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The Importance of School Attendance

Dear Parent/Carer
We would like to remind you about the importance of good attendance and punctuality, which as a school we take very seriously. Days off school soon add up and missing lessons makes it hard to catch up, resulting in students having to work harder when they come back and missing vital information that will prevent their progress. There are 175 non-school days a year for holidays, cultural experiences and family time

It may be useful for you to know what attendance figures mean for your child.

  • 98%-100% Excellent attendance
  • Less than 4 days absence in an academic year
  • 95%-97% Good attendance
  • Less than 9 days absence in an academic year – Nearly two weeks of school missed
  • St Augustine’s School’s attendance target for all students is 95% and above
  • 90% Below average and low attendance
  • 19 days absence in an academic year – Nearly one month of school missed
  • Students with 90% attendance or below are classified as persistently absent from school and parents/carers of students with this level of attendance or below could be issued with a Penalty Notice.
  • 85% Exceptionally low attendance.
  • 29 days absence in an academic year – Nearly 6 weeks of school missed.

Reporting an absence

  • All absences must be reported before 8.50am each day, using our dedicated absence line 020 7328 3434.
  • If you know your child is going to be absent, please let us know in advance.
  • Written notification, giving the details of all absences, must be given to the form tutor on your child’s return to school. If your child has been absent due to a medical appointment, please attach the appointment card/hospital letter.
  • Unexplained absences will be unauthorised by the school.
  • Absences of 5 or more days must be supported by medical evidence. The aim is to prepare students for progression to Key Stage 4, further education or employment. Absence of 5 or more days without supporting medical evidence will not be authorised.
  • Holidays during term time will not be authorised.
  • Any form of unauthorised absence may be subject to a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.


Arriving late to school and into lessons is very disruptive for the teacher and other class members. It also means that late students themselves miss important input from teachers. If for whatever reason you know your child will be arriving late, please call the school or provide your child with a written note. Late students must sign in at the Late Gate if between 08.50am-09.10am. After 9.10am, students must sign in at the Main Reception. If a student arrives late three times in one week without a genuine reason they will be issued with an after-school detention.

Examples of authorised absence

  • Hospital or Orthodontist appointment (evidence required).
  • College/Employment interview – (evidence required).
  • Reported illness of less than 4 days (unless medical evidence has been requested).
  • Illness of 5 or more days with medical evidence.
  • Emergency doctor or dental appointments (evidence required).
  • All routine appointments should be made outside school hours where possible.
  • Examples of unauthorised absence
  • Leave of absence not approved by school.
  • Absence not reported on the day or unsupported by written explanation upon return to school.
  • Absence of 5 or more days without medical evidence.
  • Arriving late after registers have closed.
  • Truancy (both internal and external).
  • Examples of medical evidence
  • Medical appointment card confirming attendance.
  • Medical appointment letter.
  • Copy of prescription showing name and date.
  • Prescribed medication with pharmacist label showing name and date.
  • Hospital discharge letter.

Please help your child to maintain good attendance by booking doctor, dentist, and optician appointments either in the school holidays, in the afternoon, after school or at weekends.

Please provide the school with an appointment card/letter if your child needs to leave school for an appointment. If no evidence is provided, this may lead to your child leaving school late and missing their appointment.

If your child feels unwell in school, they must see a first aider or member of the Medical Team, who will then contact you should your child need to go home.

Requests for absence during term time

The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational, but your child will miss out on the teaching that their classmates will receive during your holiday. Attendance is vital to academic success and lost education poses a potential risk of under achievement. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.

If you consider your request for absence to be an exceptional circumstance, then please complete the Application for Authorised Leave Form which can be collected from Main Reception school.

Any trends or patterns of unauthorised absence, for example, returning late to school after each half term or holiday, may also result in a referral being made to either Early Help (Local Authority Intervention) or an automatic Penalty Notice Referral.

Thank you for your support in ensuring excellent attendance and attainment at St Augustine’s High School.

Yours Sincerely

Mr E Moriarty