Absence Reporting & Attendance

Student Absence Reporting

Absence Line: 01923 773881 (press option 1, follow prompts and leave a message)

Attendance Email: attendance@joa.herts.sch.uk

If your child is unwell and unable to attend school please contact the school via the above channels with the following information:  

- Child’s name

- Child Form

- Reason for absence

Absence Reporting and Communications with parents/guardians

Each day, at around 10.30am, a message will be sent out to parents with students who were not present at registration and a reason is not known for their absence. 

A reply can be sent back to the school via text or email, which will be passed to the attendance team who will update the school registers. In the event that a student should be in school, please contact 01923 773881, to let us know this should be the case. Note: parents with students who are late may be contacted, if their record has not been updated by 9.45am.

Known/Preplanned Absence (Medical Appointments, College Appointments, etc)

A note detailing the known absence should be sent to the school.
Please mark the note for the attention of the MIS Office.

As an alternative to the note to MIS you can leave a message in advance on the school absence line 01923 773881 - press option 1, follow prompts and leave a message.

Please note Students must be provided with a signed note on the day of absence, as they will be requested to show this at the point of leaving school.


Attendance continues to be a high priority at St Joan's. We know that there is a clear correlation between high academic performance and high attendance.

We do not expect parents to request to take their children out of school for reasons other than essential and unavoidable events because we know that this will disrupt their learning and have an impact on attainment.

If your child is absent, running late or has a medical appointment please call 01923 773881 (option 1) or email attendance@joa.herts.sch.uk  to notify the school as soon as possible.

Change of Details

Changes to any of your details including your email addresses or mobile telephone number can be communicated via an email to mis@joa.herts.sch.uk

Requests for Exceptional leave of absence



Changes made to legislation in September 2013 make clear that Headteachers may not
grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Headteachers no longer have the discretion to allow up to 10 days in a school year for a
family holiday or to agree to extended leave for parents to visit their country of origin.
If there are exceptional circumstances behind a request, please state these reasons when completing the exceptional leave of absence. Once complete the form should be returned to school for the attention of the Headteacher. Requests for exceptional leave should be sent to the school with as much notice as possible, at least 2 weeks in advance.

If your child is absent from school because of a holiday which has not been agreed, this will be classified as an unauthorised absence and you may be fined or legal action taken against

As a school we have always had high expectations regarding attendance and punctuality.
Over the course of a year, we would expect whole school attendance and individual
attendance to be at least 96%. The Department for Education considers anything less than 90% as persistent absence. In order to achieve such high levels of attendance it is important
that parents: 

  • prioritise education in school; 
  • discuss concerns they may have about a student who is reluctant to be in school; 
  • avoid arranging dental and medical appointments during the school day;
  • accept that it is not appropriate to use term time for holidays and family gatherings.

If you do need to request leave of absence for exceptional circumstances you must
complete the leave of absence request form. However, do not assume the request
will be granted. 

We urge all parents to be mindful of the impact absences have on their child’s learning. The table below shows what portion of Year 11 students achieve a minimum of 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 if their attendance falls into a particular range. 

Attendance Number of students achieving 5 GCSEs with grades 9-4
93-94% 54.9%
92-93% 40.65%
90-92% 33%
  90% attendance over 2 years = 1/2 a term of missed education

We are sure that you will want the best education for your child. By taking family holidays
during the designated holiday periods, you will be supporting your child’s full school
attendance, learning and development.

Request for Exceptional leave of absence form