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Beckfield Attendance Policy 2023-24

Attendance policy

Co-op Academy Beckfield’s vision is to give the best possible start to education for all its pupils through removing barriers to our children to ensure they achieve. This is our attendance policy which will support our work towards achieving this, by ensuring that our children have consistent access to school through good school attendance.

Policy details

Date created - 03/09/2020

Dates reviewed - 01/09/2021; 01/05/2022; 22/08/2022; 07/11/2022, 01/10/2023; 09/01/2024

Date shared with AGC - 27/10/2023; 09/01/2024

Next review date - 09/01/2025


Policy details        1

1. Vision and aims        3

2. Legislation and guidance        3

3. Roles and responsibilities        4

3.1 The governing board        4

3.2 The Head of Academy        4

3.3 The attendance strategic lead        4

3.4 Class teachers        4

3.5 School admin staff        4

4. Recording attendance        4

4.1 Attendance register        4

4.2 Unplanned absence        5

4.3 Planned absence        5

4.4 Lateness and punctuality        5

4.5 Following up absence        

4.6 Children missing education

4.7 Reporting to parents        5

5. Authorised and unauthorised absence        6

5.1 Approval for term-time absence        6

5.2 Reducing persistent absence        6

5.3 Legal sanctions        7

6. Strategies for promoting attendance        7

7. Attendance monitoring        8

8. Monitoring arrangements        9

9. Links with other policies        9

Appendix 1: attendance codes        9

1. Vision and aims

Our whole school vision states:

Co-op Academy Beckfield strives to give the best possible start to education for all of its pupils. Our children deserve the highest quality education and to develop an understanding of the world that gives them the greatest chance to lead happy and successful lives.

Our curriculum is ambitious and focuses on what the children and community need. Our Academy is focused on removing barriers to our children to ensure they achieve.

Beckfield will make a positive difference to its community, becoming central to raising aspirations and forming supportive connections with a range of agencies.

At Beckfield, we want all children to Aspire, Aim and Achieve.

For this reason, we show a commitment to our obligations with regards to school attendance by:

  • Promoting good attendance and reducing absence, including persistent absence
  • Ensuring every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
  • Acting early to address patterns of absence
  • Building relationships with families to ensure pupils have support in place to attend school

We will also support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory school age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending lessons.

For children of non-compulsory school age, we will apply the principles of this policy to encourage good attendance and punctuality from the outset.

2. Legislation and guidance

This policy meets the requirements of the school attendance guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from the following legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:

This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1 The Trust and the local governing board

The governing board is responsible for monitoring attendance figures for the whole school on at least a termly basis. It also holds the headteacher to account for the implementation of this policy.

3.2 The Head of Academy

The Head of Academy is responsible for:

  • Implementation of this policy at the school
  • Monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to governors and the trust
  • Supporting staff with monitoring the attendance of individual pupils
  • Issuing fixed-penalty notices, where necessary

3.3 The attendance strategic lead

The attendance strategic lead:

  • Monitors attendance data across the school and at an individual pupil level
  • Analyses and reports attendance data to the Head of Academy
  • Works with the Pastoral Manager to tackle and avoid persistent absence
  • Attends meetings with parents to discuss attendance issues
  • Advises the Head of Academy when to issue fixed-penalty notices

3.4 Pastoral Manager

  • Follows the first day procedures for absence, including identifying and carrying out home visits
  • Provides formal and informal support for identified pupils and their parents/carers
  • Feedbacks weekly to the attendance strategic lead regarding attendance of pupils causing concern
  • Actively promotes attendance incentives and make suggestions for strategies to improve attendance  
  • Attends meetings with parents to discuss attendance issues
  • Works with the Local Authority Attendance Service to follow up on Fixed Penalty Notices and Prosecutions

3.4 Class teachers

Class teachers are responsible for recording attendance on a daily basis, using the correct codes, and submitting this information to the school office.

They are responsible for implementing the curriculum effectively. Leaders have deliberately selected content to promote careers, ambition and economic security. Teachers must ensure that they make appropriate links between attendance and achievement at school and how these aspects support pupils’ opportunities in their adult lives. All Teachers are trained as Attendance Mentors and as a school we recognise that the teachers are the best people to support families with attendance in the first instance.

Actively promote own class and whole school attendance incentives, and make suggestions for strategies to improve attendance. Reinforce and remind children about specific rewards for their attendance.  

Approach attendance and punctuality issues with pupils rigorously and sensitively, taking account of the ‘support but not tolerate’ approach.

Ensure that pupils returning to class after an absence or lateness are approached with sensitivity, are checked on and integrated into learning.

3.5 School admin staff

School admin staff take calls from parents about absence and record it on the school systems.  

