Attendance

Richmond Park Academy will be continuing to track attendance at Virtual Learning and physical attendance on-site if the pupil should be in school. This is part of our Safeguarding responsibility and support is here for each pupil throughout this very difficult period.

Mission Statement

At Richmond Park Academy we demand the highest level of attendance from all our students so they may develop their full potential during their time at school. It is our aim to maintain a culture of excellence, attendance and punctuality. Missing out on education has a significant effect on students’ life opportunities. Everyone associated with the school – students, parents, all teaching and support staff and external agencies must do all in their power to ensure that excellent attendance and punctuality maintain an integral part of the school’s work.

Average attendance should be around 96% for the year, with outstanding attendance above 98%.

Attendance Guidance for Parents/Carers


Key fact to remember – 90% attendance means that your child has missed 19 days (95 hours) of learning in 1 year. These students are at risk of dropping at least ONE GCSE GRADE.


Raise your child’s attendance – Raise their chances!

At RPA excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting good attitudes in attendance. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially. We ask for support from parents/carers to:

  • Ensure that their children are present at every opportunity

  • Arrive on time

  • Avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily

  • Avoid taking them out of school without authorisation

We monitor attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by sending a text message, email, telephoning, a letter or conducting a home visit. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact you to discuss ways in which the school can support you and your child.

The school attendance target of 98% is the minimum that we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive impact on attainment and progress.


As of September 2015 the Department for Education (DfE) announced that any student whose attendance falls below 90% will be classed as a Persistently Absent student. Therefore, if a student misses 19 or more days over an academic year they will be classed as Persistently Absent. If your child’s attendance falls below this, you will be informed of this and may be requested to attend a meeting in school to discuss reasons for your child being persistently absent. Please note, if your child is off for more than 5 days without medical evidence, a meeting with a parent or guardian will also be scheduled.

Reporting Absence

All absences will be unauthorised, unless medical evidence is provided. Types of unauthorised absence include the following:

  • Self-diagnosed ailments (a headache, slight cold, stomach ache, sore throat or any other condition that has not been identified by a medical professional)

  • Going shopping with parents

  • Birthdays

  • Minding other younger children in the family

  • Staying at home because other members in the family are unwell

  • Arriving at school too late to get a present mark

  • Truancy

Please note: Evidence from the doctor can be in the form of a date stamped compliment stamp, prescription or medicine bottle). (Please note: the school is not asking for a parent/ carer to incur a charge for such information and will not be liable for the cost)


What to do if your child is ill:

If your child is too ill to attend school, parents/carers should contact the School’s Attendance Line as soon as possible. Do not use the Ed App to report absence or reply to School Text Messages, as these systems are not monitored by the Attendance Officer for absence reporting purposes.


Please do the following:

Fill in the “Reporting Absence” Google form (Available on the School website under the Attendance tab)

  1. Fill in the form

  2. Remember to attach evidence as proof of absence


If you are unable to fill out the Google Form. Please see below how else you can report a child’s absence.

Telephone the school on 02088768891 and select Option 1 for Student Absence.

  1. Please give your child’s name, Year Group, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last.

  2. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent unless you have given us notification informing the length of the absence through medical evidence.

  3. On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers write a brief note explaining the absence. The student should hand the note in to the Attendance Officer at reception.


Email the school on Attendance@Richmondparkacademy.org detailing the following:

  1. Please give your child’s name, Year Group, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last.

  2. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent unless you have given us notification informing the length of the absence through medical evidence.

  3. On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers write a brief note explaining the absence. The student should hand the note in to the Attendance Officer at reception.

What to do if your child has an appointment:

  1. We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time. If this is absolutely not possible, we require advance notification of at least 2 days.

  2. Please provide an appointment letter/card and a note from home indicating when they need to leave site. In this case, your child should attend school before the appointment and return to the School afterwards. Ultimately, taking a day off for an appointment is unacceptable.

Automated texts to parents/carers:

We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously. If the Attendance Team has received no reason for absence and a student is absent from Period 1 (8.25 – 9.50) automated texts are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers. Texts are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you. Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending period 1 on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up to date contact details.

If parents do not contact school regarding absence, a home visit may be conducted by our Attendance Officer or pastoral team. This is due to possible safeguarding concerns in relation to “child missing education”. As a school we have a responsibility to safeguard all of our pupils.

Punctuality

All students are expected to arrive at school on time and be ready and punctual to lessons. This is a minimum expectation.

  1. Students should arrive at school for 8.20am.

  2. Students are expected to be in Period 1 by 8.30am ready to start learning.

  3. Any student arriving late must sign in at the main Reception.

  • After 8.30am, students will be marked as late (L) and will receive an after school detention for 15 minutes.

