Student Absence

Attendance and Reporting Absence

Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child(ren) attend school regularly and that they arrive on time.

The school pursues the goal of 100% attendance. Attendance below 95% is concerning and the school will monitor a student’s attendance more closely if it falls below this level.

Reporting Absence

It is the parents' responsibility to contact the school on the first day that their child is absent and every day of absence thereafter. The parent should give the name of their child, their tutor group and the reason absence. This can be done by:

Telephoning the school’s absence line on: 01580 767048 The child should bring a letter from home when they return to school, which clearly explains the reason for absence, the period of absence and a parental signature. This should be handed to the student’s Form Tutor. If no explanation is received, absences will not be authorised.

The school (not the parent) will then decide whether they will authorise the absence (once any information has been received from the parent/carer). 

Year 12 – 14 students (out of compulsory education) are required to phone / email the Sixth Form office on the first day of absence stating the reason and likely length of absence. 

Post-16 students (Years 12, 13 and 14) may leave the school site at break-time and lunchtime only.
In order to monitor their presence on site students are required to sign in and out at one of the following two locations:

  1. The Key Stage 5 Office in F block
  2. Main School Reception 

Providing Medical Evidence for absence

If a child is absent for more than 5 days through illness then medical evidence must be provided. This could take the form of a doctor's letter, a paper or digital appointment confirmation (not text message) or a regular prescription label. Absences that extend to the 6th or more day of continuous absence will be marked as unauthorised until evidence is provided. 

Absence Authorisation

Absence leave during term time can only be approved in exceptional circumstances. The following reasons are examples that will not be authorised:

  • Persistent non- specific illness e.g. poorly / unwell
  • Absence of siblings if one child is ill
  • Oversleeping
  • Inadequate uniform
  • Confusion over school dates
  • Medical / dental appointments of more than half a day without very good reason
  • Child's / family birthday
  • Shopping trip
  • Family holidays
  • Caring for a family member (except in an emergency)

Leave of Absence / Holiday

In exceptional circumstances parents / carers should write directly to the Principal outlining the reasons for needing to take a family holiday in term-time. This should be done at least 4 weeks before the start of the intended holiday. On the rare occasion that a holiday is authorised, the parent will receive confirmation in writing. Holidays taken without the Principal’s permission will mean the absence is unauthorised, which in turn will result in a Penalty Notice being served by the local authority.

Penalty Notices for Poor Attendance

Penalty Notices will be issued in the following circumstances:

  • Truancy
  • Parentally condoned absences
  • Holidays taken in term time without authorisation
  • Delayed return from authorised and unauthorised holidays
  • Persistent lateness after the register has closed