Inspiring Excellence for all and by all

Here at Laurence Jackson School, we believe that in order to facilitate teaching and learning and to enhance a student’s overall experience of school and prepare them for life beyond Laurence Jackson, good attendance is essential. Students cannot achieve their full potential if they do not attend regularly.


The minimum level of expected attendance is 96%. To achieve this, your child’s absence must be kept to an absolute minimum. Even with 96%, 35 learning hours are lost so it is essential all students aim to attend school every day.

We understand that barriers to attendance are complex, and that some pupils find it harder than others to attend school; we will continue to prioritise cultivating a safe and supportive environment at school, as well as strong and trusting relationships with you and our students. We take a whole-school approach to securing good attendance, and recognise the impact that our efforts in other areas – such as the curriculum, behaviour standards, bullying, SEND support, pastoral support, and the effective use of resources such as pupil premium – can have on improving your child’s attendance.

Supporting us to support you

Regular school attendance is required by law and parents are responsible for making sure that their children school age attend school full time. This means that if a child does not attend regularly, you as a parent may be found guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted by the local authority.

‘Regularly’ is defined as every day the school is open, unless the absence has been previously approved by school or if the child is unfit to learn in any capacity throughout the day. These circumstances of authorisation are very rare.

We are here to support you with your statutory responsibility of ensuring your child’s regular attendance. We advise that you:
Ensure your child(ren) attend school every day on time and well equipped to learn.

  • Take an interest in your child’s education.
  • Maintain channels of communication with school to inform us in advance of any medical appointment, unavoidably scheduled during the school day. Return your child to school immediately after any appointment.
  • Take holidays in designated school holiday time – there are 13 weeks of the year to take holidays; your child must not be taken out of school for a holiday.
  • Inform school promptly of any matters which might affect your child’s attendance.
  • Attend necessary meetings in school to discuss attendance. Barriers to attendance are always much quicker to resolve when we can discuss these together at the earliest opportunity, with the shared goal of getting your child(ren) back into school.
  • Ensure your child attends school when they have a minor ailment, e.g. cough/sore throat/headache/sniffle. We ask for your support in them being resilient, in the same way that we would be resilient with getting to work.

We will contact you if we are concerned about your child’s attendance and ask that you contact us at your earliest opportunity if you too have any concerns.

  • If there is a pattern of absence that we or you notice, such as regular absence on a particular day, it is best for a discussion to take place to explore strategies we can all do to remove barriers that prevent your child from attending.
  • If there has been any anxiety or worry about attending school for any reason, it is important that we can discuss this to put a plan in place to ensure sustained attendance.
  • Home visits – as part of our support, we will attempt to visit student who has been absent for 3 days, even if the absence has been communicated with school. Home visits will also take place for all students whose consecutive days of absence have exceeded 10 days as part of our safeguarding duties.


Good attendance doesn’t just involve being present in school – it also includes punctuality. Parents/carers have a responsibility to ensure their child arrives at school on time. The school day begins at 8:30am and students must arrive before this time so that they are fully prepared for lessons. We recommend students arrive at before 8:20am so that they are ready for form time.

If a student arrives at school more than 30 minutes after their official start time and without a valid reason, they receive a late mark which will be an unauthorised absence.

Minutes lost each day

Days lost per school year

5 minutes 3 days
10 minutes 6.5 days
15 minutes 10 days
20 minutes 13 days


Throughout the school year, there are a number of rewards and recognition for your child if they attend school regularly. We want all students to benefit from these rewards and from high levels of attendance by attending school at least 96%. These rewards include:

  • Weekly achievement points
  • Half termly raffles for vouchers
  • Certificates
  • Breakfast treats within form groups
  • End of year rewards trips
  • Prom/Leaver’s Assembly in KS4

Helpful Information

Reporting an absence

If, your child is unfit to learn, it your responsibility to inform school by 8:30am on every day of an absence. You must call 01287 636361 and report:

  • Student’s full name
  • Student’s form group (e.g. 10A)
  • Reason for absence

The option to leave a message will be available if the phone line is unavailable. Absences will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. Whilst we require your support with informing us of the reason for your child’s absence, this does not automatically mean that the absence is authorised. More information regarding authorised/unauthorised absences can be found on our school website and our Attendance Policy.

Leave of Absences

Parents/carers should be aware that any absence during term time significantly disrupts a student’s learning. Current legislation specifies that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence to students during term time unless they are exceptional circumstances. If, after carefully considering the circumstances not considered to be exceptional, a parent/carer still decides to remove their child from education for a holiday, parents should complete a Leave of Absence form, which can be collected from our main Reception at least four weeks prior to the first date of expected absence.

Appointments during the school day

Medical appointments – While we appreciate that certain appointments cannot be changed, we would urge you, whenever possible, to ensure medical appointments are made outside of school hours. A medical appointment will still impact your child’s attendance and time in school – even if it is authorised (upon receipt of evidence of the appointment), your child’s percentage of attendance will still go down.

Leaving/returning to school – If an appointment must be made, it is expected that students come to school before the time of the appointment and they are expected to return after the appointment.

For more information on any of these topics please view our Attendance Policy.