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Attendance & Punctuality

The key to academic success and general wellbeing at school is by having excellent attendance.  We expect all our students to maintain an excellent record, so that they can “Be The Best They Can  Be.”  Students should be attending school every day and on time.  Please try to avoid appointments for your son/daughter during the school day; this will impact their attendance percentage.  Holidays should not be taken during term time. 

We ask families to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school, attend regularly and are punctual to their lessons. The school aims for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the school community to reach for excellence. For students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and should attend school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.

Key Attendance Personnel
Ms N Busby Attendance Officer
Ms A Tulley Attendance & Pastoral Support Officer

Student Absence Line 020 8892 7607

The Importance of Good Attendance

We expect that students’ attendance and punctuality should be as close to 100% as possible. The minimum expected level of attendance for Orleans Park is 96% attendance.

Regular absence will seriously affect a student’s learning. For example, attendance of 90% over an academic year is nearly one month’s absence from school. Any student’s absence disrupts teaching routines and in turn may affect the learning of others in the same class.

There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement at GCSE level, with poor attenders much less likely to achieve five good passes at GCSE, including English and Maths. Similarly, research clearly demonstrates a strong correlation between high absenteeism and poor student attainment when studying A Level subjects.

In accordance with Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021, we recognise that Children Missing Education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.

Any problems with regular attendance should be discussed with the school as soon as possible so that a shared plan can be agreed that maintains their attendance and enables them to achieve. If you have any concerns please contact either your child’s Tutor, Head of Year or Attendance Officer.


Poor punctuality is not acceptable; students arriving late are disruptive to other students’learning.

The school day starts at 8.40 am and students are expected to be in their tutor room by that time. A bell will ring at 8.35am indicating that students must make their way to their tutor room. If a student arrives at tutor time after 8.40am, they will be marked as late and will serve a 15 minute detention after school on the allotted day for their Year group.

If a student arrives after 9.00am and the school does not receive an explanation from home, the student will attend a 30 minute detention on the allotted day for their Year group.

If a student arrives late to school three times within the same week they will attend a 1 hour detention after school on Friday. For the purposes of this sanction, the school week will be considered as running from Friday-Thursday to enable students and families to be given 24 hours notice before receiving this sanction.

At 9.30am the registers will be closed. If a student arrives after this time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site. This will not count as a present mark and it may also result in an unauthorised absence.

Authorised and Unauthorised Absence

An authorised absence may be approved for a morning or afternoon away from school for an appropriate reason, which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause. Please note that any authorised absence will still reflect on a student's percentage attendance. 

Unauthorised absences are where the school does not consider the absence to be reasonable and for which no “leave of absence" has been approved. Reducing unauthorised absence from school is a key priority nationally and locally because missing school damages a student’s attainment levels, disrupts school routines and the learning of others. This type of absence may result in school sanctions and/or legal proceedings. This can include:

  • Families keeping children off school unnecessarily
  • Truancy
  • Unexplained absences
  • Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark
  • Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
  • Day trips and holidays in term time

Medical & Dental Appointments

Families should avoid scheduling medical appointments for students during the school day.  

If your child has an unavoidable medical appointment and they miss registration in the morning or afternoon, they will lose an attendance mark for half a day and their attendance that week will fall to 90%.  Many of the appointment times mean that students can attend school first and return afterwards. This means they minimise missed lessons as well as keeping their attendance levels as high as possible. Therefore, we ask that families send their child into school for morning registration, even if they have a medical appointment in the middle of the morning. 

We encourage students to return to school after their appointment wherever possible, or to schedule appointments for as late as possible in the afternoon.

Leave of Absence in Term Time

There is no entitlement in law for non essential absences during term time. A leave of absence is granted at the Headteacher’s discretion. The Headteacher will only authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and will determine the length of time the student can be away from school. Family holidays taken during term time will not be authorised. The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request.

All applications for Leave of Absence including external exams, sport fixtures, music or sports competitions or funerals should be made in writing to the Headteacher who will consider the application. It is important that families understand when Leave of Absence will not be agreed by the school, for example:

  • Immediately before and during assessment periods, GCSEs, A Levels or any other public examinations
  • When a student’s attendance record already includes some unauthorised absence
  • Where a student’s attendance rate is already below (96%) or will fall to or below that level as a result of taking leave
  • Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised.

Orleans Park Attendance Policy 

Attendance Policy