PUNCTUALITY & ATTENDANCE
OUR COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS
a) THE ACADEMY'S PUNCTUALITY EXPECTATION
Punctuality is vital to effective learning and the academy’s safeguarding procedures.
Lateness and / or non-attendance are extremely damaging to students’ progress and disruptive to the progress of others.
They can also be indicators of wider pastoral concerns outside school (such as family issues, medical problems, or involvement in criminality) and inside school (anxieties about, for example, bullying or poor ATL).
Our revised procedures and processes are designed to proactively and more deeply delve into possible issues at home, at school or elsewhere, which may be related to lateness or non-attendance.
External agencies (e.g. Social Care, the Police, CAMHS) or Internal agents (e.g. Safeguarding Staff) may be involved and / or referrals made for intervention.
The academy will take firm action to challenge lateness where a student is placed in the RAP room following initial triage.
Over recent years the ATB has made several changes to support outstanding punctuality, most notably in the shift of timings of the school day and now, additionally, the academy is using its facilty to beam students into lessons in a new way to intervene with those who are late to school, especially those who are late more than once in a year without an accepted reason.
The academy has introduced a 'Remote Access Provision' room (The 'RAP' room in Study Centre 6) for students who arrive late without a pre-arranged appointment or accepted good reason.
The academy's decision, on whether a reason is accepted or not, is final.
Late students will be based in the RAP room for the entire day (or one of the alternative 'shadow structure' venues where it is considered important to separate students from friends who have arrived late as a joint endeavour for example), where they will be able to beam into lessons.
Late students will not be permitted to attend any lessons in person on that day and instead will beam in to classes, where this is possible (otherwise they will be given an alternative valueable educational task to complete).
Students will work individually using headphones and will not commmunicate with others in the RAP room.
The RAP room is carefully staffed to ensure a range of support and the highest expectations of behaviour.
Breaks and lunch will be separate from the rest of their year group / the school.
The remote lunch menu will be limited with only minimal choice and will be the same offer each day.
The academy has invested in this resource to act both as a deterrent for those who did not take the necessary steps to be at school early or on time, but also facilitates an intervention by experienced pastoral staff who may assess and work with students to unpick any barriers which are associated with their punctuality issues or identify issues that require referral.
It remains the parents' (legal) responsibility to ensure their child attend regularly and on time.
At secondary school, young people are expected to take on increasing responsibility for their own actions, and it is predominantly the student's responsibility to be at school punctually (early) every day, unless parents are complicit in the lateness.
It is the student's responsibility to attend to lessons and timetabled activities punctually during the day.
Excellent punctuality is essential to successful learning - and we are insistent that students, like our employees, must be on time every day.
This means arriving early to be ready to start on time and not arriving at the last possible moment.
Students should not normally travel to school by car.
All explanations relating to parental drop-offs and traffic issues are likely to be rejected, in the same way as such explanations would not be accepted for employees.
The academy gates are open from 8.00am; study centres and activities are available before school and the formal start to the academy day is 9.20am when all students must be on site to move to be in their form rooms at the first buzzer at 9.25am.
b) 100% ATTENDANCE IS THE RENEWED EXPECTATION - THERE ARE NO LONGER ANY COVID RELATED EXEMPTIONS
Regular school attendance is legally compulsory for every day the academy is open to its students (See Term Dates)
The academy’s expectation is for 100% attendance. There are no special Covid related exemptions
100% attendance also means arriving in good time (early) for the start of the academy day.
The academy maintains high standards and expectations, including of punctuality and attendance for academic, logistical, social and safeguarding reasons.
Attendance and punctuality enforcement will be strictly applied, with reasonableness and sensitivity where appropriate
Young people with Covid often experienced no symptoms or mild symptoms.
Many vaccinated adults are also now fortunate enough to have only mild symptoms and hence also do not need to isolate.
Students with mild covid symptoms (e.g. sore thoat, runny nose, etc) can attend school as normal.
Students with mild covid symptoms do not need to isolate at home.
All those with mild covid symptoms are encouraged to wear a mask and take routine hygiene precautions everywhere they go whilst any mild symptoms persist.
Young people who feel very unwell or have a high temperature (for whatever reason) are advised to stay at home for 3 days or until they are well enough to attend school.
Young people who feel very unwell or have a high temperature (for whatever reason) should follow the normal absence procedures. There are no longer any specific Covid procedures to follow.
The academy is careful not to become complicit in unauthorised absence and will always refuse the possibility of beamed learning when a child should be in school.
The academy will not normally offer beamed learning to students who are too unwell to attend school.
TRAVEL TO THE ACADEMY
Students should travel independently to school (Ideally walking or cycling), and not be dropped off by car except by exceptional prior agreement with the academy e.g.:
Punctuality is particularly important to a return to normal learning and to the academy's safeguarding protocols. It is not treated as a trivial matter and will be subject to robust challenge (See above).
The academy requires every student to attend punctually on every school day. This means arriving early and allowing time for mishaps in the morning not to affect punctual arrival at school.
It is predictable that buses may be cancelled or late, so it is not prudent or acceptable to regularly take the last bus scheduled to arrive at school before 8.20 a.m. (earlier if attending a period 0 activity or lesson).
All students must meet the academy's expectation of early (occassionally on-time) arrival or accept the consequences of not doing so with grace.
ABSENCE & LATENESS: A EARLY SAFEGUARDING INDICATOR
At Cranford, lateness and non-attendance are treated very seriously, and may trigger our safeguarding antennae and procedures.
Lateness is scrutinised on arrival by a designated senior member of staff. Lateness data, absence data and any patterns are scrutinised regularly and, in some cases, investigated forensically by the Designated Safeguarding Lead or pastoral staff in the remote learning centre.
Any individual absence or pattern of lateness (or absence) which raises alarm bells, is unexplained, is suspicious, or does not seem credible will be subject to investigation and risk assessment.
Absence and lateness which on the balance of probabilities is connected, may be treated as a 'joint endeavour', dealt with, and sanctioned accordingly.
This may, for example, be where other students have been complicit in the arrangements for truancy of others on that day or previously, regardless of whether they personally have also truanted or arrived late.
The academy will also consider whether such absence(s) may be related to organised exploitation (e.g. for gangs or criminal or sexual exploitation).
Lateness and non-attendance may be subject to formal risk assessment because they can, for example, be potential indicators of involvement in crime, gangs, domestic violence, bullying and/or being at risk of exploitation.
In such cases, the academy will report and work with other agencies to address the issues.
Random screening or searching may be more frequent for late comers, who are deemed to be more likely to present other risks. They may be added to the random search list. Parental permission is not required for searching or screening.
The academy also regularly screens and searches all pupils in accordance with its policies to give everyone confidence that unauthorised and illegal items are not brought onto the academy site and to give young people a good reason to refuse to carry such items for others or bring them onto the academy site or into its premises.
These proactive and preventative measures are an important safeguard so that the academy can remain a place of safety and learning.
Preventative measures are necessary to reduce the likelihood of ever having to implement measures retrospectively.
All lateness may, however, also trigger a concern which will be recorded on the academy's safeguarding system, CPOMS to help the academy to spot suspicious patterns of lateness or non-attendance.
CPOMS is being trialled in 2022 and will be fully adopted from 1 January 2023 if successful.
This system will involve supervisory monitoring by senior staff, which will also make the process more systematic and reduce the likelihood of individual human error in addressing absence or lateness.
4c) UNIFORM / DRESS CODE & NEW PE UNIFORM
Cranford Community College is an academy with unform and dress code requirement as policy. These requirements are reasonable, cost effective published, gender neutral, reviewed regularly and made known to all applicants and potential applicants prior to applications.
The 'CONTACT US' tab on the website offers a perpetual mechanism for all year-round policy consultation contributions. The ATB will consider all pertinent contributions received in the preceding year / period when it reviews any policy.
