OTHER

EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

PRU OUTREACH

YOUTH OFFENDING

OUTLINE OF SUPPORT TO DATE

Intervention

PUPIL STRENGTHS

Start date

End date

Outcome

PUPIL DIFFICULTIES

Page | 204

What are the parent/s’ views on the pupil’s progress and needs?

What are the pupil’s views on their progress and needs?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IF MAKING A REQUEST TO THE SECURING EDUCATION BOARD: a) Please indicate request type:

 Managed transfer to a new mainstream school

 Short term PRU place (1 term in the first instance) with reintegration back to current school

 Short term PRU place (1 term in the first instance) with managed transfer to a new mainstream

school

 Long term PRU place (minimum of 1 academic year)

 Other:

b) Intended outcome of proposed intervention:

Please use SMART targets as these will be used as a basis for assessing the pupil’s readiness to return to a mainstream setting. i) Learning Targets ii) Behaviour Targets iii) Attendance Targets

CONTACT DETAILS OF PERSON COMPLETING FORM

Name

Role

Tel. Number

Parent signature

Pupil signature

Requests will not be accepted without parental consent

Please indicate whether the pupil is aware of this request

Please return to:

Securing Education Board Clerk

Tel. 020 7527 5779

E:

[email protected]

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8.20 Securing Education Board: Risk Assessment

Pupil Name DOB

School Year Group

TRIGGERS

Risk: Low

Specific Hazardous Behaviours:

1.

Specific Strategies:

1.

De-escalation/Intervention:

Clear Instructions

Verbal Advice & support

Negotiation

Limited Choices

Distraction

Diversion

Reassurance

Planned Ignoring

Positive Touch

Friendly hold

Others:

Medium High

TRY AVOID

Hold (wrap/double elbow/figure of four)

Take up time

Withdrawal offered

Withdrawal directed

Transfer adult

Consequences re-enforced

Humour

Success reminders

Other (see below):

Other (see below):

Positive Listening / De-brief:

Recording and Notifications Required:

Parents/Carers

Placing authority

Social Worker/Social Services

Educational Psychologist

Other:

Exclusions:

CAMHS

YOT/Police

G.P.

Other

TRY AVOID

Support provided:

Name:

Signature:

Position/Job role:

Page | 206

Date:

CURRENT BEHAVIOUR RISKS

Tick any behaviour risks in past year

VIOLENCE

Not applicable

a. Intimidation b. Throwing of objects to cause harm c. Biting d. Arson (deliberate fire setting) e. Violence to family f. Violence to staff g. Violence to other students h. Violence to general public

WEAPONS

Not applicable

a. Knife b. Pellet gun or similar c. Other: (please specify)

SELF HARM

Not applicable

a. Accidental harm at home (e.g. Falling,

Careless, climbing) b. Lack of awareness of danger c. Accidental harm outside the home ( e.g.

Wandering into the road) d. Overdose e. Self-injury (e.g. Cutting) f. Non-compliance with medication

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Not applicable

a. Verbal threats c. Physical threats d. Exposure e. Assault

GANG AFFILIATION

Not applicable

a. Lead member b. Major involvement c. Minor involvement

VULNERABILITY

Not applicable

a. Risk of abuse from others b. Risk of sexual exploitation c. Running away from home/school d. Other methods of self-harm e. Climbing

CONTACT WITH CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Not applicable

a. Incidents involving the police b. Known to YOS c. Cautions d. Convictions

Tick here

RISK ASSESSMENT HISTORY

Tick any appropriate box for each question

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (EVER)

None

a. One incident b. Two incidents c. Three incidents d. More than three incidents e. Threats of violence

MOST SERIOUS HARM CAUSED

None

a. Minor injury b. Serious injury c. Fatality

HISTORY OF SUICIDE ATTEMPTS (EVER)

None

a. One b. Two c. Three d. More than three

HISTORY OF SEVERE NEGLECT (EVER)

a. None b. Yes

HISTORY OF ARSON (EVER)

