Absence & Attendance

At Deer Park it is our belief that students with a high level of school attendance are more likely to enjoy learning, achieve better examination results and are less likely to miss out on the myriad of opportunities afforded to them.

Students with good school attendance are more likely to benefit from education, achieve better examination results and go on to have more successful careers. Similarly, irregular or poor attendance at school can lead to students underachieving and underperforming in examinations and, therefore, will have a detrimental effect upon their careers.

Absence from school can be disruptive not only for the individual student but also for the student's whole class.  Absences should be kept to a minimum. 

The School does not support taking a holiday in term time.  Parents are strongly requested to avoid taking holidays in term time. If this is absolutely unavoidable, a ‘Request to authorise absence from school due to exceptional circumstances’ form must be completed. The completed form should be received at least a week before the period for which you are seeking authorisation. Please complete all blank sections of the form including name(s) and school(s) of any siblings that are also applying for a leave of absence. 

If you require a paper copy, please contact the school office.

Below is an illustration of how absence adversely affects learning:

Attendance during one school year

Equates to days absent

Which is approximately

Which means the number of lessons missed


10 days

2 weeks

50 lessons


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


29 days

6 weeks

150 lessons


38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons


48 days

10 weeks

250 lessons


57 days

11.5 weeks

285 lessons


67 days

13.5 weeks

335 lessons

All students should be reported ill by their parents on the first day of absence followed by a written explanation on their return that is given to their tutor. Parents must call in EVERYDAY that their child is absent.

Please click link below for nhs guidance:

'Can a child go to school/nursery today?'

In the event of problems relating to attendance, the Director of Progress and Achievement (DOPA) will begin to work with both student and parent(s) to formalise an appropriate action plan. 

When a student’s attendance falls below 95% the following actions will ensue:

  • Stage 0 - Letter home advising Parents/Guardian that their child's attendance has dropped below 95%
  • Stage 1 – Letter home notifying Parent/Guardian that their child’s attendance has dropped below 95% and is a concern
  • Stage 2 – Formal letter from school expressing our continued concern that a student’s attendance has not improved
  • Stage 3 – Formal letter requiring that a Parent/Guardian provides medical evidence to support absence related to illness and advising that absences will be unauthorised unless evidence is provided
  • Stage 4 – Parent/Guardians invited for a formal meeting at the school  - Penalty Warning given.
  • Stage 4a - Formal letter sent if Parent/Guardian fails to attend a formal Stage 4 meeting on two consecutive occasions. Letter advises that a FPN or Legal Team referral will be made if attendance does not improve
  • Stage 5 – Formal letter to Parent/Guardians advising that a referral has been made to the Attendance Legal Panel or Fixed Penalty Notice given.

At every stage it is imperative that Parent/Guardians ensure that there are good lines of communication with the school.  The School will endeavour to support, advise and provide strategies for Parent/Guardians who are willing to engage.

Concerns for a students absence from school may well trigger attendance concern that could include informing the Local Authority that a student is a child missing in education.  The school responds to a student missing from school without notice by making contact with parents, following up with letters and a home visit before informing the authority that no contact has been established.  

Please can we ask that when you are reporting a student absence that you email absence@deerparksecondary.org or use the report absence feature within the parent app Insight, it can be found on the attendance menu.