Tottington High School individual target for attendance is 100% Government minimum expectations for attendance is 95%. 
The school expects all our pupils to attend, on time, and all day every day, achieving 100% attendance. Should you child’s attendance drop to 95% attendance in ONE SCHOOL YEAR ALONE your child will miss 9 school days and at least 45 hours worth of lessons. Recent research shows there is a positive correlation between attendance and achievement so 95% equates to dropping at least half a GCSE grade. 90% attendance equates to 19 days lost, at least 95 hours worth of lessons and a drop by at least one whole GCSE grade. 
Please keep checking your child’s termly report and regularly on classcharts on which their current attendance is shown . If your child has medical appointments try, whenever possible to attend mid morning clinics so your child can attend the am reg and then return to school and gain their afternoon mark, therefore not affecting their attendance. 
Use the chart below to keep track of your child’s overall percentage. Attendance % for a year Days absent Hours of lessons missed. 

Attendance % for a year Days Absent Hours of Lessons missed
95% 9 45
90% 19 95
85% 29 145
80% 38 190


To ensure my child’s attendance remains over 97%, I will: 

  • Make sure my child understands why attendance is important. 
  • Prepare anything my child needs for school so that they can leave for school on time. 
  • Try to avoid any leave of absence in term time. 
  • Make sure my child is in bed at a reasonable time and the alarm clock is set early enough to arrive at school on time. 
  • Contact the school if ever my child can genuinely not attend. 
  • Send my child to school even with mild illnesses, but will ask for a check on progress throughout the day. 
  • Always try to arrange set medical and dental appointments for weekdays after school. 
  • Find a relative, friend or neighbour who can take my child to school if I can’t make it or if he/she missed the bus. 
  • Support my child to find out how he/she can make up missed schoolwork, if my child has been absent. 
  • Never prevent my child from attending school unless there is a valid reason. 
  • Notify school if I feel my child is struggling with any subject, staff member or has difficulties with other learners. 

If my child has previously had attendance difficulties: 

  • Ask for help from school if I think my child may be truanting or appears to be having difficulties that may stop him/her attending. 
  • Ask for help from school if I am having difficulties which mean my child is not responding to requests to help him/her attend school on time. 

If you would like to report an absence, please email

If you would like to speak to your child's Head of House, Pastoral Manager, or Youth Attendance Welfare Officer (YAWO) about their attendance, please do so using the links below:

Alternatively, you can contact a senior member of staff to discuss attendance:

At Tottington High School, we are committed to providing the best possible outcomes for all of our students.  We also recognise that much has changed in our school community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

We must collaborate to achieve this. You play a critical part in your child's success. Children need to be in school now more than ever. The first step towards academic success is to develop good attendance habits. At all ages, student attendance is crucial to academic success.

We are committed to collaborating with all of our families to ensure that students can strive for excellent attendance. If you are aware of any circumstance that is affecting your child's capacity or willingness to attend school, please contact their Form Tutor or Head of Year as soon as possible to discuss how we can support your child in school.


It is required that contact is made with school every day that a child is absent unless otherwise arranged with the Attendance Officer. We ask please that contact is made with the school before 08.30, where possible. There are two methods of communication through which to do this.

  1. E-mail explaining student absence to (preferred method)
  2. Phone call to the school’s absence line on 01204 882327


Any absences which are known about in advance, such as doctor’s appointments, are to be sent to

Please attach a copy of the paperwork for the appointment as soon as possible (such as hospital letter or appointment card). Please also clearly state what time your child will need to be signed out of school. All students must be collected and must sign out of school at reception before leaving.


The following reasons for non-attendance will not be authorised, unless they are being investigated by your doctor:

  • Hay fever
  • Headaches
  • Tummy ache
  • Toothache
  • Banged / stubbed toes
  • Blisters
  • Periods
  • Growing pain
  • Pain after having Orthodontic treatment, i.e. having braces fitted
  • Unwell
  • Not slept well the night before
  • Nose bleeds
  • Brother or sister has been ill
  • Parent or sibling has Covid


Unfortunately, even if absent for a medical appointment, a student is still classed as absent from school. This is beyond the school’s control. Please make appointments outside school hours where possible. If this is not possible, we recommend students attend school before and/or after the appointment, even if only briefly, before being signed out. This ensures that the impact on a child’s learning is minimal, and their attendance will not be negatively impacted.


If your child is suffering with school-related anxiety that is impacting their ability or willingness to attend, then please speak to the school. There is support we can offer to help with this.

However, the most effective support to help understand and overcome school anxiety starts at home. There are many resources available online to support you with this – we recommend the YoungMinds parent guide as a starting point for information and guidance for supporting your child.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your child's attendance, and how to get some help if you need it.