None

a. Threats b. Yes - actual

HISTORY OF CONTAINMENT (EVER)

None

a. Special Hospital b. Secure Unit c. Young Offenders Institute d. Locked Ward e. Detained at a Police Station f. Detained under MHA 1983 g. Detained under Section 136

HISTORY OF DROPPING OUT OF CONTACT WITH

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Not applicable

Yes

No

Tick here

Page | 207

8.21 Securing Education Board: Secondary Preference Summary

Pupil Name DoB Male / Female Ethnicity Year Group

Address Parent name and Tel Contact

School History

Preference 1

Preference 2

Preference 3

ON ROLL &

ATTENDING

Distance

Distance

Distance

Distance

ON ROLL NOT

ATTENDING

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

Vacancy

NOT ON ROLL

Nearest school

Agency Involvement

NRC Outreach

YES/NO

EPS

YES/NO

Does the pupil have a CAF?

YES/NO

Background/Other considerations

CAMHS

YES/NO

YOS

YES/NO

CSC

YES/NO

Does the pupil have SEN? SEN Support/

Statement/EHCP

If yes, main presenting needs

Other

YES/NO

Why is the proposed course of action the most/only appropriate option?

What other options have been considered and why were they discounted?

What would be the impact if the placement were not agreed?

Would you be willing to take the pupil back after the intervention?

FAP Category

PRU Entry / Medical PRU entry / Failed AP x2

Decision

Page | 208

8.22 Securing Education Board: Secondary Pupil Summary

Information provided will be used to:

Determine whether the pupil should be prioritised for admission under Islington’s Fair Access protocol.

Support placement planning and reintegration.

Ensure information is shared transparently

PUPIL NAME

UPN

SCHOOL HISTORY:

Please complete section 5 of the e-CAF with the pupil’s school history from age 5

10.

EXCLUSION HISTORY

NCY

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Is the pupil currently attending? YES/NO

Does the pupil have SEN? YES/NO

School Support / Statement / EHCP

KEY STAGE RESULTS: Please ensure all key stage information is completed.

KS1 KS2

Reading

Date

Most recent assessment

Result Teacher assessment

Date of last attendance

Result Teacher assessment

Result Teacher assessment

KS3

Result

Writing

Spelling

Grammar

Punctuation

English

Maths

Science

ICT

KS4 ONLY: GCSE ENTRIES AND PREDICTED GRADES

Subject Board Is coursework up-to-date?

YES/NO

YES/NO

Results from completed modules

Predicted grade

YES/NO

YES/NO

YES/NO

YES/NO

7.

8.

9.

YES/NO

YES/NO

YES/NO

YES/NO

Date Length Reason

Page | 209

PUPIL STRENGTHS

Please complete section 6 of the e-CAF

PUPIL DIFFICULTIES

Please complete section 6 of the e-CAF

OUTLINE OF SUPPORT TO DATE:

Please also complete section 5 of the e-CAF

Intervention Start date

End date

Outcome

PROVISION REQUEST TYPE:

 Short term PRU place with reintegration back to current school

 Short term PRU place with fresh start at a new school

 Long term PRU place

 Mainstream reintegration from PRU

 Consideration under Islington’s Fair Access Protocol *(see below)

 Other:

*CONSIDERATION under Islington’s FAIR ACCESS PROTOCOL (where applicable)

Reasons for submitting request:

Please complete section 2 of the e-CAF

List of supporting documents

1. e-CAF

Please complete all sections of the e-CAF up to the section: Summary of needs, outcomes and actions.

2. Risk assessment

Date

3. Attendance certificate

4.

CONTACT DETAILS OF PERSON COMPLETING FORM: Please complete section 5 of the e-CAF

AUTHORISATION AND CONSENT: Referrals cannot be accepted without authorisation and consent

Head teacher signature

Parent signature

Pupil signature

Page | 210

Home Address

8.23 Request for a Pupil to Receive Education for Medical Reasons

NRC Medical PRU provides education for Islington and City of London school age residents who are receiving on-going medical treatment and have a medical treatment plan. It is a school’s responsibility to provide education for the first 15 days of absence due to ill health.

