Student Behaviour and Attendance Policy


Ashbourne creates an environment that is a student-led adult approach to education, so students must take responsibility for their own behaviour. Ashbourne will encourage and monitor students to set and maintain the highest standards of behaviour. At the beginning of each year, certain members of the student body are elected or chosen as leaders for their year group as a part of Ashbourne’s Y12 Student Voice or Y13 Student Council. Members of the Student Voice and Student Council will work together to present to the management team their expectations of student behaviour at Ashbourne. The result of this collaboration will then be displayed within each classroom at the school. It is critical for students to take ownership of their behaviour and this exercise is an important step towards creating a culture of responsibility.

Ashbourne is committed to helping students prepare themselves for their future education and careers. Ashbourne has a selective admissions policy, accepting students we believe have the maturity, commitment and drive to excel in our environment. As a result we expect students to act in a mature adult manner, adhering to our behaviour code and supporting overall ethos. Nevertheless, failure to do so will lead to disciplinary sanctions.


Each lesson runs for two consecutive 50-minute periods with a 10-minute break halfway through. All lessons finish at 10 minutes to the hour to give students sufficient time to proceed to their next lesson. While GCSE students will always be timetabled between the hours of 9:00am – 4:00pm each day, A Level students are only required to be on site during scheduled lesson times, which vary according to each student’s individual timetable. Lessons generally run between the hours of 9:00am – 6:00pm with a one-hour break for lunch from 1:00-2:00. On occasion, there may be some supplementary lessons or language classes for native speakers that may run from 6:00pm – 8:00pm or Saturdays.

Ashbourne has a flexible timetable but may require changing the timetable at short notice. While we try to reduce timetable changes as much as possible, students should be aware that classes can be scheduled from 9am-6pm and this should be considered “Ashbourne time”.

Promoting Good Behaviour and Rewards

Students who demonstrate outstanding conduct with regard to academic performance, attendance, work ethic, attitude and effort throughout the year (or who demonstrate significant improvement in a particular subject area) are eligible to be considered for the Ashbourne Autumn and Spring Honour Roll, which is displayed throughout the College.

At the end of the year celebration Ashbourne also recognises exceptional students at the College’s Annual Awards. These awards are specifically for Year 13 students who have excelled academically. There are 24 awards given at this evening, which includes a Gold, Silver and Bronze for subjects within each of the eight faculties.

During the first term of each year Ashbourne will appoint a Student Council of approximately 10 students. Students who are appointed are expected to undertake minor responsibilities throughout the year, including (but not necessarily limited to) participation in Parents Evenings, Open Evenings, and the Drama Department’s annual auditions.

The system for promoting good behaviour is under constant review and, at the discretion of the Director of Studies may be modified or altered at any stage without notice.

Students with SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities)

The College recognises that where challenging behaviour is related to a student’s SEND, use of positive discipline and reward methods may enable the College to manage the student’s behaviour more effectively and improve his/her educational outcomes

The College will make reasonable adjustments for managing behaviour related to a student’s SEND.

School Rules

The Code of Conduct and the sanctions provided in this policy shall also, in appropriate circumstances, be capable of regulating the conduct of students when they are away from College premises and outside the jurisdiction of the College, for example during half term and in the holidays. This will normally be where the conduct in question affects the welfare of a member or members of the school community or which could bring the School into disrepute.

Code of Conduct

We feel it is important to establish certain ground rules in order to ensure good order and a pleasant, respectful, safe working environment for both staff and students. There are five main academic rules at Ashbourne:

  1. Attend all classes on time
  2. Submit all homework, coursework, mocks and assignments to the best of the student’s ability and on time
  3. Show commitment to their studies inside and outside of the classroom – actively engage during lessons, and work in a manner that does not disrupt the class.
  4. Respect fellow students and members of staff
  5. To respect our need for security, and to comply with our Safeguarding Policy, by wearing a lanyard and ID at all times on College premises.

Students must also conform to the “General Rules” below:

General Rules

Level 1
Minor Breaches

The following forms of behaviour are classified as being minor breaches (level 1 offences) of the College’s Behaviour Policy (this list is not exhaustive):

  1. Failure to a) attend all classes on time, b) hand in all homework/coursework/assignments to the best of the student’s ability and c) show a commitment to their studies inside and outside of the classroom
  2. Plagiarism is forbidden. Students who plagiarise homework or coursework will receive a formal warning and may face disciplinary. Please consult our Plagiarism Policy.
  3. Failure to speak English at all times while in College, thus creating a divisive atmosphere.
  4. Smoking (including Vaping and other alternatives) is not permitted anywhere inside the College and is prohibited for students under the age of 18. Students should never handle smoking paraphernalia within the building. For more information please refer to Ashbourne’s Alcohol and Smoking Policy
  5. Photocopiers are for staff use only.
  6. The library, common rooms, and computer lab must be respected and used according to their designated purposes.
  7. Unless otherwise agreed with the teacher, mobile phones and portable music devices must be switched off and stowed away at all times during lessons, and may only be used (with reasonable conduct) in the College common rooms. Students should be aware that inappropriate use of these devices can result in their confiscation. (The Acceptable Use Policy can be found on the Ashbourne website for more details.)
  8. Personal Tutoring Sessions are a mandatory element of the College curriculum and all students are expected to attend these sessions without exception.
  9. Eating and drinking during lesson time is prohibited except with the consent of the teacher.
  10. Students should be considerate of others and refrain from bringing any foods into the College that give off a strong or unpleasant odour.
Level 2
Level 2 offences are continuous Level 1 offences


Level 3
Serious Breaches

The following forms of behaviour are classified as being serious breaches (level 3 offences) of the College’s Behaviour Policy and could lead to suspension or expulsion (this list is not exhaustive):

  1. Supply/possession/use of certain drugs and solvents or their paraphernalia or substances intended to resemble them, or alcohol or tobacco
  2. Theft, blackmail, physical violence, intimidation, racism or persistent bullying
  3. Misconduct of a sexual nature
  4. The possession of obscene material in any form is strictly prohibited and possession of such material (including supply or possession of pornography) whether in College or in College associated accommodation will be dealt with under this policy.
  5. Possession or use of unauthorised firearms or other weapons (including knives)
  6. Vandalism or computer hacking
  7. Found to be cheating within an examination, whether that be a mock assessment, controlled assessment, coursework, practical or official examination.
  8. Persistent attitudes or behaviour which are inconsistent with the College’s ethos
  9. Disrespect for any member of staff – all students are under the protection and authority of the College’s staff and are therefore expected to abide by their instructions at all times in order to ensure their own health and safety and the smooth operation of the College.
  10. Any serious act of verbal or physical aggression, gross insubordination, or any other serious misconduct which affects the welfare of a member or members of the College community or which brings the College into disrepute (single or repeated episodes) on or off College premises.

Middle School Rules

1) Whilst the general rules and behaviour code apply to all students, there are a few additional rules that apply solely to Middle School students.

2) All Middle School students must be present for Registration in Young Street daily at 8:50am and 1:50pm. Persistent lateness may result in a Homework Saturday.

3) Students in GCSE and Pre-GCSE who are 16 years old or older, are permitted to leave the site during the lunch break. Students who are under 16 may leave the site during the lunch hour provided they have received parental consent. If students do not have consent to leave the site during the lunch break, they must ensure that they bring a packed lunch with them to the College each day.

4) Ashbourne will designate classrooms for Middle School students to eat their lunch (1pm to 2pm). It is the responsibility of all Middle School students to ensure that they tidy up these rooms after lunch break.

5) It is important that all Middle School students are aware that they should not travel to classes between buildings unaccompanied. The Head of Middle School or another member of staff will accompany all Middle School students from building to building. When students need to move between buildings, the Head of Middle School will make necessary arrangements. The only exception to this rule is when an A-Level student is still considered part of the Middle School due to being under 16 years old. In those cases a risk assessment is carried out by the College and with the parent’s permission, the student may be allowed to move between buildings unaccompanied.

