Reporting absence

Absence from school

Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success – both in school and in life.

We believe our pupils are capable of amazing things and want them to have every opportunity to achieve this success.

Ensuring excellent attendance requires partnership; you can help us to help your child by encouraging regular school attendance.

Going to school every day means:

  • Lots of opportunities for learning new skills
  • Developing a  better understanding of themselves and the world
  • Making  friends and building lasting relationships
  • Developing  healthy life habits
  • Feeling  connected to the school community
  • Taking part  in exciting and memorable activities
  • Having lots of fun!

All children aged between 5 and 16 are required by law to receive an education, and it is the duty of parents and carers to ensure that they are supported to do so.

Key information and contacts

Please contact the school on 020 3873 2290 before 8.00am to report a student’s absence from school.


Select the student absence line option and inform the school of your child’s name, tutor group, reason for absence and when you expect them to return to school.Please note that you must contact the school each day of absence.


You can also email with your child's name, tutor group and reason for absence.


Absences due to a family trip or holiday during term time will not be authorised, please contact the school if there are extenuating circumstances.


Any student with a sickness absence of more than 4 days within a short period must provide a doctor's note.

Please contact the Sixth Form to report a student’s absence by emailing or by telephone (after 8am forSixth Form students only) by calling 020 3873 2290 and selecting option 5 (extension 2049#).


Authorisation is required for each day of absence.


Please do not use the attendance@ email address to report Sixth Form absences as this is for the lower school and it can take longer to reach the attendance team inthe Sixth Form.


If possible, please do not leave voicemail messages on the lower school absence line (answerphone) - if it relates to Sixth Form student absence, but call after 8am choosing option 5.

All medical and dental appointments should be made outside of school hours and where possible avoided, to prevent the disruption to a child’s learning.


To report a medical or dental appointment, please inform the school in advance wherever possible by emailing


Please remember to write a note in your child’s school planner to confirm the absence in order for the class teacher to release your child from their lesson. All students must sign in and out of School Reception for health and safety purposes.


Any student with a medical absence of more than four days within a short period must provide a doctor's note.

At the Charter School East Dulwich we take a very straight forward view when it comes to attendance. We expect students to be in school every day, barring serious illness or accident, and we do not permit holidays during term time.


Parents should be aware that the law enforces the position regarding holidays. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013, state that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Head Teacher should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.


In accordance with the above regulations, requests for leave of absence will be treated sympathetically, but only in exceptional circumstances can they be approved. The policy of Southwark County Council (to which the Charter School East Dulwich has agreed) states that parents who take their child out of school for five days or more during term time, without the authority of the Headteacher, will be liable to receive a penalty notice. Penalty Notices will be issued by the Local Authority, and are issued separately to each parent, per child absent.


The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of the notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28-day period the Local Authority must prosecute the recipient for failing to ensure regular school attendance under section 444 Education Act 1996. Please be aware that each parent is liable to receive a Penalty Notice for each child who incurs unauthorised absences.For example, if there are two parents and one child, each parent will receive one Penalty Notice. If there are two parents and two children incurring unauthorised absences, each parent will receive two Penalty Notices, which in this case would amount to £120 each if paid within 21 days.