Skip to content ↓

Attendance and Absence

Attendance expectations

In order for students to thrive at West Hill School, we expect them to attend regularly to learn, to socialise with friends and to prepare themselves fully to take their place in society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.

There is a clear link between students’ achievement and their level of attendance at school. We want all students to achieve the very best they can and for this they need to be in school regularly.

It is the legal responsibility of parents/carers to ensure their children attend school.

We recognise that some students and their parents/carers may need to be supported at times in meeting their attendance obligations and responsibilities, and our attendance and pastoral teams will be there to help on these occasions.

Good attendance

Our expectation is that students attend school as regularly as possible, and as such the target attendance for all students is at least 96%. To encourage good attendance, we alert parents/carers when a student’s attendance falls below this threshold.

If a student’s attendance falls below our expectation of 96%, we will not authorise any subsequent absences without medical evidence.

Please note that any student whose attendance falls below 90%, for whatever reason, is defined by the Department for Education as a persistent absentee.


Late arrival disrupts the education not only of the student who is late but also of others in the class. All students are expected to be on school site by 8.40am ready for form time at 8.45am.

Students who arrive late prior to 9.05am (Period 1) should go to their form room to be marked in. Students who arrive after 9.05am are expected to sign in at the Admin Office with the Attendance Officer.

This is imperative, as the late book is used in the case of an emergency evacuation.

Students that arrive to school late will be given a detention at morning break on the same day.

Students who are late to school on a regular basis will be monitored and placed on a late report by their Head of Year. If the lateness continues whilst on report, parents/carers may be asked to attend a meeting in school.


As a school we will inform parents when their son is not meeting attendance and punctuality expectations and put in place appropriate interventions to help students to make improvements. In cases where attendance or punctuality does not improve following interventions, the Local Authority will be notified and parents/carers may be issued with a penalty notice.

Section 444(A) of the Education Act 1996 empowers the local authority to issue Penalty Notices in cases of unauthorised absence from school. A separate penalty notice may be issued to each parent for each child.

Reporting absences

Ways to contact school to report an illness/absence:

Procedure for reporting Medical/Dental Appointments:

Parents/carers are advised, where possible, to make medical and dental appointments outside the school day. Where this is not possible, students should attend school for part of the day.

  • Prior to the appointment, please inform the school either by: appointment card, letter or email stating the date, time, type of appointment and the approximate duration of the appointment.