They will encourage parents to bring their child to school if only mild ailments are reported. Similarly with medical appointments - admin staff encourage parents to arrange appointments outside of school times and request medical notes and letters where parents are saying that children have planned absence to attend appointments. These will be scanned into CPOMs.

Parents will sign children in and out when children have important appointments during the school day.

4. Recording attendance

4.1 Attendance register

Pupils must arrive in school by 8.45am on each school day. Classroom doors will be kept open until 8.55am and after this children are marked as late. Registers are submitted by class teachers by 9am. 

The register for the afternoon session will be taken within 10 minutes of children starting their afternoon lessons.

4.2 Unplanned absence

The pupil’s parent/carer must notify the school on the first day of an unplanned absence by 8:45am or as soon as practically possible (see also section 7).

Parents must call the school office to report their child’s absence. Parents calling the school office will either speak to the school admin staff or leave a voice message. If a parent of a pupil on the monitoring list (i.e. with attendance below 90% or a previous history of low attendance) has not spoken directly to a member of staff, a member of staff will call them back to discuss the absence with them.

School staff will ask the pupil’s parent/carer to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence to show the reason for the absence.

If the school is not provided with this evidence, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents/carers will be notified of this.

4.3 Following up absence

Where any child we expect to attend school does not attend by 9.30am, the Pastoral Manager/School Admin staff will follow up on their absence with all listed contacts, to ascertain the reason for the absence.

If no contact is possible, a text message will be sent to all contacts to advise of the unauthorised absence.

If there is an existing safeguarding or attendance issue, a home visit will be carried out by a member of school staff or those acting on behalf of the school. During home visits, if there is no response, a note (see appendix 2) will be posted through the letter box.

If there are no existing safeguarding or attendance concerns, a home visit will be carried out on Day 2 of absence.

If a child's safety can not be verified, Police 101 would be called and a welfare check would be requested.

4.4 Planned absence

We encourage parents/carers to make medical and dental appointments out of school hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary.

Attending a medical or dental appointment will be counted as authorised as long as the pupil’s parent/carer notifies the school in advance of the appointment and supplies evidence of the appointment, which will be scanned and put into the child’s record.

The pupil’s parent/carer must also apply for other types of term-time absence as far in advance as possible of the requested absence. Go to section 5 to find out which term-time absences the school can authorise.

4.5 Lateness and punctuality

A pupil who arrives late:

  • after 8.55am but before 9.15am will be marked as late, using the appropriate ‘L’ code
  • After 9.15am will be marked as absent, using a U code.

Every child that is late will need to sign into the school InVentory system and record the reason that they are late. Children who are late multiple times will be contacted by a Designated Safeguarding Lead who will discuss with them the reasons for their child’s lateness. This will be monitored fortnightly.

In the event that a child has more than three lates in a fortnight, a letter will be sent to parents to advise of the school’s expectations and start and finish times.

4.6 Children missing in education

We will make reasonable enquiries for pupils who aren't attending or who are leaving. This includes:

•        Completing home visits including speaking to neighbours to confirm the family has left

•        Telephoning all known contacts

•        Speaking to school friends and/or their parents

•        Requesting copies of flight information

•        Asking for the address the family is moving to

•        Checking which school a child is expected to attend

•        Requesting working contact details for parents including email addresses


Once pupils meet any of the criteria listed here, the Pastoral Manager will refer to the local authority CME team (see appendix 3):

  • Pupil has not returned to school for 10 days after an authorised absence
  • Pupil has been absent without authorisation for 20 consecutive days
  • Pupil has moved to another local authority but have not enrolled at a new school
  • Pupil has left the country*

*In line with local authority guidance, pupils who leave the country are always referred to the CME team, regardless of whether or not parents/carers provide a forwarding address.

4.7 Reporting to parents

School reports to parents every half term by sending their child’s registration certificate, along with a letter to explain what their child’s attendance percentage means.

This will explain to the parents whether their child has attendance of 96-100% (green), 93-95.9% (amber), 90-92.9% (red) or is a persistent absentee (below 90%). These letters contain appropriate information and guidance on what this attendance means in terms of lost learning time and how to support any improvements. In the final half-term, parents are notified of annual attendance within the end-of-year report that is sent home for each child.

Teachers report directly on attendance to parents on two occasions throughout the academic year. These are as part of parents’ evenings where the teacher gives the child’s current attendance and outlines the impact this has had on their learning.

Class attendance rates will be communicated to parents each week during the assembly and on social media.

At the end of every term, parents of children with 96% or above attendance will be sent a letter to congratulate them and explain what reward their child will get.

5. Authorised and unauthorised absence

5.1 Approval for term-time absence

The Head of Academy will only grant a leave of absence to pupils during term time if they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'. A leave of absence is granted at the Head’s discretion.

