Attendance

Excellent attendance and punctuality is a high priority at Witton Park Academy. In order to ensure all students achieve success in school, excellent attendance is essential. 

 

DfE statistics confirm that students with 100% attendance are three times more likely to achieve strong passes across the curriculum than those students with less than 97% attendance. 

 

The DfE updated their attendance and punctuality guidance from September 2022 in order to improve attendance through teachers, parents/carers and pupils working together. 

 

Here is their guidance on parental responsibilities for good attendance.

 

They also have this page providing resources for families to support good attendance.

 

Students learn best and receive most from our school when they are present.

 

Attendance is celebrated regularly and is highlighted in all reports to Parents throughout the year. 

 

We have a graduated response to absence with interventions taking place from the first day a student is absent. These interventions include a text message and phone call home if the Parent/Carer has not informed the school of the absence, if it is deemed necessary a home visit by the Attendance Office or Family Support Officer may be conducted. The attendance policy is formulated via a ‘staged approach’ with Tutor monitoring, letters home, attendance panels, meetings with a member of the year team, SLT meetings and other outside intervention as appropriate.

 

What does Good Attendance look like?

If a student does not attend school or is not taking part in an approved educational activity, they are classed as absent from school. This means that if your child is off school for any reason, even if they are ill or have medical permission to be off school, they are classed as absent.

Less than 97% attendance every year in school equals one GCSE grade dropped on average. Consequently, all students at Witton Park should aspire to achieve 100% attendance, if they are to fulfil their learning potential. Good attendance is also useful preparation for the workplace, where an absence rate of 5% or above would be considered a cause for concern.

PLEASE BE AWARE – Even if an absence is authorised, your child’s attendance % is still affected.

At Witton Park, we are committed to sustained, high year-on-year attendance and we believe students and parents/carers can make a significant contribution to this by building supportive partnerships with school. You are key facilitators in ensuring your children are encouraged to have strong attendance and punctuality. In short, the importance of your role cannot be overstated.

Lesson attendance

Witton Park Academy’s aim is for all students to have an attendance of above 97%. Research outlines that missing out on lessons leaves children feeling vulnerable to falling behind both academically and socially and studies show children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in all phases of education. Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility – students, parents/carers and all members of staff.

Below is the number of days, weeks and lessons missed over the course of a typical year at school at different % attendance levels. 

Monitoring and Rewards

Attendance and punctuality are rewarded monthly. We reward all pupils who have a good attendance or have improved their attendance. This year our rewards have ranged from badges and chocolate treats to regular prize raffles for ‘Love 2 shop’ Gift Vouchers. Students can win various prizes as a result of their excellent attendance and punctuality.

 

Rewards trips include:

Bowling

Trafford Centre

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

How can parents and carers support your child’s good attendance

  • Help your child to develop good habits and routines:
    • Enough sleep – most teens should get between 8-10 hours.
    • make sure your child has breakfast; it makes them more alert. (Breakfast club is open from 8am at school)
  • Organise bags, books, PE kits, lunches the night before.
  • Book dental and medical appointments after school. (If this is not possible, ensure your child attends school before and after the appointment and let school know in advance.)
  • Avoid booking holidays during term time. If unavoidable you MUST ask for the school’s permission in advance.
  • Don’t give in to your child each time they complain of feeling ill. 

If you are unsure send them in with a note explaining your concern and an up to date contact number. This will help your child develop good habits for the world of work where absence and lateness are rarely tolerated.

  • If this continues, contact your child’s tutor in the first instance, it may be an indication that your child is unhappy about something at school.
  • A child with a good school attendance record is setting themselves up for a better future once they leave school. School attendance is quoted on job references. We regularly receive requests for attendance history from local colleges and employers.
  • Help your child to be safe, if your child truants and misses school without your knowledge how do you know they are safe? If your child is not in school, where are they and who are they with?

Reporting Absence

We ask you to contact the School Absence Line (01254 264 551) 

Option 1, to explain a student’s absence. 

We kindly request you do this before the start of the school day by 8:30am.

 

Notifying school of your child’s absence

We ask our parents/carers not to keep students off school unless the absence is absolutely unavoidable. Where this is the case please can parents/carers:

  • Contact school on the first day of absence to provide a reason for non-attendance, preferably before 8:15am. (Guidance for absences)
  • You must contact us each day that your child is absent.
  • Please give your child’s name, tutor group and the reason for their absence.
  • Request leave of absence in term time for exceptional circumstances only by completing a form. (Insert form here)
  • Work with the school and any other agency to resolve any difficulties which may affect regular school attendance.

Notifying school of your child’s appointment

  • Please let us know in advance, by sending in the appointment card or letter with your child to their tutor. 
  • If this is not possible then leave a message on our absence line (option 1). 
  • We will require sight of an appointment card, letter, text message in order to authorise the absence.
  • We ask that you make every effort to arrange appointments outside of school hours. 
  • Medical appointments are still absences and will affect your child’s attendance. We appreciate that on occasion this will be unavoidable.

Patterns of irregular or prolonged periods of illness

In situations where we notice irregular or prolonged periods of illness in your child’s attendance, we may refer to our designated school nurse for support and they may be invited into our attendance panel meetings to discuss your child’s absences from school.

Holidays During Term Time

At Witton Park, we do not expect holidays to be taken in School term time as this has an impact on students’ progress. Any request for a holiday in term time needs to be made in writing to the Headteacher and permission is only granted in exceptional circumstances. Requests must be made on this form:

 

Please be aware that if you choose to take a holiday with your child during term time, the Local Authority will be informed. A Fixed Penalty Notice will then be issued in accordance with section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The amount of the penalty is £60 per parent/carer if paid within 21 days, increasing thereafter if left unpaid.

Punctuality Matters

Lateness to school has a negative contribution towards student progress and is something that we take extremely seriously at Witton Park.

This is a chart showing how being late to school everyday, over a school year, adds up to lost learning time.

Attendance Strategy – A Staged Approach

We operate a ‘staged approach’ to tackling absence concerns. 

Persistent Absence (PA) is defined for any child with an absence of 10% or greater.

We operate a ‘staged approach’ to tackling absence concerns. Persistent Absence (PA) is defined for any child with an absence of 10% or greater. School submit their absence figures to the DfE at various points throughout the year (in the CENSUS). This is then reported nationally in our Analyse School Performance and IDSR data. 

“We are pushed to never just stop at our target grade.”

Year 10 Prefect

“All the staff have helped me learn and achieve my goals.”

Sanah, Year 7

"The school has helped me grow by supporting me in every lesson."

Aliyah, Year 10

"This school focuses a lot on learning together."

Year 10 Pupil