All pupils who are accepted will remain dual registered with their home school. A professional from school must be identified who will attend TAC/Review meetings.

Please note each section of the form must be completed and submitted along with any other relevant reports.

PUPIL DETAILS

First Name DOB Gender

Surname

UPN

NRC Year Group Is pupil fluent in

English?

Yes / No

FSM YES/NO

Tel:

Page | 211

SCHOOL DETAILS

School

Address

School Tel

PARENT/CARER DETAILS

Main parent/carer’s name

Address (If different to pupil’s home address)

Other carer/s name

Contact person

Direct number and email

Relationship to pupil

Home tel:

Mob:

Relationship to pupil

Address (If different to pupil’s home address) Tel:

AGREEMENT OF PERSON WITH PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

I agree to this request. I understand that discussion will take place with all agencies involved and that a decision about suitable educational provision will be based on evidence of need.

Please print name:

Signature:

Date:

Name of professional with whom request and agreement was discussed:

Signature:

Date:

Page | 212

ATTAINMENT DETAILS TO BE COMPLETED BY SCHOOL

Name and role of lead school contact Contact details including e-mail

Is the pupil SEN support?

YES / NO

What additional SEN support is offered to the pupil?

Does the pupil have an education health and care plan?

YES / NO

Please attach copy of pupil passport and/or school based plan / education health and care plan / or last annual review as appropriate.

Key Stage Results: Please Complete all Key Stage Information

Most recent assessment

Date NC sublevel

Teacher assessment

KS1

Result

Teacher

KS2 assessment

Result

Teacher assessment

KS3

Result

Reading

Writing

English

Maths

Science

Computing

If not in school please describe current arrangements for educational provision

ATTENDANCE INFORMATION TO BE COMPLETED BY SCHOOL

Percentage attendance for this academic year Name of Access and Engagement Officer

Summary of AES work with the family

BEHAVIOUR

Are there any current behaviour issues that we should be aware of?

Exclusion history and dates

Pupil Strengths Pupil Difficulties

Page | 213

REASON FOR REQUEST FOR TUITION ON MEDICAL GROUNDS

Please state the background / circumstances of the current medical / medical psychiatric need.

Please provide details of any diagnosis:

Who is the Consultant responsible for the Treatment Plan?

What are their contact details:

Who is the treating clinician (if different from above)?

What are their contact details:

Frequency of contact with patient:

Please give details of current or intended treatment plan or intervention being offered.

Date of next scheduled treatment review:

How will a placement at NRC Medical PRU support the treatment being offered?

In the event of the patient not engaging or dropping out of the treatment plan who is the clinician responsible for the young person’s ongoing care?

Consultant’s Signature

Page | 214

OTHER PROFESSIONALS/AGENCIES CURRENTLY INVOLVED (E.G. CHILDREN’S SOCIAL CARE, EPS,

IFIT, FAMILIES FIRST ETC).

Contact details/Tel Name of professional

Agency

Name of professional

Agency

Contact details/Tel

Request for tuition completed by

Please print name and role

Date

Head teacher Signature Date

Missing Child Risk Assessment Record

Name of child missing

Date child went missing

Date of child’s last attendance

Has the child been seen since this date? (E.g. outside the school in the local area)

Address from which the child is missing

If different, please provide relevant address

POTENTIAL RISKS

Factor

Same as overleaf

Tick all that apply and provide additional details where applicable

1. 10 years old or under

2. 11 to 14 years of age

3. 15 up to 18 years of age

4. Has a Child Protection Plan

5. Needs essential medication or treatment (e.g. asthma inhaler, insulin etc.)

Page | 215

6. May not have the physical ability to interact safely with others or in an unknown environment (e.g. visually impaired history of abuse or inappropriate adult/stranger relationships, SEN etc.)

