Attendance at Grace Academy

Our overall attendance improved last year and we would like to thank you for your support. As a school we take attendance very seriously; days off school soon add up, missing lessons makes it hard to catch up and students have to work harder when they come back. There are 175 non-school days a year for holidays and family time.

Please help your child to maintain good attendance by booking doctor, dentist, and optician appointments either in the school holidays, in the afternoon after school or at weekends. Please provide the school with an appointment card/letter if your child needs to leave school for an appointment.

It may be useful for you to know what attendance figures mean for your child.

100% Excellent Attendance
98% Very Good Attendance

Less than 4 days absence in a year.

95% Good Attendance

Less than 9 days absence in a year. Grace Academy’s attendance target for all students is 95% and above.

93% – 90% Below Average / Low Attendance

14 – 18 days absence over the year; missing this much schooling is likely to lead to a drop of at least one GCSE grade.

90% or below Exceptionally Low Attendance

19 days or more absences in a year. Students with attendance 90% or below are classed, under new Government guidelines, as persistently absent from school and parents of students with this level of attendance could be issued with a Penalty Notice. It will be difficult for persistent absentees to keep up with their work and they may drop more than one GCSE grade.

Only 30% of persistent absentees achieved 5 A*-C GCSE grades compared to 90+% of good attenders.
Grace Academy Absence Line: 0121 329 4603

All absences must be reported before 8.45am each day by calling the absence line above.

  • If you know your child is going to be absent please let us know in advance.
  • Written notification giving the details of all absences must be given to the tutor on your child’s return to school. If your child has been absent due to a medical appointment, please attach the appointment card/hospital letter.
  • Unexplained absences will be unauthorised by the school.
  • Please provide the school with an appointment card/letter if your child needs to leave school for an appointment.


Arriving late to school and into lessons is very disruptive for the teacher and other class members. It also means that late students themselves miss important input from teachers. Your child must arrive at the Academy before 8.25 am to enable them to be in tutor for 8.30am

Late students arriving between 8.25 and 8.50 must sign in at the late gate desk. If a student arrives after 8.50 they must sign in at reception.

If they do not have a genuine reason for being late they will be issued with an after school detention.

If a student arrives after 8.25 but before 8.30 they will receive a warning- two warnings in one week will result in an after school detention.

Two lates in one week will result in an hour detention on either a Wednesday or Friday (you will be informed of this detention in advance).

Returning To School

On return to school following 5 or more days of absence, medical evidence must be handed in at the attendance office. If evidence is not received after one week, the period of absence will not be authorised.

Requests For Absence During Term Time

The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational, but your child will miss out on the teaching that their classmates will receive during your holiday. Attendance is vital to academic success and lost education poses a potential risk of under achievement. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.

  • Any form of unauthorised absence may be subject to a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.
  • If you consider your request for absence to be an exceptional circumstance then please send in a written request to your child’s Head of Year.

What can I do to help my child achieve good attendance?

  • Ensure regular and early bedtimes.
  • Have uniform and equipment prepared the night before.
  • Report any academic or social concerns promptly.
  • Keep open and honest communication with the school.
  • Be positive about school (even if your own experience was less than positive).
  • Discuss your child’s timetable/lessons with them each evening.

Why is it important to have up to date phone numbers?
There are times when we have to contact parents/carers about things, including absence, so it is very important that we have your contact number at all times. Providing up to date contact details is a legal obligation of parents/ carers.

My child is avoiding coming to school. What should I do?
There are occasions when children choose to avoid school. Reasons such as difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems or family difficulties can cause young people to worry and they may think that not attending school will solve the problem. All of the staff at Grace Academy pride themselves on being able to build positive relationships with students and parents/carers. We want your child to have the best possible experience here so that they can reach their full potential. It is important that we identify the reason for their reluctance to attend school and work together to solve the problem. If a problem does arise, you should contact your child’s tutor in the first instance or your child can log their concerns on the ‘Are you worried?’ section of the Gateway.

Attendance Facts

90% in a test is a good score; 90% attendance isn’t – it’s the same as having nearly 4 weeks off school a year!

See the grid below for other percentages and look at how much time off per year it adds up to:

Attendance Percentage Number of Sessions Missed Equivalent Number of Days Missed Equivalent Number of Weeks Missed Equivalent Number of Lessons Missed
100% 0 0 0 0
95% 19 2 48
90% 38 19 4 95
85% 57 28½ 6 143
80% 76 38 8 190
75% 95 47½ 238
70% 114 57 11½ 285

Achievement Impact

    • 17 days of school missed = 1 GCSE grade dropped (on average).


    • This means that if you are on the border of a grade D-C, B-A, A-A* and you only have 95% attendance, then your grades could be pulled down just because you did not attend school!


    • 17 school days missed = 91.1% attendance for the year


    • 34 school days missed = 82.1% attendance for the year

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Percentage Attendance

Best chance to succeed More difficult to make progress Very difficult to make progress
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