Our guide to good attendance

If you are a parent or carer responsible for a child aged between 11 and 16, who is registered at our academy, this page explains your responsibilities.

Contact details:

  • Parents have responsibility by law to ensure their child attends school regularly.
  • National minimum attendance set by the government is 96%.
  • Make sure that your child comes to school regularly, arrives on time (08:25am on school site for 08:30am registration) and keeps to the academy’s rules. This includes attendance to all lessons.
  • If your child starts missing school, help to put things right. Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of their absence. Our Attendance Welfare Officer will visit your home and talk to you and your child about expected attendance levels. They will offer help and support with any problem that affects your child’s attendance.
  • If your child is ill, contact the academy on the first day of absence as early as possible (unless otherwise agreed). Absences through illness will not be authorised and some form of supporting evidence from your doctor / hospital will be required.
  • If your child is absent you must tell the academy the reason for this. Contact the academy confirming the reason either by telephone, emailing or writing a note in your child’s Planner.
  • Do not allow your child time off for birthdays or to look after younger siblings.
  • Do not allow your child time off for shopping trips.
  • Do not allow your child a full day off for a doctors / dentist appointment. Notes for medical appointments should be written in planners and appointment cards / letters shown to enable the absence to be authorised.
  • Do not allow your child to be kept off to wait at home for deliveries, repairs to your property or other visitors who may visit your home.
  • Do take an interest in your child’s attendance, education and homework.
  • Having a good education will help to give your child confidence and the best possible start in life.
  • If your child does not attend the academy regularly, he or she will not be able to keep up with the work. Irregular attendance causes children to worry and to become less confident about attending.
  • Employers will want to employ people who are reliable – so children who have not attended the academy regularly will appear to be unreliable.
  • Young people who are absent from education for no good reason are at risk of becoming victims of crime or abuse and may also be drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour.
  • If your child asks to stay away from the academy because of allegations of bullying, please contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year straight away to discuss this.

The law states that you do not have the right to take your child out of school for holidays during term time. The Education Welfare Service works with schools to reduce the number of children missing school because of leave taken in term time.  Schools have the authority to refuse your request to take your child out of school in term time.

If you wish to apply for exceptional leave of absence during term time, you must apply for permission in writing by completing the Leave of Absence form, available from the Attendance Team at least six week in advance of the leave of absence date. Permission for authorised leave of absence may be granted in term time if Exceptional Circumstances can be evidenced. This is at the discretion of the Principal.

Where holidays or leave of absence are taken without the academy’s permission, this may lead to parents/carers being issued with a penalty notice (a fine).

The academy has responsibility by law, for making sure that registered pupils of compulsory school age attend the academy regularly. Where pupils are not attending regularly, OIEA is required by law to make necessary intervention to address this:

  • An Attendance Welfare Officer is employed by OIEA to monitor attendance and to help the academy and parents meet their responsibilities.
  • The Attendance Welfare Officer works closely to check registers regularly for excessive absences (unauthorised and authorised) and also for prolonged absence taken through illness.
  • If your child is not attending school regularly the academy’s Attendance Welfare Officer will visit you.
  • The Attendance Welfare Officer can offer help and support to you and your child to overcome any attendance issues.
  • Legal action will be considered by the academy regarding any persistent absence concerns. This could result in you receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.
  • For further information see the academy’s Attendance Policy on the OIEA website or contact the academy directly to request a copy.

Being late adds up to a loss of learning:

  • If your child is 5 minutes late every day that adds up to over 3 days lost each year.
  • 15 minutes late is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year.
  • If your child arrives late after the close of the register, without good reason, the absence may be marked as unauthorised absence.

Parents/carers should follow one of the following steps to report an absence. We request that where possible, planned absences are reported in advance, rather than on the day.

  • Email the Attendance Officer: [email protected] 
  • Tel: 0115 9303724 (24-hour answer machine)
  • Tel/Text to: 07891 378493 (during school hours)
  • Call in personally to reception and leave a message for the Attendance Officer
  • Give a note signed by a parent/carer to a sibling to pass on to the Attendance Officer

OIEA – Attendance Support

Our aims
We will work to ensure that students and parents understand why attendance is important, and with you, we will ensure that we can do everything to help your child have good attendance, as we understand that sometimes ‘life happens’ and makes this more of a challenge.

You will:
Do everything you can to ensure that your child is on time (on site by 8.20am) and comes to school: this can be making sure they are up in plenty of time, have all the correct equipment and talking to them about how important every day is.
If your child is ill, please ensure you ring the absence line before 9.00am, this helps us ensure we have accurate registers and can alert you if your child is missing.
Ensure that your contact details are correct and where possible you have given us three emergency contacts.

We will:
Support you if you and your child(ren) are facing difficulties: this may be meeting with you or identifying a buddy to walk with your child.
Attendance Team contacts:
Shane Foster, Academy Attendance and Welfare Lead – Shane will support you ensuring your child attends regularly.
Tracy Davidson, Academy Admin Officer – Tracy can help with queries re-attendance.
Ailsa Pape, Assistant Principal with responsibility for attendance – Ailsa supports the attendance team.

Extra Information:
If your child is late three times, we would consider this to be persistent lateness (see full policy 8.9)

If your child has attended less than 95% at any given point, we will start our attendance process
An absence will be marked as unauthorised unless we have been given a satisfactory reason or medical evidence to support this.

All medical appointments will be authorised upon receipt of appointment card whether that be by text, email, or copy of letter.

‘Attendance is everyone’s business’