At Highdown, we expect all students to attend school regularly and not to take time off unless necessary. We are all working together to ensure that students achieve their maximum academic potential and personal development. It is a well-established fact that poor attendance can influence academic progress and life chances.
School Absence Procedures
All students should arrive at 8.30 am ready for school to begin at 8.40am promptly. If your child is unable to attend school, it is vital that you inform the school of the absence using the Class Charts Parent App by 8:40am.
If a student is unwell, please contact us each day the student is absent via the Class Charts App but please telephone the Attendance Officer if you think your child will be absent for more than 3 days. Medical evidence for ongoing illnesses should be provided but this does not need to be costly medical notes – appointment cards, information from the NHS App or prescriptions will be acceptable.
Under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, parents are responsible for making sure that their children of compulsory school age receive full-time education. Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school where they are registered. If a child of compulsory school age, who is registered at a school, fails to attend regularly at the school then the parent is guilty of an offence under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.
The full Highdown School and Sixth Form Attendance Policy (2023) can be found here.
- Illness (for further information please see NHS Advice - is my child too ill for school?
- Hospital and CAMHS appointments
- Funeral or other family circumstances
- Religious Observance
Students may also be authorised to be away from school for the following without incurring absences:
- Approved Educational Activity or Visit
- Interviews for Sixth Form, university, college or apprenticeship
- Approved and planned work experience
- Approved participate in sporting or theatrical activity
- Leave of absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and absence taken when a request has been refused will be marked as unauthorised absence
- Family holidays will also be marked as unauthorised absence and such unauthorised absence may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice
- Birthdays and family outings
- The first and last days of term when there is not a Professional Learning (INSET) Day
For all non-medical absences – please fill in the Request for Absence Form and return to the Attendance Officer via the School Office.
School avoidance due to anxiety
If your child is struggling to attend school – please inform us and we will strive to work together to overcome the difficulties you are facing. Please do not mask the problem by telling us your child is unwell as this may delay effective support and reduce the chances of recovery. Further useful information for parents can be found at Young Minds - School Anxiety and Refusal.
Further information from the Children’s Commissioner on parental responsibilities and rights around school attendance can be found here Guidance for parents on school attendance.
- Ensure that children leave for school on time every day to arrive no later than 8:30 a.m
- Report absence due to illness or exceptional circumstances via the ClassCharts App no later than 8:40 a.m. on the day of the absence and every subsequent day your child cannot attend school
- Try not to take children out of school in term-time e.g. book non-urgent medical and dental appointments for outside school hours and avoid taking family holidays
- Notify the school as soon as problems arise with your child’s attendance
- Arrive at school at 8.30 am each day
- Be on time for all lessons
- If arriving later than 9.05am or leaving before the end of the school day visit Student Reception to be signed in or out
- Tell your Mentor or Head of Achievement if you are having problems attending school