Student Services

Holidays in term time application form

Student Attendance

Don’t let your child miss out – every day counts!
A student who misses the equivalent of half a day per week has 10% absence.
1 day absent each week = 20 lessons missed per month

Remember if your child is absent from school you must call before 8.30am to confirm the reason for absence. The Absence Hotline Number is 290200. A note should then be passed to your child’s Tutor upon their return to school. (There is a separate page in their planner where this can be recorded).

Where possible, Doctors and Dentist appointments should be made out of school hours to minimise the impact on your child’s attendance. It is better for a student to register and then sign out for an appointment than miss their morning mark and arrive late. Where this is not possible please let us know prior to the appointment so we can update our records accordingly.

School begins at 8.30 am every day (except Tuesday when it is 9.20) Students should be on site by 8.25 am at the latest to ensure they are ready for this. Period 5 begins at 2.05 pm and it is essential that all students arrive promptly after lunch. It is expected that students arrive promptly to each and every lesson. The school takes very seriously poor punctuality and lesson truancy.

We aim to improve attendance and work even more closely with parents and students to ensure good attendance, which leads to success (and is an important life skill in the world of work)

Please note that there will be sanctions for lateness, and for unexplained absence.  We need parents to support us by ensuring there is no need for a sanction. If students are late to school with no adequate reason they will be set a detention the same day and are expected to attend. The school also runs Saturday Morning detentions for persistent lateness to school.

Students whose Attendance is a cause for concern may be referred to the
Education Welfare Service

 ABSENCES: An absence is recorded in the register as either authorised or unauthorised at the schools discretion.

The following circumstances are classed as authorised absence:

  • Illness
  • Bereavement of a close member of the family
  • Other circumstances where permission has been granted in advance by the Headteacher.
  • Agreed Family Holiday
  • Religious observance

The following circumstances are classed as unauthorised absence:

  • Haircut                                           No uniform
  • Overslept                                       Missed bus
  • Looking after house                      Looking after family
  • Shopping                                         Sham illness            
  • Late (after registers close)                
  • Family holiday not agreed or days in excess of agreement

Unauthorised absences are recorded on the student’s profile. The school is obliged to report the number of unauthorised absences annually.

10 or more unauthorised sessions of absence within a twelve week period may result in a referral to the Education Welfare Service and the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice. 

Please note that employers/other institutions often request individual attendance records as part of a reference.

HOLIDAYS: Parents should not arrange family holidays during term time. If this is impossible they should complete an Application for leave of absence for Annual Holiday, available from the Form Tutor/Student Reception, to obtain written permission from the Headteacher.  You can also download the form and our Policy from the margin on this page.

This should be sent to the Headteacher not less than four weeks before the absence is due to start. 


LATENESS: The school day begins at 8.30am with registration in Tutor Time. If the student is late to school before the end of Tutor Time they should go straight to their Tutor where they will be registered.

If Tutor Time has finished by the time they arrive they must sign in at Student Reception. Any lateness after 9.30am (when the schools registers close) will be recorded as an unauthorised absence unless a valid reason is given.

Students arriving late will have to complete a detention at their Year Office. 

Tips to Improve Attendance

  • Always attend registration. If you have a medical appointment at 10am come into school first to get your morning mark.
  • Always attend P5. Try and make any appointments after 2.30 pm.
  • Remember - Mufti days are your reward for good attendance!




Mark Rutherford School
Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mk41 8PX
Telephone 01234 290200 : Fax 01234 290236 : Email: