Attendance and Punctuality

At Oaks Park High School, we want all students to strive for 100% attendance to give them the best opportunity for future success.

Students with 96% and above have good levels of attendance and have been shown, both nationally and at Oaks Park High School, to have better outcomes in their GCSEs.

Every school day counts for website

Whilst 90% might sound like a good figure when used as a statistic, 90% attendance is a concerning level of attendance (one day off per fortnight for the whole school year).  Research shows that every missed day from school is associated with a lower chance of children achieving their target grades in their GCSE exams. We expect every child to be in school every day to receive high quality teaching in the classroom.

Attendance %

Time absent from school

Learning time missed

Schooling missed






Positive outcomes on progress and wellbeing


10 days

55 hours*

63 hours

Satisfactory outcomes on progress and wellbeing


19 days


124 hours

Persistent absence – detrimental outcomes on progress and wellbeing

Below 90%

Very concerning levels of attendance

*At Key Stage 4 this is more than half the teaching time a student  would have for an option subject.


There is a proven link between good attendance and good exam results - as well as a student's overall life chances.  However, the benefits also go beyond improving results. 

Good attendance:

  • allows continuity in learning and reduces ‘gaps’ in knowledge/understanding
  • supports positive mental health and reduces anxiety
  • allows students to benefit from developing peer relationships and social skills
  • establishes good habits for future education/training and work
  • What does the school do to encourage good attendance?

  • Individual ClassCharts rewards for each week that a student achieves 100% attendance

  • Weekly inter tutor group competitions and rewards

  • Individual rewards for students with good and excellent attendance records (e.g. attendance certificates, prize draws, Headteacher's reward breakfasts)

  • Regular promotion of good attendance in assemblies, tutor time and at parents'/carers' evenings

  • Detailed analysis of attendance figures and trends for individuals, year groups, sub groups and the whole school

  • Regular reports to governors

  • Regular attendance information sent to parents/carers to assist them in monitoring their child’s attendance

  • Support for students and parents/carers where attendance difficulties are emerging



Please remember that term time covers 40 weeks of the year. Students have 12 weeks of half term and end of term holidays. Absence during term time should only be in the event of illness or injury.

In the event of unplanned absence:

Parents/carers must contact the school to notify us of the reason for their child’s absence by 9am (or as soon as practically possible) on the first day of an unplanned absence either using the MyEd app, emailing the Attendance Team or by calling the Absence Line on 020 8254 7804. Parents/carers should advise when their child is expected to return.

  • Parents/carers should send their child to school unless they really are too unwell to attend.  Most students are still able to come in and access learning effectively with a cough, cold or other mild symptoms.
  • Where no reason for absence is given after 5 days, then the absence will be unauthorised
  • Planned absence:
  • Parents/carers should ensure that, where possible, non-urgent appointments for their child are made outside of the school day.

  • If such an appointment is necessary, parents/carers should arrange that their child leaves school at a lesson changeover time to ensure minimal disruption. Minor medical appointments do not warrant a full day of absence and attendance is expected before and/or after the appointment. Parents/carers should provide dental or medical appointment letters when possible.
  • Term-time leave of absence for a student will not be authorised apart from in exceptional circumstances. Parents/carers should note that holidays taken in term time will not authorised and fixed penalty notices will be issued.
  • Parents/carers should make a request for any term-time leave of absence as soon as it is anticipated and, where possible, at least 6 weeks before the absence by putting their request and reasons in writing and sending it to The Headteacher may require evidence to support any request for leave of absence.


Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

Fixed Penalty Notices are fines that can be issued to parents for their child's unauthorised absence from school. 

If a child has ten school sessions (ie. five school days) lost through unauthorised absence, the Borough Schools’ Attendance Service is able to serve parents/carers with a Fixed Penalty Notice. If payment is made within 21 days of receipt of a Penalty Notice the cost is £60 per parent/carer rising to £120 if paid within 28 days.
The School refers parents/carers who remove their child for a holiday to the Borough Schools’ Attendance Service for the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

London Borough of Sutton guidelines and further information on Fixed Penalty Notices can be found on their website:

More detailed information regarding attendance can be found in our Attendance and Punctuality Policy


The Local Authority

For a letter from Cognus explaining role that the Local Authority are taking in supporting all Schools in Sutton with improving their attendance, please click here