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Attendance Policy

Co-op Academy Swinton Attendance

Version: July 2023         Review Date: July 2024

Approved review date by Governors:

A consultation via email around the contents of this policy has been conducted
with all staff prior to the policy release

Mission Statement:

Our academy motto of ‘Striving to be Co-op’ is the foundation on which our educational values are built. We seek to establish a culture in which openness and fairness is encouraged between our students, teachers and the wider community in a professional and efficient environment. Safeguarding and caring for others is promoted at Co-op Academy Swinton, where we understand that children have only one childhood. We aim for high achievement in an environment which is based on rewards not sanctions, that shares the common values of ‘respect’ and ‘honesty’.

At Co-op Academy Swinton we adopt the Co-op ‘Ways of Being’, these values are:

  • Be yourself, always
  • Succeed together
  • Show you care
  • Do what matters most

These ways of being ensure that we work together as a ‘Co-op community’ to ensure that your child is successful in every endeavour, including outstanding attendance.


The aim of our Attendance Policy is to promote a whole school approach towards attendance and to highlight the importance attendance is in relation to safeguarding our students. We will attempt to raise the profile of attendance by working alongside students, staff, parents and carers, the local community and the Education Welfare Service (EWS). As a school we will encourage students to attend school regularly and punctually by providing a welcoming, supportive and caring environment, whereby each student feels wanted and secure. Good and outstanding teaching and learning is a stimulus for promoting and encouraging good attendance. Our academy’s long-term aim is to continue to reduce absence and persistent absence to enable the following:

  • Promote children’s welfare and safeguarding
  • Ensure every student has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled
  • Ensure that students succeed while at school
  • Ensure that students have access to the widest possible range of opportunities when they leave school.

It is really important to highlight that in instances where there is a lack of engagement, the academy has a duty to work with the Local Authority on legal intervention.

This policy meets ALL Department for Education (DfE) school attendance guidance and has been updated to reflect the ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ white paper, published May 2022.


As an academy we aim to improve our attendance each academic year. To achieve these high standards we will establish effective and efficient systems to promote attendance and punctuality.  

Co-op Academy Swinton will ensure that:

  • Whole school policy is applied consistently with staff, students and parents.
  • Attendance and punctuality maintains a high profile across the whole school. This will be done via letters to parents, school newsletter, assemblies, form time, meetings, Intake Evenings, Open Evenings, Parents’ Evenings and review days.
  • Students are registered accurately via the School Information Management System (SIMS)
  • Accurate records are kept on attendance and termly absence data is submitted to the relevant agencies; Co-op Academy Trust, Local Authority (LA), and Department for Education (DfE)
  • Absence is dealt with promptly
  • A rewards scheme is in place to reward good attendance and punctuality
  • Systems are in place to challenge parents/carers of students with poor attendance and punctuality which include phone calls home, letters home, parental/carer meetings, home visits, attendance panel meetings, fixed penalty notice and prosecution
  • Attendance figures are reported to the governors termly
  • Effective partnerships are established with the Education Welfare Service and other agencies


Parents/carers are responsible in law for ensuring the regular and punctual attendance of their children.  Parents/carers should familiarise themselves with this Attendance Policy and should work closely with the academy staff to overcome any problems which may affect a child’s attendance.

Co-op Academy Swinton encourages and values high attendance rates. We will recognise the external factors which influence student attendance and will work in partnership with parents/carers, the Education Welfare Office and other relevant services to deal with any issue, this includes the safeguarding team if any absence is relation to  safeguarding our students. We will take a proactive approach to the promotion of good attendance by defining expectations with students and their parents/carers and will provide an effective and efficient system for monitoring attendance in accordance with legal requirements.


Students are informed of our academy policy on attendance and punctuality via their Form Tutor, Year Manager and Pupil Progress Coordinator (PPC’s). The students are informed of the staff members they can approach if there is a problem which may lead to absence. Also students are informed of rewards/sanctions for attendance/punctuality through regular assemblies and year manager/PPc’s bulletins and updates.

At the start of the school year students are informed of school attendance targets and targets for their particular year group. This enables the academy to involve the students in the whole academy ethos and to maintain a sense of belonging.  This is also highlighted weekly in form time and also celebrated by the internal Co-op Academy Swinton attendance league.


The Heatecher Mrs Ali, has overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy. She will report to governors regularly our attendance data.


