Attendance & Punctuality

At Darrick Wood School, we have the highest aspirations for your child: we know that the world is run by those who turn up, and that every lesson supports your child’s achievement. We also know that you, as your child’s parent/carer, want your child to get on well in life. Children only get one chance at school, and your child’s chance of a successful future may be affected by not attending school every day on time. When children do not attend or are late they:

  • Miss out on vital learning time
  • May fall behind with their studies
  • Miss out on the social side of school life

Is there a proven link between attendance and achievement?

Yes. There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement. Studies show that of the children who miss 50% of school, only 3% manage to achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grades 4 – 9. 73% of the children who have over 95% attendance achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grades 4 – 9. Broadly, if a child’s attendance drops by 10%, that is the equivalent of dropping a grade at GCSE.

What does the law say?

By law, all children of compulsory school age must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent/carer, you are responsible for making sure this happens. Once your child is registered at Darrick Wood School, you are responsible for making sure that they attend regularly and punctually. If your child fails to attend regularly, even if they miss school without you knowing, the local authority may take legal action against you. The local authority is responsible for making sure that parents/career fulfil their responsibilities, and the School must tell the LA if your child is regularly absent from school. You can be prosecuted by the local authority if your child’s attendance is poor.

At Darrick Wood School, we work with you in partnership to ensure that this does not happen. We have a policy on attendance and punctuality, and strongly encourage you to speak to your child’s Form Tutor or to our Attendance Officer if you are having difficulties getting your child to school.

What about absences?

There may be times when your child has to miss school because they are ill. Please notify is of this on the first day (and every subsequent day) of absence. If there is a pattern of sickness, we work with your child, you and even with health professionals to try and resolve these issues. Children may be offered medical or dental appointments in school times. Please try and make routine dental check-ups during the school holidays or after school hours. If your child does need to attend a medical appointment during the school day, please make a note in their planner and ask them to show their Form Tutor to sign to say they have seen the message.  Your child will need to show the note to the Teacher whose class they are leaving, and Pupil Reception, to enable them to sign out of school.  Absences can only be authorised for illness, medical appointments, religious observance and compassionate leave. If you wish to take your child out of school for any other reason then a Leave Request form must be completed. If the Head Teacher declines your request and the absence is taken anyway, this will be regarded as an unauthorised absence and could lead to a Penalty Notice being issued.

What can you do to help?

  • Make sure your child arrives at school on time each day
  • If your child is absent for any reason, please contact us on each day of their absence by 9am using the Study Bugs app, details of which can be found on the homepage of this website.  This is for your child’s safety.
  • Take an interest in what is happening for your child in school. Ask them about their day and praise and encourage their achievements
  • If, for any reason, you think your child is unhappy at school, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can work with you to resolve any difficulties
  • Discuss attendance and punctuality with your child. You may receive letters explaining that we are concerned about attendance and it is important that your child is aware of this too
  • Engage with our Attendance Officer and Educational Welfare Officer who may contact you to discuss your child’s attendance. They are there to help.

The School Day

8.35am* – Pupils gather on playgrounds to be registered before moving to Form or Assembly

9.00am – Lesson 1

10.00am – Lesson 2

11.00am – Break

11.20am – Lesson 3

12.20pm – Lesson 4

1.20pm – Lunch

2.05pm – Lesson 5

3.05pm – Dismissal

*Pupils must have arrived through the School gates well before this time, ready to meet their Form Tutor on the playground for registration, before then moving to their Form Room or to Assembly.  They will be recorded late if they are not through the gates by 8.35am and on their playground by the time their Form Tutor takes the register.  This will usually be within a few minutes of 8.35am.  We therefore recommend they arrive well in advance of this time (i.e. on their playgrounds before 8.35am, even if they are taking part in a before school club).

In addition, please note that the School gate to the rear of the grounds, accessible  through Darrick Wood itself, is locked at all times.  The entrance/exit to Darrick Wood School is along the main drive accessed from Lovibonds Avenue (The Darrick Wood Way).

Darrick Wood School is proud to have been awarded a National Attendance Award for 2023/24 because its students attended school to a level which placed the School in the top 25% of schools nationally.


Darrick Wood School
Lovibonds Avenue,
Kent, BR6 8ER

01689 850271