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Please click here for a short video regarding our focus on attendance.

Please click here for a short video regarding our focus on punctuality.

Please click here for further information for parents/carers and educators regarding school avoidance.

At Denefield School, we firmly believe that regular school attendance is essential for the educational progress and overall wellbeing of our students. We hope that this information helps you to keep in mind the key aspects of our attendance policy.

Why regular attendance matters

Consistent school attendance allows your child to:

  • fully engage in learning and make academic progress
  • develop critical social skills by interacting with their friends and teachers
  • grow in confidence in a supportive and nurturing school environment
  • build a sense of routine and responsibility, essential for future success.

Rewards for good attendance

We value and recognise good attendance at Denefield School. Students who maintain excellent attendance records throughout the academic year are eligible for special rewards and recognition. 

Let's work together to celebrate and encourage regular attendance.

Thank you for your cooperation in making sure your child receives the best possible educational experience.

Attendance support

We understand that some students may face challenges that impact their attendance. Our school's welfare team is here to provide support and guidance to students and families in such situations. If you encounter any difficulties related to attendance, please do reach out to:

Mrs Fox, Attendance Manager –

Miss Sharp, Attendance & Medical Admin Support –       

Mrs Cook, Welfare Manager –

Mrs Hill, Welfare Manager –

Mrs Williams – Designated Safeguarding Lead –

Acceptable reasons for absence

We recognise that there are circumstances where a student absence can not be avoided.

Acceptable reasons for being absent from school include:

  • Illness: when your child is unwell and unable to attend school.
  • Medical appointments: if your child has a medical appointment that cannot be scheduled outside school hours, please notify us in advance and provide relevant documentation (eg an appointment card). If you do need to make these appointments during the school day we do ask for them to take place first thing in the morning or towards the end of the day. We will only authorise a half day for a medical appointment; if a whole day is taken the second half will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. We do not accept optician or planned dentist appointments as an acceptable reason for absence – they will be marked as unauthorised.
  • Religious observance: we respect the diverse cultural and religious backgrounds of our students. If your child needs to be absent for religious observance, please submit a request and the Headteacher will review and approve the absence.
  • Exceptional circumstances: in exceptional situations, such as family emergencies or unforeseen events, please contact the school immediately to discuss the absence.

How to report unplanned absences

In the event of an unplanned absence, we request you follow these steps:

  1. Contact the school: on the day of the absence, please report the absence via either the Classcharts app, emailing or calling the school on 0118 9413458 before 8.30am
  2. Provide a reason for absence: please provide a specific reason on the first day of absence and every subsequent day/s if the illness/ absence continues.

After 10.00am, un-notified absences will be investigated via a text message or telephone call. If no response is given the absence will be marked as unauthorised.

Term-time holidays

Term-time holidays are not permitted during the school year. Absences due to term-time holidays are disruptive to learning and lead to missed opportunities in the classroom.

However, we recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances that require a term-time holiday. In such rare cases, please submit a formal request to at least one month prior to the requested absence period. The request will be considered by the Headteacher and Attendance Manager will confirm whether the absence can be authorised on exceptional circumstances. It is highly unlikely that time off will be authorised during term time for a family holiday.  

We emphasise that such instances will only be considered on a discretionary basis, and the decision will be made with the student’s educational welfare as the utmost priority.

If you do decide to take a holiday during term time without the school’s agreement, it will be referred to the Local Authority and you are likely to incur a fine.       

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding regarding our approach to term-time holidays.

Attendance Expectations

Student attendance is monitored regularly and every student is expected to know their percentage and what the impact that has on their academic progress. Your child’s tutor will contact you if they start to see a decline in their attendance.

We use the below groups to help us to understand the risk to each students education.

  • Group 1: The child attends for 96% - 100% of the time. A child absent for 1.5 weeks in the year would equal an attendance statistic of 96%. 6 out of 10 of students in group 1 gain at least 5 GCSE grades 5-9.
  • Group 2: Concern The child attends for 90% - 95.9% of the time. A child absent for 3.5 weeks in the year would equal an attendance statistic of 90%.
  • Group 3: Risk of Underachievement The child attends for 85% - 90% of the time.
  • Group 4: Severe Risk of Underachievement The child attends for 85% or less of the time.

Late arrivals: Students are expected to arrive on site before 8.28am. If your child arrives late, without a valid reason, they will be issued a same day detention.  The length of the detention will either be:

  • up to 15 minutes late – 30 minute detention after school
  • over 15 minutes late – 1 hour detention after school.

Students arriving after 9.15 am will be marked absent and will require an explanatory note or the absence will remain unauthorised. Students arriving late MUST sign in at Student Reception.