High levels of attendance and punctuality are expected, so that students can take full advantage of all educational opportunities available to them. 

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When letting us know about your child's absence, please always give a reason. All absences have to be coded and then become part of your child's attendance record.

If we are given no reason, absences will be unauthorised.

On some very busy mornings, it can be very difficult to get through on the phones to leave a message about absence.


We have two ways you contact us:

  1. T: 01788 222060 – press 2 for attendance

  2. E: attendance@rugbyfreesecondary.co.uk

Why is punctuality important?

Being on time to school is a legal requirement for school students.

If students are persistently late, they may miss vital information given in the mornings and may become confused or disengaged with their learning.

Students will be recorded as late, and an explanation noted on the register. This will be monitored by the school and if it is persistent, parental meetings will be arranged.

Persistent, severe or unexplained lateness can be classed as unauthorised absence and may be referred to the Local Authority.

My child has a medical/dental appointment in school time. Should I re-book it in non-school time?

Ideally medical appointments should be made outside of school times. However, if this is not possible, we request that appointments are made after 10am, and that your child comes in to school before and after the appointment or appointments are made for after 2pm. Appointment cards or letter must be provided for this to be authorised.

What do I do if my child is ill and cannot attend school?

On the first day of absence please contact the school office on 01788 222060 and leave a message if you are unable to speak to someone directly. If your child’s attendance drops below 95% we may ask for medical evidence and written notes to be provided on their return to school.

If your child has a chronic illness, persistent or recurring health issues, we appreciate absence from school may be unavoidable. Please make an appointment to see your child’s head of year, and the attendance officer to discuss how we can support your child.

Please keep us up updated by providing written evidence of medical appointments wherever possible.

I would like to take my child out of school during term time for a family holiday.

The Department for Education have made amendments to the regulations around holidays in term-time.

Previously Headteachers have been allowed to grant leave of absence during term time of up to 10 school days if the leave of absence application met the criteria set out by the Department for Education.

From 1st September 2013 this is no longer the case. Schools may not grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Taking family holidays are not considered to be exceptional circumstances.

Absence during term time means that students miss out on valuable learning time. Any request for leave during exam periods will not be authorised as this is the most important time in a child’s education.

If you take your child out of school, without the school’s permission, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence which also affects your child’s overall attendance figures for the year, and may result in each parent being issued with a fixed penalty fine for each child taken out of school.

Leave is unlikely to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. If the Headteacher grants a leave of absence, it will be for the Headteacher to determine the length of time a child can be away from school.

If you apply for holiday leave, please do so before booking to avoid disappointment.

Absence must be recorded as unauthorised if a leave of absence is not completed before the period of absence – this cannot be authorised retrospectively.

The government have provided the school with strict criteria which they must follow – guidelines relating to this are on the back of the application form.

Leave of absences which are unauthorised should not be taken. If they are, parents are committing an offence and, in some cases, may be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution.

Application for Leave of Absence March 2020

What is an unauthorised absence?

An absence that is not explained by the parent or is not agreed by the school

Where attendance of a student falls below 95% and medical evidence is not provided to explain each absence or a written note from parent/carer is not received for each absence if medical evidence is not appropriate.

Persistent or severe levels of absence will be referred to Warwickshire Attendance Service (WAS). Contact will be made with families by this service to find out why absence is high and will offer support to help with issues that are preventing full attendance.

If absences and/or lateness persists, WAS may enforce attendance through legal interventions (Fixed Penalty Notice and/or prosecution). In extreme circumstances, this may result in a Parenting Order or imprisonment.

Why is good attendance so important?

For students to gain the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that they attend regularly, and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason is unavoidable.

Any absence, even one day, affects the pattern of your child’s schooling, and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any students' absence disrupts teaching routines, so may also affect the learning of others in the same class.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility, and allowing absence from school, without good reason, creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution. We fully support the Local Authority policy on fixed penalties for absence, and will refer persistent non-attenders to the Enforcement Team for legal proceedings.

Attending school helps to:

  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop new skills
  • Experience new things
  • Achieve full potential
  • Gain qualifications
  • Develop awareness of other cultures, religions, ethnicities and gender differences

How can parents help?

  • Establish a good routine both in the morning and evening so your child is prepared for the school day
  • Ensure your child arrives to school on time
  • Arrange dental and medical appointments outside school hours where possible
  • Always inform school if your child is going to be absent
  • Take truancy seriously – if your child is not in school, they could be putting themselves at risk
  • Take family holiday outside of term time
  • Talk to your child about school and take an interest in their school work
  • Attend parents’ evenings and school events
  • Praise and reward your child’s achievements at school
  • Discuss any problems or difficulties with the school – staff are here to help and will be supportive

National Attendance Level Expectations

Parents need to be aware that the Government have altered the levels of attendance expected from students in schools in England. The figure is now set at 96% and a pupil will now be classed as a persistent Absentee if their attendance drops below 90% (20 days off school in the year).

At this point, prosecutions by the Local Authority will begin.

As the link between excellent attendance and excellent results has been proven by research, it is vital that parents encourage full attendance.

Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes a child may be reluctant to attend school. All school staff are committed to working with parents and pupils as the best way to ensure as high a level of attendance as possible so, as soon as you realise there may be a problem, you need to contact our Attendance Officer.



Students are rewarded with reward points for regular attendance, with those achieving 100% also being invited to take part in an end of year Reward Trip.


Application for Leave of Absence March 2020


Attendance and Punctuality Policy