Attendance and behaviour

In This Section

Rewards

We actively encourage, celebrate and reward the positive behaviour of our students, through a points-based rewards system which focuses on four areas:

  • excellence in the classroom
  • progress towards target grades
  • representing the academy at different levels
  • attendance

Each of the four areas allow students to gain points, which they can exchange for prizes through our interactive site, rBay. Students can monitor their points and the prizes that they can buy with those points. The more points the students gain, the better chance they have of winning one of the excellent prizes.

Sanctions

We are committed to high standards and creating an environment based on respect for everyone involved in academy life, as well as respect for the physical academy environment. Our behaviour policy uses a three level warning system:

  • level 1 – a verbal warning
  • level 2 – the student is removed from the group and spoken to about their behaviour
  • level 3 – the student is issued with a red card

If a student is issued a red card they are required to move to the referral room for the remainder of that lesson. The student will then be required to attend a restorative justice meeting, whilst still in the referral room, to discuss their behaviour with the member of staff in question.

Punctuality

We expect students to be punctual. There are, of course, occasions when students are unavoidably late and we ask them to sign in at the main reception. If a student is late to school with no valid explanation a yellow card will be issued and a detention set for the Friday evening that immediately follows.

The after school detention will be from 3.30-4pm. This increases to an hour’s detention if more than one late arrival is accrued in the same week.

Absence FAQs

What do I do if my child is ill?

Telephone the house office, on each morning of your child’s illness, by 8.20am. If your child experiences a prolonged absence, a note from his or her doctor (medical evidence) will be required by the academy.

Do I need to send in a letter about my child’s absence?

If you have called or otherwise contacted the academy, then we would not require a note as well.

What do I do if my child is ill for a prolonged period of time, or is repeatedly absent?

Firstly, contact the head of house to discuss the absence. Where absence is a result of genuine illness, or an injury or accident, the academy will plan with you to supply work at home where appropriate, and to ensure a smooth transition back into full time education at the earliest opportunity.

If a student has substantial time off due to illness, particularly if this is not discussed with the academy, then a medical evidence letter will be issued to you. This requires you to provide medical evidence to explain the amount of time being missed at the academy. If further absences occur and no medical evidence is given in order to support the absences then a rolling six letter will be issued.

This means that a child’s attendance is monitored on a rolling six-week basis, from the date the letter is sent to the end of the academic year, and any further 3.5 days (seven sessions) which are unauthorised due to medical evidence not being provided could result in a fixed penalty notice (FPN) being sought. Fixed penalty notices are issued by the local authority, in this case Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC).

Two FPNs can be issued in a rolling year. If a second FPN is requested then it is likely to lead to possible enforcement, meaning that Family Services or other agencies may be involved.

What can I do if my child is starting to present attendance difficulties?

These difficulties can show themselves in a number of different ways e.g. a reluctance to go to school, feigning illness, failure to attend school despite being sent to school from home, missing lessons whilst in school.

If a problem seems to be emerging parents and carers should:

  • talk to your child to try to ascertain if there are any problems or worries at school, on the journey to or from school or at home
  • contact your child’s academic mentor or head of house as soon as possible
  • seek advice from the academy’s attendance officer, Mrs Lewin
  • consider seeking advice from appropriate websites

What should I do if my child is reluctant to attend school?

There may be many reasons why a child is reluctant to attend school, both issues related to school but also issues which are not related to the academy in any way.  Contact the head of house as soon as possible if your child is reluctant to attend.  They will suggest a meeting with you and your child to discuss strategies which can be put into place to support their attendance at school.

If my child refuses to attend school, can I be held responsible?

As the child’s parent or carer, you are expected to ensure that your child receives an education.  If your child does not attend school you could face court action resulting in a possible fine and even imprisonment.  Please contact the relevant head of house if you are concerned about your child’s attendance.

Can I be prosecuted if I pay the fixed penalty notice (FPN) but my child is still missing school?

Not for the period included in the fixed penalty notice – payment discharges your liability in this respect. However, it may be the case that a prosecution might be considered for further periods of poor attendance not covered by the penalty notice, depending upon the circumstances.

If this fails to improve attendance, parents or carers may be taken to court by enforcement through NNC, where a fine of up to £1000 per parent or carer could be imposed.

Why doesn’t Retford Oaks Academy authorise holidays in term time?

We are very aware of the essential role good attendance plays in achieving good academic progress and good social skills.  We therefore took the decision that we could not authorise holidays in term time, as doing so would be in direct contradiction to what we know is best for our students’ education.

Why are fixed penalty notices issued if parents/carers remove their children from the academy for a holiday?

We cannot authorise an avoidable absence which causes harm to the continuity of a child’s education.  We are aware that holidays in term time are cheaper than those in school holidays and that this can be a motivating factor.

The penalty notice therefore attempts to remove this incentive as well as reinforcing the importance of school attendance.  Please note: the fines are not issued by ourselves, but by Nottinghamshire County Council and the fine monies are not given to the academy. They are collected by the council.

Would I have received a fixed penalty notice if I had lied about the absence?

We expect honesty in our dealings with parents and carers and we are sure they wish to model this to their children.  However, the length of absence could trigger an attendance officer investigation, which may include home visits. If it is suspected that a holiday has been taken, a letter will be sent asking for medical evidence to cover the absence and if this is not forthcoming then a FPN will be sought.

What do I do if I don’t agree with the academy’s policy on attendance?

Much of our attendance policy is designed to satisfy DfE regulation but as always, if you feel an approach is unfair or unreasonable, you can write to the Principal and/or governing body asking for a review.  However, whilst any such policy is in place, the academy will operate as stated.

How long should I keep my child off school for certain illnesses?

The NHS has provided a handy guide to the most common childhood illnesses, and how soon your child should expect to return to school.

NHS Absence Guidance

Retford Oaks Academy