Policy on Attendance and Absenteeism

Policy On Attendance And Absenteeism


Latecomers must report to reception. A late note will be issued to the learner who must show this to the relevant subject teacher in that lesson of arrival. The subject teacher in that lesson must indicate the date and time of arrival in class and sign the late note. The learner must hand the note to the register teacher at the end of the day. The register teacher will complete the daily Class Register accordingly. The absentee secretary will email a list of absentees to staff by the first break of each day.


  • When a learner is absent, a note explaining why the learner was absent must be handed to the register teacher immediately upon return to school.
  • The absentee letter will be filed by the teacher in the class register file.
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may email the register teacher the reason for the absence.
  • A medical certificate must be provided if a learner misses a standardized test, an examination or a test contributing to the year mark; the certificate must state the actual dates on which the learner was absent.

Cancellation of a Learner’s Record in a Class Register

  • Cancellation of a learner’s record in a class register is an administrative action, not a disciplinary action. It is not the same as suspension or expulsion in terms of section 9 of SASA.

A learner’s record in a class register may be cancelled for one of the following reasons:

    • Exemption from compulsory school attendance.
    • Expulsion.
    • Transfer to another school.
    • Registration for home education.
    • Continuous absence.
    • Notification by a parent(s)/guardian(s) that the learner will not return to school; or
    • Death of the learner.
  • If a learner is absent from school for 10 consecutive school days the principal must make reasonable attempts to ascertain from the learner’s parent(s)/guardian(s) whether the learner has been withdrawn from the school. If the learner has been withdrawn, or if no valid reason for absence is given, or if the principal is unable to make contact with the parent(s)/guardian(s) or the learner, the principal must cancel the learner’s record in the class register on grounds of continuous absence.
  • A female learner’s record may not be cancelled on the grounds that she is pregnant or has given birth.

When a learner’s record is cancelled, the principal must in writing:

  • inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the register teacher of the date of and the reason for the cancellation;
  • if the learner is of compulsory school-going age, inform the district office of the date of and reason for the cancellation.
  • If a learner’s record has been cancelled and the learner is later readmitted to the school, the school administrator must make a new entry for the learner in the class register.

Valid Reasons for Absence

  • Study leave taken by a grade 12 learner. Except for grade 12 learners, a learner may not take leave from school to study for examinations or when examinations have ended. Grade 12 learners may take 5 school days study leave to prepare for the NSC examinations before the first day of the NSC examinations. Such learners need not attend school on days when they do not write examinations and after writing each examination.
  • Physical or psychological illness, for which a principal will require communication from the parent(s)/guardian(s) that the learner is unable to attend school, or written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner if the illness lasts longer than three days.
  • Giving birth, subject to written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife.
  • Religious or cultural observances approved by the SGB in terms of the National School Calendar Policy.
  • Death of a family member.
  • Appointment at court, social services or other official agency, for which a principal may require documentary proof.
  • Suspension by the SGB.
  • Acts of nature (that is, events that are beyond human control).
  • Exceptional circumstances for which, in the view of the principal, a temporary absence from school is in the best interest of the learner or was unavoidable.
  • Absence without a valid reason is unacceptable and will be followed up promptly.

Illness at School

  • If a learner is feeling ill, he or she must report to the Discipline Control Room where the illness / complaint will be recorded electronically. A form must be completed by the teachers of the lessons being missed by the learner and once that has been completed, the grade head will sign the form.
  • The learner will then report to reception, hand the form in and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) will be contacted to take the learner home.
  • If the learner is desperately ill, the discipline deputy will sign the form and the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be contacted immediately.


Truancy is a serious offence and will be dealt with severely as a level 2 offence in accordance with the Fairmont High School Code of Conduct for learners. If a learner does not report for morning registration, a message will be sent via sms to the parent(s)/guardian(s) informing the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the absence from registration. It is the responsibility of the subject teacher or substitute teacher to check for and report acts of truancy.

The Class Register

The class register is a daily record of attendance of learners at lines, where roll-call will be taken by the register teacher at 7:55 and 14:25 each day. On rainy days and on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, learners will go to the class room of the register teacher where roll-call will be taken by the register teacher. On Tuesday and Thursday test days, roll call will be taken prior to the commencement of the test by the register teacher or nominated teacher in the registration room of the teacher. Attendance records are done on prepared class lists (with instructions), and transferred to electronic storage by a member of the administration staff.

The Period Register

  • This register is subject teacher based and is an official record of the learner’s attendance at every lesson of a day.
  • Recording of the attendance of learners at each lesson will be carried out electronically by the subject teacher in the teaching venue of the subject teacher at the beginning of each lesson. The template to be completed will be provided by the school management.
  • Where a teacher is absent, it will be the responsibility of the substitute teacher to electronically record the attendance of the learners for the lesson during which the teacher is substituting. The electronic registers will be available on the Staff Share Drive.
  • Records of the Period Register will be recorded and maintained electronically.

Responsibilities of the Learners

  • To attend school punctually and regularly.
  • Except grade 12 learners, a learner may not take leave from school to study for examinations or when examinations have ended.
  • The RCL should contribute to the development and application of the School policy on Learner Attendance and
  • Inform the SMT of any known reasons for poor attendance.