School Attendance

It is vital that our students attend school regularly and on time every day to ensure that they gain the greatest benefit from their education. Any absence affects a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Ensuring your child’s attendance at school is YOUR legal responsibility and permitting absence without good reason is an offence in law and may result in legal action being taken, or a Penalty Notice being issued.  

Research has shown that regular attendance is a key factor in students achieving their full potential at secondary school. For every drop in attendance of 10% there is an average drop of one grade at GCSE. We expect all  students of Eastlea Community School  to achieve at least 96% attendance. 

Understanding absence percentages

Anyone with attendance below 90% is deemed a persistent absentee.  The reason why we insist on good attendance may be explained by the following:

95% attendance equates to half a day off every two weeks over the course of a year.

90% attendance equates to a day off every two weeks over the course of a year.

85% attendance equates to one and a half days off every two weeks over the course of a year.

80% attendance equates to one day off every week over the course of a year.

A secondary age child whose attendance is 80% will have missed ONE WHOLE YEAR of education by the time they leave school.

We ask that parents do the following to avoid unnecessary school absence:

  • Make non-urgent medical appointments before or after school hours
  • If your child must attend a medical appointment in the morning, they will be expected to return to school for the afternoon session
  • Always bring in evidence of your child’s absence e.g. appointment card, on their return to school 

Reporting your child’s absence

If your child is absent you must:

  • contact the school’s attendance office as early as possible on the first day of absence. either by phone or in person and make contact on every subsequent day of absence.
  • send a note with your child explaining the reason for their absence.

If you or your child have symptoms of Coronavirus 

Students must not come into school if they have symptoms of Coronavirus or if a member of their household has symptoms.  

  • Anyone who displays symptoms of Coronavirus can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing website 
  • You will be expected to provide details of anyone you have been in close contact with if you were to test positive for Coronavirus or if asked by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Parents are asked to inform the school immediately of the results of the test.

Applications for leave of absence in term time

This school’s policy is not to authorise holidays during term time. Any application for leave during term time must be made in writing to the Head of School.  There is no automatic right to term time leave of absence, and your request is likely to be declined except in the most exceptional of circumstances.  Each application will be considered on its own merit, and the attendance record of the child or children will be taken into account when making the decision.  


Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they miss their registration session with their tutor so may miss vital information and news for the day. Late arrival students also disrupt lessons and this will affect their overall attendance as well as the overall attendance for their year group. 

Our school day starts at 8.45am and we will expect your child to be in school before this time. At 8.40 am the Exning Road gate will be locked and any student arriving after that time will enter through the main reception. Students who are late for school will be given a ‘same day’ detention after school for 30 minutes. Failure to attend the detention will result in a one hour ‘school detention’ which will be logged on their student file.

Special information for parents

Attendance expectations – September 2020

In March when the coronavirus  outbreak was increasing across the country, the government conveyed that parents/carers would not be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.

These circumstances have now changed. All children (including those who are shielding or self isolating) are now expected back in school for the new academic year in September, as the usual rules on school attendance will be reintroduced. 

We want to remind parents/carers that it is their duty to ensure that their child attends school regularly.

We are mindful that some children will still be shielding or self-isolating due to them having had symptoms or a positive test result themselves, however the shielding advice will pause on 1 August. This means that even children who are shielding can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

We are also aware that some children may remain under the care of a specialist health professional and may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school. If this is the case for your child, or if your child is anxious about returning to school, please inform the school as soon as possible so that we can discuss the best possible solution for educating your child.

Finally, we want to reassure parents/carers that the school has various measures in place to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus in school, so it is absolutely crucial that your child fully prepared for returning to school in September.