Reporting an Absence

On the first day of your child’s absence, you must contact the school’s absence line on 01325 248117 or email the attendance team on

You should leave a message stating:

  • Your child’s name
  • Their tutor group
  • Reason for absence
  • Your contact details

You should call every day of your child’s absence, unless you know your child will be absent for more than one day. In this case, please state the length of absence on your first call. Any absence longer than 3 days will require medical evidence, such as an appointment card, medication or copy of prescription.

Parent/Carer Responsibilities

As a parent or carer, you have a legal duty to ensure your child is in education and comes to school. Children are of statutory school age between the ages of 5 and 16. More precisely, this runs from the term after a child’s 5th birthday until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they turn 16.

Late Arrivals

School beings at 8.45am for all pupils in years 7 to 11. All pupils are expected to be in registration by 8:50am.

Pupils arriving after 8.50AM and after registration is closed (registration closes at 9.10AM) are given a late mark.

All pupils who are late for school in the morning should report to main reception, where their name, time of arrival and reason for lateness will be recorded. This information is then provided to the Attendance Officer, who logs the absence. For attendance purposes pupils who are late, are classed as absent without authorisation.

Medical and Dental Appointments

If a pupil leaves the site temporarily for an appointment to return later the same day, we must note their details in case of an emergency evacuation. Pupils who leave the site for any reason are required to bring in a note from a parent or carer explaining the reason for their departure and their expected departure time. The pupil should get the note signed by the form tutor and then take it to pupil reception where they will be issued with an official pass to leave the school site. If they return before the end of the school day, they should sign in at pupil reception.


It is our policy that no holiday will be authorised during term time, except in exceptional circumstances. The Department for Education (DfE) provides further information on term time holidays on their website.

Parents/carers who wish to take their child on holiday during term time, under exceptional circumstances, should write a letter to the Principal, setting out the dates of the proposed absence, the reasons and evidence of why it is an exceptional circumstance.

Each case will be assessed on an individual basis and the holiday will either be authorised or unauthorised. A letter will be sent to the parent/carer advising them of the decision. Taking unauthorised holiday during term time may result in a penalty notice being issued.

Penalty Notices

Section 444A of the Education Act 1996 empowers designated local authority officers to issue penalty notices in cases of unauthorised absence from school or alternative provision.

Further information on support for attendance and penalty notices can be found on Darlington Borough Council website.

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