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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.


Heworth Grange School is committed to ensuring all students achieve their full academic potential while developing the personal and social skills they need to start their lives as young adults. Data shows that there is a direct link between excellent school attendance and high levels of progress and achievement. We will work relentlessly towards an aspirational goal of 100% attendance for all students. Every opportunity will be taken to communicate the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality to students and their parents/carers. To support this, we will endeavour to provide an environment where students; feel safe and secure, feel valued and respected, build positive relationships with their peers and staff, and are engaged in their learning and motivated to succeed.

The school attendance policy is written to reflect the laws and guidance produced by the DFE. The School will annually examine attendance figures to set attendance/absence targets. We will regularly review internal systems to ensure procedures are robust, and we are achieving attendance targets. Our policy will be reviewed annually by the Governing body.


The school will;

  • Promote good attendance & investigate unexplained and/or excessive absence
  • Ensure registers are taken daily at the appropriate times in line with the law
  • Work closely with parents/carers where a student’s absence is a cause for concern
  • Support students to achieve good attendance and punctuality
  • Support students returning to school after a prolonged absence

Students will be expected to;

  • Attend regularly avoiding absence wherever possible
  • Attendance of 96% or above is expected, this is 6 days of absence or less over a school year
  • Arrive on time for school, all students should be inside the school site prior to 8:45 am.
  • Be punctual to all lessons during the school day to maximise learning.
  • Ensure all absence notes and appointments are shown to their Advisor and where appropriate the Attendance Manager

Parents/Carers are expected to;

  • Ensure their child attends school on days it is open as stated in law in The Education Act 1996
  • Ensure their child is dressed in full uniform and equipped to learn
  • Ensure their child is on time for the start of the school day (arrive in school prior to 8:45 am). This is especially important due to the current operational Covid procedures (Sept 20)
  • Avoid any absence from school for any reason other than significant illness or other authorised explanation (examples are given later in this policy)
  • Avoid making medical/dental appointments for their child during the school day. If they cannot be avoided parents should ensure their child attends school around the appointment
  • Avoid arranging holidays during term time
  • Immediately inform the school on the first day of absence if their child is unable to attend prior to the start of the school day (8:45 am), including details of the reason for absence, and expected date of return. If the length of absence is unknown parents should contact the school to update us each day until their child returns to school.
  • Provide their child with a written explanation for their absence on the day of return. This should be signed and dated and the relationship to the student stated. Parents should be aware that an absence note does not necessarily mean the absence will be authorised.
  • Ensure any amendments to contact details are communicated to the school

Responding to absence

First Day Absence

  • As stated above it is expected that parents/carers contact the school if their child is going to be absent. Where appropriate the attendance team will follow up this communication with a phone call, or in some circumstances a home visit.
  • If a student is marked as absent and no reason has been communicated to the school, an initial text message will be sent, followed up by a phone call to parents/carers to ensure they are aware of their child’s absence and establish the reason for absence and the expected date of return. Parents/carers should endeavour to respond immediately to the initial text message.
  • If a student classed as “Looked After” by the local authority is marked as absent a priority telephone call will be made to the carer to ascertain the reason for absence.
  • If no contact with parents/carers has been made a home visit may be undertaken by school staff. A “contact card” will be left requesting immediate contact if there is no answer.

Second Day Absence

  • If no contact has been made with a parent/carer on the second day of absence, a home visit will be made to the family home by school staff. A “contact card” will be left requesting immediate contact if there is no answer.

Continuing Absence

  • If absence continues and attendance drops below 96%, home visits will continue and attendance formal proceedings will be implemented.

Ten Days Absence

  • The Local Authority will be notified regarding any student who is absent without explanation for 10 consecutive days.
  • A referral to Safeguarding Services and/or Police will also be made to conduct a welfare check.

Frequent Absence

It is the responsibility of Advisors, Year Teams, and the Attendance Team to be aware of, and bring attention to, any emerging attendance concerns. Where there are three or more separate instances of absence in an academic year, a request for medical evidence will be issued for any future absence to be authorised.  Intervention takes place for all students with attendance below 95 per cent. In cases where a student begins to develop a pattern of absences, the parent/carer is alerted by letter and the Attendance Manager or Year Team will work with the student and their family. If there is no improvement, the parent/carer is invited into school. Various strategies are used to support students and their parent/carers in achieving regular attendance. The school will refer to the Operational Safeguarding Lead or the police where there is cause for concern. In other cases, the school will seek advice from the Local Authority Education Legal Intervention Team. The Head of Year or the Attendance Manager will invite parents into school to discuss any issues and offer practical support and advice.


Students who leave school without permission after the register has been taken are putting themselves at great risk. Any student who leaves the school premises without permission or who is absent from a lesson without permission will be marked as unauthorised due to truancy. The Attendance Team will contact the parents/carers of the student if the on-call team are unable to locate the student within the school site. The Head of Year will then issue an appropriate sanction e.g. detention, truancy report, placement in the Behaviour Support Centre or Internal Exclusion, and the parents/carers will be informed.

