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It is important that you support your son to attend school regularly and on time.   In the case of illness, or any other unavoidable circumstance, parents should telephone the school office as early as possible on the morning of their son’s absence (and certainly before 9am) or

It is a legal requirement that any unexplained absence is kept on record and reported.  If you know of any absence in advance (e.g. medical appointments), please do let us know in plenty of time.


Parents are responsible for ensuring that their son leaves home in time to arrive at school punctually.  Students are late if they arrive after 8:45am but before 11:00am in the morning.  If students are late they should carry a note of explanation from the parent.  Students who arrive after 11.00am are recorded absent for the morning session.

Medical appointments

The school expects parents to try to arrange these visits out of school hours.  Should it be necessary for a student to leave the school premises during the day, a written note must be shown to his tutor, providing the time of absence. This should be signed by your son’s Head of Year or a Senior Teacher and presented to the office when signing out.  Students will be expected to return to school after morning appointments. 


The school expects parents to arrange family holidays and outings outside of term time. 

Parents who require some non-medical leave of absence for their son should complete a form (available from the school office and here) providing clear and justifiable reasons for the absence.  Family holidays will be unapproved as leave of absence will only be authorised by the Headteacher for very short periods in exceptional circumstances. 

Any absence not properly explained, or requested, will be recorded as unauthorised and will reflect badly on your son’s personal record as well as on the reputation of the school.  The school will contact the parents of any boy who does not arrive at school, about whom no prior notification of absence has been received.  Boys who take leave during term time are expected to complete work whilst they are away.

Fixed Penalty Notices

If students are repeatedly absent without a valid reason authorised by the school a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued to the parents/carers.  A warning letter will be sent first and if attendance does not improve, a fine will be issued and court proceedings could be a possibility. Information from Kingston-upon-Thames Achieving for Children about fixed penalty notices may be seen here.

School opening and closing times

Student supervision is available between the hours of 8:30am until 4:00pm Monday-Friday. The minimum total amount of hours required each week is 32.5 . 

Absence Request Form

Why is school attendance important?

Pupils with good attendance are more likely to do well at school. When pupils miss school, even if the time period is very short, it can lead to gaps in their learning which might make future lessons more difficult for them.

Regular attendance helps pupils to feel part of the school community and enables them to develop good relationships with their peers and other members of the school community. This can have a positive impact on their wellbeing and help them to feel more settled in school.

For older children, school attendance may be taken into account by post 16 providers. Pupils with high levels of unexplained absence might find it more difficult to secure a place on their chosen further or higher education course.

When a pupil attends school everyday, it helps to establish good routines and habits for their later life.

What does the law say?

It is a legal requirement for schools to keep a record of attendance and the reasons for any absences. There are clear guidelines set out by the government about how schools should manage attendance and schools are expected to follow these.

Only the headteacher can officially authorise an absence but, unless there is a concern, other staff will usually do this on their behalf. Parents and carers should provide reasons for absences to enable the school to decide whether or not to authorise the absence based on government guidelines.

Parents and carers must ensure that their child attends school regularly. Failure to do so, without good reason, is an offence, even if they are missing school without your knowledge. Parents and carers of children with unauthorised absences may be subject to a fixed penalty notice/legal action.

What are the different types of absence?

There are two broad categories of absence:

Authorised absence: This is an absence that has been authorised by the school for a legitimate medical, emergency or unavoidable situation.

Typical examples of authorised absence include:

  • illness that means a child is too unwell to come to school;
  • following NHS advice regarding remaining off school following a period of illness (in the case of certain infectious illnesses);
  • an emergency medical or dental appointment;
  • the recent death of a close family member;
  • religious observance, as long as certain conditions are met.

Unauthorised absence: This is where a pupil’s absence is for a reason deemed to be unacceptable by the school or where the reason for a pupil’s absence has not been provided and cannot be established.

Some examples of unauthorised absence include:

  • looking after a younger sibling;
  • time off for birthday celebrations;
  • a family holiday (unless there are exceptional circumstances);
  • oversleeping;
  • shopping trips or days out;
  • waiting in for a delivery.

