Hillside Special School

Hillside Special School
Sudbury, Suffolk

Attendance and Absence

Hillside Special School is committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all its pupils and recognises this can only be achieved by supporting and promoting excellent school attendance for all.  This is based on the belief that only by attending school regularly and punctually will children and young people be able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. 

What to do if your child will be absent from school

If your child will be absent from school, it is important that you let the school office know. Please call the office on 01787 372808 by 9.30am or send an email to admin@hillside.suffolk.sch.uk and explain the reason for the absence; these messages must come from the parent/carer directly to the school office and must not be passed to us via Transport providers.

If your child travels by school transport, you should also make the transport provider aware. 

What will happen if we do not hear from you

If you do not report your child's absence, a member of the admin team will phone you to establish the reason for the absence. This will then be logged.

Pupils that have not been reported absent from school and do not attend, the following procedure will be followed:

  • A phone call will be made by the admin team after 9.30am to the parents or carers (all numbers will be called on pupils contact list)
  • If we have not received a response by 9.45am, any emergency contacts will then be contacted by a member of the school's Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and an email will be sent to the parents/carers of the pupil asking for an immediate response
  • If we do not have any response from any contacts by 10.00am, we will then phone the social worker if the pupil has one.
  • If the pupil does not have a social worker, or we do not get a response from the social care team, we may visit the pupil at their home address to check on the pupils’ well-being
  • If the school are not satisfied with the response, the police will be contacted to raise our concerns

Attendance Management and Letters

For pupils with increased or unusual absences, letters will be sent home informing parents/carers of the attendance levels. Please note, the sending of these letters is a statutory requirement and they are sent to parents/carers purely for information purposes.

If school is concerned, further contact will be made to and parents/carers will be invited in to meet with a member of the school's Senior Leadership Team to discuss and address the concerns.

Continuing absence could then lead to Local Authority Education Welfare Officer (EWO) involvement.

Requests for Special Leave of Absence

Headteachers may only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.  If you wish to apply for Special Leave of Absence for your child, please complete the following form and send it into school at least two weeks before the proposed date.

Request for Special Leave of Absence (for pupils) 

Attendance Policy

For further information, please refer to our Attendance Policy which can be found on our Policies page.


Further information about School Attendance can be found on Suffolk County Council's School Attendance webpage, this includes an FAQs section.