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The Astley Cooper School’s attendance target is 96%.
All parents and students are asked to support our expectations relating to attendance and punctuality:


Please observe the following procedures with regard to absence from school:

If your child is unable to attend school due to illness, please telephone the school before 8.25am, selecting the attendance option. An answer phone is available out of office hours to leave details on; please leave your name, your child's name, tutor group and reason for absence repeating your child’s name at the end of the message. This process needs to be repeated on each day of absence as it is a legal requirement you inform the school of any absences.

If you fail to inform the school of your child’s absence, a ‘Truancy Call’ message will be sent to your mobile/home number asking you to make contact with the school immediately.  This can be done by replying to the text message or contacting our absence line on 01442 394141.

If we do not receive a call or message from you explaining your child’s absence, this will be marked as an unauthorised absence. 

Please give plenty of notice for any planned absence. We would appreciate all dental and non-urgent medical appointments being made out of school hours. If you have an appointment within the school day, please ask the receptionist to provide you with a dated appointment card for our records.

Leave of absence for holiday purposes will not be authorised. This follows The Department for Education and Hertfordshire County Council regulations.


We understand that adverse circumstances will very occasionally prevent students from arriving on time at school but ask that all parents help their children to adhere to the school rules regarding punctuality:

Students should arrive at school on time and be in their form rooms by 8.25am.

Students arriving late after 9.00am should sign in at the Attendance Office and explain their lateness and inform their Form Tutor at the next registration.

The morning register closes at 9.00am.  By law, we have to mark students arriving after this without an acceptable reason as unauthorised absence

Students who are persistently late or absent from school will be brought to the attention of their Head of Year and Catherine Fairnell, Local Authority Attendance Officer.

Fixed Penalty Notice

The Astley Cooper School operates The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulation 2007. 

If a pupil has at least 15 sessions (half day=1 session) unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous term, including leave of absence where permission has been denied, the Headteacher can apply for the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. A fine of £60.00 (per parent) is issued if paid within 21 days or £120.00 if paid within 28 days.

If your child has ongoing poor attendance and they have unauthorised absences of 15 or more sessions across the current and/or previous term this will also initiate a request to Hertfordshire County Council for a Fixed Penalty Notice to be issued.