Attendance Policy

1. Aim

At JESS, we strive for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to reach out for excellence. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend school regularly and are punctual each day.  We understand that at times there may be unavoidable circumstances which cause your child to be absent.


2 .Responsibilities:

2.1        Class Teachers manage issues related to attendance and punctuality in the first instance. Teachers should therefore:
2.1.1     Monitor and deal appropriately with punctuality.
2.1.2     Monitor and respond to pupil absence without notification – (followed up daily and annotate on ISAMS by Admin staff)
2.1.3     Where low attendance becomes a problem, this will be managed by Year Group Leaders/Heads of Year in the first instance, with support from Deputy Heads, Head teachers, and the well-being team (Counsellors, School Nurses), as appropriate.
2.2          The Deputy Head will monitor and follow up on attendance causes for concern
2.3          The Head Teachers have the responsibility to monitor and authorise absence at the school and provide data for annual inspections and the Governing body.


3         Punctuality:

3.1          The School will take active steps to encourage excellent levels of punctuality. Lateness will be monitored and followed up by Class Teachers, Year Group Leaders/Heads of Year and Deputy Heads.
3.2          School documentation will clearly state the time at which each school session begins and finishes, including the time at which registers open and close (see school contract).
3.3          When a student arrives late having missed registration, his/her presence on site is recorded on ISAMS in the relevant office by the parent (FS & KS1) or the pupil (KS2 and above) for purposes of emergency evacuation.  In secondary student lateness is recorded on ISAMS at reception

4.         Authorised Absence:

4.1          The fact that a parent has provided a note or other explanation (telephone call or personal contact) in relation to a particular absence does not, of itself, oblige the School to accept it. Absence should only be authorised if the pupil is absent with permission from the Head Teacher:
4.1.1     the pupil is ill or prevented from attending by any unavoidable cause;
4.1.2     the absence occurs on a day exclusively set aside for religious observance;
4.1.3     there is a family bereavement;
4.1.4     an approved educational activity or visit
4.1.5     an approved work experience placement;
4.1.6     a visit to a prospective job, university, college, or another school.
4.1.7     a Year 11, Year 12 or Year 13 pupil is granted study leave;
4.1.8     an approved sporting activity;

5             Family Holidays and Extended Trips Overseas During Term Time:

5.1         The nature of the JESS community is that, from to time, parents need to take family holidays during term time (e.g. Emirates Pilots do not have choice over their annual leave.)  The School policy is that vacations during term time will be considered authorised under the following circumstances:
5.1.1     At Foundation to Y6 – 10 school days
5.1.2     Y7 to Y9 – 5 school days
5.1.3     Y10 and above – no school days

6             Unauthorised Absences:

6.1          Any holiday absences in excess of the authorised holiday will be considered ‘unauthorised’.
6.2          Absence should be unauthorised if no explanation that is deemed sufficient by reference to the above lists, is forthcoming.
6.3          In cases of unauthorised absence, the pupil has responsibility to catch up on any work missed. The School will not set work for the pupil for their holiday period or provide additional support or tuition on their return.
6.4          In the case of an authorised absence during School examination periods, internal examinations will not be set at an alternative time.
6.5          All extensive periods of unauthorised absence will be reported to the KHDA

7             Extended Unauthorised Absence:

7.1          In the event of regular non–attendance, the Deputy Head or Head of the School should:
7.1.1     Arrange a meeting between the Head of House/Form/Class Teacher, the parents, and the pupil.
7.1.2     Offer specific support to parents and individual pupils, either at school or elsewhere.
7.1.3     Facilitate case conferences and other meetings between all involved directly in the care of the pupil.
7.2          Extended unauthorised absence (truancy) will be considered persistent misconduct, which may result in the required removal of the pupil concerned. (See School Contract).
7.3          In cases where parents wilfully withhold a pupil from school, or persistently refuse to co-operate with efforts aimed at affecting a return to satisfactory school attendance, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Head Teacher) will seek advice from the KHDA. This may result the pupil will be removed from the School and identified as a “Child Missing from Education”.

8             PROVISIONAL Procedure For Leave of Absence Request

8.1          Parents download the Leave of Absence Request form (LOA) from the communicator at least 3 weeks prior to dates being requested, wherever practical.
8.2          Parents are to complete and return the form to the respective Deputy Head via Reception at their earliest convenience. Any additional information relating to the absence is to be attached at the same time.
8.3          Upon receiving the completed LOA form from parents the school office will complete the school details section and pass to the Deputy Head/ Head Teacher for the school's decision.
8.4          Should further clarification of the request be needed an appointment/phone call will be made with the relevant Deputy Head.
8.5          The fully completed LOA form will be scanned, saved onto ISAMS and returned electronically to parents informing them of the School's decision.

9             Special requests for long term leave:

9.1          There are some occasions where special, long term absence can be requested for a child due to serious illness to the child or a close family member.

9.2          Definitions:

9.2.1     Serious illness’ is defined as ‘any medical condition where death is imminent or likely or that which requires emergency admission to a hospital or emergency surgery and where treatment cannot be deferred and delay in treatment will lead to significant consequences’.
9.2.2     ‘Long term absence’ is a continuous period of absence of more than 20 school days.
9.2.3     A Close Family Member is defined as:
(a)         Mother or Father
(b)         Sibling,
(c)          To include legally recognised “Step” equivalents at the discretion of the Director.
9.3          Principles:
9.3.1     When considering each request, the executive may take into account the following factors:
(a)         reason for request
(b)         attendance record
(c)          previous requests
9.3.2     Each request will be decided on a case by case basis, agreed by the school Executive
9.4          Reasons where long term leave is granted:
9.4.1     Serious illness of a child:  Leave will be granted in the event that the child is suffering from a serious illness that requires time off school or must travel abroad for treatment.
9.4.2     Serious illness of a close family member:  Leave will be granted in the event that either the mother/ father or sibling is suffering from a serious illness and must travel abroad for treatment.
9.5          Reasons where long term leave is not granted:
9.5.1     For the avoidance of doubt, long term absence requests will not be granted for any other reasons, other than those mentioned above.
9.6          The following outlines guidance on time allowed, fee payment and recording of attendance:


  •  Reasons for request? Serious Illness of child requiring hospital treatment abroad
  •  Time Allowed? Up to one year, reveiwed annually
  •  Fees paid?  No
  •  Attendance Rcorded?  No


  • Reason for request? Serious Illness of a close family member requiring hospital treatment abroad 
  • Time allowed? Up to one year reviewed termly
  • Fees paid? Yes
  • Attendance Record? No