Attendance Matters

Attendance Matters

Norham High School expects all pupils to attend regularly and arrive at lessons on time, in order to take full advantage and access the full-time educational opportunities they are entitled to. The expectation is that parents/carers will ensure that their child or young person arrives at school on time every day and supports the school policies and procedures regarding attendance and punctuality. 

Norham High School expects our pupils to attend at least 98% of the time. This equates to no more than 4 days of absence across an academic year.  Whilst we will always include cumulative attendance percentages on all correspondence with parents/carers, our strategy is based on the number of days of absence in relation to the maximum achievable attendance in an academic year.  Our strategy to ensure attendance expectations are met fall into five stages:

To report a child's absence, please contact us on 0191 814 3890 then select option 2, alternatively you can contact our Guidance Support Officer on 07555227903

Miss J Irving

Guidance and Support Officer Attendance and Welfare


Pupils must be in school by the first bell at 8.25am. Any pupil that arrived after 8.25am is considered to be late.

Between 8.25-9.00am, form tutors will complete morning registers by 9.00am.

Class teachers will complete registers during Periods 1,2,3,4 & 5

The school gates close at 8.25am.

·         Parents/carers should always telephone school to explain reasons for lateness.

The school operates a “First Day Response System” which means that parents are contacted on the first morning of an unreported absence.

Absence notes and medical evidence/information should be delivered directly to our Guidance Support Officer.

Our Guidance Support Team is responsible for monitoring lateness and sanctions for lateness.

What happens if you are late for school?

If you arrive at school late, after 8.25am, you must enter school via main reception and speak to Miss Irving who will be at the late door. All pupils who are late twice in one week without a reason being provided by a parent/carer will be issued with a 1 hour Head Teacher detention on a Friday after school.

If lateness continues, parents will be invited into school for a formal meeting with the Guidance Support Officer and Guidance Leader to discuss the matter further. This will be a supportive meeting to help unpick why the pupil is arriving late to school. Support, guidance and advice will be shared at this meeting.

If after the first meeting lateness persists, parents will be invited into school for a formal meeting which will involve the Guidance Manager and Guidance Support Officer. A member of the Local Authority and Governing Body will also be invited to discuss the seriousness of the matter and explore the more formal actions which could be taken e.g. fines for persistent lateness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My child is just having an ‘off day’ so I’m not sending him/her in’

A: Having sporadic days off school can quickly add up. We always want to encourage pupils to attend, sometimes getting out of bed, showering and putting on a uniform is all it takes to feel a little better. Coming to school on days when you don’t really feel like it can make a big difference. We will always send pupils home if they are genuinely unwell.


Q: My child was sick over the weekend, should I keep him/her at home?

A: We don’t have a fixed 48hr rule for diarrhoea & sickness. If your child has had an isolated incident and is feeling better, please send them to school.


Q: I have received an attendance letter and I do not like the tone.

A: We’re sorry you feel that way but we have to state facts and legal information to make things clear. Each correspondence forms part of a possible legal intervention and must leave no ambiguity.


Q: I can’t provide medical evidence because it’s impossible to get a GP appointment.

A: Wherever possible, we will request medical evidence. If your child is off for 4 consecutive days, we will expect a GP visit. If your child has had several shorter absences for the same condition, we will also expect a GP visit. Medical evidence makes the difference between authorised absence and unauthorised absence. We do not pursue legal intervention where medical evidence is provided. It’s as important for you as it is for us.


Q: I do not like being challenged regarding my child’s absences and reserve the right to make the decision as to whether my child is well enough to attend school.

A: We are sorry you feel that way but please bear in mind that our team is simply doing their jobs in complying with school rules and statutory guidance. It’s not personal and ultimately we can offer a multitude of support to help your child’s attendance improve and safeguard their future success. Remember, we care.


Q: Why do I have to tell you the details when my child is unwell?

A: Firstly, your conversation with us is confidential. We do not share details with the wider school community but will need to know exactly what’s wrong so that we can offer the right level of support and guidance. We care for every aspect of your child’s health and wellbeing from migraines to mental health. Good communication will help us to help you.


Q: Why do I need to call school every day when my child is absent?

A: Put simply, we have a duty of care and cannot assume that your child is at home. A daily call to us will give both school and home the confidence of knowing that your child is safe.


Q: I cannot take your calls or make meetings due to work commitments.

A: We will endeavour to work around your schedule in the interest of your child. Conversations and face to face meetings are important in building relationships. Family dynamics are unique and so are the interventions we can put in place to help your child to overcome barriers to attendance.


Q: My child is anxious and their attendance has dropped, but you want to meet me to discuss this matter. You know why they can’t attend, what is the point of this meeting?

A: Our meetings are intended to be supportive. We have a team of qualified staff in school along with a dedicated counsellor. If you are seeking external help it’s important to send in your appointment letters and stay in touch