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Attendance: August 2020 update

In line with government guidance during this unprecedented time we will be reapplying section 444(1) and (1A) of the Education Act 1996 (England). In essence, all pre-covid-19 attendance measures to enforce school attendance by the school and local authority will be back in place. TCA will continue to listen to the feedback from pupils and parents in open dialogue to assess the impact of the new school habits and routines.

September 2020: COVID-19 related absence from school

Click here to view a quick guide for parents regarding COVID-19 related absence from school.

Thomas Clarkson Academy is a great place to be and all students should attend every day. 

Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that their child receives an education suitable to the child’s age, ability and aptitude and any special needs. The only reasons for absence should be through illness or an exceptional circumstance. Every absence must be explained by the parent/carer. No more than three consecutive days of absence will be authorised without supporting medical evidence.

  • Unavoidable medical or dental appointments - students should return to school after the appointment (evidence may be required). Where possible, appointments should be arranged after school
  • Days of religious observance
  • Exceptional family circumstances, such as bereavement
  • Interview with a prospective employer or college/Academy (evidence may be required)

If your child is having difficulties attending school, you should contact the school sooner rather than later, as most issues can be dealt with very quickly.

Penalty Notice Update from CCC – August 2017

Cambridgeshire County Council have amended the Penalty Notice code of conduct to take into account the Supreme Court Judgement (Isle of Wight v John Platt) which clarified the meaning of “regular” school attendance as outlined in Section 444 Education Act 1996. Brooke Weston Trust schools will “expect attendance at school to be 100%, unless there are exceptional or unavoidable reasons for absence”, which may then be authorised.

In light of this judgement, the criterion of “historical holiday taken” has been removed and referrals for Penalty Notices will be accepted and issued for single event absences of at least 3 consecutive school days or more where these absences are unauthorised. This will be implemented with effect from 1st September 2017.


Click here for a term time absence request form.

Reporting Absence

Parents/Carers should contact the Academy on the first day of their child’s absence before 8.30am and every day of absence following this. 

You can also report an absence using the email address

Alternatively telephone 01945 585237 and choose option 1 to leave a voicemail message.

If we do not receive an explanation for an absence a text message will be sent from the Academy or a telephone call will be made. A home visit may occur as a follow up action. The absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

Parents/Carers Responsibilities

Make sure your child arrives at school on time by 8.20am as lessons start promptly at 8.30am.

If your child arrives after register has closed, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence for that session unless evidence is supplied that the lateness was due to a medical appointment.

Persistent lateness is monitored and affects the overall attendance figure for each student.  Consequences are the same for those students with low attendance.

See the documents at the bottom of this page for attendance expectations. 

Attendance Team

The Assistant Principal with responsibility for Behaviour, Attendance, Personal Development & Welfare is Mr Jon Siracusano. ​​​
All attendance queries should be directed to Student Services. 

If your child’s attendance remains unsatisfactory and despite support from Academy staff, a referral will be made to the Brooke Weston Trust's Education Welfare Officer. If attendance continues to decrease, a referral to the Education Legal Panel (Local Authority) may be made for consideration of legal action. This could include a prosecution or a Penalty Notice being issued.

As Thomas Clarkson Academy does not use the Education Welfare Officer from the Local Authority directly, parents can contact them through one of the District Teams. The District Teams are made up of different professionals who work together to support families, children and young people. The link below will redirect you to our information on EWOs and District Teams, and the areas they cover. If you are unsure of which team to contact, please email

Contact information for Education Welfare Officers
Find your nearest District Team

Further information about attendance and the law can be found on Cambridgeshire County Council website here.

Further advice and guidance on this matter can be located through the Department of Education  website.

Read the Brooke Weston Trust attendance policy here.

Student Sickness Policy – In School Protocol:

If a student feels unwell they must report to Student Services, The student’s attendance will be checked and the situation will be considered. If the student is allowed to go home, contact will be made with the parent/carer. The student will only be allowed to go home if they are collected by an adult, who is named on the students contact list”.

Please note: if a student has already phoned home, without following the In School Protocol the absence will not be authorised.

Further information on medical illnesses from the Public Health Agency can be found here.