Here at Parkside Community College, we believe it is of vital importance that our students have good attendance at school. This is a successful school, and all students play their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to be proud to belong and to achieve of their best. For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and should be at Parkside, on time, every day the Academy is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly, and this policy sets out how together we will achieve this. 

Regular attendance at school is of critical importance to a child’s education. Evidence tells us that the pupils with the highest attainment at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 4 have higher rates of attendance over the key stage compared to those with the lowest attainment. Any absence affects the pattern of a student’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any student’s absence disrupts the learning of others in the same teaching groups by disrupting classroom routines. Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at Parkside Community College is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from Parkside without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution. 

Working together to improve school attendance 


Moments matter, attendance counts. The new government campaign highlights the clear link between attendance and attainment:

36% of persistently absent (PA) children in KS4 got 9 to 4 in their English and Maths GCSEs, compared with 84% of regular attenders. The link between absence and attainment at KS2 and KS4, Academic year 2018/19 – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK (explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk) 

And it’s never too late to benefit from good attendance: 

More than half (54%) of pupils who were PA in Year 10 and then rarely absent in Year 11, passed at least 5 GCSEs, compared to 36% of pupils who were persistently absent in both years. Missing Children, Missing Grades | Children's Commissioner for England (childrenscommissioner.gov.uk) 

But attendance is important for more than just attainment: 

Regular school attendance can facilitate positive peer relationships, which is a protective factor for mental health and wellbeing. Mental Health and Attendance at School (Chapter 1) - Mental Health and Attendance at School (cambridge.org) 


Absence Procedure 

On every morning of a student’s absence, parents should contact the school on the automated 24-hour Absence Line 01223 712600.  Please leave a clear message, giving your child’s name, tutor group and reason for absence. Any absence that is unexplained will be recorded as unauthorised.  

If your child needs to attend a medical appointment during school hours, an appointment letter must be sent in advance if a child needs to sign out from school.   

Please refer to this guide from the NHS if you have any queries about sending your child to school. 
Is my child too ill for school? - NHS (www.nhs.uk) Is my child too ill for school? - NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

Non – Attendance 

Any parent who takes a child out of school for term time leave for 6 consecutive sessions (3 days) or more, not authorised by the school (Principal), may receive a Penalty Notice. 

  • Children of compulsory school age who are registered at a school must, by law, attend that school regularly. Regular attendance is the best way of ensuring that a child makes the most of the educational opportunities available to him or her. 

  • When a child is absent from school, he or she misses not only the teaching provided but is also less prepared for the lessons after his or her return. 

  • There are only 190 statutory school days in one year and 175 days (weekends and school holidays) available to use for holidays or leave. Therefore, every school day counts! 

If you wish to request a leave of absence for your child this will need to be approved by the principal. Please complete this Absence Request Form and return to pks-enquiries@parksidecc.org.uk

From the first day of term to the last, the small moments in a school day make a real difference to your child. #AttendanceCounts 

  • Key Information

    Prior to June 2013, the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 allowed for headteachers to grant leave of absence for term-time leave or family holiday in 'special circumstances' and for extended leave in exceptional circumstances.

    Amendments to these regulations remove references to family holidays and extended leave. The amendments state that 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.

  • Your Responsibilities
    • If your child is registered at a school you must ensure that they attend regularly. 

    • The regulations make it clear that parents do not have any right or entitlement to take a child out of school for the purposes of a term time holiday. 

    • If parents take their child on holiday or leave in term time, this will be counted as an unauthorised absence. This is the same as truancy and you may be at risk of a penalty notice fine being issued or prosecution in the Magistrates court. 

  • Non-Attendance at School and the Law

    Non-attendance at school and the law - Cambridgeshire County Council 

    Failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school is a criminal offence. If with support from the school's attendance officer and/or the Local Authority, your child’s attendance does not improve, the Local Authority will consider one of two actions: 

    • Penalty Notice. We can give each parent a fine of £60, which rises to £120 each if you do not pay within 21 days. If payment is not received within 28 days from the issue of the penalty notice, we may prosecute you for the offence of 'irregular attendance'. You could then be subject to a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction. 

    • Prosecution in the Magistrates' court. Both parents could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to three months each. The court may also give you a Parenting Order. 

    The offence will apply to each child individually. Both parents are liable for the offence. The Education Act considers each 'responsible adult' as a 'parent'. This includes a family friend or relative if the child lives with them and they provided day-to-day care. 

    Fines for parents for taking children out of school: What you need to know - The Education Hub