The Assistant Headteacher Mr Rigby is the attendance lead in the Academy and with the attendance officer will have a full overview of attendance and will provide regular updates to the Headteacher. He will:

  • Actively promote the importance and value of good attendance and reward students and forms for their efforts.
  • Form positive relations with students and parents.
  • Monitor the implementation of the attendance policy and ensure it is annually reviewed.
  • Ensure that all staff understand and are regularly trained on the importance of the Attendance policy.
  • Ensure that all attendance regulations are complied with within the policy.
  • Return school attendance data to the Local Authority, Department of Education and Governing body as required.
  • Ensure the systems to report, record and monitor attendance of all students including those with off site provision are implemented.
  • Ensure that attendance data is collected and analysed frequently to identify causes and patterns of absence.
  • Support year managers, PPC’s and the attendance officer with decisions relating to unauthorised absence.

The Attendance Officers

The school attendance officer is Ellie Clayton:

  • Monitors data across the whole school and at an individual student level.
  • Reports all concerts to SLT lead and PPC’s.
  • Works with the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to tackle persistent absence.
  • Arrange calls and meetings with parents for all attendance issues.
  • Provides all relevant data for PPC’s and SLT
  • Coordinate and conduct home visits for any persistent absentees and where direct communication with a parent or guardian can not be obtained.

Year Manager and Pupil Progress Coordinator

The Year Manager and the Pupil Progress Coordinator responsible for monitoring the attendance of their year group should:

  • Monitor attendance on a regular basis, setting targets for improvement as appropriate and ensure that any concerns around safeguarding are dealt with in accordance to Safeguarding and Child protection policy;
  • Monitor the performance of individual form groups, following up with individual interviews in instances where patterns of absenteeism are not being effectively addressed;
  • Review attendance and punctuality figures on a weekly basis inputting data into year team overview sheets for meetings with the SLT lead.
  • Regularly put attendance onto the agenda of Pastoral briefings.
  • Ensure that contact is made with parents of poor attenders, supporting the Form Tutor where appropriate in dealing with parents directly.
  • Follow up internal truancy with appropriate punishments; ensuring there are no safeguarding issues.
  • Promote good attendance and punctuality through assemblies, commendations, rewards, attendance league etc.


Staff are informed on the guidelines for completing registers and using absence codes via the SIMS system. Staff monitor student attendance and punctuality on a daily basis and implement the appropriate procedures. Our staff work together with the Education Welfare Service and other agencies to raise attendance. Co-op Academy Swinton aims to work together with parents/carers and their families to ensure that their child attends school regularly and punctually and to ensure that students are informed of their attendance targets.

Form Tutor/Class teacher:

  • Carry out registration in the prescribed manner using the correct codes and completed in a timely manner
  • Ensure that students who are late are challenged and dealt with in accordance to policy
  • Ensure that all notes from parents are scrutinised and acted upon before the register is amended;
  • Use allotted Form time to review and discuss attendance and/or punctuality issues.
  • Offer praise to individual students whose attendance and/or punctuality improves.
  • Provide relevant work for students who are being educated off site


  • Parents/carers are informed of their legal responsibilities and are communicated with on a regular basis.
  • Parents/carers should ensure that if their child is to be absent from school for any unavoidable reason such as sickness they should contact the academy on each day of their child’s absence before 9am. This may be done by phone, by letter or in person.
  • Parents/carers will be contacted on the first day of absence when reasons for absence are unknown.
  • Parents/Carers may not authorise their child’s absence – only the school can do this on the basis of the explanation provided by parents/carers. Parents are actively discouraged from allowing their child to stay off for trivial reasons eg. shopping, child’s birthday, looking after a brother/sister
  • Parents/carers should ensure that their child arrives at school in time for the start of registration at 8:30am. In line with Governments 2022 white paper, registers must close at 9 a.m with any students arriving after this time being marked as an unauthorised late. Where students are persistently late or truanting from school parents/carers will be contacted as truanting will be classed as a safeguarding concern as we may not know the location of the child.
  • Parents/carers are actively discouraged from booking medical and dental appointments in school time

Holidays will not be authorised. Exceptional circumstances leave of absence during term time will only be authorised if there are exceptional circumstances (Directed by the Department for Education)

Safeguarding procedures and protocols around attendance


The academy should receive an explanation for every absence. Any unexplained absence will be classed as unauthorised absence or a potential safeguarding concern. Information about a child’s absence can be communicated to school via a telephone call, email, text message or in person. If you know in advance that your child will be absent eg. religious observance then please notify Miss Clayton or the school office.

If your child has an unavoidable appointment during school time we ask that you inform the academy via a note in the planner that will be used to sign them out. We would normally expect to see your child in school for the sessions before and after the appointment. Where possible please provide an appointment card or letter as proof of attendance.

