As the parent/carer of a child, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your child attends regularly, on time and to provide a reason to school for any absences. These absences will be authorised by school following contact with parent/carer.

Two reasons why a child may be absent from school. These are:

  • Illness (evidence may be required)

  • Religious Observance

The school may authorise other absences if they consider them to be unavoidable; always consult with school in advance if your child is going to be unavoidably absent.

My child is unwell what should I do?

Please contact the Attendance Officer daily from the first day of absence and/or leave a message on the attendance line (see left panel for details). This should be followed up by a note when your child returns to school.

My child has a medical/dental appointment in school time. Should I re-book it in non-school time?
  • Unless it is an emergency appointment, please make appointments outside of the school day.

  • If this is not possible, please give as much notice as possible of the intended appointment.

Only school can authorise absences; parents do not have this legal authority. Absences not accepted by school will be unauthorised and, if sufficient unauthorised absences accumulate, school will take steps, such as inviting parent/carer to a meeting to improve attendance.

What age does my child finish school?

Once a child is registered in school, attendance is compulsory until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which the child turns 16 (Year 11).

What is truancy?

Truancy is a form of unauthorised absence when a child deliberately misses school. Parents, however, remain legally responsible for this absence.  If there is no improvement, a referral may be made to Warwickshire Attendance Service (WAS) and this may result in legal action.

Sometimes my child arrives to school late. Is this okay?
  • Punctuality is a legal requirement.

  • Being on time is very important otherwise children who arrive late can miss important learning.

  • School monitor lateness carefully because it is often a precursor to later disaffection and absenteeism.


I want to take my child out of school during term time for a family holiday. Is that okay?
  • The Attendance Lead can only authorise leave of absences in exceptional circumstances. Leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purpose of a family holiday.

  • Where parents are separated, only the parent with residence may make an application and must do so on behalf of the other parent if that parent wishes to take the child out of school.

  • If a leave of absence request is granted, the Attendance Lead will determine the length of time the child can be away from school.

  • If you have to apply for a Leave of Absence, you should do so BEFORE booking transport and accommodation to avoid disappointment.

  • Leave of absences which are unauthorised should not be taken. If they do so, parents are committing an offence and may be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution (the Government Guidelines can be found on the back of the school’s Application for Leave of Absence form).

Impact of Attendance

The following table indicates the impact of absence on your child’s learning and progress and any action school is legally required to take:

% Attendance

Days Missed

Impact on Child

Possible school/WAS Action



Perfect! Giving your child the best chance.

Child rewarded



At risk of underachieving.

Patterns of attendance are investigated in school. Stage 1 letter sent.



At serious risk of underachieving.

School referral to WAS, possible attendance legal target, Fixed Penalty Notice and court action for parent(s).



High level of concern.

School referral to WAS, possible attendance legal target, Fixed Penalty Notice and court action for parent(s).



Serious concern



Serious concern – not fair for the child.

For further advice about attendance/Leave of Absence visit our policies page.


Attendance Info