Full uniform compliance is a reasonable condition of entry. Students must attend the academy in compliance with the uniform and dress code expectations.
A student will normally be sent home to acquire and don the correct uniform, purchasing the correct items if necessary, to return as soon as compliance has been achieved. They will be admitted without undue delay once compliance has been achieved.
The period of absence necessary to comply will be recorded should be kept to the absolute minimum. It will be recorded as unauthorised absence and a sanction or other disciplinary measures may be applied depending on the circumstances, for uniform irregularity if appropriate and additionally for any other breaches of the Pupil Behaviour and Discipline Policy. Students are expected to accept challenge for non-compliance with politeness of tone, good manners, respect for authority and courteous good will.
When a student is being sent home for any legitimate reason, reasonable efforts will be made in all cases to inform parents before they leave the academy site, but parental consent is not normally required. There are on-site contingency arrangements in place for exceptional circumstances where a child's age, special needs or maturity would make it unsafe for the child to be sent home to sort out the uniform irregularity.
The academy is also tightening up on some other basics such as uniform compliance now the pandemic restrictions have ended.
Students may be be sent home to collect or purchase uniform and will be admitted to school as soon as they comply, although as they will then be late without good reason, they will be admitted to the academy's remote access provision for the remainder of that day.
d) BEHAVIOUR & DISCIPLINE
It is really important that students and staff come to school on time and every academy day (Please refer to the published term dates and timings of the academy day on this website - see link below).
'On time' means that the student or staff member should be in the academy and ready to work and study well before the formal start of the day. This would normal mean being on site at least 15 minutes earlier than their formal start time.
100% attendance and punctuality is proven to have a significant and positive impact on learning and examination results.
Conversely, disruption to learning caused by the lateness and/or absence of even a few impacts negatively on other students and teachers and is not fair on them.
Students and staff must aim to have 100% attendance.
For students, this means attending for a maximum of 190 required days out of 365 or 366 every year.
It is expected that most other commitments, including most medical and dental appointments, and all family holidays are scheduled in the other 175/176 days when there is no requirement to attend school.
Urgent appointments (medical, dental or other) should be made after the end of the academy day wherever possible.
In family emergencies such as overseas bereavements, parents should make arrangements with extended family or friends for children to stay locally and continue their education. The academy has family support workers who may be able to offer assistance in such circumstances (for example by checking on their well-being in the host family when parents are away) and can also offer bereavement counselling to students.
100% attendance of our whole community is the best way to ensure the highest possible achievement for all.
Legal Measures: Ensuring full attendance at the academy is also a legal obligation on parents/carers and the academy and local authority may seek legal measures including fixed penalty fines and taking parents/carers to court in cases of repeated and/or persistent non-attendance.
Safeguarding: Student non-attendance is also monitored as a potential indicator of safeguarding issues in the home or elsewhere outside of the academy. These might include neglect, abuse, forced marriage, radicalisation, bullying, FGM, involvement with drug or gangs, mental health issues, suicide risk, malnutrition, etc. This safeguarding responsibility (and duty of care to its students) is taken very seriously.
Parents/carers are asked therefore to be understanding when the academy or local authority investigates non-attendance and to avoid being defensive to our staff who are looking out for those children who may be in need of help. The academy has a zero tolerance approach to aggression … to its staff and will prosecute where necessary. The academy may consider whether such unacceptable behaviour is an attempt to distract or conceal a safeguarding problem from the authorities.
In some circumstances, academy staff may ask to wear body cameras when making home visits (see the academy's privacy statement for compliance with GDPR).
ABSENCE PROCEDURES (First Day / Third Day / Sixth Day)
The academy telephone number is: 020 8897 2001, Option '1' for absence reporting.
ONE OR PART DAY ABSENCE: Whenever a student is truly unavoidably absent from the academy, parents or carers must contact the academy by phone by 9 am on the FIRST DAY of absence and give the reason for the absence.
