Attendance Expectations

  • Every student at Holcombe Grammar School should strive for 100% attendance.
  • The Local Authority and the Thinking Schools Trust both have an attendance target of 96% and parents will be contacted if attendance drops below 96%.
  • Medical and dental appointments, unless an emergency or with a consultant, should be made for after school or during the school holidays. Medical letters/appointment cards must be provided to authorise these absences. (Students attend school for 190 days of the year, leaving 175 days for appointments and holidays)
  • Holidays during term time will not be authorised. If there are special circumstances, please apply in writing to the Head of School.
  • Where possible, time off school must be applied for, in writing, prior to the absence.
  • Absences will not be authorised if: you have overslept or had a late night, problems with uniform, birthdays, forgotten school dates, going shopping, etc.
  • The first and last day of term is a normal working school day and so students are expected to attend. Having these days off equates to 12 days absence per year.
  • If your child is required to take medication, we may be able to accommodate this in school. Please contact The Holcombe Office.
  • If your child sustains an injury (ie broken bone), we may be able to accommodate them in school. Please contact Student Services to arrange.


100% Attendance0 days missedExcellent
96% Attendance


8 days of absence

1 week and 3 days of learning missed

95% Attendance


9 days of absence

1 week and 4 days of learning missed

90% Attendance


19 days of absence

3 weeks and 4 days of learning missed

85% Attendance


28 days of absence

5 weeks and 3 days of learning missed

Very poor
80% Attendance


38 days of absence

7 weeks and 3 days of learning missed

75% Attendance


46 days of absence

9 weeks and 1 day of learning missed



The Law

The 1996 Education Act clearly states “If any child of compulsory age, who is a registered pupil at a school, fails to attend regularly, the parent/carer of the child shall be guilty of an offence.”



  • Students should arrive and join line up by 8:30am. Arriving after 8:30am means that a late mark will be recorded on your child’s attendance and they must attend a late detention.
  • Being late to school means your child misses out on important information given in the morning.
  • Lateness will result in contact from the Academy.
Minutes late per day during the school yearEquals days worth of teaching lost in a year
5 Minutes3.4 Days
10 Minutes6.9 Days
15 Minutes10.3 Days
20 Minutes13.8 Days
30 Minutes20.7 Days


The Law

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 also introduced the use of fixed penalty notices as an additional sanction to address the problem of poor punctuality. Failure to ensure your child’s prompt arrival at school may result in prosecution in the courts or a fixed penalty notice being issued.


How Parents/Carers Can Help

  • Establish a good routine in the mornings and evenings so your child is prepared for the school day ahead.
  • Make sure your child goes to school regularly and follows the school rules.
  • Ensure your child arrives at school on time.
  • Ensure alternative arrangements are in place where public transport cannot be relied on to ensure your child is in school on time.
  • Arrange dental and medical appointments outside school hours when possible.
  • Always inform the school if your child is absent due to illness – this should be followed up with a written note when your child returns to school.
  • Take truancy seriously. If your child is not attending school as you expect they may be putting themselves at risk – who are they with? What are they doing?
  • Take family holidays outside term time.
  • Talk to your child about school and take an interest in their school work (including homework).
  • Attend parent evenings and school events.
  • Praise and reward your child’s achievements at school.
  • Always support school staff in their efforts to control difficult or challenging behaviour.
  • Discuss any problems or difficulties with the school – staff are there to help and will be supportive.


We are here to help. Please contact Miss Sutton, Attendance Improvement Coordinator, or your child’s Head of Year if you need support.