Attendance

Here at Boston Pioneers Academy, we are dedicated to ensuring that each learner receives the best education possible.  This means that we have to abide by laws set by the Government with regards to ensuring the very best attendance for every individual child.  

Promoting Good Attendance 

Learners with poor attendance are less likely to achieve their academic potential and may find that they suffer socially. We have a responsibility to ensure that our learners are given all the opportunities to succeed both academically, socially and for their future life choices. 

We kindly request that you keep the academy informed of any matters that may affect your child’s attendance whilst at the Academy.  Working together to support your child is vital in order to ensure that they are achieving their academic potential and to support their wellbeing.  

School attendance is everyone’s responsibility and should you have any questions or concerns in relation to school attendance, you should speak initially to your child’s class teacher. 

The academy also has an Attendance Champion and a Family Support Worker who work pro-actively to support any families who may be experiencing difficulties with school attendance.  

Our academy’s Attendance Champion is Mrs Jo Lacey 

Our academy’s Family Support Worker is Miss Emma Gilbert. 

Our Attendance Champion and Family Support Worker can be contacted via the school office on 01205 353062 or email enquiries@bostonpioneersacademy.net 

Rewards 

The Academy promotes good attendance in a variety of ways: 

Collective Rewards 

  • The Best Attending Class Weekly Award (EYFS & KS1 and KS2)- certificate awarded weekly in Celebration Assembly. 
  • Best Attending Class Termly Award (EYFS & KS1 and KS2)- Free choice afternoon for the highest attending classes. 

Individual Rewards 

  • Attendance Super Raffle -To encourage 100% attendance every week, learners with 100% attendance receive a raffle ticket, which they place into one of two boxes.  Each box is for a specific prize such as a set of cinema tickets and at the end of every term, one lucky ticket is selected from each box to receive the prize.  
  • 100% Awards- At the end of each term (three times in an academic year), the Academy awards certificates to those children who have 100% attendance.  In the final term, learners with 100% attendance for the academic year receive medals. 

Timings of the School Day – Punctuality Matters! 

Gates to enter school open at 8.35am with the school day starting at 8:45 for all learners. This means that we expect all children to be sat in their classrooms ready for their lessons to start at 8.45am. Morning registration starts at 8:50 and closes at 8:55 each morning.  If pupils arrive after 8:55am, but before 9:15am, they will be marked in the register as ‘L’ (late).  However, if they arrive at or after 9:15am, they will be coded as ‘U’ (Unauthorised absence).    

In the afternoon, for EYFS, registers are taken at 12.45pm and in KS1 & KS2, registers are taken at 1.15pm.  

If learners arrive in a morning after the gates close at 8.45am, they should come into school via the front office where their names will be recorded on a ‘late log.’ Parents/carers will be asked for the reasons for the lateness and if, in any one week, the same child/children are late on two occasions, then a letter will be sent home, reminding parents/carers of the importance of ensuring that their child/children arrive to school promptly. 

In extreme cases, where no improvement has been made, this may mean that parents/carers could be invited to attend a meeting with the Academy Attendance Champion and Family Support Worker. An Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) may be in attendance, depending on the level of late attendance.  

If there is no improvement in a learner’s attendance and lateness, the academy may refer the matter to the local authority who have the power to issues sanctions for poor attendance such as penalty notices or prosecutions.   

Absences 

Parents and carers are responsible for informing the academy about any absences on a daily basis.

Contacting the school if your child is absent  

  • Please ring the school absence line on 01205 353062 and choose Option 1 from the menu to leave a message if your child is absent from school. You may also notify us of any absence via the WEDUC app., where you can complete an absence form.  You must contact the school on every day of absence.  
  • If school is not notified of an absence, (where there is no known reason for absence), administrators will take reasonable steps to ascertain the whereabouts of pupils. This will include phoning all available contacts, sending a WEDUC message and/or sending an email. 
  • If no contact can be made, once these steps have been followed, the child will continue to be recorded as ‘N’ code (No reason given for absence).  In addition, the academy may decide, at their discretion, to make an unannounced home visit to the learner’s listed address.  
  • If no one is at home, a calling card will be left asking parents/ carers to contact the academy as soon as possible. 
  • Where no reason is provided for an absence, the academy will send a letter to the home address to request a reason for the absence. 
  • If no reason is given for the children’s absence, after all attempts to gain the reason has been made, the absence will be logged as O = Unauthorised absence.  If a pattern of unauthorised absences emerges, academies will make contact with parents/ carers to discuss these, and appropriate support may be offered. 

Please be aware being ‘ill’ or ‘feeling unwell’ is not a sufficient reason for absence and parents/carers will be asked to clarify this further. Absences will be treated as unauthorised unless a satisfactory explanation for the pupil’s absence is given to the Academy.

Illness/Injuries 

Being ‘ill’ is not a sufficient reason for absence and parents/carers will be asked to clarify this further. Absences will be treated as unauthorised unless a satisfactory explanation for the pupil’s absence is given to the Academy.  

Having an injury is also not necessarily a reason to be absent from the academy.  Parents should contact the academy as soon as possible to clarify whether their child is able to continue to attend school. For the majority of injuries, learners will still be able to attend the academy with reasonable adjustments being made for them. 

Appointments  

Parents should make every effort to ensure these appointments (including medical or dental appointments) are made outside academy hours (including medical and dental appointments).  

Where it cannot be avoided, children should attend their academy for as much of that day as possible. Parents/ carers must inform the academy in advance of the appointment.  It is imperative that learners are not absent for more time than is necessary to attend the appointment. 

E.g. If the appointment is at 10am, the academy would expect the child to be at school for 8.45am as normal and then collected just before the appointment and returned straight after to continue with the rest of the days learning. If the appointment is a 2pm, the academy would expect the child to be in school for 8.45am as normal and then collected just before the appointment. 

Evidence of the appointment will be requested by the academy such as a note/text message from the child’s doctor, GPs, an appointment card or a prescription paper. If these are not provided on request it may result in the absence continuing to be classed as unauthorised. Evidence can screenshotted, photographed and messaged to the school via Weduc or shown directly to the office who will take a copy of the evidence.

Medicines  

We understand that unfortunately some learners have medical conditions that will have an on-going impact on their attendance.  As a setting, we will try to ensure that we facilitate any needs for each child. Please ensure that you share all medical conditions and appointments with us so that we can support in the best way we can.  An individual health plan will be drawn up for any pupil who has regular medication.  

For safety reasons, no learners should bring medicines or tablets to school in their school bag.  Any medicine brought into school, must be given in directly to the Front Office, where it will be securely stored.  Only medicines with prescription labels, clearly stating the pupils’ name and dosage will be administered in line with our Medicines in Schools Policy.  As a setting under our Medicines in Schools Policy, we are only able to administer prescribed medicine where 4 doses a day are required. However, parents will need to complete and sign a form giving permission for this to happen.  

Learners who have sickness and diarrhea are required for remain absent from the Academy for 48 hours after their last bout for infection control purposes.  

Holidays during term time 

The academy is not able to authorise holidays during term time unless there are specific exceptional circumstances. This is at the discretion of the headteacher. 

If parents/ carers feel that their circumstances are exceptional, then they must make a request in writing for consideration by the headteacher who will decide whether or not the holiday will be authorised and for how long the learner is permitted to be absent. 

If parents/ carers chose to take their children out of the academy without authorisation from the headteacher, this absence will be coded as unauthorised. The academy will then make an application to the local authority for a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to be issued.  The current fixed penalty notice rate is £60 per child per parent. 

Failure to pay a FPN may result in further legal action being taken by the local authority in the form of the Single Justice Process in the Magistrates Court.  

If multiple term time holidays are taken in either a single academic year, or over a series of  years, this can automatically go straight to court procedures via the county council.

Persistent & Severe Absence  

  • A persistent absentee (as stated within government guidelines) is any learner whose attendance falls below 90%.  
  • A severely absent pupil (as stated within government guidelines) is any learner whose attendance falls below 50%. 

Persistent absence and severe absence has a detrimental effect on learners as work missed is often not fully completed, leaving them at a disadvantage to their peers.  Learners with poor attendance are less likely to achieve their academic potential and may find that they suffer socially. We have a responsibility to ensure that our learners are given all the opportunities to succeed both academically, socially and for their future life choices, hence the academy having a designated Attendance Champion to support learners and their families where there are concerns regarding attendance.  If your child’s attendance level falls below 95%, we will contact you to explore the reasons/barriers to attendance and discuss what help can be put in place to help you overcome the barriers they are facing. This will be in the form of a SAP meeting (School Attendance Panel Meeting).

Support for Attendance  

The academy monitors the attendance and punctuality of individual learners closely and follows up all absence which is unexplained with parents/carers as soon as possible by telephone, written communication and/or home visits. If a learner’s attendance becomes a concern to us, dropping below 95%, then contact will be made with parents/carers to discuss this further and support put in place where needed.  As part of the conversations, we will have with you, a set of joint actions will be agreed to help overcome any barriers to attendance. This agreement will often include a commitment to refer or help you to access support services in exchange for an agreement from you to engage and take part in the support offered. We will also arrange mutual convenient times for us to come together to review these and your child’s progress depending on whether there has been an improvement in your child’s attendance. This agreement may take the form of an informal action plan, an early help plan, or a parenting contract – depending on the complexity of the reasons for your child’s absence. 

Emotion-Based School Avoidance (EBSA) 

Very rarely, some learners can develop severe anxiety about coming to school and will avoid coming.  Their attendance can start to decline significantly and suddenly. 

In order to support learners with these needs, the academy is able to access support from a variety of professionals who are experts in this fields. 

If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing this, please contact the Academy at the earliest possible opportunity. The earlier a child is supported the better the outcomes are for them.  Initially a meeting will be held with either the Academy’s attendance Champion or Family Support Worker in order to try and identify reasons for the anxiety and agree a plan of support moving forward.  

Pupil Not Attending Regularly (PNAR)

Where a learner has missed 10 consecutive days of learning, without prior consent, the academy will inform the Local Authority who will issue a warning letter to the parents/carers.

Support for Attendance

Working together to support your child is vital in order to ensure that they are achieving their academic potential and to support their well-being.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s attendance, please contact Mrs Lacey, the Academy’s Attendance Champion, directly on 01205 353062.

Further information

For the academy’s Attendance Policy and the Children Missing in Education Policy please see our Policies page.