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Absence from School

There are two types of absence from school: authorised and unauthorised:

Authorised Absences are those where the pupil has received authorisation from a teacher or authorised representative of the school or where satisfactory explanations have been received from a parent/carer (e.g. pupil illness.)

Unauthorised Absences are those where a pupil is absent from school without the permission of a teacher or representative of the school (i.e. truancy).

Educational Authority Policy

Please refer to Cambridge County Council for information on pupil absence from school and your legal position. 

Planned Absence Notification

If you are planning to take pupils out of school (perhaps for a family holiday or on religious grounds), the school needs to be consulted before the planned period of absence.

Please refer to Cambridge County Council for initial guidance and then complete the college's Request Form for Planned Absence. All applications for leave in term time must be requested at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the period of absence, so the school can consider each application individually and request further information or evidence if required for approval. If due to circumstances you are unable to give 2 weeks’ notice, please inform the school as soon as possible so that we can still review your request. Applications for term time leave should be made BEFORE making any bookings regarding the absence.  If you take your child out of school without prior approval this can be marked as an unauthorised absence.

Parents/Carers are strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday during term-time. Parents do not have any right or entitlement to take their child out of school for a break and the college will generally not authorise standard family holidays. Leave of absence during term-time will be considered on an individual basis and only granted in exceptional circumstances.

If the pupil is absent from school and where advance authorisation has not been agreed, the college will record an 'unauthorised absence' (i.e. truancy) against the pupil. In some circumstances, parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.

The Planned Absence form is also available from the College Reception. The Planned Absence form should only be used and submitted by parents/carers to request a pre-planned pupil absence. The form may not be used by pupils unless there are special circumstances. If notified details are judged to be inconsistent with known pupil information, the college will contact the parents to confirm the request.

Same Day Notifications

For 'same day' notification (short-term illness or emergency Medical appointments etc) parents/carers can register pupil absences by emailing before 8:30am on the morning of each days absence.  When reporting an absence please give your child’s full name along with their tutor group and a brief description of the reason for absence. Just reporting “unwell” is not sufficient and this will be followed up by the Year team. Please DO NOT directly contact the Year team or Tutor to report an absence as these emails may not be picked up if staff are absence. The College email is monitored at all times and absence notifications are forwarded to the appropriate member of staff. You can also phone the school reception 01954 284000 before 8:30am to report an absent, but please be aware that the phonelines can be very busy at this time.

If a pupil is absent from school and a notification of absence is not received, the college may record an 'unauthorised absence' (i.e. truancy) against the pupil.


If a pupil misses registration for a medical or dental appointment this is counted as an authorised absence. Please give advance notice, ideally 2 school days, by emailing with the dates and timings the pupil is expected to be out of school and with a copy of the appointment card/notification so that the absence can be authorised. As much as possible, pupils should be in school prior to/ after the appointment and out of school for as little time as possible. 

If a pupil is required to leave the school premises during the school day for a medical or dental appointment, please notify the school by emailing with the time they will be collected.  Please give advance notice, ideally 2 school days and with a copy of the appointment card/notification. Pupils must be collected by a parent/carer, unless we have been given prior notification of other arrangements. The pupil must be ‘signed out' (at the College Reception) before leaving the school premises, so the school has a record of them being off-site in the event of a fire evacuation or other emergency. The pupil should 'sign in' on their return.


For long term medical absence, please refer to School Policy Pupils Absent From School On Medical Grounds.