At Outwood Academy Acklam excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting good attitudes in attendance. We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their children are present at every opportunity, arrive on time and to avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily, or taking them out of school without authorisation. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.
We monitor student’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone or by letter. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact you to discuss ways in which the Academy can support you and your child.
Our Academy attendance target of 95% is the minimum that we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive effect on student’s examinations and their futures.
The Department for Education is changing the definition of ‘Persistent Absence’ to deal with the reality of pupil absenteeism in schools and its impact on their learning. The Department is reducing the threshold at which a pupil is defined as ‘persistently absent’ to 15% absence now, down from 20% previously.
What to do if your child is ill:
If your child is too ill to attend the Academy, parents/carers should contact the Academy Attendance Office as soon as possible:
• by telephone on 01642 818200. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message 24 hours a day.
Please give your child’s name, Year Group, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent unless you have given us an indication of how long the absence will last.
On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers complete an absence slip at the back of the student’s planner. The student should hand the slip in at the Year office.
What to do if your child has an appointment:
We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, we require notification in advance. Please telephone, email or provide a note from home or appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment.
In most cases, your child should attend the Academy before the appointment and return to the Academy afterwards wherever possible. They should bring a note from home to the attendance office when it is time for them to sign out. They should sign back in at reception on return.
Automated calls to parents/carers:
We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and automated calls are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers if a student is absent from Period 1 (8.45am to 9.45am), where the Attendance Office has received no reason for absence. Calls are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you.
NOTE: Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending registration on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up to date contact numbers.
All students are expected to arrive on time at the Academy, ready for lessons. Students should arrive for 8.20am. Students are expected to be at their first lesson by 8.25am ready to start learning. After 8.20am, students will be marked as late and will receive a C4 detention.
We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.
The Government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education.
Whilst we understand the difficulties parents/carers may have in organising holidays during the school holidays and the benefits to be had from cheaper term-time holidays, this type of absence is detrimental to a child’s education:
• lessons and enrichment activities are missed,
• continuity of project work is lost,
• the class is disrupted and other children may suffer as a result of teachers having to go over work again for the benefit of absent students,
• teachers cannot be expected to offer additional opportunities for catch-up work or extra tuition on a child’s return from holiday.
There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true. Parents are entitled to request leave of absence from the Academy. The Principal of the Academy has the discretion to allow up to 10 days in any academic year for the purpose of a family holiday only where there are special circumstances.
Other factors will be taken into account, such as:
• the time of year the child will be absent (no requests will be granted at the start of a new academic year, during exam time), or for any student in Y11
• the attendance record of the student
• the number of previous requests for family holidays
Any request should be made well in advance and in writing. We will consider all requests individually, although family holidays will only be authorised in the most exceptional circumstances.
Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, etc. If parents/carers wish their child(ren) to be absent for other reasons, such as compassionate leave, special family events, or to participate in sporting or musical competitions, etc., application should be made in writing, in advance where possible, or by telephone/email to the Attendance Office.
Celebrating Good Attendance
Good attendance is celebrated in assemblies and in VMGs and those students achieving above the Academy target are recognised.
Certificates are issued to students achieving 100% attendance.