Good School Attendance

Why is good school attendance so important?

We want being in school to be fun and engaging for all young people and we want young people to be in school 100% of their school life.

Good attendance is a learned behaviour and our Trust recognises the importance of developing good patterns of attendance from the start of their school lives at Barbara Priestman Academy. A positive view of attendance is an integral part of our Trust’s ethos and culture and in building this culture we aim to ensure that the curriculum addresses attendance positively in the context of learning and progress, employability and social relationships and routines.









What are the barriers to good school attendance?

Some pupils find it harder than others to attend school and therefore at all stages of improving attendance, we work with partners, young people and their parents/carers to remove any barriers to attendance. By building strong and trusting relationships and working together to put the right support in place our aim to give every young person every opportunity to attend school.

Securing good attendance cannot therefore be seen in isolation, and effective practices for improvement will involve close interaction with our schools’ efforts on curriculum, behaviour, bullying, special educational needs support, pastoral and mental health and wellbeing. Attendance must be a concerted effort across all teaching and non-teaching staff in school, our Trust Board, our local authorities and other local partners.


What happens when my young person misses school?

The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to a full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent and carer to make sure their child receives that education.

Across one school year:

  • 1 week of absence = 97.4% attendance
  • 2 weeks of absence (approx.) = 94.7% attendance
  • 3 weeks of absence (approx.) = 92.1% attendance
  • 4 weeks of absence (approx.) = 89.5% attendance

If a young person’s attendance is below 90% then they are classed as being Persistently Absent and support strategies will need to be put in place to bring that young person’s attendance back up to 90%.

Who can help in terms of getting my young person to attend school?

As a school we track our attendance of all young people daily, weekly, half termly and annually. We monitor patterns and any barriers to attendance or any additional support families may require in getting their young person into school regularly. We have a team of colleagues in school who you can speak to about your young person’s attendance in order to seek support. These include:

  • In the first instance their class teacher.
  • Key Stage Leads – Key Stage 3 Alex, Key Stage 4 Hannah, Sixth Form, Natalie.
  • Glen, our Assistant Head (Pastoral) has whole school overview of attendance and reports our attendance patterns to trustees.







What if I need to take my young person out of school?

Only exceptional circumstances warrant a leave of absence. However, it is up to the Head of Academy to decide if a leave of absence is approved. Examples may include situations where there is an important family celebration such as a wedding, or where a young person has a life limiting condition and there may be limited opportunity for the family to be together.

Requests for Leave of Absence must be made in writing to the Head of Academy by using our Leave of Absence request form – this should be done as far as possible in advance before the event, detailing the exceptional reasons for absence.

Absence for the observance of a religious festival will be authorised for a maximum of two days per school year.

Parents/carers are asked, where possible, to make routine medical and dental appointments outside of school hours, but we acknowledge that hospital and more specialist appointments that our young people need may be more difficult achieve.

Absences will not be authorised retrospectively.

What does the school expect of our families?

Adults have a primary role in ensuring the attendance of pupils. Good examples of attendance and timekeeping by colleagues and parents provide role models for pupils. Parents are expected to;

  • Contact the school before 9.00am each day when their son or daughter is absent to explain the reason, otherwise the school will contact parents/carers on the first day of absence where a reason has not been provided.
  • Ensure that the school has more than one emergency contact number for their child. This is good practice to give the school additional options to contact a responsible adult.
  • Attend meetings with the school if their child is persistently or severely absent, to discuss attendance and engagement.
  • To promote school positively and be clear about their high expectations for attendance.




What can families expect from the school?

  • We will provide an engaging and exciting curriculum that motivates and inspires young people to attend school.
  • A balance of support and challenge in relation to ensuring your young person attends school as much as possible.
  • We will work with the family and other agencies to consider other issues the young person may be facing and remove as many barriers as possible to ensure your young person can attend school.
  • We will ensure we get the young person’s voice and views around their attendance.
  • We will reward and celebrate good school attendance.
  • We will follow up on attendance daily and carry out home visits where required and where appropriate contact has not been made.

We expect all families to be familiar with our attendance policy which can be found by clicking on the link below.

Ascent Trust Policies