We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as when:

  • The leave would be of unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child
  • The benefit of the leave would outweigh the loss of teaching time
  • The leave would be for a one-off, never-to-be-repeated experience.

The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. This includes the child’s previous attendance to that date including previous academic years.

Valid reasons for authorised absence include:

  • Illness and medical/dental appointments (see section 4.2 - 4.4 for more detail)
  • Religious observance – where one day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong.  If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart.
  • Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a Traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision.

5.2 Improving attendance

Our school rewards good attendance and challenges low or falling attendance. We understand that low attendance is detrimental to children’s life chances. We therefore take the following steps:


In assembly each Friday, we celebrate the class with the highest attendance percentage above 96%. The class gets a trophy that they can display in their classroom and they also get a reward to choose from, including an additional playtime, some time to enjoy juice and biscuits, time to watch an age-appropriate video.

Each term, we also celebrate the pupils who have an attendance record of 96% or above. We send letters to parents to congratulate them for their child’s excellent attendance. Certificates are awarded to these pupils during the end-of-term assembly and they are invited to take part in a special reward trip.

At the end of the year, we celebrate pupils who have an attendance record of 96% and above for the whole school year. Their parents are invited to a celebration assembly and children receive a voucher to acknowledge their efforts.

We raise the profile of attendance through:

  • Talking about attendance frequently and creating a positive, open culture
  • Displays and signage around the school and in classrooms
  • Curriculum links to careers through all subjects
  • Our PSHE curriculum, including Economic Education
  • Assemblies
  • Communications through letters and via our social media platforms

Addressing low attendance



Identifying low attendance

The Pastoral Manager will check each week for pupils who are persistently absent (less than 90%) or at risk of becoming persistently absent (93% or below).

Stage 1 Letter

A letter is sent to parents to let them know that their child’s attendance is at risk or has become persistent and that we expect to see an improvement.

Monitoring low attendance

Any further absences in the following two weeks will result in parents being invited to a ‘Stage 2’ meeting to discuss the concerns with the Pastoral Manager and Attendance Lead.

Stage 2 Meeting

The school agrees an action plan with parents at the meeting. Targets are set and parents are informed of next steps if attendance does not improve. Please note that if parents do not attend this meeting it will go ahead in their absence and targets will be set.

A home visit is made every time there is a further absence and a call to 101 to request a welfare check will be made, where appropriate.

If attendance improves

This is acknowledged with parents/carers. We will continue to monitor the child’s attendance closely until it rises above 90%.

Stage 3 Referral to Local Authority

Attendance will continue to be monitored after the Stage 2 Meeting. If there is any absence in the following four weeks (excluding where medical proof has been provided or in exceptional circumstances agreed and authorised with the school), the case will be referred to the Local Authority for consideration for prosecution. See below for details of legal sanctions.

If attendance improves

This is acknowledged with parents/carers. The Stage 2 action plan will continue to be in place until the pupil’s attendance rises above 90%.

Our school attendance policies follow Leeds Local Authority’s Fast Track Process for managing attendance.

5.3 Legal sanctions

The school or local authority can fine parents for the unauthorised absence of their child from school, where the child is of compulsory school age.

If issued with a fine, or penalty notice, each parent must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 21 days. The payment must be made directly to the local authority.

Penalty notices can be issued by a Head of Academy, local authority officer or the police.

The decision on whether or not to issue a penalty notice may take into account:

  • The number of unauthorised absences occurring within a rolling academic year
  • One-off instances of irregular attendance, such as holidays taken in term time without permission
  • Where an excluded pupil is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason

If the payment has not been made after 21 days, the local authority can decide whether to prosecute or withdraw the notice.

Further instances of term-time absence within the same academic year can result in parents being prosecuted for an aggravated offence. This carries a fine of up to £2,500 or 3 months jail sentence.

5.3 Children with medical needs and/or SEND

Where a child is absent from school due to a medical or Special Education Need, and/or a disability, this will be taken into consideration when leaders are moving through the stages to address attendance. We will always make reasonable adjustments for children where there is a genuine need. Our attendance processes are inclusive and seek to support children to access a quality education.

6. Attendance monitoring

The school’s overall attendance and punctuality is reported to the Head of Academy on a half-term basis. It is reported to governors every term. This monitoring is broken down so comparisons can be made between whole-school, disadvantaged, pupils with SEND, different classes and other key areas.

The Pastoral Manager monitors pupil absence on a daily basis. They will record the attendance of persistent absentees on a weekly basis and communicate this with leaders during Attendance Briefing Meetings. This data is used by leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and guide their future actions in improving attendance.

7. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed as guidance from the local authority or DfE is updated, and as a minimum every year by Caroline Watkiss, Head of Academy. At every review, the policy will be approved by the full governing board.

8. Links with other policies

This policy links to the following policies:

  • Child protection and safeguarding policy
  • Behaviour policy

Appendix 1: attendance codes

The following codes are taken from the DfE’s guidance on school attendance.





Present (am)

Pupil is present at morning registration


Present (pm)

Pupil is present at afternoon registration


Late arrival

Pupil arrives after 8.55am but before 9.15am


Off-site educational activity

Pupil is at a supervised off-site educational activity approved by the school


Dual registered

Pupil is attending a session at another setting where they are also registered



Pupil has an interview with a prospective employer/educational establishment


Sporting activity

Pupil is participating in a supervised sporting activity approved by the school


Educational trip or visit

Pupil is on an educational visit/trip organised, or approved, by the school


Work experience

Pupil is on a work experience placement




Authorised absence


Authorised leave of absence

Pupil has been granted a leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances



Pupil has been excluded but no alternative provision has been made


Authorised holiday

Pupil has been allowed to go on holiday due to exceptional circumstances



School has been notified that a pupil will be absent due to illness


Medical/dental appointment

Pupil is at a medical or dental appointment


Religious observance

Pupil is taking part in a day of religious observance


Study leave

Year 11 pupil is on study leave during their  public examinations


Gypsy, Roma and Traveller absence

Pupil from a Traveller community is travelling, as agreed with the school

Unauthorised absence


Unauthorised holiday

Pupil is on a holiday that was not approved by the school


Reason not provided

Pupil is absent for an unknown reason (this code should be amended when the reason emerges, or replaced with code O if no reason for absence has been provided after a reasonable amount of time)


Unauthorised absence

School is not satisfied with reason for pupil's absence


Arrival after registration

Pupil arrived at school after 9.15am





Not required to be in school

Pupil of non-compulsory school age is not required to attend


Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

School site is closed, there is disruption to travel as a result of a local/national emergency, or pupil is in custody


Pupil not on admission register

Register set up but pupil has not yet joined the school


Planned school closure

Whole or partial school closure due to half-term/bank holiday/INSET day

Appendix 2: Note for home visits

Date: _________________________

Dear parent/carer,

We called at your house today as your child is absent from school and their attendance is a worry.

We look forward to seeing them back at school tomorrow.

Best wishes,

Safeguarding Team

Appendix 3: Stage 1 letter

Stage 1 Absence Letter

Dear Parent/Carer,

As part of our Attendance Policy and commitment to improving the attainment of our pupils, we monitor attendance on a regular basis. During our regular monitoring of pupil attendance, we have identified that <Name of pupil>’s current level of attendance is a cause for concern.

Attendance:<current attendance> %

Authorised Absence:<current AA> %

Unauthorised Absence:<current UA> %

 The information below shows how attendance can affect your child’s future.

Above 96%: Less than 6 days absence a year

Excellent attendance!  These young people will almost certainly get the best grades they can, leading to better prospects for the future.  Pupils will also get into a habit of attending school which will help in the future.

95%: 10 days absence a year

These pupils are likely to achieve good grades and form a habit of attending school regularly. Pupils who take a 2 week holiday every year can only achieve 95% attendance.

90% and below: 19 days + absence a year

The Government classes Young People in this group as “Persistent Absentees”, and it will be almost impossible to keep up with work.  Parents of young people in this group could also face the possibility of legal action being taken by the Local Authority.

If you have any queries or would like to talk to anyone about your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact the safeguarding team.

Appendix 4: Stage 2 letter

Stage 2 Attendance Concern

Dear Parent/Carer,

Since we wrote to you on Wednesday 10th January, <child’s name> attendance has failed to improve, and is now <%>.  This continues to fall below what we expect and we are concerned about the impact of this. The government classes children with 90% attendance or below as ‘Persistent Absentees’ and your child is in this group.  

90% attendance is equivalent to missing 19 days of school per year. Below this, the number of days missed continues to increase. This is a significant amount of school missed and children with 90% attendance or below struggle to keep up with the work their peers are doing.

Poor attendance habits now will make it increasingly difficult for you to ensure your child attends school regularly as they get older, which will impact on them socially and academically.

We wish to support you to improve attendance and we have arranged some time to meet with you on:


At this meeting we will talk about the reasons for your child’s absences and set targets to improve their attendance moving forward.

If you need to change the date or time of the meeting, please contact the school office and we will accommodate where possible. If you do not attend, the meeting will take place in your absence and the action plan will be shared with you afterwards.

We look forward to meeting with you.

Designated Safeguarding Team

Appendix 5: CME information and referral form 

Children Missing Education Officer Tel: 07891 272301

Children Missing Education Officer Tel: 07891 270313

Notifications and referral forms should be sent by email to:

Enquiries to the email address or the CME helpline Tel: 0113 3789686

Appendix 6: Educational Safeguarding Team 0113 3789685 or by email:

Attendance policy, Co-op Academy Beckfield