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At Bishop Thomas Grant School attendance is exceptionally high and one of our main priorities is that all children achieve to the best of their abilities, across the whole curriculum.  Attendance is key to each child being successful in school and, indeed, later in their work life.

As a parent you are required by law to ensure that your son/daughter attends school regularly and on time.  Failure to do so can involve the Education Welfare Service and can lead to penalty fines or court action being taken against you.

Research shows that a child's attendance at school is a critical factor in their future success.  A child who attends school every day for the whole year is awarded with 100% and this is celebrated in end of term assemblies.  At Bishop Thomas Grant, we expect our students to have full attendance levels, so that they can achieve their full potential.  If your child's attendance falls we will contact you by phone or letter to discuss the situation.  It is a widely observed fact that attendance has a direct impact on a child's achievement and potential.


Attendance information for academic year 2015-16

Bishop Thomas Grant School National
% of Persistent absentees 1.5% 5.4%
% of Overall absence 3% 5.3%
Overall attendance rate for school 97% 94.6%

The School’s attendance rate is significantly above the national average, reflecting that pupils at Bishop Thomas Grant School are very happy to come to school, they value all the opportunities that are provided for them and achieve highly.


Importance of Attendance

Attendance of below 90% over five years is equivalent to your child missing half a year of school. See below:

Attendance During
one School Year

Equals Days
absent per year

Which is approximately
 weeks absent

Which means this
number of lessons missed

Which means this number of school hours missed

95% 9 Days 2 Weeks 50 Lessons 42 Hours
90% 19 Days 4 Weeks 100 Lessons 83 Hours
85% 29 Days 6 Weeks 150 Lessons 125 Hours
80% 38 Days 8 Weeks 200 Lessons 167 Hours

All this time needs to be made up, while at the same time trying to cope with the present demands of lessons.  Research shows that missing just 17 school days a year (92% attendance) equals a drop in GCSE grade (Department for Education).  It also shows that only a quarter of pupils will achieve GCSE grades A*-C if their attendance is below 90%.

Please ensure your child attends school every day - it is crucial to their future.


Absence from School

Although we do ask that you use good judgement about whether they need to be absent from school, we accept that there may be times when your child is ill.  On these occasions you must report to school each day of absence.  You can report the absence using one of the following methods:

  • If before 8.30am, leave a voicemail message using our automated messaging service, on 020 8769 3294
  • If after 8.30am, speak to our Attendance Officer on 020 8769 3294 ext. 231
If your child is absent from school without an explanation, you will be contacted by 'TruancyCall' and asked to provide a reason for the absence.  This process happens on a daily basis.  Attendance is monitored by a child's Head of Year and the Pastoral Deputy Head.


Holidays during Term Time

If you wish to take your child out of school for any reason, you must apply to the school before making any arrangements.  Parents do not have a legal right to take their child out of school unless the absence is authorised by the school.  You can apply for an absence by writing a letter, addressed to the Headteacher, explaining the circumstances and handing it in to reception, emailing or posting to the school.  

As per the Department for Education's guidelines, the school will judge each holiday request individually, taking into consideration:

  • the time of year for the proposed trip
  • if it's close to any exam dates
  • your child's overall attendance record
  • any holidays already taken in the school year
  • the age and stage of education of your child
  • the ability of your child to catch up the work that they have missed
  • the reason you are taking the time off during term time
While absence may be granted for a holiday during term time, it is entirely the school’s decision and is not a parental right.  If the school refuses your application and you still take your child out of school the absences will be treated as unauthorised.  Unauthorised absences may lead to the Local Education Authority issuing a Penalty Notice or a Summons against you for irregular attendance.  Evidence must be provided if a holiday is extended unexpectedly through illness, delayed flights etc.
Letters will be sent home where a student's absence is causing concern.



Punctuality is an extremely important part of self-discipline and is a skill that will be latterly essential in the work place.  As well as learning now good habits for life, there is evidence that being frequently late for school adds up to lost learning: 

  • Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year. 
  • Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year. 
  • Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year.

Students should always make sure that they are in the appropriate classroom no later than the times shown in the section on timing of the school day.

Arriving at school:

  • If students arrive at school after 8.45am, but before 9.05am, they must sign in late at the reception and go to their form rooms.  If they do not have a valid reason, they will be placed in a lunchtime detention that day.
  • If students arrive at school after 9.05am, they must sign in late at the reception and go to their relevant lesson.  If they do not have a valid reason, they will be placed in a 1 hour detention on Friday after school.  Students who are repeatedly late can expect this level of sanction to escalate.

Lateness due to medical or dental appointments must be accompanied by evidence in the form of a letter or card from the surgery.  These will then be recorded as authorised absence.  Letters will be sent home if punctuality is a concern.


Please see our Policies page to obtain a full copy of our Attendance Policy.