Attendance/Absence Procedures

Dear Parent

The purpose of this letter is to remind all parents and carers of the procedures in place concerning attendance.

Outstanding teaching and learning is not possible without outstanding attendance, it is our intention to have attendance above the national average, at Caroline Chisholm School our expectation is that students attend for a minimum of 97% of the time. Requests for absence during school term will only be considered under exceptional circumstances and the threshold for considering all but a few particular situations is set at 97%. As parents and carers, we welcome your support and we know that by working together to insist on high attendance for your sons and daughters, we will achieve the best outcomes for all.

School Procedures to Monitor and Support Attendance for Students

As stated above, we will work together to ensure young people are in school. A reminder that in September 2015 the law changed, the School Leaving Age became the Education School Age and was raised to 18 years. Parents should follow the same guidelines as the rest of the school when reporting absences.

Below are the procedures that you need to follow if your child is absent:

  • In the case of a student being absent from school due to illness parents should text 01604 420132, leave a message on the school’s absence line Primary 01604 669210 Secondary 01604 669200 or email each morning of the absence. If a message is not received, it will be assumed that the student has returned to school.
  • Parents who have failed to inform the school of their child’s absence will receive a text message; parents then have the remainder of the school day to contact the attendance line. If no contact has been made by 3.30pm, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
  • Absences due to illness will normally be authorised once you tell us. Please note that in cases of absence more than five days, we may need the support of medical evidence.
  • Absence due to the funeral of a close family member, medical appointments, music exams and driving tests (up to half a day) will be authorised, provided advance notice is given to the school.
  • Absences for any other reason (planned absences more than half a day) will only be authorised at the discretion of the Principal. To seek this authorisation parents should submit a Request of Absence form as soon as possible before the planned absence. The form can be found on our website it is also available from student services.
  • If a student should fall below 97%, we will follow our school process and notify parents accordingly, there will be occasions where genuine circumstances apply.

Please note that a request of absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances If an application is declined and a student is then absent due to illness during the period for which the leave of absence was requested, the absence will only be authorised if supported by medical evidence, for example a doctor’s certificate. All unauthorised absences of 5 days or more will be referred to the Educational Inclusion Partnership; this may result in a fixed penalty notice being issued or prosecution in the magistrate’s court (section 7 of the Education Act).

Leaving school early

Any student needing to leave school early e.g. for a medical appointment etc., MUST sign out, Primary students sign out in Primary reception, Yrs. 7 – Yrs. 11 sign out in student services, informing school via absence line/ school comms. Yrs. 12 & Yrs. 13 sign out in the Sixth Form Study Centre presenting a letter from their parents/carers, a doctor’s appointment card or similar. If a student becomes ill during the school day, they must seek permission to leave from a member of the school staff or school nurse.   Any students who leave the school site without signing out during the school day (excluding lunchtime 12:40-1:35 sixth form only) will be issued with an unauthorised absence from site.


All students arriving later than 8.45am must enter the school via reception their names recorded and a same day detention issued. Students may be exempt from this if parents have provided a valid explanation for their child’s late arrival, school has the final decision. Failure to attend this detention will result in a 30 min detention the following day and consequent Isolation the following week. Parents of persistently late students will be invited to a meeting with heads of Year/ Assistant Principal to discuss their lateness. Primary parents are informed that students will be recorded late, if lateness persists, parents will be expected to attend a meeting to address this.

Persistent absent Students

There are various reasons why students do not attend school, or attend school with difficulty, therefore, it is important to ascertain and understand the form of non-attendance. Where there is persistent non-attendance, it is vital that the school, family and student work together to support this. A Student becomes a “Persistent Absentee” when they miss 10% or more of schooling across the academic year, absence at this level has considerable impact on a student’s education prospects, we need parent’s full support and cooperation to address this. If a Student reaches persistent absence, we will notify you, parents will be required to attend meetings and support/action plans put in place. Medical evidence is required to authorise further absences (parent is responsible for supplying medical evidence) Persistent absent cases will be referred to the Educational Inclusion Partnership.

Thank you

Ms Cheryl Glover
Attendance Officer