Why does Attendance matter?

There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement, in a nutshell – how can our children learn if they are not here?

  • The higher the level of absence the lower the likely level of attainment.  Of pupils with absence over 50%, only 3% manage to achieve 5 or more GCSE grades 4 or above, including Maths and English
  • 73% of pupils who have over 95% attendance go on to achieve 5 or more GCSE grades at grade 4 or above
  • Poor exam results limit young people’s options and poor attendance suggests to colleges and employers that these students are unreliable


Attendance photo

What we are doing?

At Caterham High School, we are working hard to identify early concerns and issues which may be affecting your child’s attendance.

  • We continually promote the importance of good attendance throughout the school
  • We have robust monitoring in place
  • We ensure support is offered to those who experience difficulties with punctuality and/or attendance
  • We issue regular updates for parents/carers

Reporting Absence

You must notify the school by 8.30am if your child is unable to attend.  The school should be updated on each and every day of absence.

Phone To report absences by telephone, call the school on 0208 551 4321 and select Option 1 - you must clearly state your child's, name, class and reason for absence.

Absence related emails should be sent to  

Where a child’s absence is a cause for concern, they will be required to complete a Return to School form and meet with the attendance officer.  Parents/carers will be notified when their child’s attendance becomes a cause for concern.

For any questions or queries, please contact our Attendance Officer, Mrs D West,

As per our Attendance Policy, we ask that medical appointments are made outside of school hours, where possible; where this is not possible, the school require at least 2 days’ notice for all medical appointments, excluding emergency appointments. Where it has been necessary to make an emergency appointment, you should inform us in the first instance.

Requests for absences during term time

We do not authorise family holidays in term time, in line with Redbridge policy.

You may request leave of absence in exceptional circumstances or on compassionate grounds but we are not obliged to grant it.  Should you wish to request leave of absence please write to Mrs West, Attendance Officer, outlining the reason for your request.  Please be aware that if a request is refused and your child still incurs unauthorised absences, this may lead to a penalty notice. 

Families of students who are absent in the days prior to, or after any school holiday will be required to provide medical evidence to authorise their child’s absence. If no sufficient evidence is provided, the absence will be marked as unauthorised holiday and a Penalty Notice will be issued.

Penalty Notice Process

Parents and Cares have a legal duty to ensure their children attend school regularly and punctually.  Failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at the school where they are registered, is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £1000 per parent per child.

Caterham High School operates the Redbridge Penalty Notice process for 12 or more unauthorised sessions of absence within a 12-week period.  Please note a session is half a day of unauthorised absence.  Penalty notices are administered by the Local Authority and they have the responsibility for issuing them to parents and carers.


One of the aims of Caterham High School is to prepare children for adult life.  To this end we expect pupils to be punctual at all times.

A pupil arriving after 8.30am is late and receives a late mark in the register.  We would ask for your co-operation in ensuring that your child leaves home early enough to arrive at school before the bell.  Pupils who arrive late will receive a next day, lunchtime detention.  Persistent lateness will result in further intervention.

If a student arrives later than 9.15am, they will be given a U code.  This means, that even though they are present, they will be marked as absent without authorisation for the whole morning session.

For any questions or queries regarding attendance, please contact our Attendance Officer, Mrs D West,