You can only allow your child to miss school if either:

  • they are too ill to go into school
  • you've got advance permission from the school



Ring school

To report your child/ren's absence through illness call

020 8501 9403

Parents must notify the school by phone on the first day if their child is absent, stating the exact reason for the absence e.g. sickness, diarrhoea, migraine, etc. Please do not just say they are 'unwell'.

Absence Notes


When the child returns to school after the absence, an explanatory note specifying the exact reason for the absence and signed by the parent/ guardian must be brought to school and given to the form tutor.

The note should offer an explanation for the absence, it does not authorise it.

Please ensure that all notes are clearly written, dated and include your child's full name and their tutor group.

Click here for a downloadable and printable Absence Note template for parent(s) to complete when needed

It is only the school which can authorise a pupil absence, this is done by considering the explanation given for the absence and after reviewing the attendance pattern of the child. Children with a pattern of poor attendance may be required to provide medical evidence before an absence due to illness it authorised. If a child has a long standing medical condition which will result in frequent absences, parents/carers are required to get their GP to complete the standardised pro-forma which has been jointly devised and agreed by the Education Welfare Service and Waltham Forest NHS PCT. This must be returned to the school by the first day of term at the very latest.

Click here for the GP Information Request Form. It is also available from the Parents section of our Downloads page.

Absence for medical appointments

MedicalAppts01Dental/hospital appointments should be made outside school hours.  Where this is not possible an appointment card or letter should be produced in advance. Without this information, the lateness or absence may be deemed unauthorised. A letter or phone call saying your child has had/will have a medical appointment is not sufficient.  If a pupil has to go home during the school day due to illness or a dental/hospital appointment, s/he must sign out with the attendance secretary. If s/he comes back into school then they must sign in with the attendance secretary.

Regular attendance at school is very important


Parents are responsible for ensuring that their compulsory school-age children are receiving a full-time suitable education

Parents should do everything possible to ensure their child attends school at all times, the odd day missed here and there has an impact on a child’s learning and progress.

Research has shown that children who are not in school are most vulnerable and are easily drawn into crime. Those children who play truant are more likely to offend than those that do not.

Research also shows that less than 40% of pupils in secondary schools with an average of 17 days or more absence a year get 5 good GCSEs (grades A* to C) compared to more than 90% in schools with an average of less than 8 days absence.  

Click here to go to the  website for parents about school attendance. Go to our Downloads pages for a Government Leaflet for parents on school attendance. There is also a Powerpoint File called Improving Your Child's Attendance available for viewing. 

Monitoring Attendance

absentThe school monitors attendance very thoroughly and any child whose attendance is causing concern will be referred to the Educational Welfare Service, which may take further action such as issuing a notification of parent responsibility, holding a school attendance panel meeting or referring the case to court.

Fine 01Parents can be  prosecuted for not ensuring their child attends school. In recent years the government has introduced regulations to drive down the number of school days lost by increasing the penalties and fines imposed on parents. This has happened to parents of children in Highams Park School

Holidays in Term Time

Parents DO NOT have a legal right to take children out of school in term time on holiday. Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. This has been confirmed by the decision of the Supreme Court (6th April 2017). See Holiday Dates page for more information.

The government's website says: 


"You have to get permission from the head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time."

You can only do this if:

  • you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)
  • there are exceptional circumstances

It's up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

Government guidance to Head teachers is as follows:

mortarboard"Head teachers should not grant leave of absence unless in exceptional circumstances. The application must be made in advance and the head teacher must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which warrant the leave. Where a leave of absence is granted, the head teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the head teacher's discretion."

You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

 See Holiday Dates for a list of school holiday dates.

Ms C. Halkes - Vice Principal

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Don't Forget...

food containers.jpgAll pupils require an appropriate size container each time they cook in Food Technology so that they can take the food home to enjoy with their families.  Please ensure that you have your name and form clearly labelled on the container. 

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Highams Park Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with registered number 07738801
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