Essential Parent Information

How to Minimise Absence and Maximise Learning

Attendance is a key factor in academic success and therefore all students should aim for 100% attendance in school. Missing days at the academy is costly; seven lessons a day equates to over five hours of your child’s learning being missed, and it is very difficult for them to regain this. The lower your child’s attendance, the greater the chance they will fail to achieve their potential. For these reasons, The Elms Academy places a great emphasis on full attendance.

If your child is absent, please telephone the school office before 8.30 am on 020 7819 4700. On the day that a student returns to school, a note must be brought in to explain the absence. Any unexplained absence is recorded as an unauthorised absence. The Academy is bound by DfE regulations and the DfE now regards all unauthorised absence as truancy, aided and abetted by parents/carers.

Absence is classified as unauthorised in the following cases:

  • If the reason for absence is unacceptable to the Academy.
  • If the student does not bring a written explanation of absence from a parent/carer.
  • If the student misses a lesson without the permission of the Academy.
  • If the student leaves the school site without the written permission of a parent/carer and a member of staff.

Students who have a low attendance rate (i.e. below 90%) will be referred to the Education Welfare Service and their parents may be prosecuted.

If for any reason your child misses morning or afternoon registration, they must sign in at Student Services on arrival at school to ensure we can account for their whereabouts.

If you need to request a planned absence for your child, this must be done in writing to the Principal.

Each request will be considered individually, taking into account all the circumstances, particularly your child’s current attendance figure. The Elms Academy strongly discourages parents from planning holidays or other absence during term-time and we are unlikely to authorise this. Your child’s learning and achievement are our priority and absence from school negatively impacts on attainment and therefore their future life chances. We ask you to collaborate with us in ensuring your child has an attendance figure of over 96%.

Absence is a serious detriment to a student’s academic progress and creates stress for your child when they have to catch up on work missed. Holidays may clash with pre-examination revision periods, assessment weeks and other important events in the Academy. Furthermore, supporting a student when they return from holiday reduces the teacher time available for other students in the class.


The Elms Academy places a high priority on the safety of all students. As such we take steps to ensure that all students are accounted for throughout the day. All of our staff take individual registers for all subject lessons throughout the day. This means that in addition to the main morning Registration Period, there are seven other times throughout the day when your child will be registered. We will regularly monitor and track student’s patterns of attendance and punctuality via this system. We will notify you if we have any concerns regarding your child’s record of attendance or punctuality to lessons.


All students should be in school by 8:20am. Lateness to school is unacceptable as it disrupts the learning of the late child and their classmates.

If your child is late, they will sit a 1-hour detention the same day.  If your child is regularly late in the morning, parents/carers will be asked to come into the Academy to attend a punctuality review meeting. It is also imperative that students arrive to all lessons on time throughout the day. If your child arrives to lesson after the bell, they will sit a 1-hour detention the same day. Punctuality to lessons is a safeguarding matter as students must not be unaccounted for in the building.


Parents Handbook

Parents Handbook