Attendance Policy

The Governors of John Spence High School are committed to providing a full and effective education for all our pupils. We will do all we can to ensure that all pupils attend to their fullest and that any problems which impede this are identified and acted upon as soon as possible.

Regular and punctual school attendance is essential to enable all pupils to gain the maximum benefit from the opportunities provided throughout their education. Improving attendance is a vital element of school improvement and as research indicates, positively impacts on the levels of achievement of pupils.

We believe a positive attendance culture is more likely to be achieved when all partners co-operate with each other.


We expect that all pupils will:

  • Attend school regularly
  • Arrive on time
  • Tell a member of staff about any problem which is making it hard for them to attend school regularly.

We expect that all parents/carers will:

  • Encourage their children to attend school every day and on time
  • Ensure that they contact school as soon as possible whenever their child is unable to attend school
  • Ensure that their children arrive in school fully prepared for the school day and provide the school with up to date home, work and emergency contact numbers
  • NOT arrange family holidays during the school term
  • Inform the school, in confidence, about any problem which might affect their child’s attendance or behaviour.

Parents/carers can expect that the school will:

  • Provide a good quality education appropriate to their child’s needs
  • Record their child's attendance regularly, accurately and efficiently
  • Make every reasonable effort to contact the parent when their child fails to attend school without good reason
  • Deal discretely and properly with any problem notified to the school by the parent
  • Make all efforts to encourage good attendance, punctuality and behaviour
  • Send an absence text and make a follow up telephone call if there has been no contact from home with a reason for absence
  • If necessary make a home visit

Unavoidable Absence

It is the parents’ responsibility to inform our Home School Liaison Officer, Mr Lion of the reason for a child’s absence as soon as possible. Please contact the school office before 8.30am ( 0191 2961432 ) on the first day of absence and indicate, if possible, the expected date of return. If a parent has been unable to make contact with the school, on their child's return, a note explaining the reason for absence must be handed in.

Unauthorised Absence

Only the school, within the context of the law, can approve absence. If a student returns to school without a note it is likely that the absence will be regarded as unauthorised and a return of truancy made to the local authority at the appropriate time.

Unauthorised Leave of Absence During Term Time

In line with North Tyneside Council guidelines on unauthorised absence in term time if there are 10 or more sessions in an academic year (a session is half a day) a Penalty Notice will be completed. The outcome of this will be a fine.  If a parent fails to pay the penalty notice, the notice is withdrawn and the case will proceed to Magistrate’s Court for the original offence of failure to ensure the child’s regular attendance at school.

Exceptional Circumstances

 If you need to take your child out of school due to exceptional circumstances ensure you apply to the school for time off and receive confirmation from the school in writing.  You should always state why you need to take your child out of school.

Taking your child on holiday is not an exceptional circumstance.

If you wish to apply for a leave of absence please complete this form and return to the Head of Year as soon as possible