Attendance Policy 2023 - 2024

The Significance of Attendance and Punctuality

At Gable Hall School, we prioritise the well-being and academic success of our students. While maintaining good attendance is crucial for their educational journey, we understand that certain medical conditions or personal circumstances may pose challenges.

Our commitment to inclusivity means we encourage open communication between parents and the school regarding any issues affecting attendance. We recognise and accommodate situations beyond the student's control, providing necessary support to ensure their well-being and educational progress are not compromised.

Documented proof of medical conditions helps us tailor our support effectively. We aim not to penalise students facing such challenges, working closely with families through our Welfare and Pastoral Teams to offer assistance.

We celebrate and acknowledge improvements in attendance, recognising the dedication and efforts of our students. At Gable Hall, the welfare of our students remains paramount, and our inclusive approach ensures every individual receives the support they need to thrive within our school community.

Attendance and punctuality play a crucial role in the academic journey of our students at Gable Hall School. Here's why they are so vital:

  1. Uninterrupted Learning: Being present and on time for lessons ensures that students do not miss out on valuable learning opportunities. Consistent attendance and punctuality are essential to keep pace with the curriculum and prevent falling behind.

  2. Optimising Potential: Our commitment at Gable Hall School is to empower students to realise their full potential, both socially and academically. Regular attendance and punctuality are foundational steps towards achieving this goal.

  3. Year-Long Impact: Consider this: over a span of five school years, a student with 90% attendance will have effectively missed half a year's worth of education. This statistic underscores the long-term consequences of poor attendance. We want every student to maximise their learning experience.

  4. Lesson Time Availability: Every minute in the classroom is precious. Students who consistently arrive late to lessons miss out on essential instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. Such patterns can seriously hinder their academic progress.

At Gable Hall School, we are dedicated to providing our students with a nurturing environment that supports their growth and development. By prioritising attendance and punctuality, we help students build a strong foundation for success in their academic pursuits and beyond.

Definitions of attendance:

The table below sets out our school definitions of attendance. We aim for excellent attendance (100%) for all, however we do recognise that there are times when students will be absent from school. If attendance drops below 95% the school will contact parents or carers immediately to put a plan in place to make improvements. As a school we work relentlessly to support students and families.

49% Severe Attendance Concerns (Below 50%) Attendance at this level now constitutes educational neglect and causes significant harm to the progress, attainment, and wellbeing of the young person.
74% Serious Attendance Concerns (Below 75%) Absence is persistent and is having a sustained negative effect on progress, attainment, and wellbeing.
79% Significant Attendance Concerns (Below 80%) Absence negatively affects progress, attainment, and wellbeing. Students are now repeatedly missing lessons and finding it difficult to keep up with the demands of the curriculum.
89% Sustained Attendance Concerns (Below 90% Attendance) Absence is having a negative effect on progress, attainment, and wellbeing.
90-94% Emerging Attendance Concerns (90-94% Attendance) Absence begins to have a negative effect on progress. Students are at risk of becoming a Persistent Attendance Concern.
95-100% Expected - Aspirational Attendance Target (95-100% Attendance) Maximises chances to make more than significant academic progress.


Categories of Attendance:

Classed as: % Action:
Excellent attendance 98-100% Letter home and a certificate issued by the Attendance Team / Rewards Coordinator.
Average attendance 95-97% Tutors start to monitor
Attendance of concern 91-94% Heads of Year monitor
Unsatisfactory attendance 90% and below School Attendance Meeting (SAM) process activates. This is an escalating series of meetings with parents when no improvement is maintained. Parents may be cautioned with warning of legal action. 
    If attendance continues to drop, legal action will be taken by the LA and the Governing Body will plan an active role in meetings with the Principal. 


What the Law Says:

If your child is aged between 5 and 16, you must make sure they attend school regularly and stay in School - this is the law.

You can be taken to court for breaking this law. (Section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996).

The Department of Education (January 2004) policy states: "Parents should ensure their children arrive at school on time, properly dressed and in a condition to learn"

"Parents should ensure their children arrive to school on time, dressed in the correct uniform, with the correct equipment and ready to learn".

This means students should arrived dressed in the correct school uniform, students must have the correct books and equipment for learning and should not be too tired, worried or hungry. Parents must also make sure that:

".... students complete ALL homework on time and keep to school rules surrounding learning and behaviour."

The school's Behaviour and Attendance policies are available on our website.

What can I do to help?

