“Children who attend school regularly are more likely to be successful. A student who misses a day of school a week misses the equivalent of two whole years of their school life” – Derby City Council
It is widely recognised that attendance at school is essential for students to make progress in their education (DfE 2013). Good school attendance can benefit the student by:
- Increased educational progress
- Improved social skills
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved mobility
- A greater chance to succeed in life
DfE (2013) have stated that children with poor attendance achieve less in both primary and secondary school. Due to this importance the UK government expect schools and local authorities to do all they can to reduced levels of absence, and act early to address patterns of absence. In addition to this it is expected that students should be punctual to all lessons.
These reasons illustrate how good attendance is essential for a student to make expected or higher levels of progress. To support our students St Clare’s School will adopt a proactive approach towards attendance monitoring. The aims and strategies used to achieve this are detailed in the following sections.
This policy aims to support the progress of students at St Clare’s School by doing the following:
- Providing set procedures which allow the early identification of patterns of absenteeism.
- Providing clear strategies to support students with below expected levels of attendance.
- Providing clear strategies to support students with high levels of absenteeism.
- Positively reward students who achieve high levels of attendance.
The responsibility for monitoring attendance at St Clare’s School is shared between the two Senior Leaders with responsibility for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 (Kate Wallis and Richard Jackson). To ensure a consistent school wide approach to monitoring attendance Senior Leaders will meet each month to share and discuss instances of absenteeism. To ensure that Senior Leaders have up to date attendance records they shall receive attendance data for their year groups each time it is electronically inputted into the school computer system.
Senior Leaders will use the Attendance Monitoring Proforma to record interventions by staff, the date it was implemented and who was involved. This should allow Senior Leaders at St Clare’s to build an in depth record of absenteeism and successful strategies for improving attendance. In addition to this the Senior Leadership team will discuss attendance issues on a monthly basis in their team meetings.
Termly and annual attendance figures will be shared with the Senior Leadership Team on a regular basis.
In cases of good to excellent attendance students will be rewarded by:
- Praise from staff.
- Communication with home.
- Recognition in assembly.
- Recognition within class and whole school reward systems including achievement assemblies.
- Class attendance competition.
In cases of below expected attendance the Senior Leadership team shall use the following strategies:
- Clear signposting for staff so they know which member of staff they should raise any concerns/issues with.
- Regular communication home in order to establish a cause or reason for absenteeism including, phone calls, letters and home visits if required.
- Initial consultation with St Clare’s School’s designated Education Welfare Officer if appropriate.
- Clear and prompt communication between school staff and transport agencies if transport issues are reported.
- Assistance to parents if Derby City refuse to provide students with suitable and safe transportation to school.
- Staff will use regular praise when the student attends school to encourage regular attendance.
- Relevant behaviour strategies to ensure students feel more positive about school.
- Use of effective MEP targets to motivate students to attend school.
- Use of Attendance Monitoring Proforma recording strategies used by staff.
In extreme cases of absenteeism where attendance drops below 85% the Senior Leadership team shall use some or all of the following strategies where appropriate:
- Consultation with full Senior Leadership team.
- Contact with St Clare’s School’s designated Education Welfare Officer and other appropriate support agencies.
- Reduced timetables to encourage attendance.
- Referral to Home Tuition through the Local Authority
Education Welfare Service – 01332 717083
Education Welfare Officer – Rozina Latif
Office – 01332641127
Mobile – 07812300965
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
DfE, (2013), School Attendance departmental advice for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities.
Derby City Council, (2014), School Truancy, http://www.derby.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools-and-colleges/truancy/