Why is it important that my child is on time each day?

When children are late to school, they may initially feel unsettled and they might miss important information and activities.

Schools are required to record late arrivals. If pupils arrive after the start of the school day but when the register is still open, it will be recorded as a late mark. If pupils arrive after the register closes (which government guidelines state must be within 30 minutes of the register opening), then their morning mark will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, unless evidence can be provided that there are exceptional circumstances that led to the late arrival.

How does occasional absence affect my child?

Missing occasional days from school may seem unimportant at the time; however, this can have a significant impact on your child in the long term:

% of attendance in a school year

Number of days absent

Weeks missed

98% 4 Less than 1 week
95% 9.5 Nearly 2 weeks
90% 19 Nearly 4 weeks
85% 28.5 Nearly 6 weeks

A pupil with 85% attendance is missing nearly half a term of learning time each school year.

Regular absences can result in poorer outcomes over time. Research shows that pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school (which is between half and one day per week on average) stand only a 35% chance of achieving five or more good GCSEs, compared to 73% of those who miss fewer than 5% of school days.

Late arrivals also add up over time – being 10 minutes late each day adds up to two weeks of lost learning time over the whole school year.

What about medical appointments?

We understand that pupils need to attend medical and dental appointments and that it is not always possible to arrange this outside of school time. However, we would request that any non-emergency appointments are made for outside of the school day as this keeps the disruption to a minimum and ensures that they do not miss important lessons.

Why won’t the school usually authorise absence for a family holiday?

We recognise that family vacations during the school holidays can be expensive and that booking a cheaper term-time holiday might be tempting. However, headteachers can only authorise leave during term time if there are exceptional circumstances, even if your child has an excellent attendance record or if you believe that the reason for the absence is justified.

Parents and carers should plan their holidays around school holidays and avoid asking for permission to take their children out of school unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

If there are exceptional circumstances, then a request can be made to the school using our absence request form on request.

Requests for term-time absences should be made as soon as possible and at least 30 days before the absence is due to take place. However, we recognise that in some rare instances, this will not always be possible.

Requests for term-time absences will be considered on a case-by-case basis taking the facts, circumstances and any supporting evidence into consideration. Leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances is at the discretion of the headteacher. This includes the length of time that the leave will be granted for.

What is school refusal?

If your child is refusing to go to school, this is known as ‘school refusal’. There are a number of different reasons for school refusal, including general anxiety, worries about leaving home, problems with friends or peers, academic problems and depression. Sometimes, the cause can be a combination of different factors.

If your child is refusing to attend school, you should let us know immediately so that we can work together to put a plan in place to deal with any underlying issues and get your child back into school. The longer school refusal goes on, the more difficult it is to address.

How do I request an absence in advance?

If you want to request authorisation for a planned absence, paper copies of this form are also available from the school office.

Please submit any requests as early as possible as we may need to ask for additional information before we can consider your request. Please do not make any plans until you have been told the outcome of your request.

Please be aware that we can only approve absences that are for exceptional circumstances so will be unable to authorise family holidays in most cases.

How do I report an unplanned absence to the school?

Unexpected absences should be reported to school by:

  • Telephone
  • Text message
  • E-mail
  • Class Charts (This is the preferred and most convenient for parents/carers) Please report any absences as soon as you become aware that your child will be absent.

In the case of illness, the absence will usually be authorised unless there are grounds for concern that the illness may not be genuine or that it might not be sufficient to require time off school. In these cases, the school may ask for additional evidence, such as a doctor’s note, appointment card, hospital letter or medical report. The school will not ask for this additional evidence unnecessarily.

If you do not provide a reason for your child’s absence, we will make contact with you to find out why they are not in school. Unexplained absences will be recorded as unauthorised.

The best members of staff to contact are in the schools main office or alternatively you could contact your child's tutor, PSO or head of year via the methods mentioned above.

Attendance info leaflet page 4

Absence Request Form