Skip to content ↓

Attendance and Lateness

We believe that regular attendance at school is absolutely vital if students are to make progress with their education and maintain relationships with their peers.

Absence should be reported to the the School’s Attendance Officer on 01235 520141 (option 1) by 10:00 on the first day of absence.  The school requires a prompt, clear, explanation for any absence.

Unexplained absences will be reported to the Education Health Officer.

Punctuality is important and avoidable late arrivals are taken seriously.  Persistent lateness will be punished. Where students are late 3 times in a school term they will receive an after school detention.  Students arriving late must register at student services. The school day begins at 08:45.

In line with guidance from the DFE the school will not authorise holidays in term time

The Attendance Policy for Children and Young People can be found here.


Please note you can report absences via the Parentmail forms.

Attendance is a home/school partnership

  • By law, parents must send their children to school regularly and they may risk prosecution if they don’t.
  • It is the parents who have to make sure that their children attend punctually and remain in school.
  • Parents should make sure that their children arrive at school on time in their school uniform, properly equipped and ready to learn.
  • Parents should tell their children that the school expects them to keep to the Classroom Guidelines and School Rules.
  • The school must support attendance and take seriously problems which may lead to non-attendance.
  • By law, the LEA (Local Education Authority) must enforce school attendance.  The County Attendance Team helps the LEA to carry out this duty.
  • In the eyes of the law, only the school can authorise absence, not the parent.


Persistent absence

The dept for education defines a persistent absentee as a student who has an attendance rate of below 90%.  In such circumstances the school is required to take action to improve the situation which will include the following:

  • The school will contact home to find out why the student is absent.
  • An attendance contract may be put in place.
  • The school follows the oxfordshire county council’s local code of conduct on penalty notices. These will be issued to parents of students who persistently fail to meet school attendance requirements.  The lea is kept informed of all attendance problems.
  • If necessary, the school will ask for the help of the county attendance team, who may consider legal action against parents of persistent absentees, which can include the issuing of a penalty warning notice, leading to a fine of £60 per parent.


What is authorised absence?

  • One where the school is satisfied that the student is absent because of genuine illness. It is the schools decision as to what will be deemed as authorised.
  • One where the school knows of the absence before it happens e.g. a medical appointment. We ask that where possible these are not in school time. If this is unavoidable absence should be minimal.
  • One where the absence is on a day which is of religious significance to the family.


what is unauthorised absence?

  • One where no explanation for the absence has been provided.
  • One where the absence is for a reason the school will not accept e.g. going shopping, a birthday treat, looking after the house or younger siblings, missing or not getting on the school bus, minor ailments.
  • One where parents support an absence which should not have happened.
  • One when a student is frequently late for school without good reason. Registers close at 09:15
  • One when a student arrives late and does not register at Student Services.

Truancy is recorded as an unauthorised absence


why is regular attendance so important?

It is the Law and it ensures that the student: –

  • Makes the most of what the school has to offer.
  • Avoids gaps in learning.
  • Does as well as possible in all sorts of schoolwork.
  • Achieves the best results at school.
  • Mixes and makes friends.
  • Has less chance of getting into trouble outside school.

We expect attendance to be 100% at all times, and it should NEVER fall below 97%.


What do we record?

Students are registered at the beginning of morning and afternoon school and they are recorded as PRESENT or ABSENT.

We must also record whether an absence is AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED.

We are legally required to record attendance carefully and ensure that there are no mistakes.  Records may be used as evidence in Court.

Attendance records will be included when we write student references.

We may refuse to issue a work permit to students with poor attendance records.


returning after absence

  • Students must bring a dated and signed note explaining the absence to be handed to the Tutor on the day they return.
  • The note should include days and dates of absence.
  • All notes will be checked and, if necessary, followed up.
  • Students should talk to their teachers and arrange to catch up on any work they have missed.
  • In cases of a long absence because of illness, your child’s Tutor will be able to arrange for work to be sent home.

In exceptional circumstances, the school may require a Doctor’s note for every absence.