Valley Gardens MIddle School

Attendance and Punctuality Policy


Our school aims to meet its obligations with regard to school attendance by:

We will also support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory school age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending lessons. At Valley Gardens Middle School we endeavor to encourage all of our students to achieve a 100% attendance. Excellent attendance is central to raising standards and is a major factor in students reaching their full potential. Absence leaves students vulnerable to falling behind.  

If there are factors influencing a student’s attendance, we will investigate, identify, and work closely with parents and students to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Every member of the school community should make attendance a high priority and this should be conveyed to students and parents.





Students must:


Parents must:

Students who are taken out of school in term time without permission will be given an unauthorized absence mark and may be referred to the Attendance and Placement Service should their attendance fall below 90%


The school will:

The Form Tutor

The Form Tutor must:

School procedures

Attendance register

The school is required to keep an attendance register, and all pupils must be placed on this register. We operate an electronic registration system on Sims.

Completing a register

Morning registration

Dual Absence

Covers situations where two institutions have shared responsibility for the education of a specific student. This should be recorded as a “D”

Unplanned absence

Medical or dental appointments

Following up absence

The school will follow up any absences to ascertain the reason, ensure proper safeguarding action is taken where necessary, identify whether the absence is approved or not and identify the correct attendance code to use.

Legal sanctions

Penalty notices will be used where a pupil has 10 or more unauthorized absences in 100 sessions prior to the request for a Penalty Notice to be used.

Attendance monitoring

Roles and responsibilities

The governing body

The governing body is responsible for monitoring attendance figures for the whole school on at least a termly basis. It also holds the headteacher to account for the implementation of this policy. ???????? is the link governor responsible for attendance

The Headteacher

The headteacher is responsible for ensuring this policy is implemented consistently across the school, and for monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to governors.

The headteacher also supports other staff in monitoring the attendance of individual pupils and issues fixed-penalty notices, where necessary.

Links with other policies

This policy is linked to our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Attendance codes





Present (am)

Pupil is present at morning registration


Present (pm)

Pupil is present at afternoon registration


Late arrival

Pupil arrives late before register has closed


Off-site educational activity

Pupil is at a supervised off-site educational activity approved by the school


Dual registered

Pupil is attending a session at another setting where they are also registered



Pupil has an interview with a prospective employer/educational establishment


Sporting activity

Pupil is participating in a supervised sporting activity approved by the school


Educational trip or visit

Pupil is on an educational visit/trip organised, or approved, by the school


Work experience

Pupil is on a work experience placement




Authorised absence


Authorised leave of absence

Pupil has been granted a leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances



Pupil has been excluded but no alternative provision has been made


Authorised holiday

Pupil has been allowed to go on holiday due to exceptional circumstances



School has been notified that a pupil will be absent due to illness


Medical/dental appointment

Pupil is at a medical or dental appointment


Religious observance

Pupil is taking part in a day of religious observance


Study leave

Year 11 pupil is on study leave during their  public examinations


Gypsy, Roma and Traveller absence

Pupil from a Traveller community is travelling, as agreed with the school

Unauthorised absence


Unauthorised holiday

Pupil is on a holiday that was not approved by the school


Reason not provided

Pupil is absent for an unknown reason (this code should be amended when the reason emerges, or replaced with code O if no reason for absence has been provided after a reasonable amount of time)


Unauthorised absence

School is not satisfied with reason for pupil's absence


Arrival after registration

Pupil arrived at school after the register closed





Not required to be in school

Pupil of non-compulsory school age is not required to attend


Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

School site is closed, there is disruption to travel as a result of a local/national emergency, or pupil is in custody


Pupil not on admission register

Register set up but pupil has not yet joined the school


Planned school closure

Whole or partial school closure due to half-term/bank holiday/INSET day

Legislation and guidance

This policy meets the requirements of the school attendance guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from the following legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:

This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.

Approved by:


Date:  [Date]

Last reviewed on:


Next review due by: