Everything we do as a secondary school has to start with good attendance. It is probably the most important factor in a student progressing well, achieving success and making the most of the benefits and opportunities that attending school provides. The moment that attendance begins to slide, everything else starts to follow. Students cannot achieve their full potential if they are absent or persistently late. 

1. The Benefits of Good School Attendance

2. Our Attendance Target

3. Attendance Procedures

4. Acceptable Reasons for Absences 

5. Attendance Support

6. Leave of Absence (Leave of Absence Form)

7. Reporting Your Childs Absence and Further Information

8. Attendance Documents

1. The Benefits of Good School Attendance

The benefits of good school attendance are:

  • Higher levels of attainment and improved exam performance – according to school census results, students with higher attainment at KS4 had lower levels of absence compared to those with lower attainment.
  • Better relationships with friends and improved social skills.
  • Greater cultural awareness.
  • Improved life skills, such as team work, responsibility, reliability and self-discipline.
  • Reduction in anxiety due to not falling behind in work or having to catch up.
  • Career pathways and further learning opportunities.
  • Reduced risk of getting involved in anti-social behaviour or crime.

Good attendance embeds good habits for the future and provides young people with improved prospects in their career and life choices after they have left school. 

As part of the Awards programme here at Bishop Rawstorne Academy, achievement points will be awarded to students who have 100% attendance for the term. These are allocated on a half-termly basis and can give a significant boost to students’ overall achievement points total.


The school day starts at 8.55am and according to Lancashire County Council guidelines, students who arrive in school after this time will be marked as late (school buses which arrive late are an exception to this). Learning begins to suffer if students are persistently late.

2. Our Attendance Target

Our school attendance target is 97%, although students should strive to 100% attendance if they can. It is the priority of every parent to make sure that their child meets this attendance target and we expect all students to take responsibility to aim towards this figure over the year too. The table below shows what days off do to a student’s overall attendance figure over a single school year:


Normal Attendance

No more than 5 days or 10 sessions (morning/afternoon) absent.


Absence Concerns

Between 6 and 19 days absent.

Below 90%

‘Persistently Absent’ Students

Over 21 days of absence. 90% attendance is the same as missing half a day of school each week or four weeks of school in a year. Over five years this means missing half a year of school!
According to the Government, any student who falls below 90% attendance will become a ‘Persistent Absent’ student and must be reported to National and Local Government. 

3. Attendance Procedures

As a school we treat absence very seriously and student attendance is monitored on a daily basis. We will react when we start to see absences slide – this includes sending letters when attendance has begun to drop to a level where we are concerned.  

We also look at attendance on a half-termly basis to see which students are becoming dangerously close to being persistently absent. The table below illustrates how quickly 10% absences can accumulate:

Term Number of days missed (equal to 10% absence)

Term 1

3.5 days

Term 1-2

7 days

Term 1-3

10 days

Term 1-4

12.5 days

Term 1-5

15.5 days


Students who have attendance that is causing concern will find themselves invited into school with their parents to meet with either their Head of Year, the Assistant Headteacher with Responsibility for Pastoral Care, and a Governor. After this, if attendance fails to improve, school will be left with no choice other than to prosecute using fixed penalty notices, as per the recommended DFE and Lancashire County Council guidelines.

4. Acceptable Reasons for Absences 

Time off school, like time off work, is only acceptable in extreme cases such as medical emergencies, extreme sickness and bereavement. Students that have a minor cold, headache, sore throat or other general cold symptoms are expected to be in school. Students who look after siblings should also not be having time off. There is no ‘48 or 24 hour rule’ for sickness and diarrhoea as there is at primary school and as soon as a child feels well enough they should return.

5. Attendance Support

In order to avoid misunderstandings or miscommunications we request that parents and guardians contact us with any concerns about their child’s attendance so that we can put the right support in place, if required. 

Some students have very legitimate lengthy periods of absence, or sporadic attendance due to ill health of a serious nature. If your child drops into this category do not worry – the key is regular contact with your child’s Head of Year so they are aware of your personal circumstances.  

There are some situations where there is a clearly identified medical reason why an absence will be prolonged. These cases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be discussed between school and parents. Detailed medical evidence, such as appointment notes or letters from your child’s GP, will help us to develop a personal approach and put any required student and family support in place. 

6. Leave of Absence (and Leave of Absence Form) 

The Academy is able to grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstance only. Exceptional circumstances does not include a family holiday, but includes things such as weddings and funerals of close relatives, or special events that cannot be rearranged or rescheduled. When we consider whether to allow a leave of absence request we will consider the students attendance over their time at school. We also reserve the right to remove consent if attendance drops following the request but prior to the event.

Leave of absence requests are considered on a case-by-case basis please follow the link to apply here: 

Leave of absence form

7. Reporting Your Childs Absence and Further Information

If your child is going to be late or absent please call 01772 600349 and press option 1 before 9.15am. Absences need to be reported daily. Please make sure you tell us your child's full name, tutor and the reason for their absence and note that school may still contact you about the absence if they require further information or clarification. If we have not been notified of a reason for absence we will contact parents asking them to contact us to provide the information. 

If you have any general queries or wish to speak to a member of staff regarding attendance please contact the school Attendance Officer Mrs Carolyn Prior.

Attendance Documents

Updated: 14/11/2023 34 KB
Updated: 14/11/2023 91 KB
Updated: 14/11/2023 91 KB