Attendance

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Your child will be informed of their Attendance Group by their form tutor. St Francis Xavier’s Academy is monitoring students closely whose attendance is falling and will contact you if your child’s attendance does not improve. As a parent/carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends academy regularly and punctually, even if they are missing academy without your knowledge. It is important that parents/carers monitor even a single day’s absence, as these days soon add up to weeks.

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Your child will be informed of their Attendance Group by their form tutor. St Francis Xavier’s Academy is monitoring students closely whose attendance is falling and will contact you if your child’s attendance does not improve. As a parent/carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends academy regularly and punctually, even if they are missing academy without your knowledge. It is important that parents/carers monitor even a single day’s absence, as these days soon add up to weeks.

Miss School Miss Out: Why Attendance at School is so Important

If a child of compulsory school age is registered at a school it is essential that they attend their school regularly and maintain a pattern of good attendance throughout their school career.

Excellent attendance at school is important to allow a child or young person to fulfill their potential.

Below are just some of the key reasons why it is so important children attend school:

  • To learn.
  • To have fun.
  • To make new friends.
  • To experience new things in life.
  • To develop awareness of other cultures, religion, ethnicity and gender differences.
  • To achieve.
  • To gain qualifications.
  • To develop new skills.
  • To build confidence and self-esteem.
  • To have the best possible start in life

Key Point

Young people who regularly miss school without good reason are more likely to become isolated from their friends, to underachieve in examinations and/or become involved in anti-social behaviour.

Attendance and Punctuality posters

PUPILS REPRESENTING THE SCHOOL FOR SPORT AND RELEASE FROM SCHOOL FOR SPORTING COMMITMENTS

Pupils who want to represent the school at sport or take time off from school to represent local teams must have an attendance percentage of 92% or above. Education is a priority for all our pupils at St Francis Xavier’s Academy and as such good attendance needs to be demonstrated.

FAMILY HOLIDAYS IN TERM TIME

You can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not taking holidays during term time. Any child or young person who is absent from school due to a holiday will miss out on important learning and will fall behind with their school work.

In each Academic Year there are only a maximum of 190 statutory school days, this allows plenty of time for holidays to be arranged outside term time.

Holidays should not be taken in academy time. You have to get permission in advance from the Head Teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time.Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Head Teacher and only agreed where there are exceptional circumstances.

You can only do this if:

  • you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)
  • there are exceptional circumstances

It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted. You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Key Point.

Avoid taking family holidays during the school term.

MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS AND ATTENDANCE

We encourage students to maximise their levels of attendance, knowing that research indicates a direct link between attendance and examination performance.

Parents and carers can help their child achieve good levels of attendance (Green Zone: 97% and above) by avoiding scheduling medical appointments for children during the school day. We do, nevertheless, understand that this is sometimes unavoidable.

If your child has an unavoidable medical appointment and they miss registration in the morning or afternoon (during their Period 4 lesson), they will lose an attendance mark for half a day and their attendance that week will fall to 90%. Many of the appointment times mean that students can attend school first and return afterwards. This means they minimise missed lessons as well as keeping their attendance levels as high as possible. Therefore, we ask that parents/carers send their child into school for morning registration, even if they have a medical appointment in the middle of the morning. Signing out at the office after they have been registered in the morning reinforces the importance of attending to students, and also means that students receive their morning attendance mark.

Similarly, if your child has a medical appointment and does not sign back in afterwards for their afternoon registration mark, they will also lose half a day’s attendance. Therefore, we encourage students to return to school after their appointment where possible or to schedule appointments for as late as possible in the afternoon so they are present for period 4.

Please provide evidence for any medical appointments that take place within the school day.

Thank you for your support in helping your child achieve their best possible levels of attendance and achievement.

Key Point.

Avoiding scheduling medical appointments for children during the school day

HOW PARENTS CAN HELP

  • Establish a good routine in the mornings and evenings so your child is prepared for the school day ahead.
  • Make sure your child goes to school regularly and follows the school rules.
  • Ensure your child arrives at school on time: not late.
  • Arrange dental and medical appointments outside school hours when possible.
  • Always inform the school if your child is absent due to illness, this should be followed up with a written note when your child returns to school.
  • Take truancy seriously, if your child is not attending school as you expect they may be putting themselves at risk. Who are they with? What are they doing?
  • Take family holidays outside term time.
  • Talk to your child about school and take an interest in their school work (including homeworks).
  • Attend parent evenings and school events.
  • Praise and reward your child’s achievements at school.
  • Always support school staff in their efforts to control difficult or challenging behaviour.
  • Discuss any problems or difficulties with the school, staff are there to help and will be supportive.

Key Point

Do not be afraid to ask for help if a problem arises.

IF MY CHILD REFUSED TO ATTEND SCHOOL CAN I BE HELD RESPONSIBLE?

Yes. As the child’s parent, you are expected to ensure that they receive an education. If your child does not attend school you could face court action resulting in a possible fine and or even imprisonment. Please contact the Pastoral Team if you are concerned about your child’s attendance.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD REFUSES TO ATTEND SCHOOL

There may be many reasons why a child is reluctant to attend school, both issues related to school but also issues which are not related to school in any way. Contact the Pastoral Team as soon as possible if your child is reluctant to attend school. They will suggest a meeting with you and your child to discuss strategies which can be put into place to support their attendance at school.

Focus on Attendance: How Can You Help To Improve Your Child's Attendance?

At St Francis Xavier’s Academy we reward pupils who attend academy each day and whose attendance is improving. Students are also rewarded for good punctuality. If you are concerned about this new ‘Focus on Attendance’, there are important steps that you can take:

  • Promote positive and healthy attendance patterns with your child and set good bedtime and morning routines.
  • Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Lesson time begins at 8.40am and students should be in the building by 8.35am. Students arriving after 10am may be marked absent and will require an explanatory note or the absence will remain un-authorised.
  • Ensure the academy has at least 3 up-to-date addresses and telephone numbers. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the academy. This ensures that the absence is quickly identified.
  • If your child is ill, contact the academy on the first day of absence, and each subsequent day of absence until your child returns. Provide an explanatory note on their return to the academy.
  • If you wish to check that your child has arrived at academy contact the academy’s Attendance Officer, Mrs G. Butcher. She will inform you if your child has been registered.
  • If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as un-authorised. Ultimately the academy is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You may be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
  • Ensure medical appointments are made outside of school time. If this is not possible, your child needs to be in school prior to and after the appointment. We will need medical evidence upon their return.
  • Avoid trivial absences such as, ‘buying new shoes’. This would not be accepted as a reasonable absence.
  • Holidays should not be taken in academy time. Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Head Teacher and only agreed where there are exceptional circumstances. Parents/carers who take their children out of school for a holiday may be issued with a Penalty Notice.
  • Respond to letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality.
  • Contact your child’s Form Tutor, Pastoral Team or a member of the Attendance Team if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into school.
  • Work with the school and any other agencies of support to resolve any difficulties which may affect regular school attendance.

Where absence is unavoidable, St Francis Xavier’s Academy is very happy to ensure that work is provided so that our student’s do not fall behind in their progress.

Non school days

Tackling Persistent Absence

School support processes

Attendance Support Team and Support Processes

We have a dedicated team of staff at St Francis Xavier’s Academy who work on Attendance; the Education Welfare Officer, the Attendance Officer, The SENDCO and Assistant SENDCO, Heads of School, Assistant Heads of School, Pastoral Support Officers and FormTutors scrutinise our attendance data daily and work closely with Liverpool Education Welfare Services.

Punctuality

WHO TO CONTACT FOR SUPPORT AND ADVICE IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S ATTENDANCE

At St Francis Xavier’s Academy we have very high standards and are committed to all our students making maximum progress. The Attendance staff and Pastoral Teams are always happy to offer advice and support to students, parents and families on effective strategies for maximising attendance. If you would like more details please do not hesitate to contact the School.

Contact our Education Welfare Officer Mrs C Russell: [email protected]

Contact our Attendance Officer Mrs Butcher: [email protected]

Contact our SEND Team at Learning Support [email protected]

Contact your Child’s Pastoral Team on Classcharts or by email:

Heads of Year

Head of Year 7: Ms L Hutcheon

Head of Lower School Year 8 and Year 9: Mr K. Glover, Assistant Head of School Miss L. Beeton

Head of Middle School Year 10 and Year 11: Mr D. Scall yAssistant Head of School Miss K. McCulloch

Pastoral Support Team

  • Senior Pastoral Leader: Inclusion Mrs J. Dudley
  • KS3 Lower School Pastoral Support Officer: Day to Day Pastoral Support: Fair Co-ordinator Ms E. Hay
  • KS4 Middle School Pastoral Support Officer Day to Day Pastoral Support: Fair Co-ordinator Mr J. McDonough

IT IS CRUCIAL THAT YOU KEEP US INFORMED IF YOUR CONTACT DETAILS CHANGE SO THAT WE CAN STAY IN TOUCH WITH ALL PARENTS AND CARERS ON A REGULAR BASIS.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to achieve the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality at St Francis Xavier’s Academy.

Punctuality Matters

We have a sharp whole school focus on punctuality.

Being punctual for school and lessons is essential for students to achieve their potential and maximise their learning time. It is also vital for students to form good time keeping habits for later life.

Good time keeping helps to show respect for class teachers, develops resilience and helps to drive success. Attendance and punctuality records often form part of references and are passed onto employers, academys, and higher educational institutes. Punctuality Matters!

All students are expected to arrive punctually for school in the morning and to arrive punctually for each lesson. A register is taken at the start of the day and during each lesson. Pupils arriving late are recorded as such on Classcharts and the register, along with how many minutes late they are.

