Attendance & Punctuality

Attendance and punctuality are crucial for academic success and are considered fundamental values in any educational institution. 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. Excellent attendance and punctuality to school can have the following benefits:  

  • Academic Performance: Regular attendance and punctuality at school are essential for students to understand the curriculum and achieve academic success. Students who miss school frequently are more likely to fall behind in their coursework, miss important lessons, and be less prepared for exams and assessments.
  • Establish Good Habits: Consistently attending school and arriving on time helps students to develop discipline and organisational skills. These good habits can be applied throughout their lives and help them succeed in future endeavors.
  • Participation: Attending school regularly and being on time is necessary for active participation in class, group discussions, and other school-related activities. This is important because active participation is often used to evaluate students’ performance.
  • Meeting Expectations: School attendance and punctuality are expectations that society and the education system have of students. By meeting these expectations, students demonstrate their responsibility and commitment to their education.
  • Importance of School as a Community: School is not just a place to learn, but it is also a community where students interact with their peers, teachers, and other members. Regular attendance and punctuality help students to build positive relationships and integrate into the school community.

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

Reporting an absence

  • All absences must be reported before 8.50am each day, using our dedicated absence line 0207 328 3434, option 1. Please leave your child’s first and last name, their tutor group and the reason for their absence clearly on the answering machine.
  • 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 Attendance Officer/Pastoral Year Coordinator on your child’s return to school. If your child has been absent due to a medical appointment, please bring in a copy of the appointment card/hospital letter or the screen shot from your mobile phone.
  • 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 Fixed Penalty Notice from the Local Authority or a Referral for Early Help Intervention.


Arriving late at school and at 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 Main Reception if after 9.10am.  If a student arrives late three times in one week without a genuine reason they will be issued with an after-school detention by their Pastoral Teams and you will be notified by email.

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, including follow-up appointments.

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.
  • Emailing the screen shot of the appointment details or medical letter to mail@stahigh.org

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 where possible.

Please provide the school with an appointment card/letter if your child needs to leave school for an appointment. This can also be a screen shot of the appointment that can be shown to your child’s Pastoral Year Coordinator.  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/carers 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. There are 175 non-school days a year for holidays, cultural experiences and family time.

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 Fixed Penalty Notice Referral.

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

First Day of Trinity Term is Monday 15th of April 2024

Please note that that all students in all year groups return for the start of the new Trinity Term on Monday 15th of April 2024.

The start time is 8.45am as usual.