Greenwood Academy attendance target for each individual pupil is 97%

Why is regular attendance at school so important?

Learning and achievement: There is a clear link between high attendance and high achievement

  • Of students who miss more than 50% of school, only 3% manage to achieve 5 GCSEs at the National Standard

  • Of students who miss between 10% and 20% of school, only 35% manage to achieve 5 GCSEs at the National Standard including English and Maths

  • Of students who miss less than 5% of school, 73% achieve 5 GCSEs at the National Standard including English and Maths

Attendance at Greenwood Academy

In line with our vision and values, we are continuously working to improve the attendance of all students at Greenwood Academy. We are passionate about ensuring our students reach their full potential and we know there is a clear link between high attendance and high achievement. Students who attend and demonstrate good attitudes to learning go on to achieve much higher than those students who do not.

Promoting Regular Attendance

Attendance Prize

Each term culminates with an attendance prize draw. All eligible students have the chance to win a series of prizes as voted by student voice through the academy Prefect system.

Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody's responsibility - parents, students, tutors, Heads of Year, Heads of Key Stage, subject teachers and all other members of school staff. To help us all to focus on this we will:

  • Report to all parents/carers within each learning cycle progress report, informing them of their child's attendance and punctuality rate;

  • Celebrate good attendance by displaying both individual and tutor group achievements on a weekly basis;

  • Reward the highest tutor group attendance on a weekly basis through assemblies and tutor time;

  • Reward good or improving attendance through certificates issued in assemblies on a termly basis;

  • Inform parents/carers through a letter or direct contact once their child’s attendance falls below 97%, the student will be placed on monitoring with an attendance plan

  • Inform parents/carers through a letter once their child's attendance falls below 90%, leading to them being classified as a Persistent Absentee.

Failing to attend our school on a regular basis will be considered as a safeguarding and legal matter.

Understanding Types of Absence:

Every half-day absence from Greenwood Academy has to be classified by the attendance officer (not by parents/carer's), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing.

Unauthorised absences are those which Greenwood Academy does not consider reasonable and for which no "leave" has been given. This includes:

  • Parents/carer's keeping children off school unnecessarily;

  • Truancy before or during the school day;

  • Absences which have never been properly explained;

  • Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark;

  • Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays;

  • Day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.

Please note – the rule of students taking 48 hours off school following a sickness bug, often applied in Primary Schools, does not apply at Secondary School.

Authorised Absence

The DCSF Guidance Absence and Attendance Codes 2009 states that parents may not authorise absence, only schools can do this.

Absence for the following reasons could be authorised where parents have confirmed the absence in writing on their child’s return to Greenwood Academy. Consideration will be given to procedures where parents have difficulty with the written word, or where English is not the first language:

  • unavoidable medical/dental appointments

  • days of religious observance

  • exceptional family circumstances i.e. bereavement

  • if permission for absence has been granted by the Principal

  • transport arranged by the council has failed to arrive where the pupil lives beyond statutory walking distance.

It may be necessary for the Academy or education welfare officer to ask the parent/carer to provide the Academy with written evidence of reason for absence e.g.

  • appointment cards/letters

  • medical certificate

  • letter from GP

Persistent Absenteeism

A student becomes a 'Persistent Absentee' when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level will do considerable damage to any child's educational prospects and we need parents/carer's full support and cooperation to tackle this. Any case that reaches the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards the mark will be given priority and you will be informed of this immediately.


At Greenwood Academy an electronic registration system is used.

Greenwood Academy will complete accurate registers at during am registration at 8.40 and at pm registration at 13.15. Accurate registers will also be taken within the first five minutes of each lesson.


Punctuality is extremely important at Greenwood Academy, we deem it essential that learning begins on time to maximise the progress of each student. Pupils who are late to lessons disrupt the learning of others and miss vital learning time themselves. With this in mind we expect every pupil in the academy by 8:30 to allow 5 minutes movement time.

If a student arrives after the register has closed, s/he should report to reception to be entered as late. Students arriving after the registration has closed without an acceptable reason, will be marked as having an unauthorised absence for that session.

Pupils who are late will receive an automatic break time detention which is 20 minutes long. If a student becomes a repeat offender this will escalate to a 30 minute ‘amber card’ lunchtime detention and ultimately one hour red card detentions. The accumulation of 'lates' will not be reset each term. To avoid this we encourage students to plan their morning routine and prepare for school the night before.

Procedures for following up absence or lateness

It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to contact Greenwood Academy on the first morning of the student’s absence. If this contact is not made then the Academy may:

  • contact the parent/carer by telephone, or if they are unobtainable write a letter requesting information.

  • ask the education welfare officer to contact parents/ carers of those pupils who have been identified as having serious attendance concerns.

  • Form Tutors will check registers weekly and monitor absences and punctuality. Form Tutors will liaise with the Attendance Officer and Assistant Headteacher with concerns over attendance. Form Tutors will implement a 6 week attendance plan to any mentee when their attendance falls below 97%.

  • If the above actions do not elicit an explanation for the absence and the absence continues, a letter will be sent to the parents/carers. If this letter does not elicit an explanation for the absence a second letter will be sent to the parent/carer, the Academy’s education welfare officer will be informed and the parent may be invited in to the Academy for a meeting with the Head of Year. This meeting will be to identify and resolve the difficulties which are preventing the pupil from attending the Academy. The parents/carers will be made aware of the legal requirements regarding attendance.

  • If the pupil’s difficulties are not resolved at this meeting then a formal referral will be made to the education welfare officer, and a formal intervention planned.

  • In exceptional circumstances if the pupil is returning to the Academy after an absence of longer than two weeks, there will be provision to allow the pupil to ease back into the Academy system. In the event of a pupil returning after a long absence then an individual reintegration programme will be implemented. This will include all members of the Academy staff and will be designed to be as supportive of the pupil as possible.

  • Students who are identified as having severe attendance problems will receive the support of the appropriate outside agencies and a programme will be established to encourage their reintegration into Greenwood Academy life by the Head of Year, with the positive reinforcement of teaching staff.

  • Students who are absent for a period of time due to medical reasons, will be supported through work being sent home, or through home tuition. In extreme circumstances a referral to the outside agencies may be made.

  • Where a student is persistently late the Attendance Officer will write to the parent/carer and an Academy based meeting may be arranged. The education welfare officer may be invited to attend this meeting to offer advice to parents on school attendance.

Home Visits

The Home visit liason will regularly conduct home visits to students who are absent even when contact has been made and an explanation for absence given. We aim to maintain high levels of communication with families, often more than a discussion on the phone is essential for developing relationships. We believe it’s important our students know we care about their well being and our presence in the community be well established. Home visits are a supportive measure, it is more than likely that if your child is off a member of the attendance team will drop by to see how they are and see when they’re likely to be back in school.

We would like to thank all of our parents carers for their continued support in raising standards and ensuring their children are in school whenever possible. If you would like to discuss any aspect of attendance, please do not hesitate to contact myself at the Academy, the Attendance officer Miss Helen Lander, or your child’s Head of Year.