  • Pupils should arrive to school no later than 8:35am
  • Pupils should be on the yard ready to line up for assembly or go to form when the bell rings at 8:40am
  • The pupil entrance gate will be locked at 8.40 am. Students arriving after this time will sign in via reception and be issued with a Late sanction of a 10 minute detention and lose 3 behaviour points.

Punctuality

LATENESS TO SCHOOL

According to DfE guidelines, registers must be closed after a certain time in the morning. Therefore, if a student arrives after 9.15am, they cannot receive a late mark but have to be marked as absent for the whole morning session. If the lateness is due to a legitimate reason e.g. a medical appointment, the absence can be authorised. Otherwise, the session is marked as an unauthorised absence. A letter is sent home to parents informing them of this and the fact that they could be liable for a fixed penalty notice if the child receives 10 or more unauthorised absence sessions.

LATENESS TO LESSON

Pupils arriving late to lesson will be given an L1: Late to lesson sanction. This will be recorded on Classcharts and pupils will lose 3 behaviour points. A 10 minute detention will be issued to be completed at the end of the day with their period 5 Teacher.

Failure to attend a 10 minute detention will result in a 20 minute DT detention being issued.

THE SCHOOL’S SUPPORT FOR GOOD PUNCTUALITY

We place a strong emphasis on good punctuality; please see below for further details of how poor punctuality can impact on quality learning time and procedures we have put in place to respond to improving punctuality across the academy.

  • Giving sanctions to pupils who arrive late to school or lessons.
  • Informing parents if their child arrives late for school.
  • Awarding reward points to Form Classes where all students have arrived punctually over a period of time.
  • Senior staff patrolling the front of the school first thing in the morning to encourage pupils not to loiter on the way into school and make themselves late.
  • Contacting parents each time their child is late to school.
  • Sending attendance records home to parents each term so that parents can monitor any lateness.
  • Addressing issues of poor time keeping with individual pupils and their parents via Attendance and punctuality support meetings or support calls to parents whose child’s attendance and/or punctuality is causing concern.

PARENTS’/CARERS’ SUPPORT FOR GOOD PUNCTUALITY

We would ask parents to support us in maintaining good punctuality by:

  • Downloading the classcharts app and monitoring their child’s attendance and punctuality record each day
  • Ensuring that their children get up in plenty of time to be ready and prepared for school.
  • Ensuring their child has organised their bag and equipment the night before so that this does not delay departure in the morning.
  • Discussing any issues of lateness to ensure this does not become a habit.
  • Checking their child’s termly attendance record when it is sent home and looking for patterns of lateness.
Parents and Carers: Punctuality FAQs

Why has my child been marked as absent for the whole morning when they arrived at 9.30am?

As stated above, DfE guidelines state that the register must be closed after a reasonable time (30 minutes after the register opens) in the morning. If arriving after 9.15am, a child will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session.

Could I receive a fine if my child is persistently late?

If your child receives 10 or more unauthorised absences, you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

My child was only a couple of minutes late. It seems harsh that he/she should get a late mark.

The school has to abide by the rules and expectations laid down for all schools. Lateness for school (or work) is a failure to arrive on time and will be marked as such. We would encourage students to set off in good time so that any small delay does not cause them to be late.

Our whole family overslept and it is not my child’s fault that he/she is late. Will they receive a late mark?

This can not be taken as an acceptable reason for lateness so a late mark or unauthorised absence would be recorded, depending on the time of arrival.

My child has to catch the bus to school which is sometimes late. Will they receive a late mark?

Any lateness is recorded as such on the register. We would advise that the child leaves earlier so that even if the bus is late, they will still arrive on time. If the bus is sometimes late, then it is not a reliable way to ensure arrival in good time.

Would you make any allowances for lateness if, for example, there were major traffic problems in the area perhaps because of an accident, so my car/the bus was unavoidably stuck in traffic?

The school cannot make allowances for the individual problem (however genuine it may be). However, it does make allowances when there are known reported major problems that affect a large number of people; very heavy snowfall would be one such example.

What if I phone up/email to say my child is going to be late? Would he/she still get a late mark?

Yes, they would still be marked late, but it is very helpful to know that you are aware and for us to know the expected time of arrival and reason for lateness.

If I know my child is going to be late, do I need to ring/send in a note?

It is very helpful if you do this. If your child is very late, they will be marked as unauthorised absence and your note may give an alternative acceptable reason to allow us to authorise the absence.

What do I do if I don’t agree with your policy on punctuality?

Much of our attendance policy is designed to satisfy DfE regulation but as always, if you feel an approach is unfair or unreasonable, our complaints procedure is published on the school website

Reporting a Staff Absence

Staff should call 0151 288 1000 before 7.30 am on the first morning of absence and each subsequent morning of absence.

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