Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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To report a child's absence for years 7-11 please email or call 01454 862395.  For 6th Form please call 01454 862333.  

Attendance Guidance

Attendance at school is very important for all students and we ask that you support us by ensuring your child comes to school everyday on time and ready to learn. 

Place contact the school before 8.30am if your child is going to be absent via our dedicated absence email address;

When you email, please give the following information: your child's name and tutor group, a brief reason for absence and when you expect them to return to school.  You must do this for each day your child is absent.

If you do not have access to email, then please call the absence phone on 01454 862395 and leave a message.

We would request that parents email or call the school, not students.

We have an automatic first day call system which will call parents of students who are absence from school that morning with no reason given.  It is important that if a student is late to school they register in the Student Centre. Students who arrive at school after 8:45am but before 9:30am will be marked with an L code.  Students arriving after 9:30am will be counted as unauthorised absence and they will be marked with a U. Students who receive either and L code or a U code will receive a 20 minute lunchtime detention the same day.

The attendance target for every student at Downend School is 97%.  Excellent attendance is intrinsically linked to academic achievement and progress.  Students who have regular absence, patterns of unauthorised absence, broken weeks of attendance and high levels of absence for minor illness are unlikely to achieve their academic potential.

Most students reach or exceed this target.  We have even had some students go 5 years without a single absence!  However remember an attendance record of 90% means one day off every fortnight over the year, or 6 months off over 5 years.

Downend School prioritises the monitoring, support and robust action needed to secure high levels of attendance and works in close partnership with the Local Authority to place matters before court in circumstances where parents/carers do not ensure their child attends school regularly and punctually. Please CLICK HERE to access the attendance stages,  these are a guide for students and parents on the steps that the school will take to support regular attendance to school.  At every stage of our attendance phases we welcome the opportunity to engage with parents and carers.  Early intervention and student support sits in the heart of our approach to raising levels of student attendance.

If you would like to discuss any issues regarding attendance/absence or have and questions or queries about our attendance system, please do not hesitate to contact the Student Centre. 

Request for Absence of a School Student

From the 1st September 2013 the Department of Education has amended regulations governing requests for absence in term time.  From September 2013 holiday in term time will not be granted.  Other absences will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.  Further guidance on these regulations can be accessed at:

GOV.UK - School Attendance   

GOV.UK - Parental responsibility measure for behaviour and attendance

Public Health Agency Guidance for Infection Control in Schools

For further guidance on exclusion periods for common childhood illness can be be found at:

Guidance on Infection Control in Schools

Absences relating to COVID-19

Please be aware that from September 2022 the way that absences are related to Covid are coded has changed, in line with government guidelines.  If your child develops Covid, they will be marked as an authorised illness (rather than an ‘X’ as for the last 18 months).  It is still important that your child gets a PCR test if you think she or he may have Covid.

Children under the age of 18 who have been a contact with someone who has tested positive are no longer required to isolate, and should be in school, unless they develop any symptoms.