7. Lacks reasonable awareness of the risks associated with running away (e.g. learning difficulty)

8. Known to associate with adults or children who present a risk of harm e.g. Sexual Offenders,

Offenders against children

9. Mental illness or psychological disorder that may increase risk of harm to themselves or others

10. Drugs and/or alcohol dependency

11. Suspicion of abduction

12. Suspected suicide or self-harm

13. Involved in violent and/or racial incident or confrontation immediately prior to disappearance

14. Concerns about state of mind e.g. unusual behaviour prior to disappearance or disappeared with no prior indication, or seemed troubled etc.

15. Inclement weather conditions where exposure would seriously increase risk to health

16. Family/relationship problems or recent history of family conflict/abuse

17. Family employment problems

18. Family financial problems

19. School or college problems

20. Ongoing victim of bullying, harassment, or exploitation e.g. racial, sexual etc.

21. Previously disappeared and suffered or was exposed to harm whilst missing

22. Victim or potential victim, of forced marriage, FGM or trafficking, incl. for sexual exploitation

Page | 216

SUMMARY

Other risks

Please comment on any other risks not covered above

Summary of actions taken

Include attempts to talk to child on mobile phone and attempts to contact friends & family

Completed by (full name)

Signature

Date

Page | 217

8.24 Multi-Disciplinary Teleconference - Schools Referral Form

Islington School Nursing Service

Highbury Grange Health Centre

1-5 Highbury Grange

London N5 2QB

Tel: 020 3316 8001 [email protected]

MDT Teleconference - Schools Referral Form

Islington School Nursing Service

Each month Islington hosts a Multi-Disciplinary Teleconference (MDT). The Multidisciplinary Team is a group of health care professionals who provide different services for patients in a co-ordinated way. Core members of a team include a GP locality chair and IC administrator, the patient’s GP, Children’s Community Nurse, Health Visiting team, School

Nurse, Families First, Paediatrician Pharmacist and Paediatrician Consultant. Additional members may join the team, depending on the patient's needs and the condition or disease being treated.

When unresolved health concerns are raised at school – schools can refer to the MDT teleconference via the school nursing service.

Name of Referrer:……………………………………….…………….. Date:………………………………………………….

School:……………………………………………………………………….. Class:………………………………………………….

Position:…………………………………………………………………….. Telephone:…………………………………………

E-mail:………………………………………………………………………..

First Name of Child…………………………………………………….. D:O:B:………………………………………………..

Surname of Child……………………………….......................... Ethnicity:……………………………………………

Gender: Male / Female……………………………………………….

Address:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Previous Child Protection……………………………......................................................................................

Social Worker Name:……………............................................ Tel:……………………………………………………

GP:………………………………………….……………………………………… Tel:……………………………………………………

Parental Consent: Yes/No School Attendance%...........................

SENCO Name:……………………………....................................... Authorised % ..... Unauthorised % ……

Concerns:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Please e-mail the referral form to: [email protected]

and call the team on:

020 3316 8001 to confirm that we have received it. Thank you.

Name:………………………..……………………………………… Signature:………………………………………………………….

Date:…………………………………………………………………

Page | 218

8.25 Sustaining Progress for a Child with Persistent Absence

Current year group:

Date of Birth:

Ethnicity:

FSM:

Background factors: ________ is a happy girl who enjoys school. Her persistent absence has been

a feature of her whole school life. This is mainly due to her sister having type 1 diabetes.

________, ________’s sister, has been rushed into hospital many times as medical teams are finding it difficult to set the correct medication for her. As mum is a single parent, when this happens ________ has to go to the hospital with her as she cannot be left home alone. ________ and ________ share a bedroom, also making it difficult for mum to check on and regulate

________’s medication without waking ________. Mum often has sleepless nights trying to

regulate ________ and finds it difficult to wake in the morning for school.

