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Attendance and Absence

At Fairfield High School we endeavour to achieve a minimum attendance figure of 95% for the whole school; unfortunately this has been impossible for the last two years due to covid.  Currently, whole school attendance is much lower at 91% and we would like to focus on improving this for the remainder of this academic year.

We are raising the profile of attendance in school this term with form prizes each week for the group with the best attendance, and the group with most improved attendance.  In addition, we will continue to reward individuals who maintain high attendance figures. Exceptional circumstances for serious medical issues or personal situations will be taken into account, but the important point is that every child should be in school whenever possible.

Your child’s attendance figure will appear on their academic reports and it is always requested when students change schools or transition to further education.  It is sometimes very easy to think that the odd day here and there or an afternoon missed does not really matter, but we have noticed over the past few years that in some cases these ‘occasional days’ can add up to a significant amount of time missed.  95% attendance is equivalent to a half day off every fortnight; 90% is equivalent to a day off every fortnight.  80% attendance means your child is absent for the equivalent of one day every week!  We know that this kind of absence, even in Key Stage 3, can have a big impact on GCSE grades and future plans, because it has a cumulative effect.

We understand that hospital and dental appointments are usually beyond parental control and we do not expect children to come to school if they are genuinely ill and could not manage the school day.  However, it is a legal requirement for your child/children to attend school; therefore, we are required to gather as much information as possible regarding any absence. If your child is absent from school, parents and carers have a responsibility to report this to the school and provide specific information. Students will be marked as unauthorised if there is not an appropriate or agreed reason for absence given; schools are obliged to follow up unauthorised absences and take further action in line with our Attendance Policy and the requirements of the DfE.

Please see below for a reminder of how to notify school if your child is absent:

Procedure for illness/Absence

Please call the absence line on 01981 551006 or email with a detailed explanation for absence to before 8.45am. Please ensure you update the school with this absence if it is longer than 1 day.

When 10 sessions are marked as unauthorised (5 days in total) in a 26-week period, a letter of concern is sent home.

If your child is late to school, they will need to sign in at reception. Registration begins at 08.45am. Any arrivals after that time must go to receptionIf lateness is a regular occurrence, we will send a letter home with details.

Medical absence

We ask if you could please arrange medical appointments before or after school if at all possible. This will reduce the amount of lessons missed.  We expect students to return to school for the rest of the day or to come into school before an appointment unless there are specific reasons not to do so.

Please provide evidence if your child/children are required to attend a medical appointment.

This can be via a photo, screenshot or letter and sent to

Letters can be photocopied upon arrival/ collection by reception. Please also call the office to notify in advance of the appointment.

Please note that all information will be recorded on the student’s file.

For all other absences, please ensure an ‘Absence request form’ is completed at least two weeks prior to the absence. This can be found on the schools website

We monitor attendance weekly and if we see a drop in attendance, we will send letters home to make parents/carers aware of it and to ask whether support is needed for attendance.  We can offer a range of strategies and links to external agencies if required.  The most effective strategy of all is for parents/carers and the school to work together to help our young people understand that good attendance is very important and crucial training for later life and the world of work.

The attendance policy is on the school website, together with information about strategies and agencies that may be able to offer support to improve attendance if needed.

Thank you for your ongoing support in this matter.

School anxiety and refusal parents guide