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Coombe Hill Infants’ School believes that in order to facilitate teaching and learning, good attendance is essential. Pupils cannot achieve their full potential if they do not regularly attend school.  

We have revised our Attendance Policy, which we would ask all parents/carers to read. A copy of the full policy can be viewed on this website.

As a school, we expect all pupils on roll to attend every day when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so.  A pupil’s attendance should be at least 96%, and anything below 90% is considered Persistent Absence (PA).


Key Points from our Attendance Policy

Attendance expectations

  • The school has high expectations for ALL pupils’ attendance and punctuality. 
  • Pupils are expected to attend school punctually every day they are required to be at school, for the full day. 
  • The school day starts at 8:40am with morning activities, and all children should be in their classrooms by 8:50am.

Authorised absence:

  • Illness - for pupils whose attendance is 90% or above.
  • Illness - for illness which falls within 3 consecutive days either side of half term, medical evidence will be required for the absence to be authorised.
  • Illness - for more than 5 consecutive days off ill we will require medical evidence in order for the absence to be authorised.
  • Illness for a pupil who is Persistently Absent (attendance under 90%) - whilst illness is considered an authorised absence, if a pupil is Persistently Absent with illness, evidence from a medical professional is required in order to authorise the absence. 
  • Medical or dental appointments – it is expected that the parent/carer make medical or dental appointments outside of school hours wherever possible. Where this is not possible, parents/carers will be expected to obtain approval for their child’s absence to attend such appointments as far in advance as is practicable. Parents/carers will be responsible for ensuring their child misses only the amount of time necessary to attend the appointment. Supporting evidence is required for leave to be authorised.
  • Religious observances for which the school has granted leave - where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong.
  • External examinations - for examinations in the morning it is expected the pupil attends school after the examination, and for examinations in the afternoon it is expected the pupil attends school in the morning. Supporting evidence is required for leave to be authorised.
  • School visits –where school visits need to be arranged during the school day, the pupil is to attend school before and after the visit. 
  • Exceptional leave of absence is authorised entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion. It is rarely granted and almost never to those whose attendance is below 96%.

Unauthorised absence:

  • Family holidays are not considered exceptional circumstances and will be recorded as unauthorised absence. 
  • Any event where the date is up to the organiser i.e. weddings 
  • Birthdays/family days out – pupils are expected to attend school as normal when their birthday falls within term time.
  • Illness where a pupil is already Persistently Absent (under 90%) and medical evidence has not been provided.
  • If the authenticity of a pupil’s absence is in doubt, the school can request parents to provide evidence to support the absence request. The school can record the absence as unauthorised if not satisfied with the authenticity of the absence but should advise parents of their intention. The school will not request evidence unnecessarily.
  • Parents/carers keeping pupils off school unnecessarily or without reason.
  • Parents/carers keeping pupils off school when another family member is unwell.
  • Absences which have never been properly explained.
  • Arrival at school after the register has closed.
  • Leaving school for no authorised reason during the day.

Absence procedures

If your child is unwell please inform the school office before 9.15am (you can leave a voicemail) by calling 020 8942 9481 or emailing

For planned absences such as medical appointments, funerals, religious observations and school visits/exams please complete an Application for Leave of Absence Request Form from the school office.

If the leave of absence request is for any other reason, please submit your request in writing, at least 2 weeks in advance, to Mrs Berry.

We would like to mention that in the last few years we appreciate that celebrations have had to be rearranged, and due to venue availability families have had a limited choice of dates for the rescheduling of these events.  With Covid-19 now behind us, going forward requests for absence will not be authorised where the date is up to the organiser i.e. weddings and christenings.

We understand that barriers to attendance are complex, and that some pupils find it harder than others to attend school; therefore, we will continue to prioritise cultivating a safe and supportive environment at school. As always, please do contact the school if you feel that there is something that is having an impact on your child’s attendance, so that we can work in partnership to support your child.