Attendance Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My child is just having an ‘off day’, can I just keep them off?
A: Having sporadic days off school can quickly add up.  We always want to encourage pupils to attend, sometimes getting out of bed, showering and putting on a uniform is all it takes to feel a little better. Coming to school on days when you don’t really feel like it can make a big difference. We will always send pupils home if they are genuinely unwell.

Q: My child was sick over the weekend, should I keep him/her at home?
A: We don’t have a fixed 48hr rule for diarrhoea & sickness. If your child has had an isolated incident and is feeling better, please send them to school.

Q: I have received an attendance letter and I do not like the tone.
A: We’re sorry you feel that way but we have to state facts and legal information to make things clear.  Each letter forms part of a possible legal intervention and must leave no ambiguity.

Q: I can’t provide medical evidence because it’s impossible to get a GP appointment.
A: Wherever possible, we will request medical evidence. If your child is off for 4 consecutive days, we will expect a GP visit. If your child has had several shorter absences for the same condition, we will also expect a GP visit. Medical evidence makes the difference between authorised absence and unauthorised absence. We do not pursue legal intervention where medical evidence is provided.  It’s as important for you as it is for us.

Q:  I do not like being challenged regarding my child’s absences and reserve the right to make the decision as to whether my child is well enough to attend school.
A: We are sorry you feel that way but please bear in mind that our team are simply doing their jobs in complying with school rules and statutory guidance. It’s not personal and ultimately, we can offer a multitude of support to help your child’s attendance improve and safeguard their future success. Remember, we care.

Q: Why do I have to tell you the details when my child is unwell?
A: Firstly, your conversation with us is confidential. We do not share details with the wider school community. We do need to keep accurate records, but we need to know exactly what’s wrong so that we can offer the right level of support and guidance.  We care for every aspect of your child’s health and wellbeing from migraines to mental health. Good communication will help us to help you.

Q: Why do I need to call school every day when my child is absent?
A: Put simply, we have a duty of care and cannot assume that your child is at home.  A daily call to us will give both school and home the confidence of knowing that your child is safe.

Q: I cannot take your calls or make meetings due to work commitments.
A: We will endeavour to work around your schedule in the interest of your child. Conversations and face to face meetings are important in building relationships. Family dynamics are unique and so are the interventions we can put in place to help your child to overcome barriers to attendance. Please do not ignore our attempts to contact you, if you can not answer the phone when we call, we will leave a brief message and ask that you call us back.

Q: My child is anxious and their attendance has dropped, but you want to meet me to discuss this matter. You know why they can’t attend, what is the point of this meeting?
A: Our meetings are intended to be supportive. We have staff in school who can support you and your child. If you are seeking external help it’s important to send in your appointment letters and stay in touch.

Attendance Leaflet - PDF