At NIA we recognise the importance of regular school attendance and believe that children can only learn effectively if they attend school every day. It is also vitally important that children arrive and leave school on time.
Our attendance target for students at Northampton International Academy is 97% and we are committed to working proactively to help and support parents and students to achieve this. If students do not attend school regularly, they will not be able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Every young person is entitled to an education, being absent from school means a lost learning opportunity.
Students are legally required to attend school each day and should only be absent from school in real emergencies. All absences from school will be treated as unauthorised by the school unless a satisfactory explanation for the student’s absence is given. Parents cannot authorise absences.
For prolonged absence, due to illness of longer than three days or when a Persistent Absent (PA) student is absent, parents will be asked to provide the school with medical evidence such as planned operation information, planned therapy letter, a note from the child’s doctor, an appointment card, copy of a prescription or evidence of medication prescribed for the illness to authorise any absences. If medical evidence is not provided, then attendance will be treated as unauthorised.
The school will request medical evidence for any absence taken immediately before or after a school holiday.
Non-urgent medical appointments should be arranged outside of school hours. Where this cannot be avoided, appointments should be arranged either first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. Children should attend school for as much of that day as possible. Advance notification should be made to school and evidence of the medical or dental appointment should be provided by sending a copy of the appointment card or letter in order to authorise this absence.
If a student needs to leave during the school day for an appointment, they must have a written parental note with them, or an email must be received at school for them to sign out. If we do not have written permission from parents, the student WILL NOT be allowed to leave the school site. School staff will not contact parents/guardians to confirm details of appointments.
Term Time Absences/Family holiday/ Extended leave
From 1st September 2013 changes to the law give no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Requests for leave in ‘exceptional circumstances’ should be made in writing by completing the available Term Time Absence Request form from the school office/website. The request will be reviewed by the Head Teacher and a decision made if it meets the criteria for authorisation.
Due to the high volume of requests received by the school, the process time may not be before the requested absence. If you have not heard and have any queries, please contact the Attendance Team directly by telephone.
Retrospective applications will not be considered, any time taken will be processed as unauthorised absence. Parents can be fined by the Local Authority for unauthorised absences. The initial fixed penalty notice of £60 is issued to each parent for each child.
Northampton International Academy recognises that there may be times where children of different faiths observe religious festivals that fall outside of school holidays. The day taken must be in the recognised religious calendar and therefore we would allow 1 days authorised absence for these occasions. Parents/carers will be aware of these dates in advance and a term time absence request should be submitted to the school. Any further days taken will be unauthorised. If a written request is not received the absence will be coded as unauthorised.
Late arrival to school
Lateness to school is not acceptable and students are expected to arrive on time. Students who arrive after formal teaching has started will be marked as ‘Late’ on the registers (coded L). Poor punctuality not only disrupts your child’s learning but the learning of others. Good timekeeping leads to good practice in your child’s future.
All students who arrive late to school will be issued with a C3-30-minute detention that must be sat on the same day. Parents/carers will be notified of this via email and Edulink.
End of The School Day
Parents/carers to ensure pupils (if appropriate) are collected promptly at the end of the school day and that necessary arrangements are in place for the journey home. If a pupil is regularly collected late from school at the end of the day a meeting will be arranged to discuss the issues further.
When a child is absent from school without prior permission, parents should inform the school by telephone on the first day of absence by 8.30am and each subsequent day of absence. When the child returns to school, they should bring a note from their parent/carer explaining the reason for the absence for the school records. This should be given to the school reception for the attention of the Attendance Team.
In the event of a daily absence that has not been reported by the expected time of 8.30am, a first day call will be made by the Administration Team. This is to ensure the absence of a child is made known to the parent/carer immediately.
For absences of three or more days with/without contact from the family, a home visit may be made to check on the welfare of the pupil. Any child who is absent without explanation and contact is not able to be made, advice will be sought from the Education Inclusion Partnership Team at the local authority in order that further investigations can be made. Police will also be notified where the school has concerns.
Where there are unexplained or unauthorised absences, the school will contact the parents or carers. If a pattern of unauthorised absences emerges, the school will invite the parent/carer to a meeting to discuss possible reasons and school support systems that could help. Parents will be contacted if a student gives a reason for an unauthorised absence and there is doubt about the truth of the explanation.
Where a child has been absent from school for a consecutive period of 10 school days, and where the absence was unauthorised and both the school have been unable to contact the parents and the family do not appear to be living at the home address, a child missing in education (CME) referral will be made, the school may remove the child from the school roll after 20 days and the school will notify the local authority when such action is taken.
The school will take disciplinary action against any students who are discovered to be truanting and parents or carers will be contacted to discuss possible reasons and school support systems that could help. Truancy may be the student absconding from lessons and absconding from school.
During the 1st 5 days of a period of exclusion (whether fixed-term or permanent), the parents of an excluded pupil, who is of compulsory school age, must make sure that he or she is not present in a public place during school hours, unless there is a reasonable justification (this includes outside/near the school building). Failing to ensure this is an offence, and parents may be given a fixed penalty notice of £60.
Can I get help if my child is not attending?
The school can give advice and support if you need help with your child’s attendance. It is very important that you speak to us if you have any concerns. Be honest about the reasons for your child’s absence. If your child is avoiding school, for example by saying they are ill, and you suspect they are not, please contact us. Do not give in to your child if they complain of illness but you do not see any physical signs. If you are unsure, send them to school with a note of explanation and a contact number should we need to contact you. You may well find that this works and the number of times it happens reduces. It will also help your child to develop the right habits for the future where in the workplace absences and lateness are not tolerated. Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of them missing school, but be on alert for any reasons for non-attendance such as bullying or problems with schoolwork.