Reporting your child’s absence
Please email email@example.com or telephone 01233 438774 to speak to the attendance officer.
Why does attendance matter?
The government is clear that parents or carers must make sure that their children get a full-time education that meets their needs.
Attendance at school is fundamental to academic success. It is a basic truth that students cannot learn what they are not there to learn.
There are obvious exceptions to both sides of the rule. There are a very few students deemed academically successful who also have attendance issues and a few students who struggle academically who are always present. However, in most cases, strong attendance correlates with strong academic performance.
Strong attendance is generally taken to be attendance of above 96%. Below 96% lack of attendance will have a negative impact of school success. For example, students with attendance of lower than 77% do not tend to gain any GCSEs. Those with attendance lower than 88% tend to sacrifice a grade in each subject because of lack of attendance.
Absence due to illness
At certain times of year, illness is inevitable. However, it is important that absence due to illness is minimised. To support parents and carers, we have produced a Medical Guidance document which includes a list of common illnesses and conditions, to help inform whether your child should attend school when unwell. To support parents and carers, a list of common illnesses and conditions can be found by clicking on the following link Is my child too ill for school? – NHS (www.nhs.uk) to help inform you whether your child should attend school when unwell.
If your child is too unwell to be in school, we must receive notification before 9am that your child will be absent from school. This enables us to accurately check registers. In the unlikely event that your child is absent from school and you have not let us know, we will send a text message.
We require notification of absence for every day that your child is absent for illness. If your child is absent for more than 5 days due to illness, then medical evidence must be provided (see below). Absences that extend to the 6th day or beyond will be marked as unauthorised unless evidence is provided.
Absence due to medical and other appointments
Please make every effort to make appointments out of school time. If you cannot avoid a school time appointment, you will need to request permission to take your child out of school. Please provide at least 24 hours’ notice prior to the appointment, and present your appointment letter, card, or text as supporting evidence.
What is a Persistent Absentee?
A student whose attendance is below 90%, whatever the reason, is classed by the Department of Education as being a persistent absentee. Even if the school understands the reason for the absence and is authorising the absence, then the school may still have to request evidence for any future absences. Please see the information below regarding the evidence that it acceptable.
In some situations, the school will not authorise absence as the student could have and should have been present in school. If the unauthorised absence becomes significant, we will first do everything we can to establish the reason for this and support your child and you as a family to make sure that there are no barriers to a student attending school.
If, once the school has exhausted all possible avenues for support, there has been no improvement in attendance the school will seek advice and further support from the Kent Attendance Service (PIAS). Kent Attendance will first seek to support, but also have the power to issue fines and support the issuing of court orders should the situation justify these more extreme measures.
We will always aim for 100%, the official government expectation is that all students will have a minimum attendance of greater than 90%. However, we recognise some absences are unavoidable e.g. medical/dental appointments but would ask that you try to make these appointments outside of school hours whenever possible.
When you report an absence, please provide as much detail as possible so we can code the absence correctly.
We recommend you keep an eye on your child’s attendance percentage via Parent Portal. As we mentioned earlier, if your child falls below 90% attendance for whatever reason, they are officially classified as a Persistent Absentee. When a student is officially classed as a persistent absentee, we are obliged to seek medical evidence supporting any further absence.
Medical evidence can be brought in at reception or forwarded to us by email (we accept pictures or scans) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The following counts as medical evidence:
- a doctor’s note OR
- a note from the GP’s receptionist on headed paper with name and the time of the appointment OR
- a prescription box that clearly shows name on it and the date OR
- an appointment’s card with name and date on it OR
- an appointment’s text (which can be screenshotted and sent to us as a picture) OR
- an admission/discharge letter from a hospital with name and date on it OR
- a dated receipt from a shop where self-medication was bought from on the day of the illness.
Here to help
We are here to help. If you have concerns regarding your child’s attendance then we are here to help, support and provide advice. We ask that you speak to one of our team as soon as possible so we can begin working together to implement a plan of action.
A student’s attendance at school can have a very significant and wide-reaching impact on their lives post-school. It can influence their self-confidence, their social skills, their perception of their resilience and ultimately the grades that they gain in examinations and hence even the careers that they can follow.
Please think very carefully before allowing your child to have a day off – please make sure that the day off is justified. At 90% attendance a child is missing a day off a fortnight – which is a very significant loss of learning hours. A child who is too ill to be in school, should clearly be kept at home but days off should not become habitual. If you are worried that this might be becoming the case, please reach out for support.
Application for Term Time Leave
If you need to request term time leave, please complete the application for term time leave form and return to the attendance officer. We will review these case by case and come back to you with a decision. Thank you.
Please download and print the following:
The completed form should be returned to email@example.com