All attendance will be monitored and any pattern of non-attendance or a high number of authorised absences may be referred to the Education Welfare Service or the school safeguarding team. This may lead to legal action being taken against you. If a student has ten or more unauthorised sessions a fixed penalty notice will be issued by Salford City Council. We also request that after 15 days of authorised absence a medical certificate/evidence is provided to support your child’s absence. In addition to this a medical planning meeting will be held. Failure to provide such evidence will result in the academy involving the Education Welfare Service.

Exceptional Circumstances Leave of Absence:

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced important amendments to legislation surrounding holidays in term time.

From 1st September 2013, the new law gives NO entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. Headteachers would not be expected to class any term-time holiday as exceptional. Parents can be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without the consent of the school.

Attendance Panel Meetings:

If the academy has concerns or questions about a student’s attendance then they will invite parents/carers to a supportive meeting (Attendance Panel Meeting). These meetings will be attended by the Deputy Headteacher, the Social Inclusion Officer and Education Welfare officer. These meetings are a forum to discuss with parents/carers and students any issues surrounding their attendance. Within the meetings the academy will offer different and varied supportive strategies or outside agencies that may be appropriate


A student will be given a ‘correction’ for the next day during lunchtime if they are late to school. If they fail to attend this correction the student will be issued with a correction with SLT on Thursday after school. The ‘Striving to be Co-op’ system helps us to ensure that your child arrives at school on time in the morning, to start the school day. We know that all good schools, colleges and employers value punctuality and this drive is to support every student to leave school equipped to face the wider world with a very good record of punctuality.

Rewarding attendance and punctuality:

The academy has a system in place that rewards students with good attendance and punctuality, or students who have made improvements. The rewards system acknowledges this by means of students being awarded with certificates and prizes for their efforts on a termly basis. Rewarding good attendance is paramount to maintaining good attendance and works as a motivating factor for all students to attend school. Throughout the whole academic year there is an emphasis on rewards and students being recognised for consistently good attendance. There are various awards given to students, which have been recommended by the Student Council, these include:

  • Chocolate
  • Certificates, Trophies and stationery
  • Trafford Centre vouchers, 4 per year group for termly 100% attendance and £50 for a student who has 100% attendance all year
  • State of the art mobile phone
  • Rewards trips to places which include the following; ice skating, Chill Factore, Theatre, Laser Quest, Alton Towers, Ten Pin bowling, Camelot and Blackpool
  • Attendance league trips each term
  • Manchester United merchandise

Daily safeguarding procedures for absence or
absence concerns

On the first day students are absent they are required to receive contact via text or phone from school. This contact will be triggered when students are not marked present in school by the end of form time or a safeguarding issue is identified.  E.g. Operation Encompass referrals

 Before this happens we must ensure that all registers have been taken so that our records are accurate.

1.    Ensure all registers are sent on time.

2.    Pursue any missing registers and ensure they are entered onto the system.

3.    Create list of first day absences, priority home visits and contact given to vulnerable students

4.            Ensure all students on first day absence are contacted by telephone before 10am

5.    If contact cannot be made by telephone then a text message must be sent.

6.        Enter any information authorising/un-authorising absence onto the system, including at safeguarding considerations

7.  Any concerns over the validity of authorisation to be referred to Ellie Clayton in the attendance office.

8.  After 3 consecutive days of absence without contact an mandatory safeguarding visit will take place.

Home visits:

Where the Academy or Academies safeguarding team are concerned about the absence of welfare of a student a home visit will be conducted.  If the home visit is unsuccessful and contact is not made with the parent or carer then a safeguarding visit form will be mailed through the letterbox (see Appendix 1).  If no response from the safeguarding form is received by the school, contact with the bridge or a bridge referral for a welfare check may be initiated.

Intervention Process:

% Attendance

What does this mean?

Level of Intervention

Acknowledgment of Sustained/Improved attendance

Outstanding – 100%

No attendance concerns. Your child has excellent attendance. Well done!

No other intervention required

Student to be rewarded following the Academy’s reward system

Chance to win Attendance Golden Tickets for weeks with 100% attendance and no lates

Good 96% – 99%

Good attendance. Your child is meeting the Academy’s attendance target of 96%+.

Form Tutor to speak to the individual in school to explore specific reasons for absence i.e. illness, medical condition, issue with child or specific subject etc.

Form Tutor will have a conversation with the learner to explain the importance of not missing education.

Continue to monitor attendance over the next couple of weeks to see an improvement.

