Proud to be an FMAT Academy

Head of Academy Letter – 20th April 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to congratulate the majority of students on their return to the Academy. Our attendance since returning from lockdown is 95.8% which is higher than the national average, thank you for your support of our children.

Good punctuality is crucial for students to achieve their full educational potential and helps them to form good habits for later life. Punctuality records form part of references passed onto Employers, 6th Form and other Higher Educational institutes.

The first lesson of the day for students in years 8 and 10 starts at 8.30; all students are expected to be in class and ready to start their lesson by this time. Students in years 7, 9 and 11 start their lessons at 9.20, and should be on site at 9.10.

Please support us to help your child by:
• Ensuring that your child gets up in plenty of time to be ready and prepared for their Academy day.
• Ensuring your child has organised his/her uniform, bag and equipment the night before so that this does not delay departure in the morning.
• Check traffic and public transport journeys to the Academy using relevant websites or apps daily, to ensure good records of punctuality are maintained.
• Discussing any issues of lateness to ensure this does not become a habit.
• Monitoring your child’s attendance record when it is sent home and looking for patterns of lateness.

If the lateness is due to a legitimate reason e.g. a student’s pre-approved hospital appointment, the absence can be authorised. Otherwise, the session may be marked as an unauthorised absence.

Parents could be liable for a fixed penalty notice if their child receives ten or more unauthorised absence sessions.

Yours sincerely

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Mr S Mallet
Head of Academy

Parents/ Carers FAQs

Why has my child been marked absent for the whole morning when they arrive before 10.00a.m ?
The Department for Education guidelines state that the register must be closed after a reasonable time in the morning. If arriving after 9.15am, a child will be marked as unauthorised absence for the morning session.

Could I receive a fine if my child is persistently late?
If your child receives 10 or more unauthorised absences you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN). Payment within 21 days of receipt of a notice is £60 and £120 if paid after this period but within 28 days. This payment is per parent, per child. Penalties are issued by post to your home.

My child was only a couple of minutes late. It seems harsh that they should get a late mark and a detention. The Academy has to abide by the rules and expectations laid down for all schools. Lateness for the academy, exams or work is a failure to arrive on time and will be marked as such. We would encourage students to set out in good time so that any small delay does not cause them to be late.

Our whole family overslept and it is not my child’s fault that they are late. Will they receive a late mark?
This cannot be taken as an acceptable reason for lateness so a late mark or unauthorised absence would be recorded, depending on the time of arrival.

My child has to take public transport, which is sometimes late. Will they receive a late mark? Any lateness is recorded as thus on the register. We would advise that the child leaves earlier and checks the relevant websites or apps for any travel issues, so that even if the chosen transport is late, they will still arrive on time. If transport is sometimes late, then it’s not a reliable way to ensure arrival in good time.

Would you make allowances for lateness if, for example, there were major traffic problems in the area perhaps because of an accident, so my car/the bus was unavoidably stuck in traffic?
The Academy cannot make allowances for the individual problem (however genuine it maybe). However, it does make allowances when there are known reported major incidents that effect a large number of people; very heavy snowfall would be such an example.

What if I phone/email to say my child is going to be late? Would they still get a late mark?
Yes, they would still be marked late, but it is very helpful to know that you are aware and for us to know the expected time of arrival and reason for lateness.

If I know my child is going to be late, do I need to ring/send a note?
It is very helpful if you do this. If your child is very late they will be marked as an unauthorised absence and your note may give an alternative acceptable reason to allow us to authorise the absence.

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