Attendance & Absence

At The John Roan School, we know firsthand the importance of good attendance and the many benefits this provides to our students.

Reporting Absence

  • If your child is unable to attend school, please contact the Attendance Officer before 8:30 am on each day of absence.
  • You can email the Attendance Officer at or call 020 8516 7543/7558.
  • Absence from school will not automatically be authorised and medical evidence* may be required to ensure absence due to illness is authorised.

*Medical evidence: A Doctor’s letter, a copy of a prescription for medicine, or the prescribed medicine packaging, which must be supplied to the school.

Why is good attendance important?

Proud: Regular attendance allows students to take pride in their commitment to their education and feel more connected to their community. School provides opportunities for students to interact with peers, fostering social skills, teamwork, and collaboration.

Respectful: Regular attendance reflects a respect for yourself and a commitment to personal growth and development, showing that you value your education and future prospects. Being present in school shows respect to classmates by contributing to a positive and engaged learning environment that benefits and betters everyone.

Involved: Regular attendance ensures that students and are actively involved in the school community and have access to valuable resources such as libraries and sports facilities, extracurricular clubs, and events that contribute to their holistic development and enhances learning experiences.

Determined:  Attending school regularly demonstrates a determination to succeed academically and reach their goals. This shows a strong work ethic, responsibility and perseverance that will prepare students for post-secondary education, the world of work and beyond. 

Excellent: Consistent attendance lays the foundation for excellence by providing students with the opportunity to fully engage in their education, strive for high standards, and achieve their full potential. Learning is a progressive activity; each day’s lessons build upon those of the previous day(s), therefore the more a student attends school, the more confident they will feel engaging with the school curriculum; we know there is a direct correlation between good attendance and academic progress and outcomes. Students with good attendance records generally achieve higher grades and enjoy school more; this is supported by data from the Department for Education who found that 81% of student who had 100% attendance over the course of KS4 achieved 5 or more 9-5 grades at GCSE compared to only 57% of their peers with 90% attendance. 

Good attendance helps build good habits and routines and ultimately a better education that will help to give your child the best possible start in life.

What are the consequences of poor attendance?

  • An attendance figure of 90% may not sound very low, but a student with 90% attendance will have missed the equivalent of 19 full school days and 114 lessons over the course of a year.
  • A student who averages 80% attendance during their time at secondary school effectively misses one whole year of education and significantly reduces their chances of securing good outcomes at the end of Year 11. 
  • Poor exam results hamper the range of opportunities available to young people post year 11 and poor attendance signals to colleges and future employers that these students may lack reliability.
  • Poor attendance has a significant negative impact on outcomes, even for high-achieving students. It has been shown that Year 11 students averaging 90% attendance are likely to underperform on their GCSEs by one full grade level across all subjects. This could easily be sufficient to prevent a student from getting into their desired sixth-form course, apprenticeship, university, or career choice. 

Attendance and its impact on outcomes

Good attendance is at the core of good progress and outcomes; we expect a most students will maintain a minimum of 97% attendance.

Impact on Progress and Outcomes

Attendance Percentage


of Days



of Lessons Missed

These students are maximising their learning opportunities. Their commitment to regular attendance ensures they can actively participate in classroom discussions, engage with teachers and peers, and fully benefit from the curriculum. Their dedication to attending school results in significant learning gains and sets a strong foundation for academic success.
















These students’ absences are resulting in missed instructional time, limiting their engagement with the curriculum, and potentially affecting their learning outcomes. These students will have less time than their peers to retain core knowledge and develop skills.
















These students’ absences are impacting their continuity of learning. These absences can lead to difficulty in catching up with classwork, reduced engagement with the curriculum and can hinder academic progress resulting in gaps in core knowledge and skills.
















These students’ frequent and prolonged absences will severely limit their exposure to essential curriculum core knowledge and skills, hindering their overall academic progress. Their lack of consistent attendance can result in a substantial loss of learning, leading to difficulties in understanding new concepts, lower attainment, and limited opportunities for future success.

