1 2

As a parent or carer
you can help by:

As a student,
you can improve your attendance by:

  • Ensuring your child understands the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality.
  • Taking an interest in their education – asking about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities.
  • Discussing any problems they may have at school and contact your child's Head of Year / Pastoral team to pass on concerns quickly.
  • Not allowing them take time off school for minor ailments – particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work.
  • Arranging appointments after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child’s education and to the school.
  • Being open and willing to work with us to improve your child’s attendance.
  • Speaking to a trusted adult about the reasons why you might not want to come to school.
  • Trying hard every morning to get up and get to school, unless you are really unwell.
  • Getting an early night, feeling tired on a morning can make getting to school harder.
  • Making sure you get to school on time every day.

What do I do if my child is not well enough to come to school?

Absence - It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to notify the school if their child is going to be absent or late. This should be done immediately via the Studybugs App before 8.00am.  If the Attendance Team do not receive notification of a child’s absence, then a text/email will be sent informing you that your child has not registered. If a student is absent for several days and there has been no contact from parents/carers a home visit will be conducted by one of the Attendance Team. For absences of 5 days or more medical evidence will be required in order for the absence to be authorised. 

Illness - The Education Act 1996 provides that no offence is committed if a student is prevented from attending School by illness. If the school is satisfied with the medical evidence offered, then the absence must be treated as authorised. Alternatively, if there is doubt regarding the validity of the absence following contact with the parent/carer, then the school will treat this as unauthorised.

Medical/Dental Appointments Appointments - Wherever possible should be made outside of School hours. Where this is not possible the student must bring an appointment card or letter from the parent/carer to the tutor in advance of the appointment. This must be signed by the tutor and taken to the school office prior to leaving the school site. The student will be signed out by the office staff. Students are expected to be at school prior to the appointment or return to school as soon as possible after the appointment is completed. 

Holidays - Accessing cheaper family holiday deals & family weddings are no longer deemed as exceptional due to legislation from the Department for Education and as such will NOT be authorised. If parents remove 3 students from the school for this reason, then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and they may be issued with a Penalty Notice (currently £60 per parent per child). Any parent/carer wishing to take their child out of school must acquire a leave of absence form; these can be obtained from the attendance office.

Gable Hall School will only authorise up to 3 days leave of absence for a family wedding only if the child’s attendance were above our agreed attendance target of 96%;

Gable Hall School reserve the right, are actively encouraged to request evidence of a booking particularly when short notice is given for the absence request. We must ensure that families are aware that any additional absence taken beyond the 3 days authorised will be included with all other absences over a 12 week period and may trigger a penalty notice (12 sessions in 12 weeks). 

What does authorised and unauthorised absence mean?

Absence Management - Gable Hall School is required to make a decision about individual absences as to whether they should be ‘Authorised’ or ‘Unauthorised’. The decision is an important one because where there is excessive unauthorised absence a penalty notice or a prosecution can be brought against the parents in the Magistrate’s Court. If parents are convicted, they will receive a criminal record, a fine of up to a maximum of £2,500 per parent per child and or 3 months imprisonment. For further information please use the link below:‐attendance‐and‐absence/penalty‐notices

In accordance with the Local Authorities Penalty Notice Code of Conduct, Schools and School can issue Penalty Notices where an offence occurs of:

If a parent fails to secure a child’s attendance at a school at which they are a registered student and that absence is not authorised by the school; or an excluded child is found in a public place, without their parent, during the first 5 days of a formal exclusion from school. 

Lateness & Punctuality - Lateness after registration or when lessons are in progress can be disruptive for the whole class. Students who arrive after the morning bell has sounded will be marked as late due to lateness. Punctuality to lessons is also required to avoid interruptions to learning for the student and other students in the class. Subject staff will apply sanctions for poor punctuality. Repeated lateness and continuous poor punctuality is a serious matter, this will be dealt with in line with Gable Hall School’s behaviour management policy. 

Lateness = lost learning

  • 5 minutes late each day 3 days lost
  • 10 minutes late each day 6.5 days lost
  • 15 minutes late each day 10 days lost
  • 20 minutes late each day 13 days lost
  • 30 minutes late each day 19 days lost

Average earnings

  • 0 Qualifications = £7.44 per hour
  • GCSEs = £9.02 per hour 'A' Levels = £10.25 per hour
  • Graduate degree = £15.01 per hour

School x Attendance = Success

  • 1 in 5 pupils miss 19 days a year. These pupils will drop at least ONE GCSE GRADE in each of your subjects.
  • 1-4 GCSE grades can increase your wages by 17%
  • 5 or more GCSE grades 5 to 9 can increase your wages by 41%
  • If you improve your attendance by 1% you could see a 5-6% improvement in your attainment

If you are concerned about your child’s school attendance, it is always best to talk to us first. We have a dedicated Attendance Team who are here to help students and families. Students with attendance of less than 95% are monitored closely. Each year group also has the specialist support of a pastoral support officer who will be able to offer intensive support and guidance to students and families to help improve attendance.

Attendance: Mrs G Burst:

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