At Thornaby Academy we recognise that good attendance provides students with the best chance of achieving their potential.
Since becoming an Academy we have worked tirelessly to improve attendance and we pride ourselves on making excellent progress. Attendance will continue to be high on our list of priorities. This section of the website outlines the following:
- Why is good attendance important?
- Academy Target
- Information about the Attendance Team
- Recent figures
- Persistent Absenteeism and Procedures
- Categories of Attendance
- Updated Attendance Policy
- Templates of response letters
- Attendance Rewards and Interventions
- Absence Procedures
- Term Time Holidays
Academy Attendance Target
The Academy attendance target is 96%
We encourage all of our students to aim high and know that the majority are more than capable of achieving this figure. In turn this will give them a better chance at succeeding and achieving during their years at Thornaby Academy.
The Importance of Good Attendance
There is a clear link between attainment and attendance. The attendance posters below highlight the impact that attendance has on grades achieved and how lower attendance can significantly hinder achievement.
The attendance target is promoted throughout the Academy. This is referred to during tutor time and assemblies. Students are able to identify the category they fall into and what they must do to improve. This is a key feature of ‘Monitoring Monday’ as part of the tutorial programme.
Persistent Absenteeism’ refers to those students who are absent from school for more the 10% of the time, which in turn means that their attendance is less than 90%. We work proactively to prevent students from falling into this category but on occasions this is unsuccessful. We have specific protocol in place when working with these students. This involves Pre Attendance Case Conference meetings with the student and their parents and setting clear targets over a period of time. The number of review periods is decided on a case by case basis and generally this approach is successful in leading the student out of the PA category. On the rare occasions that this is unsuccessful we progress the meetings to Attendance Case Conference and may work alongside the Local Authority to commence a prosecution process.
Rewards and Intervention
At Thornaby Academy we want to celebrate the success and student achievements.
We have a range of rewards for students with excellent attendance and those making improvements. Some examples of current awards are listed below.
- Positive Reward Points
- PRIDE cards
- Weekly attendance lottery
- Tutor group of the week based on attendance and behaviour for learning
- Half termly recognition letter and reward for 100%
- Termly recognition letter and reward for 100%
- Themed incentives throughout the year
- Termly prize draw for 100% attendance
- VIP breakfast brunch for those students achieving 100% over the course of an Academic year.
Attendance Intervention and Support
For those students below the Academy target of 96%. We have a range of interventions available to support students to make improvements. Outlined below are some of the interventions that we currently use:
- Tutor/Learning Manager and Attendance Officer support with issues affecting attendance
- Close Monitoring of attendance – progress tracked by student and tutor
- Individual incentives where appropriate
- Individual interventions
- Parents notified of concern
- Early intervention meetings
- Referrals to other agencies if required
If Your Child is Absent
First Day Response Explained
If your child is absent from school then we kindly ask that you make it a priority to contact the attendance team on the morning of the first day of absence, so that we know that your child is safe. There is a messaging system assigned to the ‘student absence’ number so that if no one is available to take your call then you can leave a message. If your child is absent for more than one day then we would politely ask that you contact us on each day of absence.
If we have not heard from you by mid-morning will when attempt to contact you to establish the reason behind your child’s absence. If we have difficulties contacting you then we will try ‘secondary contacts’ and/or send a text message of concern. You are able to reply to this text. If you would like to send an email explaining your child’s absence then the address is ‘email@example.com’.
If we have not had any contact on subsequent days of absence then the same process will apply. If no contact has been established by the fifth day of absence then a home visit will be carried out.
What to do if your child is absent from school
On occasions when you have sought medical advice for your child it would be extremely helpful if you could provide evidence of this. It may be in the form of an appointment card, a prescription or some medication. This can then be copied and remain in the student’s file to support their absence.
We understand that students may need to attend medical appointments. We would ask that you try and schedule these appointments outside of the normal school day so that it does not impact on your child’s learning. However on occasions when this is not possible we would ask that you provide some form of medical evidence to support your child’s absence. This is turn means that the absence can be noted as ‘authorised’.
Holidays in Term Time
Alongside the recent amendments in the law and as part of the Academy’s updated Attendance Policy we are no longer allowed to authorise holidays during term time except in exceptional circumstances. Term time holidays can result in a significant amount of work being missed which will in turn impact upon attainment. If a two week holiday is taken during the course of the Academic Year then attendance will automatically be reduced to less than 96%.
Should you wish to request holidays during term time then we ask that you request a holiday form from the Office/Attendance Team. This should then be returned to the Academy and it will be responded to in due course.
It is important that we make you fully aware of the implications should you choose to take your child out of school without permission from the Principal. We are required to make a referral to the Local Authority who may then decide to impose a Fixed Penalty Notice. This means that you are required to pay a sum of £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. Failure to comply with this may result in court action and possibly a more punitive disposal.
You may find the Government website helpful in this instance, please click here.