Promoting good attendance and punctuality

​Good attendance and punctuality helps every child and young person in our school community maximise their learning and make good progress. At Penn Hall School, we aim to ensure that every child has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled. Consequently, we are committed to promoting good levels of attendance and reducing absence, including persistent and severe absence.

We acknowledge and understand that for some of our children and young people, in particular those with complex medical needs, attending school every day may not always  be possible. Where this is the case, Penn Hall School will work closely with our families and nursing team to ensure that the appropriate support in place so a young person can attend as often as possible.


Penn Hall School keeps an attendance register that records which children and young people are present at the start of both the morning and the afternoon sessions of the school day.

If your child is absent then they are recorded in the attendance register as absent. School absence is either authorised or unauthorised. Authorised absence can be given by the school for reasons such as illness, medical appointments and Religious festivals – although please ensure where possible to make medical appointments outside the school day.

An absence is classified as unauthorised if your child is away from school without a good reason, even with the support of their parent/carer, such as celebrating a birthday or having a haircut.

A persistent absentee is defined by the DfE as a child who misses 10% or more of their possible sessions and a severe absentee is defined as a child who misses 50% or more of their possible sessions.

The school seeks to work with our families to support good attendance when this threshold is reached and the absence record cannot be explained e.g. on medical grounds. Su Turner, our Home School Worker is available to work with our families where needed. If necessary, the Headteacher, will involve the Education Welfare Officer who will offer more specialised targeted support and intervention.

What do I do if my child is not able to attend school?
  • Notify the school by telephone on Day 1 as soon as possible, but no later than 9.15 a.m. by calling the main office on 01902 558355 and keep the school office updated on Day 3 and Day 5 if the absence continues. Please do not send a message about your child’s absence through the transport service or Class Dojo to their teacher.
  • Give a reason for the absence
  • Give the expected return date if possible
  • Provide evidence of medical appointments such as a hospital or dentist appointment letter/card
What do I do if my child is going to be late for school?
  • If you know your child is going to be late because of an appointment for instance, please notify the school by telephone as soon as possible, but no later than 9.15 a.m. by calling the main office on 01902 558355
  • If you bring your child into school, please report to the main office so that they receive a mark in the register and a lunch can be ordered if required
What do I do if I need to request a ‘Leave of Absence’ for my child?

The school will only authorise term time absences in exceptional circumstances where the benefits of the leave of absence to the child’s emotional, educational, cultural and/or spiritual development outweigh the loss of learning. Any application for a Leave of Absence must be made in writing.

  • Please request a Leave of Absence application form from the main office
  • When completed return the form to the Headteacher 14 days in advance of the proposed start date of the absence
  • You will then promptly be notified of the school’s decision as to whether the absence will be authorised