Attendance matters


Five reasons why attending school is so important:

  1. Students have the right to an education
  2. Parents/Carers have a legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school. Schools and Local Authorities have a duty to ensure that students take up this right
  3. There is a direct link between high student absence and low attainment in school
  4. Getting students to attend school regularly and be on time is a very important skill for life beyond school
  5. Poor attendance can potentially lead to students being isolated from their friends, risk of bullying, poor and unsettled behaviour, anti-social behaviour or criminal activity.


Ten Attendance Tips: How can I help my child attend School regularly?

  1. Ensure they pack their bag the night before
  2. Ensure that their uniform is ready, especially after the holidays or weekend
  3. Get them to bed at a reasonable hour so that they get a good night’s sleep – Don’t let them take their phone to bed
  4. Set the alarm clock early enough to allow plenty of time to get ready properly
  5. Make sure they have some breakfast
  6. Remind them to set off in the car, the train, the bus, or start walking early enough so that they are not late: punctuality is important (students on school site by 8.25am)
  7. Check to make sure they have everything they need – pencil case, books, PE kit, bus/train pass, lunch money etc
  8. Talk to your child about what they did in school today
  9. Ensure your child has completed any homework or revised for any tests (as this can cause undue anxiety if not completed). Use Class Charts to stay up to date on what homework is being set
  10. If you are at all worried about your child’s school attendance please contact the school and their Pastoral Team as soon as possible so that we can offer support.


Some facts and figures on Attendance

  • 90% attendance equals half a day of school missed every week 
  • One school year at 90% attendance = 4 whole weeks of lessons and school work missed
  • 90% attendance over 5 years of secondary school = half a school year missed 
  • There is a direct correlation between low student attendance and future employment prospects
95% 10 days absence 60
90% 19 days absence 114
85% 29 days absence 174
80% 38 days absence 228
75% 47 days absence 282

Research suggests that 17 missed school days a year is equal to a GCSE grade drop in achievement (Department for Education and Skills).

What do I do if my child is ill and cannot attend School?

  1. Parents or carers must inform the school by telephone, text or email as soon as possible on the day of the absence (Attendance Officer: Mrs G O’Neill on 020 89741 156 ext 207, email or text 020 3137 6796)
  2. On the students return to school, they need to bring a letter in to their tutor to explain the reasons for the student’s absence is required, signed by the parent/carer



  • It is very important that your child is on the school site before 8.25am 
  • Students arriving after this time will be marked as late and given a 15 minute after school detention
  • If you are aware your child is going to be late please telephone or email the school office
  • If your child arrives late to school they must sign in at Student reception before they go to their first lesson.


My child needs a medical appointment or orthodontic treatment during school time – What should I do?

  • We completely understand that certain medical appointments, such as orthodontic treatments, have to be carried out in school time and parents have very little choice on the times that they are offered. In these cases we only ask that we are given advance warning and students return to school as quickly as possible.
  • For all other appointments (such as doctor or dentist) we ask that, where possible, these are made after 1:35pm in order for your child to miss as little schooling as possible. Whole days will not be authorised for routine appointments.
  • Students who are off school for more than 3 days will also require medical evidence to be given to the school – This can be a GP appointment card or medication/prescription


Can I take my child out of school for any other reason?

  • It is not in your child’s best interests to miss any schooling. Every school day counts towards your child’s future. Day’s off school add up to lost learning
  • Your child is at school for 190 days and at home for 175 non-school days a year.
  • This time not at school gives families ample opportunity to go on holiday, visit relatives, taking long weekends, birthday treats or special days out, to go shopping etc.


I am concerned that my child is not ill but does not want to come to school – What should I do?

Contact your child’s tutor, the Pastoral Team or the Attendance Officer and make the school aware. We can offer advice, support and strategies to work together to rectify the situation.


Chessington School, Garrison Lane, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2JS

Chessington School is a co-educational, non-selective, secondary school providing excellence in education for pupils aged 11 to 16

Everyone valued • Every day an opportunity • Every moment focused on success

Everyone valued
Every day an opportunity
Every moment focused on success


Chessington School is part of Every Child Every Day Academy Trust, a company limited by guarantee that is registered in England (Company Number:08185432), with a registered office c/o Grey Court School, Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7HN

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