Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

Department for Education, Nov 2016


Harewood College wants your son to succeed. One very important way to support this is to encourage them to attend College regularly and arrive on time.

If you are worried or want to know more about your son’s attendance, please contact his Learning Coordinator or Pastoral Lead.

Harewood has an Attendance Officer and an Education Social Worker who can also support your son with attendance difficulties.

Why is it important?
The effect of absence on progress
A whole year has 365 days; a school year has 190 days. That leaves 175 days to spend time with family and friends without it affecting your education
No absence 10 days absence 12 days absence 19 days absence 29 days absence 38 days absence
190 days of education          
  180 days of education        
    178 days of education      
      171 days of education    
        161 days of education  
          152 days of education
100% 95% 94% 90% 85% 80%
Very good Worrying   Serious concern
Could make more progress than expected Could struggle to make expected progress Statistically more likely to make less progress than their peers. Poor attendance could result in at least one grade per subject lower than students with good attendance (Based on national progress data)

Making sure your child attends school as much as possible means:

  • Your child will have the same education and opportunities as everyone else in the class.
  • You won’t need to worry about catching up on work, or that your child might fall behind because of missing an important lesson.
  • Your child won’t miss out on College life and activities.
How to report an absence due to illness?

If your son is unable to attend college through illness you should inform Harewood by telephone on the first day of absence before 8am. Please call 01202 398451 and select the option to report absence.

If we have not heard from parents by 9am we will start calling all the contact numbers that you have provided to gain an explanation for the absence, if we still have not been able to ascertain where your child is then we will make a home visit after 3 days unexplained absence. However, if we have still not received an explanation of the absence we are obligated to report this to the Local Authority and request a safe and well visit by the police, as your son will be classed a ‘missing child’.

It is also very important that Harewood College has two emergency contacts to ensure we can make contact promptly and avoid any confusion. Please let us know if contact details change.

Medical appointments

Where possible please avoid making medical appointments during College time. If this is unavoidable please bring a letter or evidence of an appointment to the Attendance Officer in advance of the appointment.

If same day medical appointments occur, please ask your son to present a letter to his Pastoral Lead to receive an exit slip. Exit slips should be sought before 8.20, break time or at lunch time and not during lessons.

What does the law say?

By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent, you are responsible for making sure this happens, either by registering your child at a school or making other arrangements which provide an appropriate full-time education.

Once your child is registered at a school you are responsible for making sure he attends regularly.

Under these guidelines you can only allow your child to miss school if:

  • He is too ill to go in
  • You’ve got advance permission from the school
How do I request permission for an absence?

You must submit a request to the school before you arrange for your son to have time away.

If you wish to take your son out of school during term time, you must submit a formal request to the Principal via the school office. You should provide evidence to support your request e.g. medical information.

Requests should be made at least 20 school days before the requested period of absence.

When will absence requests be granted?

Permission for absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and if your son has more than 95% attendance.

The College Principal will consider each absence request individually based on current attendance, the exceptional circumstances, and the impact on your son’s academic progress. Absence requests should not be made in the first few weeks in September, or during exam periods.

The College Principal will also decide how many days your child can be away from school if the absence is granted.

What happens if your son does not attend College regularly?

Harewood is responsible by law for reporting poor attendance to the Local Authority. As a parent, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure your son attends College regularly, even if they are missing College without your knowledge.

If you take your son out of school without advance permission (except where he is unwell) or they do not attend College regularly, you can be fined or even prosecuted.

This could involve:

  • A fixed penalty notice of £60 within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days.
  • A parenting order, education supervision order or school attendance order where your child repeatedly misses school without a good reason.
Key things to remember
  • You can only allow your child to miss school if he is ill, or if you have advance permission from the school.
  • Absence requests will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
  • You can be fined for taking your son out of school without advance permission from the school.

You should refer to the school absence policy when considering whether to submit an absence request.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions.

You can find out more about the rules around term-time absence in the following sources:

School attendance and absence: overview, GOV.UK 

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013: regulation 2,

If you would like to view a brief outline of Harewood College’s Attendance Policy, please click here.

We advise parents to read this important document from the Bournemouth Borough Council PN Code of Conduct