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On the first day of a child’s absence, parents are asked to contact the office to give the reason for the absence before 9:15am on the dedicated absence line  01494 771 474, Option 1.

Information on returning to school after illness

 ODBST Graduated Attendance Strategy 2023-24


Our Guiding Principles

  1. The safety, welfare and well-being of our learners lies at the core of the ODBST. We believe that safeguarding and promoting high attendance is everyone’s responsibility.
  2. We have a single ODBST policy around securing good attendance, and this is adopted by all ODBST schools.
  3. Our attendance strategy is built upon on policy and is displayed clearly on our website and on school websites.
  4. We want to provide a response to the national concerns around school attendance for our pupils: Working together to improve school attendance - GOV.UK (
  5. Family involvement is at the heart of our approach. We seek to engage all families positively in the education of their child.
  6. We want the best for all our children and all actions taken are in their best interests.
  7. We understand that our schools have a responsibility to put in place a broad and balance curriculum that meets the needs of all learners and is the entitlement of all learners.
  8. We understand and continually reinforce the link between good attendance and academic progress and outcomes. We have high expectations of attendance and communicate this to staff pupils, parents and carers. Our ODBST attendance target is  no less than 97% for all learners.
  9. We recognise and celebrate high attendance.
  10. Improvements in attendance will be celebrated with learners and their families and our school community.
  11. We will intervene swiftly when attendance is declining. This means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life. We will offer support and signpost to advice and support internally within the school/ODBST and externally to partner agencies.
  12. We offer support and challenge to pupils and families to improve attendance and liaise closely with the LA, social workers and other external agencies.
  13. Where there are genuine concerns around a child’s attendance, we will work closely and supportively with families, listening to their concerns and working with them to ensure that children and young people make a full return to school; offering support and working with internal colleagues and external partner agencies.
  14. We recognise that for some children with SEND, securing good attendance can be harder because there can be more barriers in the way. Our schools will take a sympathetic view to these and work hard to make it easier for every child to come to school. We will seek to explore reasonable adjustments to any parts of school life that are a barrier to attendance including curriculum, uniform, routines and break/lunchtime arrangements.
  15. Part time timetables will always be used sparingly and for short periods of time only when they are in the best interests of the child and have been agreed by all parties concerned. This may include supporting a phased return to school after an extended period of absence.
  16. Sometimes children with severe medical conditions might need to be educated at alternative provisions, including whilst receiving inpatient care, and this will be managed by the local authority with the support of our schools.
  17. We recognise that children who are part of the travelling community may be absent from school for extended periods of time and we will always work with the support services for these communities to ensure that children are never compromised and that they are able to receive the education to which they are entitled.
  18. Children who are Missing From Education will always be referred to the local authority until we are sure that they are safe and being educated.
  19. We ensure compliance with statutory and local and guidance on safeguarding and attendance.

Attendance strategy

Attendance and Punctuality letter to Parents 28th January 2022

Attendance Policy

Leave of Absence Notification Form