Thurstable School is committed to providing a full and efficient educational experience to all its students.  We believe therefore that if students are to benefit from education, good attendance is crucial.  As a school, we regulate and do all we can to ensure maximum attendance for all students.  Any problems that impede full attendance are identified and addressed as speedily as possible.

Our school gives a high priority to conveying to parents and students the importance of regular and punctual attendance not just for maximising academic attainment, but also for setting a positive pattern which we believe will benefit each individual student when they leave the educational community for the world of work.  We recognise that parents have a vital role to play and that there is a need to establish strong home-school links and communication systems that can be utilised whenever there are concerns about attendance.

The School staff set a good example in matters of attendance and punctuality and will promptly investigate all absenteeism and lateness.

We work in partnership with parents and students to resolve issues, which affect attendance or punctuality as quickly as possible. Parents are able to monitor their child ‘s attendance on “Go 4 Schools “ Students who give cause for concern, owing to persistent absenteeism or lateness will be identified by the attendance team and concerns will be communicated with home.

Expectations of Students

Students must ensure that they attend school regularly and on time.

Students will attend all lessons punctually.

Students can expect to be welcomed and receive assistance following periods of absence in order to catch up.

Students will be listened to and respected.

Students will have individual records of attendance/punctuality acknowledged by the school via our rewards systems where appropriate.


The lead professionals in school are the Tutors, Heads of Year, Attendance Officers, Mrs. S Shepherd Attendance, Wellbeing and Safeguarding Manager and Mr. Mark Higgins Deputy headteacher who work in conjunction with the LA as directed.


The lead professionals in school are the Tutors, Heads of Year, Attendance Officers, Mrs. S Shepherd Attendance, Wellbeing and Safeguarding Manager and Mr. Mark Higgins Deputy headteacher who work in conjunction with the LA as directed.

Leave of Absence in term time

The Headteacher will grant or deny any application for Exceptional Leave of Absence. Exceptional Leave of Absence forms are available from Student reception or by clicking here. They have the guidelines for application for leave detailed on them. The completed forms must be presented to the Student Services Office no later than one week prior to the first proposed day of the absence.

Tracking of attendance and Reporting

The School has a tiered intervention system for attendance which acknowledges good attendance and also monitors students who are in danger of allowing their attendance record to impede their academic progress.

Gold Tier: Fewer than 5 days absence per academic year 

Green Tier: Between 5-10 days absence per academic year

Amber Tier: Between 10 – 15 days absence per academic year

Red Tier: More than 15 days absence per academic year (Persistent Absentees)

Students identified as moving in a downward trend between the tiers are reported to, HOY by the school Attendance Officer via a weekly meeting and reported statistics. This therefore helps each year group to track and intervene in line with attendance targets.


Please note: when discussing days absence they may be spread over a period of time or all in a group.  These are also maximum timescales - they may be a shortened period before meetings are held.

If there has been no explanation of the absences then the procedure in the attendance policy will take the place of these interventions 

If you need support with attendance please contact Mrs Terry -

When a student is absent on consecutive days from school

After 3 days absence: The attendance officer notifies the HOY that the student concerned is in danger of needing a letter to be sent home. Phone call home to parent to discuss absence.

After 4 days absence A letter is sent, signed by the HOY, detailing the potential implications on the education of the student concerned of the absences.

After 6 days absence: The attendance officer notifies the HOY that the student is in danger of entering “Amber” status.

After 8 days absence A letter is sent, informing of meeting if the attendance issues are not clarified/notified/addressed.

After 10 days absence HOY and Pastoral Leader made aware by attendance officer.

After 12 days absence Parent/Carer invited to meet to discuss issues face to face with HOY and Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Manager

Students maintaining a high attendance level are rewarded on a weekly basis by their HOY using rewards appropriate to the school’s reward system.

Parents can expect the school to keep them informed of their child’s attendance/punctuality record whether it is improving or should it be in danger of impeding their child’s academic progress. This is the responsibility of the Head of Year.

Reporting Trends with Regard Key Minority Groupings

Thurstable School realises that certain students may be prone/vulnerable to poor attendance, with all of the academic difficulties which could ensue. Thurstable School will therefore report on each of the following groups to ensure that equal access and support is being monitored.

Year/Tutor group







Working with the Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Manager

In addition to the correspondence which is sent to parents/carers of students who are a cause for celebration/concern, all Heads of Year will liaise with the Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Manager on a weekly basis. This will enable the school to identify potential Persistent Absentee (PA) students (students who will have less than 90% attendance) and encourage effective liaison to ensure that other students who may require further interventions through formal attendance meetings with parents/carers and the Local Authority are targeted in a proactive, fair and structured manner.

Registration system

At Thurstable School a lesson-by-lesson electronic registration system is used. 

Thurstable School staff will complete accurate registers 10 minutes after the beginning of each morning and afternoon session and within 10 minutes of the start of each lesson.

Registration begins at 8.35am each school day and registers will be called within 10 minutes. Should a student not be present to answer their name being called they will be marked as being absent by the staff member

If a student arrives after their name has been called they will be marked as having arrived late. Should students not attend the tutor period at all, they must report to student reception and sign the appropriate ‘signing in sheet’. 

Where students are deemed persistently late to registration, appropriate sanctions will be issued through the centralised school systems and future punctuality monitored. Should a student persist in their lateness, the Head of Year will liaise with both the parents/carers of the appropriate student and also inform the Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Manager / Deputy Head (as appropriate) of any developments.

If the above actions do not elicit an explanation for the absence and the absence continues, a further letter will be sent to the parents/carers.

If this letter does not elicit an explanation for the absence, the school’s Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Manager will be informed and the parent may be invited into the school for a meeting. This meeting will be to identify and resolve the difficulties which are preventing the student from attending school. The parents/carers will be made aware of the legal requirements regarding school attendance. The Heads of Year in liaison with the Deputy Head will exercise their professional judgement when deciding to make a referral to the Educational Compliance. Each case has its own sensitivities and needs and is judged on a case by case basis.

Truancy from school

Staff members must take a register for their teaching groups during the period when they teach each group. Where a register suggests a child should be present but the child has not presented to the lesson, the staff member must send an “absent student” email which will alert medical and pastoral staff that a student is potentially truanting a lesson. Should medical / pastoral staff receive such an email, they can then respond should a student be in their presence. 

If a student is still unaccounted for the Pastoral team will look for them but if they are not found quickly then the Attendance officer will contact home to raise concerns. Should a student be discovered to have been truanting from a lesson during the school day, appropriate sanctions will be put in place.

The school understands the importance of contacting the parent/carer in view of the potential safeguarding implications of a child going missing from lessons.

Classifying Absences from school


Absence for the following reasons could be authorised where parents have confirmed the absence in writing on the child’s return to school (consideration should be given to procedures where parents have difficulty with the written word, or where English is not the first language):

Absence may be recorded as unauthorised when due to:

Keeping Governors Informed

Attendance data is shared on a termly basis with governors as a part of the “Governor’s Student-Related” meetings, during which whole-school and individual trends are discussed.