  • Any student arriving after 8:45 am will receive a (U) code for unauthorised absence and will be given an after school detention for 45 minutes.

We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.

Parents of students who are persistently late to school will be invited into school to discuss ways of improving your child’s punctuality.

Holidays in term time

We want to give our young people the very best educational experience we can and an extended absence from school can affect this by causing disruption to learning and progress. For this reason, we do not authorise holidays during term time. Failure to adhere to this policy could result in a FPN fine. If a child is taken out of school in term time for a holiday, then the period of absence will be unauthorised and the child in question may be deemed to have ‘failed to attend school regularly’. Regular and punctual attendance at school is a legal requirement under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Leave of absence for other reasons

Under the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, a leave of absence may only be granted by the school (through the headteacher) in exceptional circumstances. Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, etc. If parents/carers wish their child(ren) to be absent for other reasons, such as compassionate leave, special family events, or to participate in sporting or musical competitions etc, application should be made in writing, in advance where possible, to the Attendance Officer. It may be necessary for parents to apply for a performance license in such circumstances.

Return to school meetings

All students will complete a return to school meeting with their form tutor when they return to school. This is a supportive measure to ensure that the child feels supported when returning to school, and any concerns that the child may have can be addressed to enable a smooth reintegration into school.

Prolonged periods of absence

If a child has a prolonged period of absence, then a well-being meeting will be conducted by the head of year with both the parents and the child when the child returns to school. This is a supportive measure to ensure that the child feels supported when returning to school, and any concerns that the child may have can be addressed to enable a smooth reintegration into school.

Vulnerable Children

Children who are Looked After (LAC), subject to a Child Protection Plan (CP) or Children in Need (CIN) plan will be treated with highest priority and will be known to the Attendance Officer. Any unexplained absence will be followed up immediately by a telephone call to the home or by a call to the child’s assigned social worker, in order for a visit to be made. Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) will be treated with similar priority in order that their time in school can be maximised, and their learning supported to the greatest extent possible.

How to get help if your child is not attending regularly

RPA have an allocated Attendance Officer (Jas Notay) who monitors the attendance of pupils who are persistently absent (less than 90% attendance). Our Attendance Officer and Family Support Worker will give you advice and support if you need help to improve your child’s school attendance, although you should be aware that this is ultimately the legal responsibility of the parent/carer.

It is very important that you speak with the school or our Allocated Attendance Officer (contactable via school) at the earliest opportunity if you have any worries at all about ensuring the regular and punctual attendance of your child at school.

Alternatively, parents can self-refer to the Early intervention and Prevention service (Start Well) Telephone number 01942 486262.

It is vital that you work closely with your child’s school and support agencies such as the Council’s School Attendance Service.

Moving School

If you are moving, there are a number of things we require you to do:

  • Notify us in writing at least 2 weeks in advance, including contact details for where you are moving to and provide the details of the new school that your child will be attending.

  • Notify us in writing when your child has started their new school.


We will also:

  • Request an email from the new school to confirm when your child started regardless of the country the new school is in.

  • If we do not hear from the family about your child’s new school, we will contact the local authority to find out whether the child is in school. If they are on the waiting list or have started school, we will request a confirmation email and off roll the child after one week following this confirmation.

Your contact details

Please make sure that the contact details you have given to the school are kept up to date, so that in the event of an accident, emergency or any other need to contact you we have the correct details.


Reluctant attenders or school refusal

You should do everything possible to encourage your child to attend. However, if the reason for their reluctance appears to be school-based, such as difficulty with work, or bullying, please discuss this with the school at the earliest opportunity and the school will do everything possible to sort the problem out. Colluding with your child’s reluctance to attend is likely to make the matter worse.

Consequences of Poor Attendance /Punctuality

For pupils whose attendance and/or punctuality fails to improve, after a range of interventions and support measures have been tried by the school, the ultimate consequences may be one of the following:

1) The school may ask the Council to issue a Penalty Notice on its behalf. A Penalty Notice carries a fine of £60, per parent, per child. If the fine is not paid within 20 days it rises to £120 per parent, per child. If not paid at all, court action will be initiated.

2) The school may ask the Council initiate court action under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, which could lead to fines of up to £2,500, or even imprisonment.

3) In some cases, action may be taken under the Children Act 1989 to protect the welfare and development of the child.


Understanding absence percentages

You may wonder why a school would be concerned if your child’s attendance is 98%. This may make it easier to understand:

95% equates to half a day off every two weeks

90% equates to a day off every two weeks

85% equates to one and a half days off every two weeks

80% equates to one whole day off every week


A secondary age child whose attendance is 80% will have missed ONE WHOLE YEAR of education by the time they leave school.





Illness and First Day Communication

If your child is absent from school please contact the school on the first day of their absence before 8.30am by filling in this google form: