The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Malcolm Arnold Academy

At Malcolm Arnold Academy we seek to broaden the horizons of each and every one of our students, helping them to achieve at the highest level both academically and in their talents outside the classroom.

maa dret attendance policy update may 24.docx


Attendance & Progress

It is an expectation of the academy that students arrive here punctually every day and that all students will aim to achieve 100% attendance with only a handful of students taking a small amount of days per year for sickness.

Attendance is an important aspect of secondary school life and, therefore, is placed in high focus at Malcolm Arnold Academy.

Government research shows that there is a link between attainment in public examinations, and a child attendance rate – this is why we expect the vast majority of students to achieve 100% attendance over the year, with a handful of students only taking one or two days off for sickness.

You will only be successful at school if you attend school. Our aspiration is for everyone at Malcolm Arnold Academy to attend for more than 96% of the year.  If your attendance is 96% or below then you will fall behind.  Days off add up to lost learning.  Even if your attendance is at 96% this will mean that you have missed 38 lessons in one year – the equivalent of 8 days of lessons. 

Does my attendance really matter?

  • If your attendance is above 96% then you have the best chance of success in your exams.
  • If your attendance falls below 96% then you have less chance of success and are likely to average a 1 grade loss in exam performance.
  • If your attendance falls below 90% then you have limited chance of success and are likely to fall short of your target grades.

It is OK if I am off school because I can still follow a remote curriculum.

Nothing is more effective than when you are in school working with teachers.  The remote curriculum is only there as a “second best” option for students who are forced by government regulation to isolate and to miss school.  It is only second best and you will fall behind if you are not attending school. 

Why is attendance important now?  No one cared about attendance when the government closed schools.  

The closure of schools has had a significant impact on the learning and progress of all students across the country.  Schools closed because of a global health emergency.  Although we all tried to continue to teach and support you whilst you were at home this was not as good as when you are able to attend school.  It was “second best”. It is more important than ever that you now attend for more than 96% of the school year 

Sometimes I need to be off school because important things are happening at home.  

If you are well enough then you need to be in school.  School is only open for 190 days which means that there are 175 days each year to spend on family time, visits, shopping, holidays, household jobs and other appointments.  Remember school finishes at 3:00 pm every day which also leaves time for families and friends. 

What will happen if my attendance falls below 96%? 

If your attendance does fall below 96% then it is important that you improve it quickly.  We will work with you to understand why you are not attending school regularly and to support you back in improve attendance.   

If your attendance falls below 90%... 

You do not need to worry if there is a legitimate reason for your absence.  The most important thing is that your attendance now starts to improve. 

I think 90% attendance is good.  If I got 90% in a test you would be pleased.  

90% attendance is not good.  Whilst it may be good in a test, in attendance terms it means you are missing the equivalent of 4 weeks of school each year. 

My parents aren’t worried if I don’t attend school – so why are you?  

Your parents have a responsibility to ensure that you attend school.  Parents do not have the right to keep you at home for no good reason.  If they do, then this may lead to them being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or even prosecuted. 

My parents are letting me stay at home because my brother/sister/friend/cousin is ill.  

This is not a legitimate reason to miss school.  We do monitor this and if it happens then the absence will not be authorised.  Unauthorised absences may lead to your parents being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or even prosecuted. 

Sometimes I am late in the morning, and I am too embarrassed to come into school when everyone is already here.  

We understand that you might feel embarrassed, but it is much better to miss a few minutes of school than it is to miss a whole day.  

Who do I speak to in school if I need help improving my attendance?  

You could speak to your tutor in the first instance.  However, if you do not feel comfortable doing so then you could speak to Mrs S Evelyn or Mrs P Clark our Attendance co-ordinators. 

Information for Parents and Carers

On the rare occasion that your child is unable to come to school due to illness please, leave us a message before 8am by on one of these two methods: 

  • MCAS message (If you do not have the MCAS APP, please contact the Administration team ON 01604 778000 Option 4 for details on how to set this up) 
  • Phone message on the absence line only (01604 778000 option 1), for efficiency this will always go directly to voicemail (please do not contact student services, enquires or email any member of the academy). 

In your message please state; 

  • Your child's full name and year group 
  • Reason for them being off school (please note the reason must be concise but be more detailed than simply 'illness') 
  • Whether you need a member of the attendance team to contact you back, to help you address the absence with your child 

What happens if your child is absent and you do not contact us? 

Your child will receive an absence mark. 

After we have taken all the absence MCAS and phone messages and made a visual check that your child is not in lessons, you will receive a message to say that your child is absent from school, this automated message is sent approx. every 20 minutes so you are informed that your child is missing from school, until either: 

  • You contact school (as above) explaining their absence (if you have already contacted us to report the absence please be patient as these take time to input into the information system, you do not need to contact us further) 
  • You can contact school by phone on the main school phone line to 01604 778000 and ask to speak to attendance/safeguarding team regarding a missing child. 

Please note that if your child has not arrived for a lesson during the day then this may also trigger an automatic message to you which states they are absent.  If they have been present in school previously during the day, then please do not worry as they will still be on the secure campus.  However, it may indicate that your child has not attended that lesson; please ask your child about this.  We will contact you via an MCAS message if they have been truanting. 

What happens if your child is late during or after Form Time (any time after 8.30am)? 

Your child will receive a late mark (you may receive a late to school notification) and a C2 sanction, a lunchtime detention. 

If there is an exceptional circumstance reason for your child being late which is beyond their control then please leave: 

  • MCAS message with the explanation 
  • Phone message on the absence line only (01604 778000 option 1), for efficiency this will always go directly to voicemail (please do not contact student services, enquires or email any member of the academy), to explain and we will remove the sanction. 

Please note that we are situated on a busy road which contains three schools and therefore there is always traffic.  Please ensure your child leaves early enough to account for the traffic; this will not be a valid reason unless there is an exceptional circumstance, i.e., a significant accident which has caused a traffic jam. 

If the reason is related to an appointment, please ensure you send us evidence, i.e., photo of the letter/appointment card via an email to enquires ‘For the attention of Attendance.’  Your child will not receive a sanction. 

If the reason for being late is the responsibility of your child or you have not contacted us, then your child will receive a C2 sanction.

Unauthorised Absence:

Whilst parents/carers/guardians can provide explanations for absences, it is at the Academy's discretion as to whether this will be authorised or unauthorised.

We work in partnership with West Northampton County Council's Education Team of whom monitors students' unauthorised absences.

The WNCCET have issued and are able to issue fixed penalty notices under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act in the following circumstances:

  • A student has 10 consecutive days of unauthorised absence.
  • A student's attendance is below 90% in one academic year 
  • A parent has withdrawn their child for a holiday/leave during term time.

Term time leave:

Given advice from the DfE and the local authority, it is an expectation that no parent will request leave during term time for their child.

However, if you would like to request term time leave please complete and return this form;



Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill and we expect all our students to arrive in school before 8:30am.

As a parent, I can help by:

As a school, we will help by:

As a student, I can help by:

Contacting the school when your child will be absent.

Following up on every absence ensuring that no absence goes un-noted.

Attending school every day, on time, to give you the very best chance of success.

Booking doctors and dentist appointments outside of school hours.

Acknowledging and reward good attendance and punctuality.

Participate in the inter-house competitions for attendance and punctuality.

Supporting your child to attend as often as possible by reminding them on the importance of school attendance

Reminding parents and students about the importance of attendance and how it is measured against attainment.


Ensuring your child arrives at school by 8:35am each morning.

Letting parents know if we have concerns regarding their child’s attendance and punctuality.


If you wish to discuss your child’s attendance further, or wish to seek advice regarding an attendance matter; please contact one of our Attendance Officers on 01604 778035


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