Attendance Matters and YOU can help

Being at School

School education lays the vital foundations of a child’s life. Research clearly demonstrates the link between regular attendance and educational progress and attainment. Parents/carers and school staff should work in partnership in making education a success and in ensuring that all students have full and equal access to all that the school has to offer.

Somervale School encourages parents and carers to ensure that their child achieves maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent this are identified and acted on promptly. We are acutely aware of the importance of good attendance and good progress and outcomes are closely linked to the number of days a student attends the school.


We expect that all students will:

  • Attend school every day
  • Attend school punctually

We expect that all parents/carers will:

  • Ensure regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities.
  • Ensure that their child arrives at school punctually.
  • Discuss promptly with the pastoral team/tutor or school office any problems that may affect their child’s school attendance.

Daily Procedures for Reporting Absence

Parents & carers need to report absence daily via telephone or in person. This ensures that schools can fulfil their requirements to monitor attendance and safeguard children. 

Registers, Punctuality and Lateness

Punctuality when attending school is crucial. Lateness causes disruption to that individual’s learning and to that of the other students in the class. It is really important therefore that all students arrive at their school on time. Parents/Carers who do not ensure their child is on time, are in breach of the Education act 1996 section 444 (1).

  • By law, schools must take a morning and afternoon register and record the attendance or absence of every student. ∙ Registers close at approximately 9.30am and after this lateness is recorded as an unauthorised absence and can be subject to prosecution by the Local Authority.
  • Persistent lateness by a student will be dealt with through a letter home to parents and a meeting with the pastoral team/class teacher or a senior member of staff. It may be necessary to refer the issue to the Education Welfare Service.
  • A student’s attendance is recorded on their report or can be accessed on the Portal. Attendance records are routinely passed to future schools or colleges as is necessary.

every minute counts

Students leaving during the School Day

The school staff must know where the students pupils are during the school day.

  • Students are not allowed to leave the premises without prior permission from the school.
  • Whenever possible, parents should try to arrange medical and other appointments outside of school time.
  • Parents are requested to confirm in writing, by letter or email, the reason for any planned absence, the time of leaving, the expected return time.
  • Students must be signed out on leaving the school and be signed back in on their return. A telephone conversation with a parent/carer is sufficient to allow permission for a child to leave the site, but only in exceptional or certain circumstances – illness, death of a family member, etc. Schools will refuse to allow students to leave if they are concerned about their safety.
  • Where a student is being collected from the school, parents are to report to the school office before the student is allowed to leave the site.
  • If a student leaves the school site without permission their parents will be contacted. Should the school be unable to make contact with the family then the school will contact the Police and register the children as a missing person.

Absence during Term Time

Absence during term time will not be authorised unless there are very exceptional circumstances and never at the following times:

  • beginning of KS3 as pupils find it difficult to settle;
  • Year 9 Assessments;
  • KS4 due to examination preparations;
  • if the pupil should be taking external examinations including GCSE module examinations;
  • if attendance is under 96%;
  • if there would be more than 10 days absence in any academic year. 

If absences are not authorised, and they are still taken, the matter will be referred to the Children Missing Education Service and a penalty notice requested. If unauthorised holiday is taken, no further absences will be authorised without medical evidence.

Further details of this (including costs) are included on the Penalty Notice Parents Information sent by schools or at the end of this policy.

A Leave of Absence Form (download here) should be completed by the parents/carers and passed to the pastoral team at least two weeks ahead of the absence. The pastoral team will review the attendance and pass to the Headteacher with regard to formal authorisation. If the absence is authorised this will be marked in the register and a letter will be sent to that effect.

If the absence is not authorised the parent will be notified in writing by post or email.

The Headteacher, will be responsible for overseeing any Penalty Notice Request.


Further details are available on the school Attendance Policy.