The “Greenbank Way” to excellent attendance.

Greenbank High School in partnership with students and parents/carers has very good levels of attendance which we aim to continue to improve year on year. We thank parents/carers for their continued support with this. The information below outlines our systems and expectations in relation to attendance as well as the new government regulations relating to absence requests during term times.

Research and our historical data shows that low attendance has a detrimental impact on progress and achievement.

To put this in context:


  • A student with 90% attendance misses the equivalent of 1 day a fortnight, this equates to 5 lessons a fortnight.
  • A student with 80% attendance misses the equivalent of 1 day a week, this equates to 5 lessons a week.
  • Research suggests that a pupil with 90% attendance could equate to a grade drop at GCSE level.

Greenbank High School expectations


As a school we have high expectations for all of our students in terms of attendance, expecting all students to attend on a regular basis. As a school we define the term “regular” as a minimum of 96% attendance.


In the rare cases that there is justifiable reason for a student’s low attendance it is expected that the parent/carer engage and communicate proactively with the school by providing clear information (from involved professionals) explaining the reason for the persistent absence. The clearer the information we have, the better we can support the student in their education. The school has a range of flexible and supportive options available to students with specific needs in order to help them improve their attendance and not miss out on their education. It is however ultimately the responsibility of the parents/carers to ensure their child attends school.

If a student has a pattern of persistent absence and/or a student’s attendance drops and/or stays at a low level we are duty bound to inform the local authority who are responsible for taking further action.

Good attendance is rewarded through both achievement points and certificates. When a pupil shows an improvement in attendance this will also be recognised.


Absence from school

We request that if your child is absent from school that you telephone the school on 01704 567591 (extension 1) on the morning of each absence leaving the student’s name, form and reason for absence. Upon their return to school please provide a written note verifying the absence.

For longer periods of absence or where there are repeated absences a parent/carer may be asked to provide a letter from the GP or another medically qualified professional confirming that your child is/was not able to attend school and the reason for this. The school reserves the right to code absence as unauthorised where no such evidence is provided.

As a school, we have a duty of care to ensure students regularly attend school. Where there is an attendance concern it may be appropriate for staff to complete a home visit to check on the welfare of a student.


Medical appointments

We request that whenever possible medical/dental appointments are made outside of the school day. Where this is not possible it is expected that the student attends school before and /or after the appointment. It is expected that parents/carers notify the school in writing of any appointments with a copy of the appointment schedule. There is a section in the student planner to complete prior to any appointments.


Requests for leave of absence in term time – legal framework

The Headteacher is not allowed to authorise absence for students from school except in “exceptional circumstances”. Holidays are not considered “exceptional circumstances”.

In “exceptional cases” parents/carers can request in advance to take a leave of absence. Requests should be made on the standard school form (leave of absence request form) and should be sent into school at least four weeks in advance of the first day of the requested absence. The Headteacher will then consider the request and communicate the decision back to you in a timely way.


Unauthorised absence

The government has placed a priority on reducing all forms of absence and introduced Fixed Penalty Notice fines (FPN) to parents whose children are absent without the school’s authorisation. These are coordinated and issued by the local authority.

10 or more unauthorised sessions of absence(equivalent to 5 school days) across a 10 week period may result in a FPN being issued. The FPN is issued with an invoice for £120 and 28 days are given to settle the fine. If the FPN is paid within the first 21 days the amount payable is reduced to £60.

To avoid coding absences as unauthorised it is therefore essential that when a student has a serious illness/medical condition that creates a pattern of sporadic or sustained absence that parents/carers provide a letter from a medical professional. This allows us to liaise with them and gather the necessary information in order to code the absence appropriately.

Please click here for a link to the school attendance policy.

Please see below for a request form for absence during term time.  Absence during term time will only be authorised at the Headteacher’s discretion.


Paid within 21 days £60 per parent/guardian £60 per child = £120 per parent
After 21 days and before 28 days £120 per parent/guardian £120 per child = £240 per parent
After 28 days You will receive a summons to appear in the Magistrates’ Court on the grounds that you have failed to secure you child’s regular attendance. You will receive a summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court on the grounds that you have failed to secure your



The school expects all students to be on time each and every day to registrations and lessons. Failure to this (unless there is a valid reason) will result in sanctions being out in place on an escalating scale.


School trips

It is expected that students have a minimum of 96% to be offered a place on non-statutory school trips. Students with attendance below 96% may only be offered a place at the discretion of the school. The exception to this is if there is medical evidence explaining specific or long term absence.