Purpose of Policy.
To ensure compliance in all areas of the business and maintain integrity of the Academy by having regular, high-quality contact with the learners through monitoring and supporting the attendance and timekeeping of the Academy Apprentices.
Scope of Policy.
This policy defines set processes as how the company will monitor and manage learner attendance both inside the Academy and in the workplace as part of the apprenticeship.
Swift is committed to the safeguarding of all Learners, and in particular, to supporting and monitoring attendance throughout the apprenticeship.
Our staff are aware that children and young people being absent from education for prolonged periods and/or on repeat occasions can be an indication of a range of safeguarding issues including neglect, child sexual and child criminal exploitation and county lines.
We understand the importance to monitor, and respond to absenteeism, and in particular, to those Learners who present a pattern of absence, or a prolonged period of absence.
Monitoring absenteeism, and prolonged periods of absence, supports us in identifying such abuse, helps prevent the risk of them becoming a child missing education in the future.
This includes when problems are first emerging but also where children are already known to local authority children’s social care and need a social worker (such as a child who is a child in need or who has a child protection plan, or is a looked after child), where being absent from education may increase known safeguarding risks within the family or in the community.
At Swift, whilst we recognise the importance of protecting ‘children and young people’ our Learners over the age of 18 are safeguarded and supported in the same way we support our under 18 Learners. Swift follows the ‘Working together to improve school attendance’, guidance, which sets out how we should work with the local authority children’s services when an absence indicates a safeguarding concern.
Academy/Online session Phase:
Whether the session is face to face or online, all Learners must be in attendance by 08.45am ready for a 09.00 start.
Running Late: if a Learner is running late, they must call or email (texts will not be accepted) their Tutor/Assessor before 8.45am, explain the reason for the lateness, and give an approximate time of arrival.
If a Learner is so late that they will not arrive until after 09.30, they will be advised to go to work instead, and a catch-up day arranged. This is due to having missed valuable parts of the session.
When a Learner is late, they are required to report to the Tutor/Assessor to report the reason for their lateness so that this can be discussed and managed timely and are then expected to make that time up during the day where possible. Where this is not possible, they will need to attend a catch-up session to make up the time missed.
Absence due to illness: If a learner cannot attend due to illness, they must inform their Tutor/Assessor by telephone or email before 8.45am.
Unexplained Absence/Missing Learners: if a Learner does not arrive for a session (online or in person) the safeguarding process will be triggered as follows:
Any Learner who misses a teaching session due to lateness or illness will need to attend a catch-up session.
The Business Development Team will contact the Employer and Learner to set a date for them to come in to catch up on the session missed. Wherever possible this will be in 10 weeks’ time when the session will be re-run with a new group.
All sickness and absence is recorded and monitored through the session register to be bale to monitor patterns or concerns. Further investigation or discussion will then be carried out by the LSM.
Whilst at work the Apprentice must abide by the employers’ own policies and procedures in relation to attendance and punctuality. The employer is however contractually obliged to inform the Academy where concerns arise around the Apprentices timekeeping and attendance. In the instance that the Academy are informed of such concerns these will initially be addressed by the Tutor/Assessor and documented on the Learners review so that we can support both the learner and the employer.
Should the Apprentice continue to demonstrate poor timekeeping and attendance the Academy will work in conjunction with both the Apprentice and the employer to provide support and with the intention of improving and resolving the situation. Any concerns will be escalated firstly to the Curriculum Manager, then to the LSM. Any safeguarding concerns will then be reported to the ODSL, who will assess and act according to the information received.
Managing Attendance and Timekeeping:
Where the Learner fails to maintain appropriate levels of attendance and timekeeping and no further support can be provided then the Academy may feel it appropriate to implement appropriate sanctions in line with the Swift Code of Conduct.
This is not confined specifically to Academy/online attendance or timekeeping and can be invoked to provide support to learners in the workplace where their attendance and timekeeping is impacting on their Apprenticeship.
Failure to attend and maintain contact:
Where a learner stops attending the Academy/online session and becomes un-contactable the Academy will consider this to be a potential safeguarding concern and begin the missing Learner process.
