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Guidance for Parents

Free School Meals

Is your child eligible for free school meals?

The rising cost of living means everyone could use a bit of help.  If you are unemployed or on benefits then you may be able to claim free school meals for your child.

This would not only help you: it would help the school too.

Schools are given additional funding by the Government for every child who gets free school meals.  We want to obtain as much as possible so that we can improve education for all Abbey students.

We are aware there are children who attend The Abbey School who are entitled to free school meals but do not realise it.  We are also aware that some parents choose not to take up the entitlement to a free school meal.

The Pupil Premium means that even if you don't wish to access a free daily meal, applying will mean that this school will receive further funding.

If you think your family could qualify, please complete the following online application:

If you have any queries please contact the school office on info@theabbeyschoolfaversham.co.uk with the subject line ‘Free School Meals’ 

Parent Guide

The progress of Pupils is a partnership between parents/carers, the pupil and the school

In order to make the best of this partnership, it is important that parents/carers have all relevant information regarding the school and are aware of the depth of opportunities to learn, enjoy and achieve while with us here at The Abbey School.

The handbook also gives important practical information for new and existing parents alike.

Parent Guide 2023-24 is currently under production.

Severe Weather

For most of the year we enjoy a spacious and open site at The Abbey School, but unfortunately, this presents us with many problems when we encounter snow.

The long access road and car park can become impassable and the many pathways that link the various buildings are difficult to restore to a condition that will ensure the safety of the staff and students that work on the site. The other consideration to make is that, although a few of our staff live locally, many travel from a wide area that includes Thanet, Dover, Maidstone and the Medway Towns, so that heavy snow in these areas reduces our capacity to adequately supervise all of our students, even if the snow in the town is not so bad.

Obviously, it is our aim to keep the school open wherever possible to minimise the disruption to student learning and parent/carers’ own arrangements. However, given the above, there may be occasions when the school will be forced to close.

If the school closes you will be informed by a message on the main page of the school website and local radio stations. If there is any doubt, you will see a message on the website that a decision is pending. Students should not leave home until the message confirms the school is open. If the school is open, but the whole site cannot be cleared, we will ask the more senior year groups to come into school. In certain circumstances, we will open the school later in the morning to allow for the site to be cleared, if the forecast is more optimistic.

On rare occasions when the weather deteriorates rapidly during the school day and we are concerned that students and staff might face difficulties getting home, we may have to evacuate the school earlier than 3.30p.m. However, this measure will be taken in exceptional circumstances only and we will endeavour to contact parents.

If you have changed your contact details recently please ensure that the school have been notified in case we do need to contact you. We believe these arrangements will help to maintain the health and safety of children and staff, endeavouring where possible to keep the school open to minimise the disruption to student learning. Thank you for your support.

Lost Property

  • All lost property should be handed into the School Office.

  • Please ensure all uniform is marked clearly with your name to enable us to return to you in the event of an item being lost.

  • Where an item is not labelled and is not collected, the school policy for lost property is that it will be kept for a minimum period of one month, after which it will be sent to a local charity shop.

  • School uniform items will, after a month, be taken into a stock of spare uniform that the school keeps.

  • In the event of more valuable items, the school will use its best endeavours to reunite property and owner.

  • A list of all lost property is sent regularly to Form Tutors to relay to their form. 


School expectations/targets

The Abbey School expects every student to have at least 96% attendance.

We want our students to achieve their full potential and to progress into their chosen career. Barriers such as poor attendance will hinder, delay or stop their progress.

The parents of a student whose attendance has fallen below 96% will automatically be sent a standard letter, this will state their attendance and any further action that may be taken if it does not improve. Attendance is monitored weekly and students may be spoken to and parents invited in. We may authorise up to five days absence if parents have informed us with a just reason why the student is absent and medical evidence produced if requested. Anything beyond this will result in letters being sent and unauthorised absence marks being given.

Continued unauthorised absence will result in a Penalty Notice being issued and/or a referral to the School Liaison Officer.

It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their child regularly attends school. There are 190 school days a year, that leaves 175 days for:
  • Family holidays
  • Shopping trips
  • Dentist appointments
  • Household jobs
  • Seeing family & friends

So how does absence affect students?

Attendance chart


Your child should be in school by 8.45am every day as lessons start at promptly at 8.50am. Any student arriving at school after 8.50am will be deemed late and a detention will be given at break time. If a student arrives after registration at 9:20am, when the register closes they will receive a ‘U’-unauthorised late mark, which may result in a Penalty Notice being issued.


Years 7 to 11 - to report your child as unwell please call the Attendance Office on 01795 542477 on the first day that your child is not well enough to attend.

For 6th Form Absence:
Call: 01795 532633 ext. 2066
Email: sixthformattendance@abbeyschoolfaversham.co.uk

We appreciate and encourage parents making daily contact to inform us of absences, in certain medical cases some continued absences will be authorised.

Parents informing us of absences due to illness does not automatically guarantee it will be authorised, this will be determined by the school. This decision will be based on current attendance levels and whether medical evidence has been provided.

We do not expect letters from GP’s but any medication packaging or an appointment card from the Doctor may be enough. If we have requested medical evidence from you and it is not provided the absence will not be authorised.

Medical appointments

Please send a copy of appointment letters to Mr. Ellis or Mrs. Gridley in the Attendance Office, this will enable us to authorise these absences. Parents should try wherever possible to arrange Doctor or Dentist appointments outside of the school day.

Holiday requests

From September 2013 the Department of Education announced an amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. This removed the Head Teacher/Principal’s ability to authorise leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday, unless this is for exceptional circumstances.

If the reason for you needing to take your child out of school during the school term is for exceptional circumstances please request an absence in writing to Mr. Ellis, care of the Attendance Office or via email to: attendance@abbeyschoolfaversham.co.uk

Examples of exceptional circumstances:

  • Parents leave allocated by their employer.

  • Parent is a serving member of the armed forces.

  • Family wedding abroad.

  • Family needing to spend time together after a trauma.

  • The list is by no means exhaustive and permission will be given at the discretion of the Headteacher.

Arbor Guidance

Below are some links to guidance for using the Arbor app:

Online Safety

Below are some links to online safety guidance:

Office365 Guidance

Need help accessing Office365? This guide should help: