Attendance, Punctuality & Behaviour
Excellent attendance and punctuality are essential elements for successful students. Our guidance on both areas can be found in the document below.
At the Priory Lincoln Academy, we have a commitment to the best possible standards of teaching and learning and we encourage the expectations of behaviour and personal conduct that are expressed within the Priory Contract. For us to achieve this, it is vital that our students attend regularly and on time, unless the reason for absence is unavoidable in which case a reason is required in writing.
Poor punctuality is unacceptable. A student who misses the start of the day, misses vital tutorial time and preparation for the day ahead and may not get their registration mark. Arriving late to lessons is also disruptive to teaching and learning and again, the student may miss important explanations, instructions or tasks which prevent them from understanding the lesson objectives and making good progress in the lesson. Being late to school or lesson will result in a 20 minute same day detention for each incident.
The Academy day begins at 8.30am and all students are expected to be in their form room by that time. The school gate will close at 8:28am to ensure pupils have left enough time to walk to their form room.
The AM register is electronically taken at 8.30am and students will be marked as late if they are not in registration by this time.
The AM register is closed at 9.15am. In accordance with the regulations on Attendance, any pupil arriving after this time will receive a mark to indicate they are on the Academy Site, but this mark will not count as a present mark and be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Parents/carers face the possibility of a Penalty notice if this becomes a persistent problem.
If you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child to school, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can assist and support you. A member of staff will request to meet with you if we recognise there is a problem with persistent lateness.
Why Regular Attendance is so important
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
Any absence during term time affects the continuity of a child’s schooling and more frequent absence seriously affects their learning. 95% attendance at school sounds good but this equates to missing 10 school days during the academic year or 50 lessons in total! If a child has 95% attendance over five years from Year 7 to 11, this means they will have missed 50 school days and 250 hours of teaching and learning time.
Promoting Regular Attendance
Encouraging and supporting good attendance is everyone’s responsibility including Parents, Pupils and all Academy staff. At the Priory Lincoln Academy we do this by:
- Progress Check Reports three times a year.
- Display of form attendance and termly prize for the form with the best attendance
- House and end of year prize
- Pastoral support system for pupils to discuss concerns
- Termly Certificates for individuals with 100% attendance
- Presentation Assemblies
- Reward trips for good attendance
Understanding Types of Absence
The Academy is required by law to record each half-day of absence as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. Therefore, the cause of absence is always required, preferably in writing. Reasons such as illness or unavoidable medical appointments are considered reasonable to warrant an AUTHORISED absence from the Academy, which fall unavoidably in school time.
UNAUTHORISED absences are those which the Academy does not consider reasonable and no “leave” has been granted. This includes:
- Parents/Carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
- Truancy from school
- Absences which are not properly explained
- Pupils who arrive late at the Academy after the AM register has closed
- Shopping, birthdays or looking after other children
- Day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed
The Academy actively seeks to support parents/carers where a child’s ‘illness’ is becoming a mask for reluctance to attend school. If your child is becoming reluctant to attend, the Academy would encourage you to contact the relevant House Pastoral Manager for support and to discuss your concerns to find a way forward rather than give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This only serves to give the impression that attendance is not important and makes matters worse and does not support economic wellbeing.
Students who are absent for 10% or more across the academic year, regardless of the reason, are categorised as a ‘persistent absentee’. The Academy monitors and tracks absenteeism meticulously. However, any student identified as having been absent for 10% of the school time or is at risk of moving towards that figure will be treated as a priority and parents/carers will be notified of this immediately and the Attendance Officer informed.
Identified PA students and parents are given an individual action plan to support and assist in meeting their needs in improving their attendance. The action plan will be decided at an attendance panel meeting with parent and students involved.
Absence Procedures: If your child is absent you must:
- Contact the Academy on the first day of absence
- Contact the Academy on each subsequent day of absence
- If you have failed to inform the academy of a reason for the absence, you must send in a written note detailing the reason for absence on your child’s first day of return to the academy.
If your child is absent the Academy will:
- Telephone parents/carers if we have not heard from you
- Continue to request a reason via telephone calls or house visits.
- Invite you to discuss the situation with the Pastoral Manager and/or Assistant Headteacher if the absence persists.
- Access the service and support of the Attendance Officer if attendance begins to fall below 90%
The wellbeing of our pupils is importance to us, and we wish to support parents with any appointments that pupils need to attend. However, in recent years we have seen an increase in the number of doctors, dental, optician appointments made during the school day. We ask where possible and if not urgent, that appointments are made after 2:30pm so that the pupils learning is not interrupted. Frequent appointments can soon add up to missed education and progress is reduced. If an appointment is made during the school day we ask that you do not keep your child off school for the whole day. You will be able to pick up and drop off your child at reception.
There are times when a pupil requests to move school due to house move, social/peer issues or other reasons. This can sometimes be a lengthy process and take several weeks to organise. There is a legal responsibility that during the process your child still attends school until the transfer takes place. Any missed school days will be marked as an unauthorised absence and could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Telephone Numbers and Contact Details
To ensure we can contact you quickly and efficiently, a data collection sheet is sent out to you at the start of each year. Please complete this fully and return. If there are any changes to your contact details during the year, you should notify the Academy immediately so that we contact you speedily should the need arise.
The Attendance Officer
The Academy values working in close partnership with parents/carers and encourages them to get in contact at an early stage to resolve any problems which are becoming apparent. Working in this way is very effective and ensures a high level of success. However, if the Academy feels a situation would benefit from more focused intervention, a student may be referred to the Attendance Officer who would also wish to work in partnership with the parent/carer/Academy. It should be noted that if unauthorised absence persists, and other methods of intervention have been unsuccessful, the Assistant Headteacher, may instruct the relevant authorities to:
- Issue Penalty Notices or progress a case to prosecution in the Magistrates Court as it is a legal obligation of the parent/carer to ensure regular attendance of the child at school.
Holidays in Term Time
There is no legal entitlement for parents/carers to take their children out of school for holidays during term time. The Academy expects support from parents/carers by not taking their children out of school during term time. Only exceptional circumstance will be authorised, and the academy is consistent with its decisions on these. Holidays during term time are reported to Lincolnshire County Council and may issue a fixed penalty notice.
Any requests for leave of absence should be done by prior notice and via the leave of absence form available at the Academy. We encourage you to be honest with the academy if you decide to take a holiday in term time. Often through social media and pupils’ friends we find out about holidays which are taken but passed off as illness etc.
We thank you in advance with the support you provide the academy with your child’s attendance.
We have the highest expectations for behaviour in the classroom so that all children can learn in a disruption free environment.
Our classroom are expectations are as follows:
We learn best when…
- We sit up straight and still with our hands resting on the desk.
- We work in silence, unless otherwise directed by the teacher.
- We listen in silence.
- We ask and answer questions about what is being taught when appropriate.
- We have only one voice at a time in the classroom, unless otherwise directed by the teacher.
- We follow instructions immediately and without argument.
- We are equipped for lessons (pen, pencil, ruler, planner, reading book, PMP booklets, scientific calculator). This is all we have on our desks.
- We arrive at school and lessons on time.
- We treat everyone with respect.
- We wear our uniform correctly with pride.
…we allow everyone to learn without interruption
Any student who disrupts learning after two warnings will be asked to leave the lesson so that everyone else can continue with interruption.
We operate same day detentions where possible to ensure that behaviour is correct before the next lesson.
Two warnings = 20 minute extended reflection
Being sent out = 30 minute extended reflection
The following is a list of incidents which will result in immediate removal from lessons and social time:
- Serious defiance
- Abuse using protected characteristics
- Physical assault
- Disruption or defiance after removal from a lesson
- Bringing prohibited items into the academy
Any incident of this nature risks exclusion from the Academy.