Attendance and Punctuality: FAQs for Parents/Carers

Learn more about attendance and punctuality at Levenshulme High School, via our frequently asked questions for parents/carers.


What happens if my child is late?

If your child arrives after 8.30am then they will be expected to attend a lunchtime detention that day, failure to do so could result in a C3.

My child was only a couple of minutes late. It seems harsh that they should get a late mark?

The school must abide by the rules and expectations laid down for all schools. Lateness for school (or work) is a failure to arrive on time and will be marked as such. We would encourage students to set off in good time so that any small delay does not cause them to be late.

Our whole family overslept, and it is not my child’s fault that they are late. Will they receive a late mark?

This cannot be taken as an acceptable reason for lateness so a late mark or unauthorised absence would be recorded, depending on the time they arrive.

My child relies on public transport to get to school which is sometimes late. Will they receive a late mark?

Yes. We would advise that the child leaves earlier so that even if the bus is late, they will still arrive on time. If the bus is sometimes late, then it is not a reliable way to ensure arrival in good time.

What if I phone up/email to say my child is going to be late? Would they still get a late mark?

Yes, they would still be marked late.

Why has my child been marked as absent for the whole morning when they arrived at 9.00am?

DfE (Department for Education) guidelines state that the register must be closed after a reasonable time in the morning. If arriving after 9.00am, your child will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session.

What do I do if I do not agree with your policy on punctuality?

Much of our attendance policy is designed to satisfy DfE regulation but as always, if you feel an approach is unfair or unreasonable, then you can write to the Co-Headteachers and/or Governing Body asking for a review. However, whilst any such policy is in place, the school will operate as stated.


My child cannot attend school today, what should I do?

You should ring the school as soon as possible on 0161 224 4625 to inform us of the absence and the reason why. We require this in writing either by replying to the absence text message we send or by emailing:

Do I have to provide evidence of a medical appointment?

Yes, this can be in the form of the appointment letter, email or a prescription. Failure to do so could result in an unauthorised absence.

I have been told I need medical evidence but I cannot get a GP appointment, or I can only get a phone consultation, what should I do?

  • Go to the pharmacy and ask for a consultation or advice and get a note stamped with the date and time, or a receipt of medication with the date on
  • Go to a walk-in centre
  • Ask the receptionist for a printout of your phone consultation / appointment

My child has sickness and diarrhoea, and I cannot take them to the GP, how can I provide medical evidence?

You need to go to the pharmacy and pick up medication for the symptoms and provide a copy of the receipt to school.

Can I take my child out of school for a medical appointment?

All effort should be made to avoid non-urgent medical or routine dental appointments during the school day. Where this is not possible, students should attend school before and after the appointment.

My child has been off for more than 3 days with illness, what should I do?

If your child is off for 3 or more days then medical evidence will be required to authorise the absence.

Can I take my child out of school for religious reasons?

On some occasions, religious festivals may fall outside holiday periods or weekends. The authorisation of absence, or special leave for religious observance, will be considered in these instances, but families are requested to give advance notice if they intend for their child to be absent. If authorisation is permitted then one day will be designated for an individual occasion and no more than three in total in an academic year. Request forms will need to be collected from the Attendance office by your child.

What is an unauthorised absence?

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and may be subject to penalty notices or legal proceedings issued by the Local Authority.

What would class as an unauthorised absence?

  • Truancy during the academy day
  • Absences which have no proper explanation
  • Persistent absence due to illness that has no supporting medical evidence
  • Students who arrive late after the registers have closed
  • Absence for the purposes of shopping, to look after other children or celebrate birthdays
  • Families keeping children away from school unnecessarily
  • Excessive absence due to medical/dental appointments without good reason or evidence
  • Passport meetings/appointments
  • Optician appointments

Can I take my child out of school on holiday?

No, this will be unauthorised and will result in a penalty notice being issued by the local council.

I want to take my child out of school for a prolonged period of time, will this be allowed?

Only in very exceptional circumstances will this be granted and never exceeding 20 days. Requests of this nature should be made in writing to the Co-Headteachers for consideration (via the leave of absence form, which can be collected from the attendance office by your child).

The school have rejected my request to take my child out of school for a prolonged period of time, what happens now?

If the request is rejected and you still take your child out of school then this will result in a penalty notice being issued by the local council. If you exceed 20 school days then the school have a legal duty to off roll your child.

I have received a letter warning that my child is going to be off rolled, what does this mean?

If your child is absent for 21 consecutive school days then they will be off-rolled, this means they are no longer a member of Levenshulme High School and you will be required to reapply through the council.

Is there any support to help in improving my child’s attendance?

There are occasions where parent/carers will be invited into school to discuss their child’s attendance, here support measures will be put in place including parenting contracts which are formal agreements between parents and the school where targets are set. You will also be offered an Early Help Assessment.

What is an Early Help Assessment?

An Early Help Assessment considers the needs of the family and potential barriers to your child’s attendance, it allows for intensive support to be provided either by the school, local authority, or another partner such as a health professional.

I have been issued with a Penalty Notice from the council, do I need to pay?

Yes, it is against the law not to pay the fine. The penalty is £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days. Penalty notice fines are issued by Manchester City Council in accordance with their Penalty Notice Protocol. Failure to pay the penalty in full by the end of the 28-day period may result in prosecution by the Local Authority for failure to ensure regular attendance, according to s444, Education Act 1996.

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