At the Dorcan Academy we are committed to providing an education of the highest quality. We therefore expect all students to attend regularly so they are able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. We recognise that excellent attendance is intrinsically linked to academic achievement and progress and there is clear evidence to show that students who have regular absence, patterns of unauthorised absence and high levels of absence for minor illness are unlikely to achieve their academic potential. We expect all of our students to aspire to 100% attendance and appreciate the full support of parents and carers in encouraging this. The minimum level of attendance for this school is 95% and we keep parents updated regularly about progress to this level. The Dorcan Academy prioritises the monitoring, support and robust action needed to secure high levels of attendance and works in close partnership with the local authority to place matters before the court in circumstances where parents/carers do not ensure that their child attends school regularly.

Importance of Good Attendance

The table below shows the impact that poor attendance can have over one year of your child’s education.

Attendance during one school yearWeeks absentDays absentLessons missed

Attendance Bands

One of the ways that we track the attendance of your child is to place them into an attendance band. Your child will be aware of which band they are currently in and will set targets to improve their attendance. This will happen once a fortnight during tutor time when students complete the “Attendance Individual Tracker”. Below is an explanation of each band.

What is the school doing to raise attendance?

The Dorcan Academy is committed to supporting students and families to help raise attendance. Some of the strategies that are currently being used are:

  • Regularly reviewing attendance data to identify barriers to attendance early and supporting students in overcoming these barriers.
  • Being in regular contact with the families of students with poor attendance and offering support where necessary.
  • Investigating any unexplained absences
  • Carrying out home visits for students with poor attendance and offering support where necessary.
  • Empowering students to monitor their own attendance and set targets for improvement by completing the “Attendance Individual Tracker”
  • Rewarding students for excellent or improved attendance.

School Holidays

Parents do not have the right to take their child out of school during term time for holidays, and the academy, as a rule, does not authorise such absences. Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children away in school time. There is no automatic entitlement to time off in school time for holidays.

Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a Penalty Notice.

Head teachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a Head teacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school.

Exceptional circumstances may include:

  • When a family needs to spend time together because of an immediate family member’s bereavement, crisis or serious illness
  • Funeral of immediate family member
  • Children of service personnel about to go on deployment (permission would be considered as long as the request is accompanied by a letter from the Commanding Officer)
  • One day of absence could be authorised for a wedding of an immediate family member and the invitation has been provided as evidence
  • One off sporting events/performing arts competitions, if the child is participating and is at county standard or above and a letter has been provided from the performing arts/sports regional governing body as evidence.

Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as the following:

  • To care for other family members
  • To interpret for other family members
  • No school uniform/shoes
  • Friendship problems
  • Head lice
  • Learning difficulties
  • Family holiday
  • Weddings abroad – regardless of whether it is for immediate family members
  • Family Anniversaries
  • Travel problems
  • School refusal


The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.