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Attendance and punctuality

When does my child need to be in school?

Your child should be in school in plenty of time for registration. They are expected to be in school (either in their lineup or awaiting their lineup) by 8.20am, which means they would arrive on time at their tutor base for registration/assembly which takes place at 8.30am. If they arrive at the Academy later than 8.25, they will be considered to be late.

What happens if my child is late?

If your child is late to school without a valid reason, they will receive a ten minute detention from their tutor which will be completed at the end of that day. You will be contacted by the Attendance Officer and informed of any persistent lateness. If your child continues to be persistently late without good reason you could be asked to attend meetings, engage with the Local Authority or eventually you may be sent a fixed penalty notice which will incur a fine of £60 per parent/carer.

If your child arrives at school between 8.30 and 8.50 they will need to sign in at the student entrance. Those who arrive at 8.50 onwards will sign in at reception. Reception will then inform Heads of Years and Attendance Officer.

What are the procedures for absence?

If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact the school as soon as possible on the first day of absence;
  • You must contact the school each day the child is absent;
  • Send a note in with your child explaining the absence on the first day they return. Your child should hand this in to their tutor.

If your child is absent we will:

  • Contact you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you;
  • Contact you regularly if absences persist;
  • Include your child on the Attendance Monitoring Programme if their attendance is causing concern;
  • Undertake home visits;
  • Invite you to discuss the situation with our Attendance Officer.

Does the school need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?

We would expect a parent/carer to telephone the Academy as early as possible on the first day of absence (02476 589 000). However, we will still need a written explanation on your child’s return to the Academy.

What can I do to help my child achieve good attendance?

  • Ensure regular and early bedtimes.
  • Have uniform and equipment prepared the night before.
  • Report any academic or social concerns promptly.
  • Keep open and honest communication with the Academy.
  • Be positive about school (even if your own experience was less than positive).
  • Discuss your child’s timetable/lessons with them each evening.

Why is it important to have up-to-date phone numbers?

There are times when we have to contact parents/carers about things, including absence, so it is very important that we have your contact number at all times. Providing up-to-date contact details is a legal obligation of parents/ carers.

My child is avoiding coming to school. What should I do?

There are occasions when children choose to avoid school. Reasons such as difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems or family difficulties can cause young people to worry, and they may think that not attending school will solve the problem.

All staff at Grace Academy pride themselves on being able to build positive relationships with students and parents/carers. We want your child to have the best possible experience here so that they can reach their full potential. It is important that we identify the reason for their reluctance to attend school and work together to solve the problem. If a problem does arise, you should contact your child’s tutor in the first instance.

Attendance Facts

90% in a test is a good score; 90% attendance isn’t – it’s the same as having nearly 4 weeks off school a year!
See the grid below for other percentages and look at how much time off per year it adds up to:

Attendance Percentage Number of Sessions Missed Equivalent Number of Days Missed Equivalent Number of Weeks Missed Equivalent Number of Lessons Missed
100% 0 0 0 0
95% 19 2 60
90% 38 19 4 114
85% 57 28½ 6 171
80% 76 38 8 228
75% 95 47½ 285
70% 114 57 11½ 342

Achievement Impact

17 days of absence = 1 GCSE grade dropped (on average).

This means that if you are on the border of a grade 3/4, 6/7, 8/9 and you only have 95% attendance, then your grades could be pulled down just because you did not attend school!

17 school days missed = 91.1% attendance for the year
34 school days missed = 82.1% attendance for the year

Percentage Attendance

What we do at Grace Academy to support and improve attendance

  • Form tutors have regular contact in the morning and afternoon to check on student wellbeing and to follow up on any absence
  • Tutors take on the role of 'professional parents', regularly checking in with students and ensuring they have positive wellbeing
  • Form tutors mentor students termly to discuss attendance and progress and ways in which we can support
  • Focus students are identified each half-term and either form tutors or the Pastoral Team work closely with these students to support them in improving their attendance
  • Regular assemblies and discussions in line-ups and tutor times are held about the importance of attendance
  • Our Family Support Worker works with any students and families that need support with attending school
  • We provide uniform to all students without uniform so this will not be a barrier to attending school
  • We run a breakfast and lunch club where we provide free meals to ensure our students never start or end the day hungry, allowing them to attend and engage in school
  • A range of interventions are used to support students with a variety of barriers which may impact on attendance, e.g. EMHT support our students with mental health
  • We hold Attendance Improvement Meetings so we can meet with parents and students to discuss barriers to attendance and can implement support to help them improve their attendance
  • We conduct home visits to support students who are struggling to attend school
  • Our Attendance Officer and Assistant Heads of Key Stage use the minibus to check on students not in school and collect students when appropriate
  • We ensure we have an engaging, broad and balanced curriculum to ensure students want to attend school
  • We reward maximum attendance each half-term
  • Heads of Year run personalised reward schemes to praise those students who regularly attend and engage with school
  • We work with multiple agencies to support students to improve attendance
  • We have an extensive Pastoral Team consisting of teaching Heads of Year and non-teaching Assistant Heads of Key Stage who all work with students on improving attendance
  • Weekly meetings take place with the Pastoral and Attendance teams to discuss key students and how we can support them in improving their attendance
  • Regular letters are sent home to inform parents of their child's current attendance
  • Parents have access to Go4Schools to be able to check attendance daily and support with positive conversations about attendance at home
  • Daily phonecalls home to key students check on any absence from school and how we can support, including checking on all unexplained absence
  • Students' attendance for end of year trips is dependant upon the student maintaining good attendance

Coventry City Council September 2020 Update

In an update from Coventry City Council, please read the letter provided detailing changes to attendance policy effective from September 2020.  In summary, attendance will once again be compulsory from 2nd September 2020.

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