Attendance at Castle Mead Academy
Although we are an academy, we are required as a state-maintained school to follow the statutory attendance guidance from the Department for Education. More information for parents can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence
Leicester City Council (the Local Authority) is the legal body that monitors our school in relation to the above, and helps to ensure that all children attend school regularly. This means that they will continue to issue Penalty Notices (fines) and chair legal meetings where necessary.
Why is regular school attendance important?
Regular and punctual attendance is not only a legal requirement but it is essential for scholars to maximise the opportunities available to them. We are ‘growing a community of excellence’ and attendance is key to supporting this along with our scholars being kind, working hard and building their character.
Is the school expecting every scholar to achieve 100% attendance?
Although we understand during the year that there will be genuine reasons for absence and that therefore not every scholar will be able to achieve 100%, we always encourage our scholars to attend school as much as possible.
What if my child is ill?
You will need to contact the school office each morning so we can update our registers. We will ask for a reason for absence for our records. Longer periods of illness absence (over 3 days) can only be authorised if medical evidence is shown to the school office. If you have received a medical evidence letter as your child’s attendance is below 96% due to illness, then any future absences that may occur can only be authorised when medical evidence has been provided. Medical evidence can be things such as named prescriptions or medication, appointment cards or notes from the doctor.
What if my child has a medical condition that may affect their attendance?
You should contact the office and make an appointment to speak to Miss Willett so we are aware of your child’s needs. When there are exceptional circumstances such as this we often take a different approach to managing attendance in school, according to the child’s needs.
Can I take my child out of school during term time?
Schools are not allowed to authorise holiday requests. You must still complete an exceptional leave request form for all planned absences. We are required to know the whereabouts of your child during term-time for safeguarding purposes.
Will I receive a penalty notice (fine)?
We may submit a penalty notice request to Leicester City Council for an unauthorised absence. A guide for parents in Leicester City Council can be downloaded from the council website: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/school-and-colleges/attendance-behaviour-and-welfare/attendance-and-truancy/
If the school have concerns about your child’s attendance?
If we are concerned about your child’s attendance you will receive a letter detailing their exact attendance and other relevant information, such as number of late marks. We issue these letters towards the end of each term.
If your child’s attendance does not improve following the letter, we will refer your case to the school’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO) who works for the Education Welfare Service (EWS) at Leicester City Council. They will support us in identifying the next stage of action which is sometimes inviting parents to a legal meeting, known as a panel meeting. This meeting is an opportunity to discuss our concerns about your child’s attendance, listen to your concerns, and work together to create an agreement known as a parenting contract.
Should we still have concerns, we will work with the EWS to take more substantial action, which may be a PACE meeting (Police and Criminal Investigations) and subsequently a penalty notice and/or prosecution.
What is the attendance castle?
We use this to track individual and group attendance at school. Scholars going for Green are not at risk of missing out on their education. Pupils on Red are referred to the EWS for further action.