Even for singles day absences, parents/carers should make arrangements for their child to continue their learning at home where they are capable of so doing. This would include doing homework, accessing learning resources from FROG, that academy's online learning environment.
The academy cannot facilitate catching up on missed work so students and their parents are encouraged to seek out classmates who can assist. However, there is no substitute for being in class.
ABSENCES KNOWN IN ADVANCE: Planned absence should be notified in advance in the same way (by phone) but giving the maximum possible notice to the academy.
The attendance line is Option 1 after the introductory message when calling the academy switchboard on 0208 897 2001.
Parents/Carers must leave a voice message after the tone so it is important to speak clearly and give details of your child and their reason for absence.
Voice messages will automatically be converted into email alerts for the relevant Attendance Officer.
Please leave a contact telephone number and email within the voice message in case the attendance officer needs to make contact.
The Attendance Officer may seek further information by contacting parents/carers/students from the first day and in some cases will make a home visit during an absence.
Details of absences will be recorded on the student's electronic file (Please refer to the academy's privacy notice page for GDPR compliance information).
Any student who is unavoidably absent from the academy must return to their studies at the academy as soon as they are fit to do so.
PROLONGED ABSENCE: In cases of unavoidable prolonged absence, the parent/carer must call the academy again on the THIRD DAY of absence to give an update on the continued absence and likely return date.
In some cases, including hospital stays where there is an education facility in the hospital, the academy may make arrangements for education off site, liaising with the providers as needed.
On return to school, a student may be required to bring a letter from their parent/carers to explain the absence but this is not necessary for every absence.
SIXTH DAY: A medical letter or certificate will be required for sickness absences longer than 5 academy days.
AUTHORISED ABSENCE: Only some essential or serious hospital appointments and visits to the orthodontist (not dentist) will be authorised. Evidence will be required before authorisation will be considered.
Otherwise, the Headteacher has only very limited discretion to authorise absence in truly exceptional circumstances so it would be very rare for any other absence reason to be able to be authorised.
All routine medical and dental appointments should be made after school hours, on teacher training days, at weekends or in academy holidays.
Holidays in term time are NOT allowed. The school is closed for 175/176 days including at least 13 full weeks each year and holidays must only be taken during this time be careful not to book holidays before term has finished or after it as started.
Any absence in term time will be rigorously followed up by the attendance officers.
Families with children in more than one school/academy: Whilst Cranford liaises with other schools (maintained and academies), it is inevitable that there will be some differences between institutions in patterns of opening, term dates and start and finish times.
It is the obligation on parents/carers with children to ensure that they check the school dates and times for all their children before making commitments and booking holidays.
Cranford Community College is an independent school and will not accept claims that other schools have agreed to absence or authorised absence for other family members.
No school or headteacher should be authorising or condoning absence during term time, in their school or in any other school, as parents are legally bound to send their child to school adhering to the published dates for each school/academy.
The Education Welfare Service (EWS) at Hounslow Council and the Attendance Team
Although located in Hounslow, Cranford Community College is an academy, which is an independent school and is not part of Hounslow Council or any other local authority.
However, Hounslow Council retains some statutory obligations regarding student attendance and welfare, and Cranford Community College works in strong partnership with the local education authorities that our students hail from and Hounslow Council in particular to promote full attendance and child safeguarding.
The Education Welfare Service (EWS) at Hounslow Council works closely with the academy to monitor all student non-attendance and has an obligation to intervene with families when the academy reports concerns around non-attendance and /or child welfare.
Parents/carers must make sure their children attend school regularly. They have a legal responsibility to ensure they do so and Hounslow has powers to take legal action when parents/carers do not send their child to school every day during term time.
Ms Hassania (see below) is the academy's Senior Attendance & Welfare Officer. She oversees the monitoring of student attendance and ensures appropriate follow-up for students who do not attend school regularly and punctually, including organising home visits, fines, prosecutions and the involvement of other agencies such as social care and the police. Parents/carers may also contact Ms Hassania using the link below to send a web based email.
Senior Attendance Officer