Attendance Matters

It is important that every student attends school every day and on time in order that they may give themselves the very best chance of success. It is proven by research that students who are not in school will miss out on lesson time and may then not be able to take full advantage of the learning experiences available to them. Low attendance is the biggest factor in underachievement.

If your child misses one session in a week (remember, there are two sessions per day, AM/PM) their attendance cannot reach higher than 90%. This may look impressive, but it means they miss 19 days of education in a year and risk dropping one grade in their GCSE's. 5 grades at 4/5 become 5 grades at 3/4.

Here at Meopham School we take absence seriously and target intervention with students whose attendance falls below the school target of 96.4%.

If a student’s attendance falls below 90% they are classified by the Government as being a Persistent Absentee (PA) and are at a much greater chance of failing in their GCSE subjects and therefore damaging their life chances.

Please note that we will now only authorise 5 days of illness per academic year. Any further absences due to illness will only be authorised once medical documentation is provided. For example, a GP appointment card/letter/text or prescribed medicine labels. We understand the difficulty of obtaining same-day GP appointments, however, there are a number of walk-in clinics in the area who will provide confirmation of emergency appointment attendance. In regard to symptoms like headaches, where possible we would advise your child taking suitable medication in the morning and then coming into school to see how they get on through the day or indeed taking medication first thing, waiting for symptoms to subside & then coming into school once they are feeling better. We are unwilling to authorise a whole day’s absence due to a ‘headache’ or feeling ‘generally unwell’. 

Appointments during the school can be very disruptive to your child’s learning. Where possible we do ask that all medical appointments are made outside of school hours. For unavoidable appointments to be authorised, we must see an appointment card/letter/text.

How to inform Meopham School of your child's absence

● Ring the absence line on 01474 814646. There is an answer phone

● Report via google form: Absence form 

● Email the attendance team:

Repeat for every day of absence. You will need to leave the name of the student, their year group and the reason for absence.

Please let the Attendance Office know of absences by 8.30am on every day that your child is off school. 

If your child has been issued with a Doctor’s note detailing the agreed length of absence, you can forward this to the Attendance Office instead of calling each day.


Covid19 Attendance Guidelines

We understand the anxieties around attending school during a pandemic. Please contact our attendance team if you have specific concerns or questions:

For government guidelines on school attendance during the Pandemic, please click here:

All students should now be attending school unless they have COVID 19 symptoms, a positive LFD test or a positive PCR test. If students have symptoms they should get a PCR test immediately.

From 14 December 2021, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result. 

Daily testing of close contacts applies to all contacts who are: 

fully vaccinated adults – people who have had 2 doses of an approved vaccine

 • all children and young people aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status

 • people who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons 

people taking part, or have taken part, in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine  

they can produce a doctor’s letter that states that it is not safe for them to attend because they or someone in their household is classed as extremely medically vulnerable.

Pupils with SEND identified as close contacts should be supported by their school and their families to agree the most appropriate route for testing including, where appropriate, additional support to assist swabbing. For further information please see SEND guidance.  

The following resources are designed to help families to manage this transition:



Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill, and we expect all our students to arrive in school before 8:30am. For any student who arrives after 8:40am, we operate a ‘late gate’ and students will receive a sanction.

We thank you for your continued support in ensuring your child attends school every day, so they can achieve their obvious potential. Arriving just 5 minutes late every day equals missing 3 days of education over the whole year. Arriving half an hour late every day is equivalent to 18 days of absence.

Attendance Rewards

Reward incentives for great attendance run throughout the school year, with a range of prizes available.

Attendance is also promoted in tutoring each term, with opportunities for students to assess and monitor their own attendance; the attendance of their tutor group and their year group attendance as a whole.