jrs.org.uk » Attendance policy


Attendance policy




John Ruskin School is committed to the principles stated in our attendance policy document and fully supports the principle that regular school attendance for all students on the school register allows them to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them and which offer them the means to make progress.

All students have an equal right to an education and no students should be deprived of these educational opportunities by either their own absence or lateness, or that of other students.

In order to achieve the best outcomes for each individual we will take appropriate action to ensure that all students achieve the maximum possible attendance and that any problems, which may impede full attendance, are acted on as quickly as possible.


School aims to ensure that:

  • All students have an equal right, and access to, an education in accordance with the National Curriculum, or agreed alternative.
  • No students will be deprived of their education opportunities by, either their own absence or lateness, or that of other students.

It is recognised that:

  • The majority of students want to attend school to learn, to socialise with their peers, and to prepare themselves fully to take their place in society.
  • Many students and their parents may need to be supported and rewarded at some stage in meeting their attendance obligations and responsibilities.
  • It is the responsibility of parents/carers to ensure their children’s attendance at school as required by law (ref Section 7, 1996 Education Act).

School expects that all our students will:

  • Attend school regularly.
  • Arrive on time and be appropriately prepared for the day as stated in our Home School Agreement which parents are asked to sign each year in their child’s planner.
  • Carry out any work provided by the school during an authorised leave period.

School expects that parents will:

  • Endeavour to keep health appointments out of school hours when possible.
  • Inform a member of staff of any reason or problem that may hinder their child from attending school.
  • Fulfil their legal responsibilities and ensure their child/ren attends school.
  • Contact school, as soon as is practical, preferably by 9:30am, whenever their child is unable to attend school.
  • Ensure that school is kept informed of any changes in contact numbers as soon as they are known.
  • Seek permission from the school for any leave of absence.  The Headteacher has the right to refuse authorised attendance in accordance with LEA guidelines.  All parents are issued with a school calendar so that they can see when there may be exams and other important events.  The school is particularly keen that parents avoid, at all costs, taking their children out of school in the lead up to, and during exam periods.
  • Year 11 will only be allowed to attend extra-curricular visits during the school day if they are current with all their work; have an excellent attitude for learning and will be able to complete any work missed.  They will not be allowed to participate in residential visits if they take place during the school week; they will not be allowed to attend any visits if they occur in the vicinity of internal or external examinations.

Parents and children can expect the following from the school:

  • Regular, efficient and accurate recording of attendance.
  • Early contact when a student is absent without explanation.
  • Action on any attendance problem notified to the school.
  • Referral of specific attendance issues to supporting agencies where appropriate.

We encourage attendance by:

  1. Consistent, clear communication with parents and students about the importance of regular, prompt, attendance.
  2. Setting targets for improved attendance and sharing these with Governors, parents and students.
  3. The accurate completion of registers at the start of each session, and within 20 minutes of the start of each session (morning or afternoon).  In addition, class teachers take note of any absentees during lesson time.
  4. Students are rewarded for good attendance by the following.

100% attendance for one term – a bronze certificate is awarded

100% attendance for two terms in a school year – a silver certificate is awarded

100 % attendance for the whole school year – a gold certificate is awarded plus a reward (for example 50% reduced cost to attend summer rewards trip.)

The school responds to non-attendance by:

  • Contacting parents on the first day of an absence if no reason has been received.  (Contact will be by telephone or text.)
  • If no reason is received, a letter is sent home requesting the information
  • If no response is made to the letter, the matter is raised to the head teacher  further investigation.

The Headteacher does not have the power to agree to holidays during term time; the law was changed in 2013.

If a child is withdrawn from school to go on holiday, this will be recorded in the school data system as G for ‘unauthorised family holiday’ (see Appendix 1 for further details).

There are certain circumstances when a child may be withdrawn from school to take part in, for example, a sports’ competition or a music competition / examination.  This sort of circumstance will be looked on favourably by the school, in line with Local Authority guidelines.   If a request for such a circumstance is to be made then a ‘Request for Absence due to Exceptional Circumstances’ form must be completed by parents and sent in to school, preferably with seven working days’ notice.  Each request will be considered individually and a response will be sent by the headteacher via the attendance data officer.


1.       Registers are kept in rack in the staff corridor and are collected at the beginning of each morning and afternoon registration period. They are returned to the office at the end of registration to comply with school evacuation regulations.

2.       The presence or absence of every student is recorded by the form tutor on a paper register and is subsequently entered in SIMS by the ADO

3.       Absences are categorised following the guidelines provided by the LA and using the codes on SIMs.

4.       Students who arrive at school after the registration period must report to the School Office to sign in and give an explanation for their late arrival.

5.       Students are not allowed to leave the school site until the end of the school day unless there is occasional specific written permission from parents.

6.       Students who go home ill: the student must report to their Form Tutor if they feel too ill to remain in school.  The Form Tutor may inform the office that the child has permission to be collected by a parent and the office will telephone parents to make that arrangement. If the absence extends for more than that one day, a phone call or text is required from the parents on every day of subsequent absence.

7.       Any period of truancy is reported to parents, is discussed with the student and may lead to the imposition of an appropriate sanction.

8.       Persistent absence is referred to the Authority Inclusion Officer, when this takes the total attendance below 85%.

9.       Individual absence totals are included in each child’s school reports.

10.     Registers are checked by the office staff daily.

11.     Individual absence totals are collated weekly by the attendance data officer, who informs / meets with the Headteacher to monitor attendance and take appropriate action.

12.     The absence of siblings is monitored by the attendance data officer

13.     Deletion from the admission register of the name of a student (of compulsory school age) is permitted when:

a) a school attendance order naming the school has been altered or revoked

b) the student has been registered at another school

c) the student has ceased to attend and the parents have satisfied the LA that he or she is receiving full-time education suitable to his or her age, ability and aptitude otherwise than at a school (i.e. home educated)

d) transfer of the student’s ordinary residence makes attendance at the school unreasonable (ie: he or she has moved to another area)

e) the School Medical Officer has certified that the student’s health is such that he or she is unlikely to benefit enough to attend before becoming legally exempted from attendance

f) the student has been continuously absent, the Schools EWO and the Authority Inclusion Officer is informed and the student traced.

g) the student is known to have died

h) the student will cease to be of compulsory school age before the school next meets and he or she intends to leave

i) the student has been permanently excluded by the governors. (If as a result of an appeal by the parents to the Governors or LA the exclusion is considered unreasonable, the name of the student must be reinstated)


Approved Absence Codes 

The following are the approved absence codes to be used in this school.




Educated off site


Other authorised circumstances


Dual registration




Family holiday (NOT agreed)


Illness (NOT medical/dentist appointments)




Late (before registers close at 10.00am)


Medical / dental appointments


No reason for absence yet provided


Unauthorised absence (not covered by another code)


Approved sporting activity


Religious observance


Study leave


Travellers absence


Late (after registers close at 10.00am)


Educational trip / visit


Work experience


Exceptional circumstance school closure