Open Academy Expectations

Student’s attendance is 100%

Students to catch up work in own time if absent from school

Arrive at school by 8:35am start at 8:40am.


Attendance has a very high profile at the Open Academy. We expect all students to achieve a minimum of 98% attendance per academic year and we count on parents to support us.

Achievement predicted by teaching staff is based on an expected attendance level of 98%. Students with poor attendance rarely achieve their potential grades.

All students to ensure that:

  • They attend school on a regular basis unless they are ill, or have other authorised reasons for not attending school.

All parents ensure that they:

  • Talk to their child about school and what goes on there. Take a positive interest in their child’s work and educational progress
  • Instil the value of education and regular school attendance within the home environment
  • Encourage their child to look to the future and have aspirations
  • Contact the school if their child is absent to let them know the reason why and the expected date of return. Follow this up with a note where possible.
  • Try to avoid unnecessary absences. Wherever possible make appointments for the doctor, dentist etc. outside of school hours and if this is not possible minimise the time their child is absent from school.
  • Ask the school for help if their child is experiencing difficulties
  • Inform the school of any change in circumstances that may impact on their child’s attendance
  • Support the school; take every opportunity to get involved in their child’s education, form a positive relationship with school and acknowledge the importance of children receiving the same messages from both school and home
  • Encourage routine at home, for example, bed times, homework, preparing school bag and uniform the evening before
  • Not keep their child off school to go shopping, to help at home or to look after other members of the family.

Absence Procedures

If your child is going to be absent from school, you must inform the school and follow the correct procedures, below:

Reporting Absence

  • All absences must be reported before 08.30am each day. The absence line is automated and available 24 hours a day 01603 481640 or email
  • Illness is authorised at the discretion of the school.
  • If you know your child is going to be absent please let us know in advance. Contact school on 01603 481640 or alternatively, email
  • Written notification giving details of absence can be handed in to your form tutor or reception on return to school.

Returning to School

On return to school following 3 or more days of absence, medical evidence must be handed in to reception. If evidence is not received after one week, the period of absence will not be authorised.

Absence Authorisation

Absence of 3 or more days must be supported by medical evidence

Absence of 3 or more days without supporting medical evidence will not be authorised.

Unauthorised Absence may then be subject to a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.

We operate a ‘1st Day Calling’ (PS Connect) system in order to advise and support parents/students during periods of illness.

Please Note:

Students’ who accumulate 3 or more episodes of illness, of any length, in any half term, may be asked to provide medical evidence for ALL subsequent absences.

A ‘Return to School’ meeting may be arranged in order to ensure your child is aware of the support available in school to help them reduce the impact absence can have on their learning.

Examples of Authorised Absence

  • Hospital or Orthodontist appointment (evidence required)
  • College/Connexions/Employment Interview (evidence required)
  • Funeral (1 day only)
  • Reported illness of less than 4 days (unless medical evidence has been requested).
  • Illness of 5 or more days WITH medical evidence or Home Visit
  • Emergency Doctor or Dental appointments (evidence required) routine appointments should be made outside of school hours

Examples of Unauthorised Absence

  • Leave of Absence NOT approved by school
  • Absence NOT reported on the day or supported by written explanation upon return to school
  • Absence of 3 or more days WITHOUT medical evidence
  • Routine Doctor/Dental appointments
  • Arriving late after registers have closed
  • Truancy (both internal & external)

Requests for Leave of Absence – Changes to the law

From 1st September 2013, the law gives no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Any activity, holiday or event should be arranged during the 13 weeks of school closure. Leave of absence will have a detrimental impact on your child’s educational achievement.

If leave of absence is taken during term-time parent/carers may receive a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority for taking a child out of school without the school’s permission. From 1st September 2013 Penalty Notices cost £60 per child, per parent if paid within 21 days increasing to £120 per child, per parent if paid between 22 and 28 days.

If you have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Academy.

Examples of Medical Evidence

  • Medical Appointment Card confirming attendance
  • Medical Appointment Letter
  • Copy of Prescription showing name and date
  • Prescribed medication with Pharmacist label showing name and date
  • Over the counter medication eg; paracetamol
  • Unfit for School declaration from GP
  • Hospital discharge letter

A home visit may be required if medical evidence is unavailable for absence of more than 5 days. Authorisation of absence will then be at the discretion of the visiting officer.

Any absence of 5 or more days may also be followed up with a Home Visit in order to ensure the safeguarding of children absent from school.

Persistent Absence

Government Announces Changes to the Definition of Persistent Absence

In September 2015 we were informed by the Local Authority that the Department for Education (DfE) had announced that any student whose attendance falls below 90% from September 2015 will be classed as a Persistently Absent student. Therefore, if a student misses 19 or more days over an academic year they will be classed as Persistently Absent.

The DfE say…

“If over 5 academic years a student has attendance of 90% the child will miss half of a school year, that’s a lot of lost education.

Students taking unauthorised leave of absence early in the year could be categorised as persistently absent well into half term five but have perfect attendance from their return date onwards.

As parents play an essential role in supporting attendance the changes to persistent absence need to be shared with them”

The DfE also informed schools that this information must be placed on school websites and published in newsletters or a letter.

In order to ensure parent/carers are fully informed we will issue regular updates via text messages, letters or telephone calls should attendance fall below 90% at key points in the school year.

Support is Available

Arrangements can be made to help and support your child remain in school during periods of illness, injury or other circumstances that are affecting their attendance. If you are experiencing any difficulties and would like to discuss the support options available, please contact your child’s Assistant Head of Year. 


Punctuality is an important part of self-discipline and is essential to good time management.

  • Students should make sure they are in school no later than 8:35a.m to ensure they arrive to tutor on time. Any student who is late to tutor is required to sign in and give the reason for being late. A late mark will be entered on the register
  • They will need a note explaining the reason for the late arrival. After this time, students must sign in the late book in Reception
  • Punctuality also has a very high profile at the Open Academy. Research shows that those students who have good punctuality are better prepared for their day and are higher achievers. It helps the student to identify the importance of education and develops a sense of responsibility for him/her and towards others
  • Punctuality at the Academy sets the standard students will need to maintain throughout their working lives


The times of the Academy are as follows:
Registration/Assembly 8:40 - 9:05
Period 1 9:05 - 10:05
Period 2 10:05  - 11:05
Break 11:05 - 11:20
Period 3 11:20 - 12:20
Lunch KS3 12:20 - 1:00
Period 4 KS4/5 12:20 - 1:20
Lunch KS4/5 1:20 - 2:00
Period 4 KS3 1:00 - 2:00
Period 5 2:00 - 3:00


Make their time in school count!

Attending school every day = 100%

Attending 4½ days a week = 90% attendance = 4 weeks missed per year

Attending 4 days a week = 80% attendance = more than half a term missed per year or 2 full years missed over the course of their school career

Attending 3½ days each week = 70% attendance = more than a quarter of the school year missed

An average attendance of 80% or less across a child’s school career adds up to missing a whole 2 years from school

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