To allow pupils to reach their full potential, we recognise that a mutually supportive partnership between home and school can guarantee the learning environment that we know you will want for your child. We work extremely hard to maintain effective communication between home and school through a range of channels which include: emails, text messages, a new parent app, telephone and social media. Reports are issued regularly throughout the academic year and we welcome parents and carers to contact school at any time. Face-to-face contact between home and school is powerful in supporting pupils’ progress and to reinforce this, we hold regular review evenings. Pupils are placed into form groups in which they will stay throughout their time with us. During form time each day, pupils have the opportunity to read, discuss current affairs and contribute to school life. Daily check-ins with pupils ensure that Form Tutors know their pupils well and play a key role in promoting their wellbeing and supporting their progress. Heads of Year work closely with Form Tutors in not only overseeing progress, but monitoring attendance and behaviour of individuals; they are inextricably linked.
Governors and staff of King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy believe that it is vitally important that pupils attend school at all times. We are committed to providing a full and effective educational experience for all of our pupils and believe that attending every session contributes significantly to pupils making consistent progress in their school work and enjoyment of learning. We therefore expect excellent attendance and punctuality from all of our pupils in order for them to make the most of the opportunities that the school has to offer. We are always striving to achieve 100% attendance and we are hoping that we can work with you to get as near to this target as possible.
The Attendance Manager monitors the attendance of all pupils, below are the expectations for good school attendance and the interventions in place if there is no good reason for the attendance being low e.g. long-standing illness/ exceptional circumstances. 100% attendance will be rewarded by House points, certificates, blazer badges and a range of fantastic prizes such as tablets and mountain bikes.
100% Expected attendance for all pupils
96% – 100% We would be concerned at this level and the Form Tutor will discuss attendance with the child
92% – 95% This is a cause for concern and would lead to an intervention by the Head of Year
90% – 91% This is further concern and would lead to an intervention by the senior leadership team and issue of sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.
Below 90% This is a serious cause for concern resulting in possible Governors parental contract and attendance action plan meeting and possible fixed penalty notices.
If a pupil is absent from the school, it is vital that parents/carers call the school by 08:30 on the first day of absence on 0121 464 9901 to provide a sufficient reason for absence and every day thereafter, stating their child’s name, form group, the reason for absence (please give detail) and an expected date of return, if unknown then a call each day is required. This information will be recorded in the register.
Absences will be treated as unauthorised unless a satisfactory explanation for the pupil’s absence is given to the academy. Parents cannot authorise absences. This decision rests with the academy in accordance within the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1996. Where deemed necessary, the academy reserves the right to request medical evidence to support absence due to illness.
If your child has a medical/dental appointment which cannot be arranged outside of school hours, please inform the school as far in advance as is possible via a phone call to reception on 0121 464 9901. Where possible proof should be provided e.g. appointment card.
Please note that if your child is absent for AM registration or Period 5 (PM registration) their attendance percentage may be affected.
In exceptional circumstances, requests for Leave of Absence can be made to King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy.
Any request for Leave of Absence should be made to the academy in writing. Please include an explanation of why this leave of absence needs to be taken during term time. Once your request has been considered, a reply will be sent to the parental email(s) registered with the academy.
Please note that the King Edward Balaam Wood Academy cannot lawfully grant leave of absence for family holidays, except under clearly exceptional circumstances, and requests for LOA, in line with Government Guidelines, will normally not be authorised.
From the school year 2020 to 2021, a new category has been added to record instances when a pupil is ‘not attending in circumstances relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)’.
Code X: not attending in circumstances relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)
This code is used to record sessions where the pupil’s travel to or presence at school would conflict
In line with DFE guidance, no parent/carer will be penalised for following official public health advice for their child not to attend school.
Examples in which ‘not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ could apply, in line with current legislation, and guidance from PHE (and its successor the UKHSA) and DHSC, examples are as follows.
Pupils who have symptoms of COVID-19, or have had a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test, should self-isolate and get a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
If a pupil tests negative and if they feel well, they can stop self-isolating and return to school. If the pupil remains unwell following the test (such as with a different illness), then they should be recorded as code I (illness). Code X should only be used up until the time of the negative test result.
If a pupil tests positive, they should continue to self-isolate in line with public health guidance. Code X should be used for the period of self-isolation until the test. After the pupil tests positive, they will then be recorded as code I (illness) until they are able to return to school.
Pupils who are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to self-isolate. They should instead get a PCR test, and only self-isolate if they test positive. If they do test positive, they should be recorded as code I (illness) until they are able to return to school.
In line with Government guidance parents should plan their holidays within school breaks and avoid seeking permission to take their children out of school during term time. Families should also consider that their child may need to self-isolate following trips overseas that require a period of quarantine. If a pupil is required to be in quarantine on arrival in, or return to, the UK, the school will use code X in the register.
In line with public health advice, pupils with symptoms must self-isolate and King Edward VI Balaam Wood strongly encourage pupils to take a PCR test. Where the pupil is unable to take a PCR test, the school will record the pupil as code X in the register.
King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy will follow up with families if they consider the reason as to why the pupil is not in school to be unsatisfactory. The academy may request supporting evidence from families in these circumstances. Where the academy is not satisfied with the reason given for absence, they may record this using one of the unauthorised absence codes, in line with the school attendance: guidance for schools.
The ability work collaboratively with others is one of the most vital skills and values that we seek to nurture in our pupils. To encourage this, we run a House system which encourages pupils to take part in competitions and charity fundraising whilst supporting each pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. The House system also provides opportunities for pupils to take on a leadership role, such as House Captain, to lead and help on organising competitions and fundraising events. Pupils are assigned and belong to one of our four Houses, all of which are named after famous Birmingham role models:
Each year, our House calendar gives the opportunity for our pupils to participate in House events, such as sporting activities, arts, literacy and even a bake off!
Pupils are rewarded with house points for good progress and achievement in lessons, involvement in extra-curricular activities and supporting the school community. House points are awarded to individuals and added to house totals across all years which result in pupils having the opportunity to win rewards and prizes throughout the year.
We take pride in our effective behaviour policies and the recognition of good behaviour and praise are, by far, the best methods of encouraging good behaviour. Every parent, carer and pupil are expected to sign and agree to a Home School Agreement to ensure that each and every pupil, along with their families, are clear of their responsibilities. Any pupils who do not follow the expectations as laid out in our Behaviour Policy will be supported in making better decisions. We do this to ensure that our high expectations are met and that King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy is a calm and orderly environment which supports their learning.
At King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy, one of our key values is ‘Be Kind.’ We are also proud to be a telling school. We recognise the effect that bullying can have on a pupil’s feeling of worth and the consequence this can have on their school work and happiness. As a school, we actively promote an anti-bullying environment through multiple means. We follow a restorative justice system as we want our pupils to feel safe and confident in our environment and understand they have access to support should they ever need it in our care.
At King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy, we use The SHARP System (Student Help Advice Reporting Page System).
SHARP allows pupils to report any incidents of bullying and any form of abusive behaviour which occur within the academy and local community anonymously and without fear.