The Senior Leaders responsible for the strategic approach to attendance in our school are:                 

Mr J Groves and Mrs V West

The staff member students and parents should contact about attendance on a day-to day basis is:

Ms J Bond

     For individual support with attendance, students and parents should contact the pastoral lead for the appropriate year group:                                                                                         

Ye ar 7: Mr R McCarthy

Year 8: Miss J Barton

Year 9: Mr B Storey

Year 10: Mrs A Robinson

Year 11: Mrs S Whyte-McLean


To contact us about your child’s attendance:


Telephone: 01245 440232

Attendance Ethos

Chelmer Valley High School recognises that positive behaviour and good attendance are essential in order to raise standards of student attainment and to give every child/young person the best educational experience possible.

For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.

We believe that:

  • Regular attendance promotes effective learning
  • Regular attendance promotes social development, friendships and well-being
  • Failing to attend school on a regular basis is a safeguarding matter
  • Good habits of attendance and punctuality will assist students in developing self-discipline and responsibility in preparation for future employment

Reporting an absence

If your child is unable to attend school please contact the school by 8:00 am either by emailing: or telephoning 01245 440232 to provide a reason for the absence.

Parents are required to contact the school by 8:00 am each day of the absence.

If we have not heard from you on the first, and every subsequent day of absence, we will text you requesting that you contact the school. If we are unable to contact you we will telephone emergency contact numbers, send letters home, and a home visit may be made in the interests of safeguarding.

If your child has a medical appointment and cannot return to school the same day we require a telephone call to explain the reasons.

Supporting you in ensuring that your child attends school

If you wish to discuss your child’s attendance or are in need of support, please contact Ms J Bond (Attendance Administrator) or your child’s pastoral lead by emailing:  or telephoning  01245 440232.

Information on how the school promotes, monitors and supports attendance is contained in the Attendance for Learning Policy.

Reasons for Absence

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parent), as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing.

Authorised absences are those that are considered to be reasonable and that are permitted under government guidelines like: illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.

Medical and Dental appointments, where possible, should be made for after school or during school holidays. The School understands that this isn’t always possible, however, students should attend school prior to or following a medical/dental appointment and avoid a full day’s absence.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave" has been given. This type of absence can lead to the School and the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.   This includes:

  • Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily, for example, with an illness/injury is non-infectious or would not affect the student's ability to learn
  • truancy
  • absences which have never been properly explained
  • children who arrive at school after the register has closed
  • shopping, looking after other children, or birthdays 
  • day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.

The times of the school day are:

8.00 am

School gates open

8.35 – 9.00 am

Assembly / Tutor Period

9.00 – 11.00 am

Lessons 1 and 2

11.00 – 11.20 am


11.20 – 1.20 pm

Lessons 3 and 4

1.20 – 2.00 pm

Lunch break

2.00 – 3.00 pm

Lesson 5

3.00 – 3.05 pm

Transfer to buses/leave school

The school operates a two week timetable. Every Wednesday week B the day timings are altered to accommodate an additional Personal Development lesson. The day timings for Wednesday week B are:

8.00 am

School gates open

8.35 – 9.20 am

Personal Development

9.20 – 11.15 am

Lessons 1 and 2

11.15 – 11.35 am


11.35 – 1.25 pm

Lessons 3 and 4

1.25 – 2.05 pm

Lunch break

2.05 – 3.00 pm

Lesson 5

3.00 – 3.05 pm

Transfer to buses/leave school


Good timekeeping is a vital life skill which will help children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.

Students who arrive late disrupt lessons and, if a child misses the start of the day, they can feel unsettled and embarrassed, miss vital work and important messages from their class teacher.

Students will be marked as being late when they arrive after the AM or PM session register has been taken but before the register closes. Students arriving after the register has closed without a valid reason will receive a “U” mark. This will not count as a present mark, and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence for that session.

Information on how the school promotes, monitors and tackles lateness is contained in the Attendance for Learning Policy.

The AM and PM registration times are:

  • AM session 8:35 am until 12:30 pm
    • Start of school day: 8:35 am
    • AM session registers open: 8:35 am
    • AM session register closes: 9:00 am
  • PM session 12:30 pm until 1:00 pm
    • PM session registers open 12:30 pm
    • PM session registers close 1:00 pm

What should I do if my child is late?

Contact the school as soon as is possible by emailing: or telephoning 01245 440232 to inform us of the reason for lateness and when your child is expected to arrive.

Where the cause of lateness is beyond the child’s control we ask that you provide them with a note to show the senior member of staff on duty.

Students who are late will have their Expectation Card signed if they do not have a verified and valid reason for lateness. Valid reasons are those that, in the opinion of the school, are caused by circumstances beyond the students control, could not be reasonably foreseen, and where the student has taken reasonable precautions to avoid or minimise their lateness

Impact of lateness 

Minutes lost each day

Days lost per school year

5 minutes

3 days

10 minutes

6.5 days

15 minutes

10 days

20 minutes

13 days

30 minutes

19 days

Being late 10 mins every day for one year is equal to 33 hours - approximately 6 days!

What is considered “good” attendance?

What does your child's percentage attendance mean? Parents/carers often become confused about what good attendance is. As a school our target attendance percentage is 100%.

The Local Authority and Department for Education provide the following classifications:

  • Student’s whose attendance falls below 95% are classified as “cause for concern”
  • Student’s whose attendance falls below 90% are classified as being “Persistent Absentees”

Attendance Percentage


Days missed over a school year



0 Days missed


10 Days missed


20 Days missed


30 Days missed


40 Days missed

Research has shown that 17 days absence in a year results in a drop of one grade at GCSE

Applying for Leave of Absence

Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress. A pupil who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. They will also miss 50 hours of education.  

There is NO entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time, however, you may apply to the school for leave of absence if you believe there are exceptional circumstances.

The Education (Pupil registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 amended Regulation 7 prohibit Headteachers granting leave of absence to a pupil except where an application has been made in advance (at least six weeks before) by the parent/carer with whom the pupil normally resides and the Headteacher considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.

If the absence is not authorised and the holiday/leave of absence is taken any way, the case will be referred to the Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.

An application for leave of absence can be found at the bottom of this page. A copy can be obtained from the school office.

Promoting Attendance

Staff and Students at Chelmer Valley are fully aware of the expectations surrounding attendance.

  • Regular assemblies take place in school highlighting the importance of Attendance
  • Weekly attendance figures are given for each form in assembly
  • Rewards given for excellent, good and improved attendance
  • Informative displays regarding attendance in school

Attendance Categories


DfE guidance - working together to improve school attendance

NHS guidance for parents - "Is my child too ill for school"

UK Health Security Agency Guidance on attendance