School Absence Line: 01245 260101 Option 1

Attendance Policy

We would welcome your support in ensuring that the following requirements are met for all students (including Sixth Formers) who need to sign out during the school day.

  • Students will not be permitted to leave a lesson or sign out at Student Services unless they have a signed letter from a parent that has also been counter-signed by their Standards & Progress Leader, or a member of the Pastoral Team, or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.


You have a legal responsibility to ensure your child is in regular school attendance and we expect parents to support the school in all attendance issues.  By law, only the school can approve absences not parents.  It is for the school to judge whether the explanation given is a satisfactory justification for the absence.  Parentally condoned unauthorised absence is a serious problem and the school will involve the EWO at an early stage.

Why must my child attend school regularly?

  • A good education will help give your child the best possible start in life. If your child does not attend school regularly, he/she will not be able to keep up with the work and will miss out on other aspects of school life such as friendship groups and life skills.
  • Employers look for reliability and good school attendance is an important indication of this. Children who have not attended their school regularly have less chance of getting a good job.
  • Young people who are absent from school for no good reason are at risk of becoming victims of crime or abuse.  They may also be drawn into anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.

What steps must I take if my child is absent?

We would expect a parent to telephone, text or e-mail the school on the morning of the first day of absence, and any subsequent days thereafter, and provide a reason for the absence. However, we may require a medical certificate to justify frequent or extensive absences.

The school operates a first day response to first day absence; we will text/e-mail parents if we have not heard from them. This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure a child's safety as well as his/her regular school attendance.

If we do not receive an explanation for the absence on the student's return to school, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, the school may not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on the student’s report. The school has a right to request an explanation. Written, text or phone-call confirmation is expected from parents/carers to cover the whole period of the absence.

What happens if my child is late?

Morning registration is from 0900 to 0905 and afternoon registration is from 1405 to 1425.  Arrival after registration will be marked as late.  Students who are continuously late will be subject to detention set by HOSCH.

To assist administration, we operate an official closure of registers - 30 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon - after the end of registration.  Registers will close at 0935 and 1440 respectively and after this time the student will be marked with an unauthorised absence/late mark. 

If students arrive late between registration times they should register in Form and will be given a late mark (L) and the minutes late recorded.  Only if students arrive outside these times should they sign in at Student Services.  In circumstances such as bad weather or transport difficulties the schools may keep the register open for a longer period.

Term-time holiday applications

We have recently had it confirmed that, following amendments being made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. These amendments will come into force on 1 September 2013.

The 2006 Regulations currently allow headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year. Headteachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.

Parents of students at Moulsham High School have worked very hard at avoiding term-time holidays and this change will affect very few of our students.  We will continue to work with families to ensure attendance in school is at the highest possible level.  Thank-you for your on-going support.

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