Students to be rewarded following the   Academy’s reward system

Name in 100% raffle for queue jump

Chance to win Attendance Golden Tickets for weeks with 100% attendance and no lates

Requires Improvement 93% - 95%

Cause for concern. Your child’s Form Tutor and Year Manager will monitor your child’s attendance and have a conversation with them to identify an issues that may be affecting attendance

 Stage 1 letter sent home to parents/carers advising their child’s attendance has fallen below 96% and the school will be monitoring their attendance for improvement.

Home visits will be made where there are concerns about a child’s attendance

If there’s no improvement, parents will be invited in for a meeting as explained below.

Acknowledge phone call for 100% weeks by Year Manager or PPC

Acknowledgment letter for reaching 95% - 97.9% group

Name in 100% raffle for queue jump

Chance to win Attendance Golden Tickets for weeks with 100% attendance and no lates

Inadequate 91% - 92%

School is concerned. You will be invited in for a supportive meeting with your child’s Year Team and the Attendance Officer to discuss issues preventing your child from attending school regularly.

Stage 2 letter sent home to parents/carers which explains due to no improvement since the previous letter they are invited in for a meeting.

If the parent/carer fails to attend the meeting, a letter will be sent asking them to call to rearrange. Failure to do so may lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Officer.

Medical Evidence letter sent meaning parents/carers must provide medical evidence for further absences to be authorised. Without this, all absences will automatically be unauthorised.

School will consider a referral to other professionals/support, eg Early Help Assessment or the School Nurse

Acknowledge in Classcharts for weeks with 100% attendance

Acknowledgment letter for reaching 92% - 94.9% group

Year manager phone call home to reinforce positive attendance

Name in 100% raffle for queue jump if a significant improvement is made

Chance to win Attendance Golden Tickets for weeks with 100% attendance and no lates

Persistent Absentee 90% - below.

Major concern. Your child is now classed as being Persistently Absent by the Department for Education. The Year Team and Attendance Team will be in regular contact regarding your child’s attendance. You are at risk of receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice for your child’s non-attendance.

Parent/carer will be invited in for an Attendance Panel with the Attendance Officer, Education Welfare Officer and Year Team.

Parents/carers will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or may be prosecuted if your child’s attendance does not improve.

If no further improvement, the school will consider a referral to the Education Welfare Officer for Fast Track.

Attendance codes and meanings





Present (AM)

Pupil is present at morning registration


Present (PM)

Pupil is present at afternoon registration


Off-side educational activity

Pupil is at a supervised off-site educational activity approved
by the school


Authorised leave of absence

Pupil has been granted a leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances


Dual registered

Pupil is attending a session at another setting where they are also registered



Pupil has been excluded but no alternative provision has been made


Unauthorised holiday

Pupil is on a holiday that was not approved by the school


Authorised holiday

Pupil has been allowed to go on holiday due to exceptional circumstances



School has been notified that a pupil will be absent due to illness



Pupil has an interview with a prospective employer/educational establishment


Late arrival

Pupil arrives late before the register has closed


Medical/dental appointment

Pupil is at a medical or dental appointment


Reason not provided

Pupil is absent for an unknown reason (this code should be amended when the reason emerges, or replaced with code O if not reason for absence has been provided after a reasonable amount of time)


Unauthorised absence

School is not satisfied with reason for pupil’s absence or no reason has been provided after a reasonable amount of time


Sporting activity

Pupil is participating in a supervised sporting activity approved
by the school


Religious observance

Pupil is taking part in a day of religious observance


Study leave

Y11 pupil is on study leave during their public examinations


Gypsy, Roma and Traveller absence

Pupil from a Traveller community is travelling, as agreed with the school


Arrival after registration (unauthorised late)

Pupil arrived at school after the register closed


Work experience

Pupil is on a work experience placement


Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

School site is closed, there is disruption to travel as a result of a local/national emergency, or pupil is in custody


Pupil not on admission register

Register set up but pupil has not yet joined the school


Planned school closure

Whole or partial school closure due to half-term/bank holiday/INSET day

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review:

This Attendance Policy will be reviewed throughout the academic year by staff, the Governing Body, Student Disciplinary and Rewards Committee and the Student Council in order to assess its effectiveness.

Thank you for your help and support in helping us to promote and raise attendance across our academy.

If you have any further questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact the academy on the following number:

Ellie Clayton - Attendance officer on: 0161 921 1443

Mr S Rigby - SLT with overview of Attendance

Education Welfare Officer -  TBC


Appendix 1:

Visit Call Cards


Attendance Policy-July 2023