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Attendance - Reporting Absence

Excellent attendance is essential for your child to achieve their full potential.

Archbishop Ilsley’s attendance target for every pupil is 97% attendance.

good attendance
attendance to achieve
What can parents/carers do to ensure that their child doesn’t miss out on important teaching and learning?
  • Remember that every day of attendance really does matter.
  • Arrive on time, pupils are expected to be in school by 8:30am for an 8:40am start.
  • For an absence, phone the school daily on 0121 706 4200 whenever your child is absent, giving the reason for absence, we need to know by 9am. Evidence of an appointment is required if within school time.
  • For an absence, parents and carers can also use the Studybugs App to report a child’s absence.  Please download the app here
  • Only allow your child to stay off school for genuine illness. We all get colds and coughs and minor illnesses, these should not be a reason to miss a whole day. Feel free to call us for advice.
  • Do not take holidays in school time, we will not authorise them.
  • Do not allow days off for birthdays or shopping trips.
  • Make routine dental, opticians or doctor’s appointments outside school time.
  • Ask your child about their day to check in on any issues which may affect them wanting to be in school.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns which you think are affecting your child’s attendance. The  attendance and pastoral team should be your first point of contact.  We will fully support your child to thrive and be safe in school.
  • Be aware of what your child’s attendance level is. Medical evidence may be requested to support absences.

Reporting Pupil Absence

  • Parent/Carer to ring on each day of absence before 8.30am on 0121 706 4200.
  • Please clearly state the child’s name, year/tutor, reason for absence and who it is calling.
  • If you wish to give further details, please request a call back.
  • Parent/carer to contact school by phone by 9am on 0121 706 4200 and give details of any pre planned or emergency appointments.
  • Please provide evidence in the form of an appointment card, prescriptions or referral letters to ensure authorised absence.
  • Pupils are expected to attend school before or after the appointment.
  • Contact the Attendance/Pastoral Team as soon as possible.
  • Please let us know if there are any issues that are affecting attendance so we can discuss strategies and appropriate support if required.
  • We shall continue to send texts in the morning if pupils are absent from school and parent/carer has not contacted or provided a valid reason.
  • If we do not get a notification of a child’s absence then the attendance officer will make a safe and well check
  • We welcome the opportunity to engage with parents and carers.
  • Please contact school on 0121 706 4200 to let us know if there are any issues that are affecting punctuality or attendance.
  • Early intervention and pupil support sits at the heart of our approach to raising levels of pupil attendance and achievement.

Guidance on Illness

The most common reason given for children to miss school is illness. However, most of the time childhood ailments can be managed in school.

Many children experience common ailments from time to time. Most of these do not need a prescription, are rarely serious and do not require time away from school. Often treating your child’s ailment or illness yourself, or with advice and medicines from your pharmacist, can be the quickest and easiest way to deal with it.

If a pupil feels unwell during the school day, they should inform their class teacher.  The class teacher will then make an assessment of the child’s ability to stay in lesson. If there is a medical emergency a first aider will be called for immediately. If a child is deemed too ill to stay in school, a decision will be made by the school’s First Aid Lead, the child’s Head of Year and the Attendance Officer, and parents will be informed. 

If a pupil needs to take medication in school, we advise that parents/carers inform the school’s First Aid Leader via a telephone call or via email to There is a medical consent form that will need to be completed and the school will make arrangements to safely store the medicine in school in the Medical Room.

Colds and coughs

A child may attend school with a slight cold and cough.

If your child has asthma, remember they may need their blue inhaler more often.  Your child will need to carry their inhaler with them during the school day.

If your child has a persistent tooth or ear ache, they need to see a dentist or a doctor without delay. A child whose only complaint is a slight headache does not usually need to be kept at home.

If your child complains of ‘non severe’ stomach ache or has had an episode of sickness but is generally feeling well, has a headache or other symptoms persistently and is not wanting to attend school, this may be linked to your child being unhappy at school or with something else e.g. friendship issues or finding school work difficult. Speak to your child and contact a member of the pastoral student support team if this is the case so that appropriate plans of support can be put in place.

If a child has severe vomiting or has diarrhoea, keep them off school and ensure adequate fluid intake. Children should return to school 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.

If your child complains of a slight sore throat and has no other symptoms, they are fit to come to school. If the sore throat occurs with a raised temperature, they need to stay at home or seek medical advice where appropriate.

Establishing good habits is important. Ensure that your child goes to bed early as lack of sleep will affect his/her ability to function in the morning, leading to lateness.

Where possible please arrange doctor, dentist and optician appointments outside of school hours. If this is not possible, your child should attend school for the remainder of the day. schools_poster.pdf

We ask that parents inform school immediately if diagnosed or suspected infections to help protect students and staff.

As you will all be aware, current attendance regulations state that a Headteacher may not grant a leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances. We are unable to grant any requests for leave of absence due to holiday.

Parents do not have the automatic right to withdraw pupils from school and, in law, have to apply for permission in advance.

Exceptional circumstances are defined as exceptional significant family events or circumstances, and will be considered on a case by case basis. The Headteacher will consider every request individually.

Some of the examples of what will not meet exceptional circumstances criteria are:

  • Cheaper holidays in the UK or abroad
  • Family Day Trips
  • Relatives coming to visit
  • Visiting family or friends that have differing school holidays
  • Attending family weddings or visits to see family abroad


You are advised not to make any arrangements until your request has been considered by the school.  If you withdraw your child without prior permission, you can be fined.

If your child is away from school during this period it will be recorded as Unauthorised Absence. As a school we are obliged to inform you that you may be subject to a Penalty Notice if your child’s absence from school is unauthorised.

The Penalty Notice fine would be £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 per parent, per child if paid between 21-28 days. If the fine is not paid within 28 days you may be prosecuted under S444.1 of the Education Act 1996. Please be advised that if the prosecution takes place, the maximum fine is £1,000 per parent, per child. This reflects the seriousness of unauthorised absence from school.

Leave of Absence forms can be obtained from reception.

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