This may include making contact using the following methods of communication: Telephone, text, WhatsApp, email, letter and, as a last resort if needed, the company social media where appropriate.
Withdrawal from apprenticeship:
Where the above steps have been followed and there has not been a sufficient improvement or there has been 4 continual weeks of no contact then the Academy will make the decision to withdraw the Learner from the Apprenticeship.
This will always be as a last resort having exhausted all other avenues and will be conducted in accordance with the Swift Code of Conduct.
Learners Missing in Education (CME) and Episodes of Prolonged Absence:
It is mandatory practice for Swift Tutors/Assessors to have monthly contact with all Learners, therefore, for the purpose of this policy, prolonged absence is defined as being a period of absence of more than 4 weeks without communication with a Learner.
Learners Missing from Education (CME) are defined as being absent from their education setting, and their whereabouts is unknown.
This might be:
Learners most at risk of becoming CME:
There are many circumstances where a Learner may become missing from education and the list below presents some of the circumstances that may lead to them becoming CME (it is not exhaustive):
Failure to start appropriate provision means that the pupil never enters the system;
Stopped attending, due to illegal exclusion, withdrawal by parent/carers or, for example, being young carers;
Illegal removal from the roll after absence;
Permanent exclusion from school;
Failure to complete a transition between schools;
Learners who are victims of bullying or discrimination.
Learners from new migrant families or refugee and asylum seeking families.
Learners who are unaccompanied asylum seekers.
Learners who are teenage parents.
Learners from families who are highly mobile, e.g. Gypsy Roma Traveller families or Learners of service personnel.
Learners living in temporary accommodation or who are homeless.
Learners at risk of a forced marriage.
Learners at risk of honour-based violence.
Learners at risk of being trafficked.
Learners at risk of Exploitation and Trafficking (including Gangs)
Girls at risk of female genital mutilation.
Learners at risk of radicalisation.
Learners and young people supervised by the Youth Justice System
Learners affected by substance or alcohol abuse.
Learners at risk of harm and/or experiencing abuse and neglect, including domestic abuse.
Learners whose parents have mental health problems or learning difficulties.
Learners who go missing or run away from home or care.
Learners and young people who cease to attend an education setting whilst under the age of 18:
Where the reason for a child who has stopped attending education is not known, the case must be investigated to ensure they are receiving suitable education. Once reasonable enquiries have been undertaken, and the Learner’s whereabouts are still unknown, Swift must refer the case to the CME officer and follow the referral procedures outlined in this policy.
Swift believes that parents and carers have a responsibility to ensure that their children and young people of compulsory school age are receiving efficient full-time education, and to inform that setting of any changes, absence or difficulties to ensure the child or young person can access the appropriate support for their learning.
Children Missing in Education Team (Birmingham) (under 18)
All practitioners are required to demonstrate 'professional curiosity' in respect of a child or young person's education arrangements and encouraged to follow the CME guidance and make the relevant enquiries / home visits etc. If however those concerns remain, the practitioner should pass information to the Children Missing Education Officer for their area who will be able to make relevant enquiries.
A referral can be anonymous; however practitioners are encouraged to inform parents of any action taken to refer their child to the local authority's CME Officer.
If required, the ODSO will call the Birmingham CME Team who will conduct ‘background checks’ on the family.
In this case, ‘Missing Pupil’ referral form (Annex 1) must be completed.
Completed referral forms should be sent as an email attachment to the secure email address listed below.
Swift will consider the likely reason for the absence taking note of the information they have.
However, if there is good reason to believe that a crime may have been committed, the Police will be contacted immediately, for example, if the absence is a very sudden, unexpected situation and/or there are particular causes of concern such as the risk of Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Criminal Exploitation, Modern Day Slavery, Child Sexual Exploitation, or if there has been past suspicions concerning the pupil and family which, together with the sudden disappearance, are worrying.
Author: Jayne Hipkiss
Review date: 18/08/2023
Next review date: 18/08/2024
Authorisation by the Managing Director:
Name: Greg Morrall