Summer Y1

Summer Y2

Reading

1A

2B

Writing

1A

2C

Maths

1A

2C

Summer Y1

Summer Y2

Attendance

80.9%

87.8%

Progress Y1 to Y2 APS

Spring 1 Y3

4

2A

2

2B

2

2A

Autumn Y3

100%

Provision at KS1:

Letter sent from Attendance Officer re absence – 24/9/12.

Regular meetings and conversations with School Attendance Officer - 4/11/11, 11/1/12, 2/2/12,

9/3/12, 17/12/12, 14/2/13.

Meeting with Attendance Officer and Headteacher 02/2012.

Attendance Officer and EWO home visit – 2/2/12.

Meetings with EWO 4.11.11, 2.2.12.

First day calls by school admin staff.

Head teacher wrote to consultant regarding concerns regarding attendance 14/2/2012.

Free breakfast club place provided. Free after school place provided.

Member of staff collecting ________ in the mornings and bringing her to school.

Referral to Children’s Country Fund All About Kids to give ________ a break – 6/10/13.

Referral offered to Chance and Friendships Works – 6/10/13.

Provision at KS2:

Discussed at Team Around The School Meeting 21/10/13 – Outcome: PM to suggest benefit check with Income Maximum Team and info from Diabetes UK.

Celebrating attendance % though informal conversations and 100% half term certificate.

Celebrating punctuality success verbally daily.

Monitoring:

Monitor attendance weekly.

Ensure the support provided for the family meets their needs.

Monitor targets on individual education programme.

Attendance Officer and mum meet regularly to discuss her progress and ensure we are supporting the family.

Monitor ________’s progress in reading, writing and maths to ensure she continues to make good progress.

Page | 219

8.26 Persistent Absence Tracking Sheet

Page | 220

8.27 Persistent Absence Action Plan

Improving Attendance Action Plan

Pupil: Parent/carer: School contact:

Start date and %: 24.10.13 - 83.3%

Review date: 16.12.13 – 89.4%

Review date: 26.3.14 - 93.4%

Review date: 21.7.14 – 94.7

Review date: 7.3.15 – 100%

Reason(s) for absence:

________ is very susceptible to picking up bugs at school. Mum has taken her to the doctors and they have conducted tests including a urine test. Mum is vegetarian; doctors have suggested that mum give her some red meat to increase the protein and iron in her diet. Mum says ________ is usually a healthy child. Mum suffers from depression and is getting support for this. Mum tells me this does not impact on her ability to get ________ to school. Mum reports that at the beginning of each new year ________ has found it difficult to get to know the new teacher as she is a very sensitive and emotional child.

Mum reports ________ is now happy and settled into her new class and likes her teacher very much.

Actions to be taken:

PM to continue to monitor.

PM offered to collect

_______ from home if Mum is unable to bring her.

PM to provide a weekly sticker chart to encourage regular attendance.

PM to refer to Families First for SFSC parenting course.

________ to use sticker chart.

Parents will bring ________ in every day even if sometimes late or with meds.

By:

School

Pupil

Parent/ carer

What / When will happen?

PM to collect from home if necessary.

Provided by PM weekly. Certificates to reward.

PM to email re course dates and refer.

PM to provide weekly. 4 th

November.

If necessary

How will we know it is working?

Improved attendance.

School attendance % will

Routines at home will

increase. improve and make it easier to get to school and on time.

________ will be motivated to come to school regularly.

Improved attendance

Other family members

PM to refer to SFSC to support boundaries and routines at home and provide support for mum.

Other agencies

PM to email

Families First to request course dates

Mum to attend course.

Page | 221

Michael Gooch

Strategic Lead for Access & Engagement Service

London Borough of Islington

Pupil Services

1st Floor, 222 Upper Street

Islington, London

N1 1XR

Tel: 020 7527 8748

Email:

[email protected] www.islington.gov.uk

September 2015

Page | 222

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