1. Do they really need to be off?

Use the NHS “Is my child too ill for school?” page to help with decisions over whether your child should be in school or not. Most common ailments are not a reason to be off school, just like they would not be a reason to be off work.

Still not sure? Remember, if your child comes to school and their condition worsens, they can seek the help of first aid at reception and if needed we will contact you so you can come and collect them. Developing this “give it a go” method will help build your child’s resilience.

2. Talk to them about the importance of good attendance

Help your child understand why going to school everyday matters.

  • Discuss what they’re missing out on when they don't go to school.
  • Explain that showing up to school every day is an important skill that will help them become successful in life.
  • Learning the habit of good attendance now will help them keep a job in the future, as in most jobs, regular non-attendance won't end well

3. Emphasise the importance of school

Ensure your child knows that school is important to you. A few things you can do to show interest in their school attendance:

  • Speak to them about their day and what they have learned.
  • Check Classcharts to see what homework they have.
  • Check Classcharts to see their attendance, punctuality and behaviour log.
  • Read all letters / communications from school to stay up to date with what is happening in school.
  • Make sure you attend parents’ evenings.
  • Review your child’s reports with them and reward them for good performance and effort.

4. Track their attendance

Create attendance goals with your child and track their progress in a notebook or calendar. Also, you can try giving them small rewards for not missing school.

5. Create a morning and bedtime routine


Morning showers are a great way to help students wake up. Ensure that your child is having a nutritious breakfast. Fruit, toast and healthy cereals are perfect and will give your child the energy to get through to lunch.


Make attendance a priority by giving your children regular bedtimes and good routines, such as no phones 30 minutes before bed, reading before bed etc. Remember 11-16 year olds need 8-10 hours sleep a night. Also remember to pack school bags the night before so they're not rushing around in the morning before school.

6. The importance of punctuality

Ensure your child gets to school on time every day. Arriving late can be embarrassing for students and disrupts their learning. They will also miss key announcements that are given out during morning form time.

7. Develop a back-up plan for getting to school

Develop a backup plan for ensuring that your child gets to school if they miss a bus, a friend who usually gives them a lift can't make it that day, etc.

8. Communication is key - don't be afraid to ask for help

Reach out to the school for assistance and support. Your child’s form Tutor, Head of Year, pastoral team, and other professionals are all available to help you. All you have to do is ask.

Recruit your child’s Form Tutor as a partner. Teachers may have insights into why your child may be missing school or why they don’t want to attend school. Form Tutors are always there to help!

9. Medical appointments

Make appointments for the dentist or doctor after school hours or in school holidays where possible, and make sure children return to school before and / or after an appointment if it must be in school time.

Penalty Notice Information

Updated: 30/05/2024 380 KB
Bury Local Authority Penalty Notice Information

Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If your question hasn't been answered, don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing

How do I report my child’s absence from school?

It is a parent/carer’s responsibility to notify school if their child is absent. A clear and sufficient reason must be provided. Absence can be reported via two channels:

  1. [Preferred] Email
  2. Calling 01204 882327

I phoned to tell you they were ill, why has their attendance still gone down?

Even if an absence is categorised as authorised it is still a session of schooling missed and will negatively impact a students’ overall attendance percentage.

What is the difference between an authorised and unauthorised absence?

Where a pupil is absent due to sickness and is genuinely unable to attend school, then the school, after being informed, may authorise a child's absence.

It is important that you e-mail or phone the school as early as possible, if your child is going to be absent at the start of the day. You will receive a text message from the Attendance Officer if you do not inform us, as it is our duty to ensure your child is safe.

If the school is not provided with a suitable reason for absence, or the reason given is not sufficient, then it may be recorded as unauthorised. 

In cases where students have poor attendance (below 95%) the school may require additional evidence before authorising absences.

What will happen if my child does not attend school?

If your child does not attend school regularly (over 90%) the Local Authority can take action against you. This can be through a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) or a summons to appear at Magistrates’ Court.

How do I know if my child is too ill to attend school?

Children can attend school with minor ailments (toothache, headache, stomach-ache, cold, sore throat, once a Lateral Flow test has been taken). Over the counter medicines can be given before school. School will contact you if they become too ill to stay in school.

My child has contacted me and asked me to come and collect him/her. What do I do?

As you are probably aware, students are not allowed to contact home to ask parents to come and collect them from school. They should always, in the first instance report to Student Services or their Head of Year, who will decide whether a phone call home is the best course of action.

If, however, your child does contact you from school, we would ask that you remind them of this procedure and be rest assured that we will contact you if necessary.

However, we should remind you that if students do contact home directly and parents do come to school to collect, this absence would be classed as unauthorised and we would always try to see both the parent and student before they leave the school, so that we can discuss this with you.