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Attendance and Absence

What does the law say?

The law states that all children of compulsory school age must be given a suitable full-time education.

What are my responsibilities as a parent or carer?

You are responsible for making sure your child regularly attends school. If you fail to do so you are committing an offence and the Local Authority (LA) may take legal action against you. This still applies even if your child is missing school without your knowledge.

What are your responsibilities as a school?

We are responsible by law for reporting poor attendance to the Education Welfare Service (EWS). The school will contact you and work with you if your child is regularly absent from school. If attendance issues persist, despite the best efforts of school, an Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will visit.

What are the penalties if my child is regularly absent or truant?

If you are found guilty in a Magistrates’ Court you could face a level 3 fine of up to £1,000 under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996, or a fine of up to £2,500 per parent or carer and/or a prison sentence under Section 444 1(A) of the Education Act 1996.

Magistrates may choose to put a Parenting Order into effect. This means you’ll have to attend regular parenting classes.

You can also be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £60 if your child has ten or more unauthorised absences. Half a day absence counts as one unauthorised absence. This includes unauthorised holidays in term time, late arrivals after registration and truancy. If you don’t pay the fine within 28 days it will go up to £120.

What if my child is ill and can’t come to school?

Please call us as soon as possible to let us know. It’s our policy to call/text home if we don’t hear from you.

You should also tell us beforehand if your child is likely to be out of school for a long period. In this case, we may ask you to provide a note from your doctor or hospital to confirm the absence. Subject teachers can then set your child work to do from home.

Please see this leaflet for more detailed information.

Do I need to give you notice for medical appointments?

Please try to avoid arranging doctors, dentists and similar appointments during school hours. Where this is not possible, let us know as soon as you can.


School lessons begin at 8.50am which means that students should be coming through the school gate no later than 8.45am. If students arrive late, this will be recorded and will be followed up by HOY who regularly put students in detention for lateness.

If a student arrives after the register closes (9.30am), with no valid reason, then this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Ten unauthorised absences within a 13 week period will incur a Fixed Penalty Fine.

Absence due to exceptional circumstances

The legislation regarding student attendance changed with effect September 1, 2013. Legislation now states that children can only take holidays in term time in exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher is no longer in a position to authorise absences independently. The school will, on occasion, refer cases which it considers to be exceptional to the Local Authority, who will give guidance on the final decision to ensure consistency across the authority. 

What do I do if I need to apply for an absence in term time?

Please contact the Head of Year directly to discuss potential absence from school. The Head of Year will give guidance and if necessary issue you with an Absence from School for Exceptional Circumstances Referral Form.

We advise that you do not plan for your child to be absent without speaking to the school first to obtain prior approval.

You can be fined for unauthorised term time holidays.

If your child has ten unauthorised absences each parent in your household will be fined £60. This will go up to £120 if you do not pay the fine within 28 days. If you continue to not pay the fine, after 42 days you will be summoned to appear before a Magistrate to explain your child’s absences. The Magistrate can fine you up to £1,000.

We always strive to cut down the number of absences caused by term time holidays. We have published an agreement with all East Riding of Yorkshire Schools and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. This is known as the Term Time Holidays Policy. All Headteachers must follow this when considering any requests from parents

Please follow the link to the East Riding Absence from School for Exceptional Circumstances Policy.

Please see the School Absence Leaflet for guidance on medical appointments and illness.

Children who attend school regularly do better in school. There is a clear link between high levels of attendance and better achievement. Your child’s progress, development and success depend on a number of factors. One of these is regular attendance.