Bedminster Down School expects the highest levels of attendance, and every student should aim for 100%. Full attendance is a critical factor in ensuring positive educational outcomes and that our students reach their social potential. We are committed to providing high quality inclusive learning opportunities for all students. Any problems that impede full attendance need to be identified and addressed as quickly as possible.

If a student is unable to attend school, parents/carers are asked to call the Pupil absence line each day by 9am. Please leave your child’s name, house and tutor group with the reason for their absence.

Tel: 0117 353 2000

In our experience:

  • If a student’s attendance rate is 100% they are likely to achieve or exceed what we would normally predict.

  • If a student’s attendance rate falls below 90% they are likely to achieve an average of one grade lower than expected in all subjects.

  • If a student’s attendance rate falls below 80% they are likely to achieve an average of two grades lower than expected in all subjects.

‘Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.’ (Department for Education, 2017)

Student absence request 

The school can only grant leave of absence during term time for exceptional circumstances. Any request for leave must be made in writing for the attention of the Headteacher in advance. Bedminster Down School follows the Local Authority’s guidelines to address attendance which may include the use of statutory powers which involves the use of Penalty Notices and Court prosecution.

Parents wishing the school to consider granting leave of absence in school term time should read these notes carefully and then complete the Absence Request Form. This form should be sent to the school in time for the request to be considered well before the desired period of absence. Parents are strongly advised not to finalise any arrangements before receiving the school’s decision on their request. In any event the request form must be received by the school at least two weeks before the departure date to allow sufficient time for appropriate consideration.

The granting of leave of absence in school term time is, by law, a matter for consideration and decision by the school. There is no automatic right to any leave in term time. The Department for Education (DfE) and our policy is that family holidays should not be taken in school term time. Where such requests are made, for the leave to be granted, the Headteacher will decide if there are exceptional circumstances.

Each case will be considered individually and on its own merits. Parents need, therefore, to consider very carefully before making any request for leave of absence the demands of the National and wider School Curriculum especially around examination stages. In considering a request, the school will take account of:

  • The exceptional circumstances stated that have given rise to the request;
  • The age of the child;
  • The stage of the child’s education and progress and the effects of the requested absence on both elements;
  • The overall attendance pattern of the child;
  • The nature of the trip;
  • Students on examination courses will not normally be granted leave of absence.

Further information

Attendance Team

We have a dedicated Attendance Team who support our students and parents with school attendance.

  • Lucinda Daw – Attendance Improvement Manager
  • Lisa Parsons – Attendance Improvement Officer
  • Claire Minagawa – Attendance Administrator

If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance or need support from the team then please get in touch.

Tel: 0117 3532000