At Bede Academy students are taught the importance of achieving their “Personal Best”. This means that each student’s attitude and behaviour must be of the highest possible standard. As part of this, student attendance at Bede Academy is crucial if students are to flourish and reach the pinnacle of their potential. Students are expected to progress personally, morally and spiritually throughout their time at Bede Academy.
Whilst it is true that student attendance may vary due to personal circumstances which may be out of their control, it is of vital importance to repeatedly reinforce the benefits of full-time attendance. Students benefit greatly from the established routines of regular and sustained attendance at Bede Academy. Students who attend regularly settle well into peer groups and form strong, positive relationships with other students.
These relationships enable students to become more resilient and to develop patterns of self-discipline which serve them well as they grow up into adult life. They are able to demonstrate courage in being different to the surrounding and prevailing culture. Students learn to support each other and can demonstrate compassion for those around them who may need support. In addition, they are able to work effectively and efficiently with staff as they become more confident in relationships with adults.
A key purpose in life is to be educated for the future. Students obviously learn whilst in the Academy in formal settings, but also continue to learn outside of the Academy. In both circumstances students also rely on their peers for parts of their learning, whether by formal or informal collaboration. By being absent, students miss out on many learning opportunities and experiences from which they could benefit.
Positive and consistent Academy/home links are essential in maintaining high levels of attendance and combating poor levels of attendance.
Students are expected:
- To attend the Academy on a regular basis and to be punctual.
- To be appropriately prepared for the Academy day and always strive to do their best.
- To inform a member of staff/form tutor if there is a reason which may prevent them from attending the Academy.
Parents are expected:
- To ensure that their children attend the Academy regularly and are on time.
- To work with the Academy to improve student attendance where necessary.
- To ensure that contact is made with the Academy as soon as reasonably practicable whenever their child is unable to attend. Parents should inform the Academy of the reason for the absence on the first day of the student being absent, by telephoning the Academy receptionist or sending a written reason for the absence to the Academy.
- To provide their child with a written absence note explaining the reason for any absence on the day the student returns to the Academy.
- To ensure that their child arrives at the Academy well-prepared for the Academy day and to support the completion of all homework by set deadlines.
- To contact the Academy when situations other than illness arise that may hinder Academy attendance or performance.
- To avoid taking holidays or medical appointments during term time. Parents will be reminded of the detrimental effect that such absences can have on a student’s potential achievement.
What Parents and students can expect from the Academy:
- Study files are distributed to all students, which must be completed by students and staff on a daily basis. The Study File is designed to aid communication between the Academy and parents, so each parent is aware of information regarding their child. For example the Study File is to record homework tasks and any issues that have arisen during the Academy day. Parents are encouraged to also use the Study File to keep the Academy informed of important information, such as issues with Academy uniforms or external appointments.
- Clear policies and procedures for accurate recording, supporting and improving student attendance to the Academy.
- Good attendance and performance is recognised and rewarded.
- Provide a good quality of education tailored to the needs of the individual student.
- Early contact with parents when a student fails to attend the Academy without providing good reason.
- To put individual strategies in place to support attendance to help improve student attendance, working in partnership with parents. In serious cases of non-attendance this can mean issuing fixed penalty fines and making parents and students subject to fast track procedures for prosecution where appropriate with or without a variety of intervening steps before this process commences.
- Immediate action/support will be provided regarding any problem which is reported to the Academy that is likely to hinder student attendance.
- Referrals will be made to external agencies such as Social Services, EOTAS, and the Local Authority which involves interaction with, Education Welfare Officer, the medical team and Home Tutors to ensure the students are given specialist support and input where necessary.
- The Academy has an appointed Attendance Officer whose primary responsibility is to monitor and review attendance of students and to ensure that everyone complies with the Academy’s attendance policy. This role will also help to maintain a link between the Academy and parents, carrying out home visits where necessary to resolve any particular issues relating to attendance and punctuality.
- If parents do not make contact to confirm the reason for their child’s absence and the Academy is unsure of their whereabouts the Academy will automatically conduct a home visit. The Attendance Officer and a member of the Pastoral team visit the home address to ensure the safety of the child.
- The Academy’s policy is that attendance rates should be at least 97% for the Academy overall.
Why is daily attendance at the Academy important?
- From the earliest years your child needs to develop a responsible attitude to commitments and good habits (in the first instance for the Academy and in later life for the world of work). Your support with this ensures your child understands that you value the Academy and he/she will learn to value it too.
- Your child’s progress and attainment will be greater.
- Your child’s time at the Academy will be more satisfying.
- Your child will feel more secure.
- Academy work is easier to cope with when there are no gaps in learning.
What should I do if my child is ill?
- You should contact the Academy by telephone as soon as possible so that their absence can be provisionally authorised.
You should contact reception on: 01670 545 111 (choosing option 2)
The authorisation will be confirmed on your child’s return when they bring a note confirming the reason for absence.
If the Academy does not hear from you, you will be contacted the same day.
What is meant by unauthorised absence?
Unauthorised absence is when a child is taken out of the Academy without the prior permission of the Principal.
Please note the following:
- Bede Academy does not authorise holidays in term time.If a parent wishes to remove a child for a holiday during term time then this will be treated by the Academy as an unauthorised absence. In any such cases the student will be expected to catch up with any missed work. Parents must not to book any holidays during term time due to the adverse effect that this will have on your child’s education and the additional pressure your child will be under to catch up.
Why does my child need to be punctual?
If your child arrives late:
- The rest of the class are settled and ready for learning but your child is not.
- Your child may have missed a key learning point.
- Your child interrupts the learning of other students whilst the teacher has to settle your child into the Classroom and the lesson.
What if my child arrives late?
They will need to sign in at the Main Reception in order to explain the reason for their lateness. The Attendance officer will be informed and sanctions will be put in place if needed.
If parents are aware of the lateness, a letter explaining the reason for it is required when the student arrives at the Academy.
If no letter is provided, then a letter is sent home to parents to explain the reason given by the student for their lateness.
Please note that frequent lateness will be investigated by the Attendance Officer and may involve students spending time at the Academy during holidays.