At Orchards Academy we aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the school to aim for excellence. For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Absence affects your child’s chances of gaining good grades at GCSE so it is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and that we work together to achieve this.
Why regular attendance is so important
Learning: Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any student’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class.
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
Attendance figures are one thing prospective employers, colleges and universities ask for when requesting a reference: we report these accurately.
Keeping your child safe: Your child may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly. Safeguarding the interests of each child is everyone’s responsibility and within the context of this school, promoting the welfare and life opportunities for your child includes:-
Health and Safety
Access to the Curriculum
Anti- bullying/ e- safety
Failing to attend this school on a regular basis will be considered as a safeguarding matter
Promoting Excellent Attendance
Encouraging excellent regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility – parents/carers, students and staff. Orchards Academy supports each student by:
Providing details on attendance
Rewarding good and improved attendance.
We sponsor a tutor league in which the best attending form group in each year group will receive a weekly reward, and also a termly reward. We also present certificates to our highest attenders in their end of term assembly where they also receive rewards.
Types of Absence
Every session of absence from school will be categorised by the school as either Authorised or Unauthorised.
Authorised Absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a valid reason like illness, emergency medical/dental appointments, religious observance, and family bereavement.
Unauthorised Absences are absences which the school does not find acceptable. These include: truanting, keeping students home for unnecessary reasons, children who arrive at school too late to receive a mark, birthdays, shopping, looking after siblings, day trips and term time holidays that have not been agreed.
If your child is refusing to attend regularly it is never best to cover up their attendance or to give into pressure to excuse them from attending, as this gives them the impression that attendance does not matter.
If your child is absent:
Contact us as soon as possible for every day of absence
Send an explanation of absence in on their first day back
If your child is absent:
We will telephone and text you every day your child is absent if we have not been provided with a reason for absence.
If your child is continually absent we will invite you in to discuss the situation with either a Head of Year or the lead on Attendance.
We believe that punctuality is vitally important as it allows the pupils to be prepared for the day and to receive information that they may need from their Tutor.
How we manage lateness:
The school day starts at 8.40am and we expect your child to be in class at that time.
The registers are marked at 8.40 and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.
If your child is marked late without an acceptable excuse we will keep them for a break or lunchtime detention with a member of the senior leadership team. If your child is marked late 3 or more times in a week an hour detention will be imposed on a Friday with either a Head of Year or the attendance lead.
If you have a difficulty in ensuring your child arrives to school on time please contact the school and we will discuss this with you.
Holiday in Term Time
Requests for leave of absences have to be made in writing to the Head Teacher. We will not authorise any absences during term time unless it is in exceptional circumstances. Remember that any savings you may make by taking a term time holiday are offset by the cost to your child’s education.
Amendments to the Education Act, effective from 1st September 2013, make clear that Head teachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are determined to be exceptional circumstances. Unauthorised absence from school during term time will be considered for referral to Attendance and Behavioural Services for a penalty notice. Penalty notices are issued to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school. Fines are set at £60.00 if paid within 21 days or £120.00 within 28 days.
In recognition of the growing demands we now have a dedicated email address for parents to email their children’s daily absence, planned absences, and any concerns they may have in regards to their child’s attendance. You are still able to contact the attendance officer with your concerns on 01322 665231 ext. 215 and leave a message before and after school hours.