Attendance and Absence

At Twynham School, we firmly believe that the vast majority of our parents support us in promoting good school attendance.  As far as possible, we have kept the focus on giving our students many positive reasons to come to school and our overall attendance continues to be good.  The vast majority of our students have attendance above 95% each year and many students achieve 100%, which is outstanding.

That said, we all get ill from time to time and young people (particularly teenagers) will have days when they just do not feel like going to school. The role of parents is vital here as we work together to build resilience. The occasional days off soon add up – as does the impact of ‘lost learning’, particularly when considered over five school years (from Year 7 to 11) as shown below:


Each day of absence is five hours of lost learning – represented by a single LEGO brick in the above graphic.  Whilst 95% attendance over five school years may seem like a positive achievement, it still equates to over nine weeks of lost learning – around one quarter of a school year!  For every 5% further reduction in attendance, another quarter of a year is lost between Years 7-11. I am sure you can imagine the number of missing bricks in a child’s learning that this equates to and the impact this will have on their outcomes at GCSE and beyond.

The Christchurch Learning Federation Attendance Policy, which follows the Dorset Attendance Service procedures, can be found here.

Planned absence

In view of the above, no leave of absence will be granted during term time except in exceptional circumstances.  For this reason, should you wish to take your child out of school for any leave of absence (holidays or otherwise) requests will not be routinely granted.  It is essential that any requests for leave of absence be made in writing to your child’s Head of Year.  Any absence which has not been authorised by the school will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ and this has the potential to impact on your child’s overall absence figure and could result in legal action.


Good punctuality is important in all walks of life and we expect all students to arrive by 8:45am every morning for their registration, apart from assembly mornings when students need to be in the hall no later than 8:40am.

If a student arrives at school after 9am for any reason, then they must report to Reception, explain the reason for the lateness and sign in.  This will be recorded on a page in the logbook for our records.  Frequent lateness is viewed with the same seriousness as poor attendance and students will receive detentions for frequent lateness.

Leaving early

If a student needs to leave the school during the day, for whatever reason, they must sign out at Reception. Students will only be able to do this if a note has been made in their logbook, signed by the parent.


If a student is feeling ill during the school day, they should ask for permission to visit the medical room, where one of our medical team will see them and then decide the best course of action.

What should I do when my child is absent?

  • Please inform the school preferably via the Parent Gateway on every day of absence, no later than 10am. If you do not have access to this, please telephone the school absence line on 01202 495778.
  • If you know in advance that your child needs to be absent (e.g. for a medical or dental appointment) then please do let us know via the Parent Gateway or absence line.
  • If the unlikely event that you have been unable to contact the school to explain your child’s absence, then please write a note in their logbook and ask your child to show this to his/her form tutor on their return.

What will the school do?

If your child is absent and we have not heard from you by 10:30am, you will receive an automated ‘Unexplained Absence’ message via the Parent Gateway and we ask that you respond to this promptly, giving the reason for the absence.


As always, we would like to thank you for your support in this and all other aspects of school life as we work together to support the young people in our care.