Attendance and Absence

Good attendance is essential for all children and therefore attendance data is carefully monitored. If your child is ill please report the absence on studybugs following the link below:

If you know in advance that your child is going to be absent due to medical appointments please use notify the Academy through Study Bugs or by ringing into the office so that absences may be correctly coded. All absences must be authorised by the school. Unexplained absences or those not considered appropriate will be registered as unauthorised absences. 

 If, for exceptional reasons, leave of absence is necessary during term time, a leave of absence request form must be completed and returned at least two weeks before the absence is due to begin. All requests for leave of absence will receive a reply within 5 working days.  


Pupils/students with poor attendance are more likely to become ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET) when they leave school (Department for Education). 
There is a clear link between a child’s poor attendance at school and resulting underachievement across the curriculum. Out of pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of their primary school education, only 35% achieve 5 A* to C at GCSE. 

A two week period of absence is over 5% of a child’s school year. A child’s absence from school is seen as significant if they are absent for more than 6.4% of the school year and persistent if they are absent for 10% or more of the time. 

Facts about school attendance

What does the law say?

Regulations state that a Principal ‘may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances’. These regulations make it clear that parents/carers do not have any right or entitlement to take a child out of school for family holidays. 

How will school deal with requests for leave of absence? 

Oakway Academy discourages parents/carers from arranging any events during term time and will, as a rule, state that leave of absence will not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances that might justify it. 

In exceptional circumstances where leave of absence is granted, the child’s attainment and ability to catch up on missed schooling will be the primary consideration. 

The secondary consideration will be the child’s current attendance. The headteacher will examine the child’s attendance record and should he or she have any concerns, for example, should the child’s average attendance be below 95%, it is highly unlikely that any authorised absence will be given. We would remind parents/carers that in all cases where pupils/students cannot attend school it remains the responsibility of the school to authorise absence, not parents/carers. 

regardless, then this will be counted as unauthorised absence. Schools and Academies are legally required to record absences that accrue as a consequence of leave of absence that has been taken without authorisation. Failure to ensure a child’s attendance at school is an offence under Section 444 of The Education Act 1996. 

If the Principal authorises the leave of absence, it is expected that the child’s attendance will be of a satisfactory level both prior to and after the date covered by the request. 

If the Principal refuses the leave of absence, and the absence is recorded as unauthorised, the headteacher may refer the matter to the local authority requesting that a penalty notice be issued. A Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period the local authority may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies. Where there is more than one child, each parent/carer may be issued with a Penalty Notice in respect of each child. 

Issues parents/carers need to be aware of