Persistent Absence

Any student whose attendance is less than 90% is classed as being a persistent absentee (PA). Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects, and we need parents’/carers’ fullest support and co-operation to tackle this. Any student whose attendance has reached the PA threshold or is at risk of moving towards that threshold is given priority for intervention. Intervention may be via:

  • An action plan to improve attendance will be created which may involve a CAF and referrals to other agencies alongside meetings between relevant School staff and parents/carers.
  • Where parents/carers fail to co-operate with support and strategies provided by the School, further advice may be sought which could lead to legal sanctions being imposed. Persistent Absence data is communicated to the relevant Local Authority via the School Census on a termly and annual basis.

Re-integration following Long-term Absence - Where a student has been absent for a prolonged period of time, perhaps due to illness, the School will:

  • Welcome the student back to the School and value their return
  • Provide support for the student in consultation with parents/carers to enable a successful return to the School.
  • Ensure that all relevant staff are informed of the circumstances.
  • Work with other agencies, where appropriate, to ensure a successful outcome.
  • Consider a personalised programme of return if appropriate
  • Nominate a key member of staff to monitor and review the student’s return.

Monitoring Attendance

  • The minimum school target for attendance is 96%.
  • We will regularly monitor attendance levels and absence patterns of all students.
  • All registers are monitored by staff for any incidents of truancy and if truancy is suspected on-call staff are immediately alerted.
  • All absence- authorised and unauthorised — will be analysed and subject to challenge to ensure that any concern regarding frequency, pattern, or validity is acted upon swiftly to ensure safeguarding responsibilities are met.
  • Data on all absences will be regularly analysed and published within school and shared with The Trust and all partners.
  • The Attendance Manager has responsibility for the school attendance processes and referrals made to the Local Authority Legal Intervention Team. 

Authorised/Unauthorised Absence

Any student who is absent from school at either morning or afternoon registration must have their absence recorded as authorised, unauthorised or approved educational activity. The decision to authorise or not authorise any absence will always rest with the school. Only the Head Teacher (or their delegate) can authorise an absence from school. If there is no known reason for absence at registration, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised in the first instance.

Examples of authorised absence

  • Genuine Illness
  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments, where appointment card is shown.  A medical request form should be completed in advance (where possible).
  • Days of Religious Observance
  • Exceptional circumstances such as family bereavement
  • External examinations, where proof of examination is shown
  • Authorised School Exclusion periods

Examples of unauthorised absence

  • Excessive absence rates without supporting medical evidence
  • Absence with no reason provided
  • Truancy
  • Absence due to birthdays, shopping including for school uniform, resting after a late night
  • Family celebrations Inc. visiting relatives
  • Looking after parents, siblings, family or pets, minding the house/waiting in for workmen
  • Late arrival after registers have closed

Legal Intervention Team

A referral to The Local Authority Legal Intervention Team may result in several or all courses of action

  • Home Visits
  • Contact by telephone
  • CAF/TAFs
  • Formal non-attendance procedures which could result in the issue of a penalty notice*, Prosecution in a magistrates court, or an application to family court for an Education Supervision Order.

*A fixed penalty notice is £60 per parent, per child if paid with 21 days or £120 per parent, per child if paid after 21 days but before 28 days. Failure to pay a fixed penalty notice could lead to prosecution in a Magistrates Court.

Leave of Absence

Holidays during term time are not allowed unless exceptional circumstances. Government guidance states that “headteachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances”. If a parent/carer wishes to take their child out of school during term time they must complete a leave of absence request form. The request for leave must come from the parent with whom a child normally resides and has parental responsibility. All forms should be returned to the Attendance Manager.

Parents/carers will be notified in writing if their leave of absence has been approved or declined. If the leave of absence is declined and a parent still takes their child out of school, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and the case may be referred to the local authority education welfare service to consider issuing a fixed penalty notice*.

*A fixed penalty notice is £60 per parent, per child if paid with 21 days or £120 per parent, per child if paid after 21 days but before 28 days. Failure to pay a fixed penalty notice could lead to prosecution in a Magistrates Court.


Students should arrive in school prior to the start of the school day at 8:45 am. Students arriving after this time will be marked as late. Levels of lateness will be monitored throughout the school year and where issues are identified interventions will be put in place to ensure improvement. Students persistently arriving after advisory time will be marked as a U (Late after registers closed) which is classed as an unauthorised absence and could subsequently lead to a referral to the Legal Intervention Team and a fixed penalty notice.


We believe in rewarding and recognising students who have an excellent attendance record and those who have significantly improved their attendance. Examples of some of the rewards we give are:

  • Letters home to parents
  • Certificates to students
  • School achievement assemblies
  • Prize draws and incentives
  • Praise points
  • Trips & Visits relating to attendance or non-curriculum activities will be subject to a minimum level of Praise Points and a maximum level of negative points.

Attendance Coding

Statutory Requirements, the Law and the Local Authority

  • Registers are legal documents; regulatory requirements placed on schools regarding the keeping of registers are to be found in the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006.
  • Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that parents/carers are responsible to ensure their child receives a suitable education.
  • Under section 444 of the Education Act 1996, a parent who fails to ensure their child attends the school at which they are registered, is guilty of an offence.
  • The Academy works together with the relevant Local Authority to ensure that parents/carers fulfil their responsibility. There is a range of legal sanctions that may be imposed for dealing with unauthorised absence: Penalty Notices, Parenting Contracts and Orders, Education Supervision Orders, or referral to the Magistrates Court which can recommend fines (up to £2500) or up to 3 months in prison. All sanctions are used to improve attendance and punctuality and reduce absence