John Ball Primary School

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Thank you for your support in making sure that your child has good attendance. High attendance at school builds up habits of reliability and consistency, as well as giving children the best chance to learn and achieve.

Parents also have a legal responsibility to make sure their child is in school every day and arrives on time - arriving on time is the best way for children to start their school day.

Reporting an unplanned absence 

If your child is unable to attend school you must email or phone the school on 020 8852 1601 before school starts on each day of absence. We will always ask you for the reason why your child is unable to be at school so please include this in your email. If your child is unable to attend school for medical reasons it is important that we know the reason why. In certain circumstances (e.g. chicken pox or measles) we will inform other parents, carers and staff. Where absence is persistent, medical proof will be required.

Safeguarding each child every day is our first priority at John Ball. If your child is not in school and we have not been notified, then the school will call parents to find out where your child is. If we can not get hold of a parent or carer then we will phone the emergency contacts listed for your child. If we are unable to get hold of an emergency contact, the Attendance Officer will investigate and this should happen on the first day of absence -  this may include a home visit.

Reporting a planned absence due to appointment

If your child has an appointment please either call or email the school prior to the appointment date, please also inform their class teacher. Appointments should be arranged outside of school time whenever possible or, when there is no alternative, at the beginning or end of the school day to minimise the impact on your child’s learning. 

Prolonged or regular absence

If your child has a reason for not attending school on a regular basis or for a prolonged period of time (e.g. they are receiving medical treatment) we will work with you to create a plan to ensure that they are given appropriate support and do not miss out on learning. If you have any concerns you can speak to Deborah Parish, or email her on

Term time holidays

We are unable to authorise any absence during term times for holidays, even in cases where children have families overseas. 

Time off in exceptional circumstances

All requests for time off in exceptional circumstances will be considered carefully, please submit the request for absence form as far in advance as possible. 

Request for absence form

Supporting good attendance

If you are finding it difficult for your child to attend school regularly, please speak to Deborah Parish, you can email her at  We have many ways to support attendance, and we are always open to having a conversation about any difficulties you may be facing in getting your child to school every day. 

Our attendance policy

For more information on attendance and punctuality please refer to our Attendance Policy which can be found on our school policy page.