Staff at Brownhill Learning Community believe that regular school attendance is the key to enabling students to maximise the educational opportunities available to them.
Absence from school
Children are required to attend school for 190 days each year. The Local Authority target for attendance in schools is at least 95%.
How does your child’s attendance compare with this target?
Please remember, that children who miss a lot of school achieve less.
Informing school, of absence & lateness.
Parents and Carers are asked to notify BLC on the first day of absence/lateness either by telephone or personally. (Preferably by the close of register – see below) Telephone number for BLC - 0300 303 8384.
If the pupil is having more than 1days absence, then parent / carer must inform school every subsequent day unless told otherwise.
If a child is unable to attend school, parents must make sure the school is fully aware of the circumstances and the reason for absence. Schools are very limited in the type of absences that they can accept and that they are required to notify the Local Authority if a pupil misses school for an unacceptable reason. The Head teacher reserves the right to decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised.
BLC uses a computerised registration system. The register is completed in the morning and afternoon at 9.00 a.m. and 1.00pm. A pupil will receive a late mark (L) if they arrive after 9.15a.m. but before 9.30am. All pupils who are late must report to the office. Registers officially close at 9.30a.m and 1.30p.m. Pupils who arrive after this time will receive a late after registers close mark (U), which equates to an unauthorised absence.
If school receives no explanation by parents for the child’s absence/lateness, then the child’s absence is considered to be unauthorised. It is not acceptable for parents to pass messages regarding absences to school transport drivers or escorts. Brownhill LC will not accept this method of communication and your child will be marked unauthorised.
Under the Education Act 1996, it is the responsibility of Parents and Carers, to ensure the child or young person for whom they are responsible for has full attendance and is punctual.
Failure to do so is an offence and can lead to prosecution. (See additional information sheet – School Attendance & the Law).
BLC will use Individual attendance targets, Individual timetables, Behaviour Care plans (BCP’S) and Parent / Carer agreements to monitor school attendance.
BLC aims to support parents/carers in meeting their statutory responsibilities
Parents and Carers should:
Actively support the work of the school by instilling the value of education.
Encourage attendance and take a positive interest in their child’s work and educational progress.
Try to avoid unnecessary absences; where possible make appointments outside of school hours.
Ask the school for help as early as possibly if their child is experiencing difficulties.
Communicate as early as possible circumstances which may affect absence or require support.
Education Welfare Service
It is the responsibility of the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) and the Education Welfare Service to give a statutory service and an additional bought in service to Brownhill Learning Community.
This will include:
Participate in the monitoring of attendance patterns within each site
Offer advice and consultation regarding school attendance/absence
Implement Individual Attendance Support Plans when necessary
Consider and pursue legal action for non-school attendance
Work with the school in reviewing and implementing attendance action plans
Work with parents/carers and pupils to promote attendance
The full Service Level Agreement can be seen on request of the Head teacher or Attendance Link
BLC named Enforcement Education Welfare Officer: Katie Digiorgi
Education Welfare Officer is Nick Rowe.
It is the responsibility of each pupil to attend 100% of their attendance programme and to arrive on time at their site (or education provision). If they do not attend their education provision, then legal responsibility is with the Parent / Carer. (See Parents/Carers responsibility)
School day starts at 9am with late marks (L) commencing after 9.15am to accommodate particular access arrangements at venues. After 9.30am the student is deemed to be in centre, but unable to gain a full mark and will be marked as U, which will form part of the sessions accumulated towards persistent absenteeism.
All staff at BLC believes in the importance of continuity in every child’s learning. Staff are also concerned about each child’s safety, welfare and happiness. If staff are suspicious that a child might be playing truant, action is taken immediately. It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their child attends school and stays there for their education provision.
If truancy is a concern, BLC will inform the Education Welfare Officer and Parents / Carers. Parents / Carers are contacted, by either telephone or a home visit. We encourage parents to bring their child back to school, so that the reasons for truancy can be discussed and, we hope, resolved.
It is expected that Traveller children attend school as regularly and as frequently as possible. To protect traveller parent/carers from unreasonable prosecution for non-attendance, the Education Act 1944, section 86, states that a Traveller parent is safe from prosecution if their child accrues 200 attendances in a year. This is only when the parents are engaged in trade or business that requires them to travel and when the child is attending school as regularly as possible as that trade permits.
There is an expectation that parents must advise of their forthcoming travelling patterns before they happen and inform school of the proposed return dates. Brownhill Learning Community will authorise absence of Traveller children if we are satisfied that a family are travelling and intending to return.
Traveller students will be recorded as attending an approved educational activity when:
The student is on roll and attending another visited school
Undertaking supervised educational activity under the jurisdiction of another Local Authority’s Traveller Education Service.
The student is undertaking computer based distance learning that is evidenced.
Traveller Education Service Contact: Will MiKinlay.
Persistent Absentees (PA)
BLC & EWS monitor all students who are deemed Persistent Absentees (government guidelines are currently 90% or below) and challenge all absence including authorised absences e.g. illness, medicals, holidays etc. BLC will monitor and challenge all pupils at risk of being persistent absentees by establishing robust escalation procedures.
Make daily absences calls
Carry out regular home visits if a child has been absent for three or more days without reason for absence
Send attendance letters to parents/ carers
Hold panel meetings to address attendance
Invite parents to meetings with the school attendance lead to address barriers
Engage with local authority education welfare officer on a regular basis
Use fixed penalty notices
Engage with other professional involved with the family
Consider backstories and any Behaviour Care plans already in place.
Establish a range of evidence based interventions to address barriers to attendance
Holidays in term time
Holidays will not be authorised by the Head teacher, unless it is classed as an exceptional circumstance. ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ are deemed to be rare, significant, unavoidable and short, that could not reasonably be taken at another time.
Holidays taken will be recorded as an unauthorised holiday (Code G). Any absence of 10 sessions (5 school days) or more will qualify for a fine. No warning will be issued, as parents will be aware of this through letters, verbal communication, a statement on the school website and a leaflet in our school admission procedure. Fines will be issued to each parent of £60 if paid within 21days rising to £120 if paid within 28 days.
Appointments during the school day
Parents/carers are asked to make routine medical appointments before or after school. However, it is understood that sometimes this is not possible. Parents/carers must provide school with a copy of all appointment cards / letters when taking a child out of school.
We ask that parents ensure their child returns to school after the appointment where necessary or attends school prior to the appointment. School will challenge parents where a child has missed a whole day of school due to a medical appointment. Please note that where appointments are made before the start of a school day and where children are not back in time for registration then a child will receive an authorised absence mark for that whole session (Code M).