Please see the latest information about Fixed Penalty Notices.
At Ocean Academy regular school attendance is recognised as key to good student outcomes. The school will encourage good attendance and our target is 96%. When attendance does not reach this we will take appropriate action and support as required. There is a persistent absence threshold of 90%.
Our Attendance team is as follows:
Mrs R Richardson Attendance Lead
Mrs A C-Simpson Pastoral Lead
Mrs J Burry Office Manager
Mr M West Behaviour and Engagement Lead
If your child cannot attend school, parents/carers are required to contact the school on 01202 606888 and speak to the office team – Mrs Fudge or Mrs Burry. If they are busy please leave a message.
Alternatively email: email@example.com.
Medical or dental appointments wherever possible should be made outside of the school day. We do require a letter or appointment card as proof of any appointment your child has.
Attendance at Ocean Academy – Important Information for Parents
On 1 September 2013 a new law took effect which does not allow parents to take their children out of school for holidays in term time. Any request for absence in term time must be in exceptional circumstances, addressed to The Principal. There is also a school request form that needs to be completed for any absence requests – please contact the school office for a copy of this form.
Absence from School
At Ocean Academy Poole we want all our pupils to achieve success. Good attendance is key to this.
What can you do to help?
Make sure that your child arrives by 9 am.
If your child is absent from school please telephone: 01202 606888 by 0930.
On the first day back after absence, send a note with your child explaining the reason for absence.
Take your holiday in the 13 weeks of official school holidays.
Do not let your child have ‘just one day’ off school. These can quickly add up.
If there is a problem that is causing your child to be absent from school, please contact the school so that we can help.
Arrange dental / doctor’s appointments out of school hours.
If your child’s attendance drops below 95% then the school will be in contact with you.
If your child’s attendance falls below 90% our Education Social Worker will become involved.
Parents can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice by the Local Authority for their child’s non-attendance. The penalty is £60 and this rises to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Each Local Authority should publish a ‘Code of Conduct’ for Fixed Penalty Notices. The Principal decides if they wish to fine unauthorised absences from school by issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. The Principal then requests by a referral to the Local Authority to issue a fixed Penalty Notice on his or her behalf.
There is no right of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice. If this is not paid, the Local Authority can proceed to prosecution or withdraw the notice. The Local Authority can also prosecute parents for non-attendance without issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. Only the Local Authority can prosecute parents and they must fund all associated costs. Local authorities must conduct its investigations in line with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
If a registered pupil of compulsory school age fails to attend school regularly, the parent could be guilty of an offence under Section 444 Education Act 1996. In April 2017, the Supreme Court held that attending school “regularly” means attendance in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school and not “sufficiently frequent attendance“. This means that a child must attend school on every day that the school requires him or her to do so and failure to do this may lead to the commission of an offence.
There are 2 offences:
1. Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 – If the child is absent without authorisation then the parent is guilty of an offence. This is a strict liability offence i.e. all that needs to be shown is a lack of regular attendance. Sanctions can include a fine of up to £1,000.
2. Section 444(1A) Education Act 1996 – an aggravated offence. If the child is absent without authorisation and the parent knew about the child’s absence and failed to act then the parent is guilty of an offence. Sanctions can include a fine of up to £2,500 and a prison sentence of up to 3 months.
First Day Call
We will telephone you on the first day of an unexplained absence to find out why your child is absent from school.
What is meant by ‘Unauthorised Absence?
When no explanation for an absence is given.
When the explanation given is not thought to be acceptable (for example; shopping).
When absence requested (such as holiday) is such that the circumstances are not considered ‘exceptional’.