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Unauthorised Request for Leave

The Department for Education advises that leave of absence can only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

If you decide to take your child/children out of school for this period, you may be subject to a Penalty Notice issued by the Local Authority on your return.  Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, Section 23(1), the issuing of a Penalty Notice incurs a fine of £60.00 per child if paid after 21 days rising to £120.00 per child if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. (NB.in the case where the Penalty Notice has not been paid within the 28 days of issue, the case may be escalated to prosecution in Magistrates Court for non-school attendance).



At Southchurch High School, excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a vital role in promoting positive attitudes to good attendance. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially. We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their child:

  • is present at every opportunity and avoids staying at home unnecessarily
  • arrives at school on time.

The Government attendance target of 96% is the minimum we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning thawill have a positive impact on attainment and progress. The graph below shows the impact that missing just a few days of school can have on GCSE Success.


Reporting Absence

Encourage your child to attend school, If your child is unable to attend, you must leave a message with the Attendance Officer on 01702 900777 before 8:30 am on each day of absence.

Any Medical appointment should be made before or afterschool. If for any reason an appointment must occur within school hours, evidence is required

On return If no reason is provided your child will have a return to school interview

The table below provides actions to be taken for the most common illnesses 



Students who arrive late to school will receive alate text to inform you that they were late and that they have a 30 minute detention afteschool. We take our safeguarding responsibility very seriously as a school. If students do not arrive by 9:15 am and we are unaware of any absence, you will receive a “First Day Absence Call or Text”.  Calls and Texts are made on a daily basis even where your child has been absent on previous days.

Attendance Awards

As a school we reward good and improving attendance in many different ways. Many of our students receive their gold (100%), silver (9899%), bronze (9697%) and purple (for improvement) attendance certificates each term.









However, the greatest reward of all is knowing that as a parent you are giving your child the best possible chance of academic success at school.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who do you contact if you know your child is going to be absent in advance?

We ask that where possible you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time. If this is not possible, you must contact the Attendance Officer to explain why your child is unable to attend school before the absence. Please telephone, email or provide a note from home or an appointment card to confirm the appointment. In most cases your child should attend school before the appointment and return tschool afterwards where possible.

What constitutes an unauthorised absence?

If we are not informed of an absence before 8:30 am and we do not receive a written explanation following this we will ‘unauthorise the absence.If your child receives a number of unauthorised absences we may have to make a referral to the Local Authority who will consider issuing yowith a Penalty Notice. We will not authorise absence for reasons such as shopping, uniform, birthdays, day trips etc. If parents / carers wish their child to be absent for other reasons such as compassionate leave, special family events or to participate in sporting or musical competitions etc. an application must be made in writing in advance, where possible, to the Attendance Officer.

Why is my child being questioned about attendance during tutor time?

Tutors will be encouraging students to attend every day. Following each absence your child’s tutor will conduct a Return to School Interview with your child. Details of the absence will be recorded and this proforma together with any evidence will be forwarded to the Attendance Officer.

How can I ensure my child catches up on learning missed due to absence?

Your child will have an interview with their form tutor on return from absence. Part of the interview will be to discuss how and when your child can catch up on work missed. It is your child’s responsibility to ensure that missed work is completed.

Why am I being called in for a meeting as my child has attendance over 90%, that is good isn’t it?

No, 90% is almost 4 weeks missed per year! There is a clear link between progress and attendance. Studies show that students who miss 50% of school have only a 3% chance of achieving 5 A*-C GCSEs. We want to find out why your child has missed up to 10% already.

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