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The Barlow RC High School



Attendance Tips for Parents

The School Day

  • School opens for pupils at 8:15 am - 8:30 am
  • Official start of the day begins at 8:30 am
  • Official end of the school day is 2:55 pm
  • Official weekly hours 32 hrs 5 mins


  • All pupils to aim to achieve 100% attendance and cannot have attendance less than 97% in any half term period.


  • It is the law that all children attend school every day.
  • Being absent from school negatively impacts on a pupil's academic performance.
  • Pupils with poor attendance get poor grades.
  • Poor attendance reduces a pupil’s chance of being offered a place at the college of their choice.
  • Poor attendance will prevent them from taking part in events, such as the Prom, school trips – and Year 11 pupils will have privileges withdrawn!

Impact of poor attendance

  • There are only 40 weeks in a school year and there are 12 weeks holiday, therefore:
  • Missing 1 day a fortnight – 90% attendance.
  • Missing 6 days each term for 5 years is equal to missing ONE WHOLE YEAR!
  • 95% attendance sounds quite good, but it is equal to a child missing one day every month.
  • Poor attendance is not tolerated at school or at any place of work.
  • A child who is regularly absent from school will be categorised under Government Legislation as a PA (Persistent Absentee).  This means your child’s attendance at school will be scrutinised and failure to rectify this issue will mean parents will be issued with a Penalty Notice Fine or Court Prosecution.
  • The Headteacher can only authorise an absence from school (max. 10 days) in exceptional circumstances.  Failure for a child to attend within the 10 days following the expiry of the period for which leave was granted, could lead in extreme cases of the child being taken off roll.

Important Notice

From 1st September 2013, due to an amendment to the 2006 School Attendance Regulations, Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you need to take your child out of school, your child must request a Leave of Absence Form from the Student Services Office. You must use this to seek permission from the Headteacher, at least four weeks in advance of the absence. If you take your child out of school for a leave of absence without authorisation from the Headteacher then a fixed term penalty notice will be issued.

At The Barlow, we believe that your child’s attendance in school is extremely important, especially if pupils are to achieve their potential at GCSE. By law, all schools have to follow very strict regulations, with every absence recorded and reported. We want your child to achieve, to be happy and to feel that they belong to our school community and their attendance is an important factor in ensuring this.

Reporting an absence

If your child is ill or has a very good reason to miss school, please either - 

If your child is ill, we will mark them ‘I’ for ill on the register

For medical appointments at the hospital or dentist, we mark  ‘M’ for medical. Where possible, appointments should be made outside of school hours

If there are unusual circumstances such as a serious illness in the family, we mark ‘C’ for circumstances

The school allows one day for religious festivals for all major faiths apart from Christianity. As a Catholic school, Christian religious dates are usually within school holidays. Further days taken for Religious Festivals will not be authorised.

If your child is persistently absent due to illness, the attendance team may request medical evidence.

Unauthorised absences

Parents are not allowed to keep their children off school for any of the following reasons: family birthday, shopping, holidays in term time, visiting relatives, watching a sports event or looking after family members. All these reasons will be marked as unauthorised. If you need to take your child away from school, your child must request a Leave of Absence Form from the Student Services Office. You must use this to seek permission from the Headteacher, at least four weeks in advance of the absence. If you take your child out of school without permission, you may be given a fixed penalty notice.


The school day starts at 8.30am and pupils must be in school for that time. If your child is late, they will be marked as Late (L) and given a same day 30 minute detention. Parents and carers will be notified of the detention via a text message to the person who is listed as the first contact in our information system.

Monitoring attendance

At The Barlow, we monitor each pupil’s attendance and record this on their reports. We encourage 100% attendance. If a child has below 93% attendance, a warning letter is issued to parents and the child will be monitored by the Attendance Officers. If attendance drops below 90%, parents will be invited to a formal Attendance Panel in school as they will be in danger of receiving a penalty notice. 

Medical Appointments

We would ask you to avoid medical appointments in school time if possible. If this cannot be avoided and your child must leave school to attend an appointment, you must provide evidence of the appointment via email to studentabsence@thebarlowrchigh.co.uk and you must write and sign a note in their school journal with the appointment details so they can be signed out in Student Services when they are due to leave.  Telephone calls are only acceptable for emergency appointments