What you need to do if your child is absent

If your child is absent from the Academy, then we ask that you contact the Attendance Team on the morning of the first day of absence. This is so we can ensure your child’s safety. There are various ways you can contact the team:

  • Telephone the Academy on 01782 882100 and speak to Reception.
  • Telephone the Academy on 01782 882100 and press 2 for the attendance answerphone where you can leave a message.
  • Text into the Academy on 01270 260369
  • Email info@thediscoveryacademy.co.uk

We do ask that you contact the Academy on each day of your child’s absence to ensure the safety of your child.
If your child is absent on a number of occasions, the academy may ask for medical evidence. This can be a copy of a prescription, an appointment card, medical letter or a stamped/signed medical card available from the Academy Reception. This means the Academy can authorise your child’s absence from school.

We understand that students need to attend medical appointments; where possible attend the Academy before and after the medical appointment (this will secure their marks). However on occasions, where this is not possible, we ask that you provide some medical evidence so that the absence can be authorised.

What the Academy will do if your child is absent

If the Academy has no reason for your child’s absence, we will arrange for a member of staff on the minibus to complete a home visit. Following no contact, a text will be sent requesting information as to why your child is absent.  You are able to reply to this text.

If we do not receive a reason for your child’s absence, then a member of the Attendance Team will telephone both first and second contacts to establish a reason for your child’s absence (please ensure the Academy has up to date contact numbers).
If, after all our attempts to contact you fail, then a member of the Attendance Team may conduct a home visit.

What is the Academy target for attendance?

The Academy target for attendance is 96%, both as an Academy and for each individual student. If your child’s attendance is below 96%, please contact a member of the Attendance Team to discuss how best to support your child in achieving this target.
Students, whose attendance is 96% and above, do achieve greater GCSE results. There is a huge link between attendance and attainment. If your child is in the Academy, they can be taught and therefore has a strong chance of achieving their potential.

Term-time holidays

You can support your child’s education by avoiding holidays in term time. Schools/Academies do not have to authorise family holidays. Taking your child on holiday in term time can result in a fixed penalty notice. Please try and avoid term time holidays especially during crucial exam periods.
If, however, you do wish to take your child on holiday during the academic year, please complete a holiday request form, available from the Reception, to make the Academy aware of the absence.


The Discovery Academy aims to reward students who have excellent attendance and also who show real improvement in their attendance.
We currently reward students in many ways such as:

  • Attendance certificates for improved attendance and 100% attendance.
  • Positive phone calls/texts home.
  • 100% attendance prize draw weekly.
  • Small rewards/incentives for improved attendance.
  • Rewards trips for attendance and behaviour points.

Alongside this, we reward individuals regularly.  There are always more rewards being added to encourage attendance.

What is a PA student and what does this mean?

A ‘Persistent Absentee Student’ (PA) is a student who has been absent from the Academy for more than 10% of the time, which in turn means that their attendance is below 90%. The Academy constantly works proactively to prevent students from falling into this category but, on occasions, this is unsuccessful.
If a student’s attendance is below 90%, we will have tried many interventions to support the student such as:

  • Attendance clinics in the Academy with students.
  • Attendance clinics in the Academy with parents/carers.
  • Phone calls home.
  • Home visits.
  • Liaising with external agencies where required.
  • Letters home.
  • Governors attendance clinics.
  • Setting achievable targets to increase attendance percentage.

However, if all of the support and intervention has no impact, we need to refer on to the Local Authority Education Welfare Team, who may issue a fixed penalty notice or begin court action

Useful forms