Attendance at The Dolphin School

For children and young people to reach their full potential it is vital that they attend and be on time every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Any absence that affects the pattern of a child or young person’s schooling could seriously affect their learning as well as routines and friendships.

We want all children to be attendance HEROES – here, every day, ready to learn, on time.1234

Following unauthorised absences, the school may make a request to the Local Authority to apply a fixed penalty notice which could incur a fine of £60 per parent/carer per child rising to £120 per parent/carer per child if unpaid after 28 days.


Reporting absence 

StudybugsTo tell us that your child won’t be attending school due to illness, please use the Studybugs app.

1. It takes just seconds to let us know your child is too unwell to attend school. Please be specific in detailing what you child’s symptoms are. We may call for more details.

2. You can message us using the app before school opens and as early as 6pm the day before. School must be informed of your child’s absence by 9am on the day they are absent.

3. It’s quick and easy to register and use and automatically reminds you to keep us posted.

School timings

The school gate opens at 8.40am and closes at 8.50am. Arrival after this time is marked as late.

Arrival after 9.20am is marked as an unauthorised absence. Unauthorised absences can lead to a penalty notice.

The school day finishes at 3.20pm.

Absence due to illness and medical appointments

Families are reminded that children’s visits to medical appointments should be booked outside of school hours. Where this is unavoidable, please provide medical evidence. This can include a text message, hospital letter or appointment card.

Where there are absences of more than three days or regular absence due to illness, families may be asked to provide supporting medical evidence. Absence from school without an adequate reason may be marked as unauthorised which could lead to the school requesting a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.

Requesting absence from school

Please contact the school office for an absence request form.

The request should be submitted as soon as it is anticipated; and wherever possible, at least three weeks before the absence. Although such absence may be unauthorised, it is better that we know your child is safe, rather than missing. Please be aware that you may be required to provide us with additional evidence in order to support your request including flight booking confirmation.

Absence & safeguarding against FGM

It is against the law in the UK for anyone to carry out FGM on women or children and/or to take girls or women who live in the UK to a different country to carry out FGM. It is also against the law to help someone else carry out FGM, this includes making travel arrangements. 

Please see the leaflets below in English, Arabic and Somali for more information on FGM and the law.

As a parent or guardian you are responsible for protecting your children from FGM and it is important to understand what the law means and what will happen if you fail to protect your daughter from FGM.

In the UK teachers, health professionals and the border police are all working to ensure that girls are not put at risk of FGM.

We hold conversations with families about absence from school and possible links to FGM. 

If we have any concerns about possible safeguarding risks such as risk of Female Genital Mutilation or Forced Marriage we will follow the necessary protocols. (Please see our school’s Safeguarding Policy for more information.) Leave of absence will not be authorised in retrospect. 



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Attendance Policy July 2023 01st Sep 2023 Download