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Attendance Procedures

Attendance at Botley School


Botley School is a successful school and your child plays their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to reach out for excellence. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. This will enable us to ensure an inclusive and resilient education for every child.

It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and the school policy sets out how together we will achieve this.

Each year the school will examine its attendance figures and set attendance/absence targets. These will reflect both national and Oxfordshire attendance targets.

The school will review its systems for improving attendance at regular intervals to ensure that it is achieving its set goals.

The policy will contain within it, the procedures that the school will use to meet its attendance targets.


Why regular attendance is so important


Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any pupil’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class.

Regular absence will also impact on a child’s social and emotional well-being as it leads to pupils being excluded from play because they are not there to establish and maintain friendship groups every day. As an inclusive school, we want to make sure every child is in school to develop these skills.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.


The Botley School policy works to meet the mandatory requirements laid out in the government guidance Working together to improve school attendance 


You can read the policy in full by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page

Absence Procedures


If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence;
  • Send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence – you must do this even if you have already telephoned us;
  • Or, you can call into school and report to reception
  • We need to know the child’s full name, class and REASON for absence.


If your child is absent we will:

  • Telephone or text you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you;
  • Visit you at home if we have not heard from you by day 3 of absence;
  • Invite you in to discuss the situation with our Attendance Officer;
  • Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher if absences persist;
  • Refer the matter to the County Attendance Team if attendance moves below 90%.



Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, which can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.


How we manage Time Keeping


The school day starts at 8.45 a.m. and we expect your child to be in class at that time.


Registers are marked by 8.50 a.m. and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.


At 9.00 a.m. the registers will be closed.  In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists.


If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Assistant Headteacher and/or Attendance Team to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

Exceptional Leave


Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children away in school time. Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.


There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.


  1. It is widely known that the link between a student’s attendance and attainment is irrefutable.
  2. Early poor attendance habits follow through into secondary school, further education and employment.
  3. Graduates earn, on average, double that of young people that leave school with no qualifications.
  4. All schools in Oxfordshire are encouraged to adopt a policy of not authorising Exceptional Leave.
  5. Exceptional leave is most unlikely to be authorised when a student’s attendance is less than 95%.
  6. Exceptional leave should always be refused when school is aware of any truancy.
  7. Exceptional leave should always be refused when requests are regular (annual) or when patterns become identifiable.
  8. Reasons for Exceptional Leave should be logged on the pupil’s record and shared as part of the transfer/transition process. 


The County Attendance Team can issue Penalty Notices for any unauthorised 'Exceptional Leave'.  Penalty Notices can be issued to each parent/carer concerned. Please note that it will be per parent per child. Payment within 21 days of receipt of notice is £60 and £120 if paid after this period but within 28 days. If the Penalty Notice remains unpaid after 28 days you will each receive a summons to Oxford Magistrates Court. If unauthorised leave is repeated the County Attendance Team may summons each parent to Court without a Penalty Notice being issued.


If you feel you have an exceptional reason for requesting absence from school, you must submit the Exceptional Absence Request Form (see below) to the school office, no later than 2 weeks prior to the planned absence.