Attendance and Absence

Raise your child’s attendance – Raise their chances

At Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. Full attendance maximises learning opportunities and parents/carers have a critical role in promoting good attitudes in attendance. We ask for support from parents/carers to ensure that their children are present at every opportunity, arrive on time and to avoid allowing children to stay at home unnecessarily, or taking them out of school without authorisation. Evidence shows that students who attend school regularly make better progress both academically and socially.

We monitor student’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with parents/carers, by telephone or by letter. Where a student’s attendance record reaches a concerning level, we will contact you to discuss ways in which the Academy can support you and your child.

Our Academy attendance target of 95% is the minimum that we expect for all students. Every lesson counts and it is this commitment to learning that will have a positive effect on student’s examinations and their futures.

Reporting Absence

What to do if your child is ill:

If your child is too ill to attend the Academy, parents/carers should contact the Academy Attendance Office as soon as possible by telephone on 01642 586262 option 1. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message 24 hours a day.

Please give your child’s name, year group, the reason for the absence, and how long you expect the absence to last. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent. Please be aware if your child is absent from the Academy a member of the attendance team may carry out a home visit.

On your child’s return following an absence, we request that parents/carers complete an absence slip at the back of the student’s planner. The student should hand the slip in at the Attendance Office.

What to do if your child has an appointment:

We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, we require notification in advance. Please telephone, email or provide a note from home or appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment.

In most cases, your child should attend the Academy before the appointment and return to the Academy afterwards wherever possible. In most cases the Academy will only authorise half a day for an appointment. They should bring a note from home to the student information desk when it is time for them to sign out. They should sign back in at the student information desk on their return.

Automated calls to parents/carers:

We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and automated calls are made daily to the contact numbers of parents/carers if a student is absent from Period 1 (8.25am to 9.25am),where the Attendance Office has received no reason for absence. Calls are made on a daily basis, even where your child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that your child is still ill unless you have notified us. We would not wish to put your child at risk by failing to contact you.

NOTE: Please ensure your child realises the importance of attending registration on time and getting their present mark. Parents/carers can also help by ensuring that we hold up to date contact numbers.


All students are expected to arrive on time at the Academy, ready for lessons. Students should arrive for 8.15am. The first bell goes at 8.20am. Students are expected to be at their first lesson by 8.25am ready to start learning. The gates to the Academy will automatically close at 8.25am. After that, access to the Academy is by the student entrance.

Any student arriving late must sign in at main reception. After 8.25am, students will be marked as late and will receive a C4 detention for the same day. Parents/carers will receive notification on this using the contact numbers provided to the Academy.

We would be grateful for your support in ensuring that your child arrives on time.

Holidays in Term Time

The Government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education.

Whilst we understand the difficulties parents/carers may have in organising holidays during the school holidays and the benefits to be had from cheaper term-time holidays, this type of absence is detrimental to a child’s education:

  • lessons and enrichment activities are missed,
  • continuity of project work is lost,
  • the class is disrupted and other children may suffer as a result of teachers having to go over work again for the benefit of absent students,
  • teachers cannot be expected to offer additional opportunities for catch-up work or extra tuition on a child’s return from holiday.

There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true. Parents are entitled to request leave of absence from the Academy.

Any request should be made well in advance and in writing. We will consider all requests individually, although family holidays will only be authorised in the most exceptional circumstances.

Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. This is a fine of £60 per parent for each child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 per parent for each child if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.

Leave of Absence for Other Reasons

Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, etc. If parents/carers wish their child(ren) to be absent for other reasons, such as compassionate leave, special family events, or to participate in sporting or musical competitions, etc., application should be made in writing, in advance where possible, or by telephone/email to the Attendance Office.