Attend today, achieve tomorrow!

Attendance is very important to us at OSSMA. Research shows that students with good school attendance are more likely to achieve higher results in their GCSE’s. This means they’ll have better options when they leave school and will be more likely to have greater job satisfaction and a higher paid job. There’s evidence to show that getting 5 GCSE’s at grade 4 and above adds £80,000 to your earnings over a lifetime. At OSSMA we are passionate about making sure that every single student has the best chance of success both now and for their future, so we are committed to making sure that every student has excellent attendance. 

100%This is everyone’s target and is excellent attendance. 
96% – 99%= 7.5 days or less, days of absence in one year. Good attendance is the minimum for all students. 
91% – 95%= Between 8 and 18 days of absence in one year. Your child’s chances of success are at risk. 
90% or less= 19 or more days of absence in one year. Your child is classed as a persistent absentee. Their chances of success have dropped significantly and their attendance must improve urgently.  

We hope all of our students will attend 100% of the time, but we understand that this isn’t always possible. So we aim for all students to attend a minimum of 96% of their year. This means having no more than 7.5 days off school for any reason all year.

If your child isn’t in school, they’re missing crucial lessons. While we’ll help students to catch up as much as we can, this isn’t the same as being in the lesson. Research has shown that poor school attendance is often the greatest cause of poor performance and achievement. 

This table shows the number of important learning hours your child would be missing for different levels of attendance. 

Annual attendanceDays missed in a yearLearning hours missed in a yearLearning hours missed over 5 years
  • Take an interest in your child’s education – ask about their schoolwork and encourage them to get involved in school activities. Your child will value school more if you do too. 
  • Don’t arrange family holidays, shopping trips, birthday treats etc during school hours. 
  • Arrange medical appointments out of school hours where possible, or as late in the day as you can. Make sure your child comes to school before and after medical appointments. 
  • Send your child to school if they’re only suffering from a minor illness such as a cold.
  • If your child can’t attend school, contact us immediately.
  • If your child starts missing school for reasons other than illness, work with us to put things right. If your child is worried about attending for any reason then we have lots of support available for them, but we can only help if we know about the problem, and the sooner we know about it the quicker we can work to solve it. Speak to your child’s Head of Year or the Attendance Officer. 
  • If your child is refusing to attend school, make sure we’re aware of this so that we can support you. The sooner we know about it the more effective we can be in supporting you. Make sure your child understands that you don’t approve of them missing school, and be persistent and consistent in enforcing sanctions when they refuse to attend. Some parents have found that confiscating their child’s phone or access to the TV/PlayStation/Xbox etc encourages their child to attend school. You could also introduce incentives, such as a fun activity or treat if they go to school for a full week. 
  • Download our School Synergy app, so we can communicate with you easily about your child’s attendance. You can view your child’s current attendance and report absences for free via the app. 

Please let us know before 9am if your child will not be attending school for any reason, or if they will be late. Please give us a reason for your child’s absence and let us know when you expect them to be back in school. 

Ways to report an absence

  • Call the Academy on 01782 882200 (option 1). You can speak to Reception or leave a voicemail. 
  • Email [email protected].

If you’re not sure if you should send your child to school, please contact your child’s Head of Year or the Attendance Officer who will talk this through with you. 

The NHS has also issued guidelines on when your child should and shouldn’t attend school, please visit for more information. 

At OSSMA we are passionate about giving all of our students the best possible start in life, and we firmly believe that excellent school attendance is a crucial factor in this. Therefore we have a process in place that enables us to promptly follow up on any absences from school so that we can quickly identify and resolve any problems which may have arisen. This process gives us the opportunity to give you the advice and support that you need to make sure that your child has excellent school attendance.

As a parent/carer, legally it is your responsibility to make sure that your child attends school regularly. We will work with you closely to support you with this, however, if you fail to make sure that your child is attending school regularly then we are duty-bound to make a referral to the Education Welfare Service for further support in improving your child’s attendance.

Please read the document, which can be located at the bottom of this page, entitled School attendance and the law for an explanation of the legalities regarding school attendance, including who is considered a parent/carer by law. 

Principals are only allowed to authorise leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances, therefore it is rare that we give the authorisation to take your child out of school during term time. However we do consider each application individually, therefore if you wish to take your child out of school during term time and you think that your reason for this could be considered an exceptional circumstance, please submit a leave of absence form that can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.  

Punctuality is important to us at OSSMA, as good time-keeping is an essential skill for all students to learn and prepares each student for life after school. Arriving at school on time means that your child doesn’t miss any of their valuable learning time and can be fully prepared for a good day at school.

All students need to be in school by 8:35am to arrive in their form room by 8:40am. Students arriving after 8:40am are late to school and will receive a late detention, other than in exceptional circumstances. The registers close at 9:25am and all students who arrive at school after this time will receive an absence mark for the morning and this may be followed up via the attendance procedure. They’ll still get their afternoon mark.