*Figures are based on a whole year (190 days) of expected attendance

How does attendance impact outcomes at KS4?

Evidence from a Department for Education study shows a strong correlation between school attendance and GCSE success. The chart below illustrates this:



The Crucial Link between Attendance and Sixth Form Acceptance

At the John Roan School, we require all applicants to our Sixth Form to have obtained the following minimum grades in order to be offered a place:

  • A Levels - at least 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or above, including English and Mathematics
  • BTECs - at least 5 GCSE’s at grade 4 or above including English and Mathematics
  • Selected subjects may also require a higher grade in that particular subject

Therefore, good attendance is a crucial part of students achieving their best academic potential; equally, poor outcomes as a result of poor attendance could easily prevent a student from getting into their desired sixth-form course, apprenticeship, university, or career choice.

We are ambitious for our students; we aim to inspire them to dream big and aim high. Students from our Sixth Form have gone on to Oxford, Cambridge, and a wide variety of universities nationwide every year, including Edinburgh, York, Warwick and Kings College London. Students from our Basketball Academy have achieved scholarships to universities in the UK, US and Canada.

What does it mean if my child is classed as a persistent absentee?

With effect from September 2015, any pupil with less than 90% school attendance is regarded as a Persistent Absentee. This is a national threshold set by Government.  This can be a confusing figure because although 90% attendance may sound positive, over an entire year, it’s equivalent to 19 days of missed school and 114 missed lessons. Where a student’s attendance has fallen below 90% parents can expect: a pre-court meeting with the Attendance Officer and your child’s head of year; an attendance support plan and parent contract agreed upon and signed; a fixed penalty notice (where appropriate) and court action (where appropriate).

What can you do to help?

  • Have a regular routine for the start of each day. 
  • Help your child get their clothes and equipment ready before they go to bed. 
  • Set a reasonable bedtime to make sure they get enough sleep.

Authorised vs Unauthorised Absence

It is also essential to understand that there are two distinct types of absences: authorised absence and unauthorised absence.

An authorised absence refers to instances where the school approves your child's absence. This may occur due to valid reasons such as illness, medical appointments, or family emergencies. While these absences are approved, it is crucial to note that even authorised absences still result in your child missing valuable learning time. As a result, their overall attendance is affected, which can have a negative impact on their progress and academic achievement.

An unauthorised absence refers to situations where the school does not approve the absence. These absences occur without proper notification or justification from parents or guardians. Unauthorised absences are disruptive to your child's learning experience and can significantly hinder their academic progress and overall development.

We would like to stress the importance of scheduling doctors and dentist appointments outside of school hours whenever possible. By doing so, you ensure that your child's education remains uninterrupted, allowing them to fully engage with the curriculum and benefit from valuable instructional time. We greatly appreciate your support in prioritising your child's academic progress by minimising absences whenever feasible. By working together, we can ensure that your child receives the maximum benefit from their education and has the best opportunities for success.

Punctuality & Late Sanction

Students should arrive for line-up at 8:20am, ready to begin the school day. Students arriving after 8:25am but before 8:45 will be marked late and issued with a same day break detention. Students arriving after 8:25 but after 8:45 will be marked late and issued with a same day lunch detention. Persistent lateness will require a parent meeting with the Head of Year. 

Every Minute Counts

Punctuality is just as important as attendance in maximsing your full academic potential. Did you know that being late even just five minutes a day adds up to the equivalent of missing 20 lessons of learning?

Minutes Late

Per Day


of Missing Days

Equivalent of

Lessons Missed

5 minutes

3.4 school days a year

20.4 lessons

10 minutes

6.9 school days a year

41.4 lessons

15 minutes

10.3 school days a year

61.8 lessons

20 minutes

13.8 school days a year

82.8 lessons

30 minutes

20.7 school days a year

124.2 lessons

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