It is vitally important for all students at Ratton to have the best chance to achieve at school. To do this, students need to attend regularly and punctually and we are committed to ensuring they understand the impact that absences can have on potential attainment and future life chances.


Regular and punctual attendance is of paramount importance in ensuring that all children have full access to the curriculum. Valuable learning time is lost when children are absent or late.

There is also a strong link between the attendance of a student at school and the level of attainment when the student leaves school.  This in turn can have a serious impact on the future life chances of a student.

Children should be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence by the parent. Children are sometimes reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child.  If a child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending.  This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and may make things worse.

Every half-day absence has to be classified by the school, (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing. If a student misses a single registration they are therefore absent from school for half a day.

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a reason such as genuine illness or other unavoidable cause.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave" has been given. This includes:

  • parents keeping children off school unnecessarily
  • truancy before or during the school day
  • absences which have never been properly explained
  • children who arrive at school too late to get a mark

Parents are expected to contact school at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together.  If difficulties cannot be sorted out in this way, the school may refer the child to Education Support Behaviour and Attendance Service (ESBAS) from the Local Education Authority.  ESBAS will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed, can use court proceedings to prosecute parents or to seek an Education Supervision Order on the child.