Parents & Carers

Attendance and Punctuality

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Our Vision

To strive to meet 100% targets for attendance and punctuality.

Why are attendance and punctuality so important?

Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind.  Harrogate High School seeks to ensure that all its students receive a full-time education which maximizes opportunities for each student to realise their true potential both socially and academically.  

Over a period of five school years, a student with 90% attendance will have missed half of a whole year of schooling. Similarly, students with poor punctuality miss valuable lesson time and, if it happens regularly, progress will be jeopardised.  

Definitions of attendance

The table below sets out our definitions of attendance.  We expect outstanding attendance for all, however we do recognise that there are times when students we will absent from school.  If attendance drops below 97% the school will contact parents immediately to put a plan in place to make improvements.  As a school we work relentlessly to support students and families.

Outstanding 98 - 100%
Good (no more than 5 days off per year) 97- 97.9%
Cause for concern 95-  96.9%
Cause for serious concern <94.9%
Persistent Absentee – possible legal action <90%

All staff regularly communicate the following mantas to ensure the profile of attendance and punctuality is high across the school.

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Visual displays throughout the school also reinforce the importance of attendance and punctuality:

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Furthermore, all staff communicate the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality, making reference to the visual below which can be seen in all learning environments across the school.

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Achieving excellent attendance is essential to achieving success and as such, we seek to work closely with parents, students and staff to ensure this can be realised. You may ask, ‘what can I do to help?'

What can I do to help?

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As a parent or carer 
you can help by:

As a student, 
you can improve your attendance by:

  • ensuring your child understands the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality
  • taking an interest in their education – asking about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities
  • discussing any problems they may have at school and inform their Student Support Officer to pass on concerns quickly
  • not allowing them take time off school for minor ailments – particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work
  • arranging appointments after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child’s education and to the school
  • being open and willing to work with us to improve your child’s attendance

  • speaking to a trusted adult about the reasons why you might not want to come to school
  • trying hard every morning to get up and get to school, unless you are really unwell
  • getting an early night, feeling tired on a morning can make getting to school harder
  • make sure you get to school on time every day

What do I do if my child is not well enough to come to school?

If you feel that your child isn’t well enough to come to school, you need to phone and leave a message on the Student Absence Line (01423 554087) or email us on the following: attendance-department@harrogatehighschool.co.uk before 8.30am. for each day a student will not be attending school with your child’s name, year group and the reason why they are not in school. 

Medical appointments should be made for after school wherever possible.  We may ask to see evidence of medical appointments, if your child’s attendance is poor.

What does authorised and unauthorised absence mean?

As an academy we must follow national legal guidelines which means that holiday requests during term-time cannot be authorised. Because of this, absences or persistent lateness which are not agreed with us, can incur a penalty notice. These penalties are through the local council and we have no control over how they are given.

We cannot guarantee that we will authorise a student’s leave of absence during term time, as this is only done in exceptional circumstances. If you don’t get permission from our Principal, the absence is classed as ‘unauthorised’ and this includes lateness. If you want to see if an absence can be authorised, you must contact school in advance and get permission from the Academy Headteacher.

What will happen if my child misses school?

We keep parents up to date with their child’s attendance and confirm absences with them; this makes sure students are supported in their progress at the Academy.

Our Attendance Team work really hard to support students and often identify patterns of non-attendance. They will always work with parents and carers to understand these patterns and see how they can be improved.


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If you are concerned about your child’s school attendance, it is always best to talk to us first. We have a dedicated Attendance team who are here to help students and families.
Students with attendance of less than 95% are monitored closely by the Achievement Team (Attendance and Student Support Officers). We also have the specialist support of a Parent Support worker who will be able to offer intensive support guidance to students and families to help to improve attendance.


Contact the Attendance Team:

Attendance Manager
Mrs L Reid -  lreid@harrogatehighschool.co.uk or call: 01423 554087/ 07960597111

Parent Support Worker
Mrs Georgina Dickinson - gdickinson@harrogatehighschool.co.uk or call: 01423 554087

Contact your child’s Student Support Officer:

Mrs Tracey McWilliams - TRM@harrogatehighschool.co.uk (Year 7 and 8)
Miss A Pattinson - apattinson@harrogatehighschool.co.uk (Year 9)
Mr M Nicholson - mnicholson@harrogatehighschool.co.uk (Year 10)
Miss G Smith - gsmith@harrogatehighschool.co.uk (Year 11)

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