Full attendance is critical to enable learning and progress.  Young people who miss time in classrooms fall behind their peers and are less likely to achieve their potential when they leave school.  It is in this context that Oathall’s aspirational goal is 100% attendance which we desire all students and parents strive to achieve.

We understand that sometimes brief absences in a school year may occur.  In this context we have an expectation of 96% attendance for all students.  A student whose attendance below 96% will prompt suitable intervention from within the school.  Attendance below 90% is viewed by the government and local authority as being persistently absent and must result in formal intervention which could include legal consequences.

Oathall aspires to achieve the  highest levels of student attendance as displayed in the following college attendance targets:

2017 – 2018    95.5%

2018 – 2019    95.7%

2019 – 2020    96%

Working in partnership to achieve the most positive outcomes for all our young people, Oathall expects parents to be actively involved in encouraging such levels of attendance. If you require any advice or support regarding your child’s attendance please do not hesitate in the first instance to contact Mrs T MacDiarmid – Attendance Co-ordinator.

Policy for an absence resulting from illness

Parents should inform Oathall by leaving a message on the school’s absence line 01444 414001 (before 8.45 a.m.) on the morning of the first day of absence and every subsequent day of absence. Parents can also email [email protected] – please state your child’s year group in the subject header. The nature of the illness should be indicated.

Parents should call the college daily to report continued absence as without such daily notification the absence will be marked as unauthorised in the school’s attendance register.

Where absence for illness exceeds 5 days (10 sessions) of continuous absence or accumulated absence (broken weeks) in a term the school will require notification from a health professional to be able to continue to authorise absence for illness. This could involve a parent giving the school permission to talk with the relevant health professional.  Without such notification the absence for illness from the sixth day will be unauthorised in the school’s attendance register.

Action resulting from a period or pattern of unauthorised absence:

5 days (10 sessions) of unauthorised absence in a term can, where attendance is already irregular (that is below 90%, the government’s definition of a persistent absentee) result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice by the Local Education Authority.

Where students accumulate 10 days (20 sessions) of unauthorised absence we are required to inform the Local Education Authority by referring the unauthorised absence to their Pupil Entitlement – Investigation (PE-I) department.   Such a referral is likely to result in legal action by the Local Education Authority.

Where it is likely your child is to have a prolonged absence for illness, that is over 5 days, we ask you contact our Attendance Co-ordinator Mrs MacDiarmid through our absence line 01444 414001. Alerting us to your child’s situation can facilitate us working together to code the register appropriately to the circumstances of the illness.

Policy for absence for medical appointments

We ask that medical appointments are arranged out of school hours. If this is not possible we do require an appointment note/card or written parental notification of the appointment.  Without such notification we will be unable to authorise the absence in the school’s attendance register.

The appointment note/card or parental notification should be handed to Mrs MacDiarmid (Attendance Officer). Please be aware for safeguarding reasons a student with no appointment note/card or parental permission will not be allowed to sign out and leave the school until we have spoken with you.

Unauthorised Absence

If your child is absent from school without authorisation you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by West Sussex County Council. More information from West Sussex about school absences can be found here. 

Registration Times and Punctuality Policy 

The school’s official registration times are 8.40 for the morning sessions and at the start of period 5 for the afternoon sessions.

Students registering after 8.40 in the morning and after the start of P5 in the afternoon will be coded as late in the school register.

The school register closes at 9.00 for the morning session and 15 minutes after the start of P5 for the afternoon session. Students will be coded as absent in the school register after these times.

The absence will either be authorised or unauthorised subject to the reasons provided by the parent for the absence from the relevant session.

Times of the School Day

Timings of the school day can be found here.

Holidays in term time

If you wish to get authorisation to take your child out of school for a holiday or other activity please complete a leave or approved activity request form.

Leave or approved activity form


Punctuality is vitally important. Lateness accounts for a large amount of missed learning and can lead to students falling behind with this work. With this in mind, we have a few tips students may want to use to ensure they are on time and well-organised. The image below can be downloaded and used as mobile phone wallpaper by way of a gentle reminder each day.