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At Little Heath School we firmly believe good attendance and arriving on time are crucial factors in students achieving their full potential, staying safe and getting the most out of the whole school experience. 

There is a clear link between high attendance and high academic achievement and thus, absence, for any reason, has a negative effect on learning. Attendance is the responsibility of every stakeholder at Little Heath School: it is in everyone’s interests and it is everyone’s business.

Positive and consistent communication between home and school is central to improving and maintaining high levels of attendance. 


We expect all of our students to attend school regularly and on time.  We set all students a minimum target level of 96%. The school regularly reviews each student’s attendance and engages West Berkshire Education Welfare Service where attendance falls below 90%.  An attendance rate of 90% is equivalent to missing half a day of school per week or one day per fortnight.  6 out of 10 students with an attendance rate of 95% or more gain at least 5 GCSE grades 5-9.

The diagram below illustrates clearly the impact attendance can have on academic achievement. 

The aim should be 100% attendance all of the time, although we understand this is not always possible. Ensuring regular attendance at school is a parent’s legal responsibility, but helping to maintain a regular pattern of attendance is everyone’s responsibility – parents, students and all members of school staff. 

We are keen to work with parents, students and the Local Authority to ensure attendance is as good as it can be to improve the chances of the young people in our care.  Students who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and do less well in exams.

Good attendance and punctuality also show potential employers and colleges that a young person is reliable.


Punctuality is a very important part of time management and self-discipline. It is the responsibility of students and parents to ensure they arrive to school on time. 

Below are the timings for the school day:

08.50am-09.00am Morning Registration
09.00am-10.00am Period 1
10.00am-11.00am Period 2
11.00am-11.20am Morning Break
11.20am-12.20pm Period 3
12.20pm-1.20pm  Period 4
1.20pm-2.05pm Lunch
2.05pm-2.25pm Afternoon Registration
2.25pm-3.25pm Period 5


If a student arrives late to school regularly their learning begins to suffer. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure they are in the correct classroom at the right time.  The bar chart below illustrates how being late to school every day over a school year soon adds up and this will understandably have a negative impact on learning. At Little Heath we believe that arriving to lessons punctually helps create a positive environment for learning and shows that our students are ‘Ready to Learn.’

Being Late Adds Up

Students can only enter school through the Sixth Form or Main Gate and it is their responsibility to ensure they arrive in plenty of time to enter the school grounds and be in their tutor rooms by 8.50am. 

The Sixth Form gates are closed at 8.50am and any students arriving after this time will have to enter the school through the Main Gate, into reception and sign in using our Inventry electronic sign in system, which records the number of minutes late.  All students who arrive after 8.50am will issued with a 25-minute lunchtime detention for that day.  Failure to attend the lunchtime detention will result in a sixty minute Same Day Sanction (SDS) that evening.  Parents will be notified via Satchel One.

Students who arrive after the registers have closed at 9.15am will again have to sign in at Main Reception and be issued with an automatic after school Same Day Sanction of sixty minutes. They will be marked on the register as ‘U’. This counts as unauthorised absence for the morning session as registers have closed. This will therefore impact on a student’s overall attendance. Parents and carers should inform the school as soon as possible if there are exceptional circumstances that caused their child’s late arrival.

Equally students are expected to arrive to lessons on time. Being truant or late to a lesson, negatively impacts the learning and progress of the student who is late or truanting, and disrupts lessons for the students who are on time and engaging with their learning. Students must be in lessons or where they are expected to be. If they are not, this becomes a significant safeguarding risk.

  • Students late more than three times in a week = warning letter to parents.
  • Students late more than three times in a second week = 60-minute SDS.
  • Students late more than three times in a third week = 90-minute SLT detention.
  • Students late more than three times in a fourth week = day in Behaviour Hub and a parental meeting.

Where there is a persistent problem with getting to lessons or morning and afternoon tutor time punctually, we will discuss with parents and further consequences will be put in place.


Absence due to Illness must be reported on a daily basis on the student absence line 0118 9427337 option 1, unless you know your child is going to absent for more than one day then please state the day of return.

Holidays should not be taken in term time and leave of absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. An absence form should be completed at least 3 weeks before the absence is taken. A copy of the form can be downloaded below or a hard copy can be obtained from main reception.

Appointments during the school day

Dental and medical appointments should, wherever possible, be made out of school hours. If your child has an unavoidable appointment, we request that an email copy of their appointment letter is sent in advance to our Attendance Office to authorise. When the time arrives for the student to leave school, they should report to Main Reception to sign out and sign in when they return to school. Please be aware, that although these may be an authorised medical appointment, if your son or daughter misses a morning or afternoon registration, the appointment will affect a student’s overall attendance percentage. 

Sixth Form Attendance Policy

For information about the Sixth Form attendance, punctuality and absence procedures at Little Heath School, please click here.

For more information on attendance, absence and our procedures at Little Heath School, or to read the Attendance policy in full, please click here.