6) In keeping with statutory Government guidance on providing Citizenship education as a key element of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development, British Values and Prevent awareness, Ashbourne delivers this education largely through its Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) Curriculum, (National Curriculum 2014). PSHEE is an essential part of developing key life skills and wider-world knowledge in students. It helps to prepare pupils for life as engaged citizens and to meet its opportunities, challenges and responsibilities. PSHEE is a compulsory subject for all Ashbourne Middle School students, just as Personal Tutor sessions (which continue the PSHEE and Citizenship Curriculum) are for A level students in Year 12.

Disciplinary Procedure

Ashbourne has a graduated scale for dealing with any disciplinary concerns related to student behaviour or academic performance. All infractions of the College’s Behaviour Policy are dealt with based upon their nature and severity as outlined below:

  1. Level 1 offences are minor breaches of the behaviour code
  2. Level 2 offences are continuous Level 1 offences.
  3. Level 3 offences are either serious breaches of the Ashbourne behaviour code or minor breaches that have been repeated even after being escalated to a Level 2 offence.

For all levels of indiscipline, the classification of an incident at Level 1, 2, or 3 is at the discretion of the attending staff.

At all meetings the student will be given the opportunity to state their reasons for their poor behaviour.

Level 1

1) In the first instance, sanctions for Level 1 incidents will be dealt with by teachers, or the member of staff involved, and passed on to Personal Tutors when offences repeat. Personal Tutors monitor students’ academic progress and therefore will intervene where necessary.

2) In general, when Level 1 incidents are handled by the Personal Tutor the student will be met by the Personal Tutor, without parental involvement at the meeting. Nevertheless, parents will be kept in the loop about concerns raised about either student progress or behaviour. In the first instance the Personal Tutor will try and resolve the issue with the student in an informal manner, usually giving the student a date to rectify the behaviour or warning the student that repeated behaviour will lead to a Homework Saturday or possibly a meeting with parents.

3) The following academic incidents will trigger a Level 1 meeting with a Personal Tutor, which will also involve notifying the parent/key behaviour contact:

  1. a) Attendance slips below 90%
  2. b) The student is cumulatively late for classes over 100 minutes within one half-term
  3. c) The student has 5 outstanding pieces of homework within one half-term

4) During the meeting, the student will be given an opportunity to explain/defend their behaviour. After considering their behaviour, the Personal Tutors are likely to ask the students to attend a Saturday Homework, where they will have to report to the Young Street reception and stay at Young Street for the duration of their Homework Saturday, completing the tasks assigned by the Personal Tutor.

5) If a student has a behaviour meeting due to having attendance less than 90%, then the Personal Tutor has the right to waive the student’s ability to contact the College to say that they are going to be absent. If this is the case, The Personal Tutor, will inform the student and parents/behaviour contact that the Attendance Officer will only accept communication from parents/behaviour contact if the student is unable to attend class.

Level 2

1) Sanctions for level 2 incidents, which are repeated incidents of level 1, will involve a formal meeting with the student, parent and Personal Tutor.

2) The Personal Tutor will outline the reasons for concern and the student will be given the opportunity to respond to the concerns raised.

3) A timeline will be created by which improved behaviour will be expected and an email to follow up the meeting will be sent to all parties concerned.

4) Failure to improve behaviour by the end of the timeline or future repeated Level 1 offenses will either lead to another formal meeting with the student, parent and Personal Tutor (following the same steps as shown above) or a suspension (in line with our Suspensions and Expulsions Policy) for the student.

5) If the Personal Tutor feels that a student should be suspended, they will present their case to the Director of Studies, Head of Year and Principal

6) A suspension for the student may involve at least one day away from the College. However, in cases where students have been suspended due to repeated Level 1 instances Ashbourne looks to minimise the amount of classes that students will miss. Therefore, students may be suspended overnight or over the weekend.

7) After a suspension, before a student is allowed to return to the college, the student will have to complete the “Re-entry” procedure, which involves the following:

  1. a) Write an email to the Personal Tutor (and other people if required) apologising for the poor behaviour and explaining the steps that will be put in place to improve things going forward.
  2. b) Attend a meeting at 8:30am (unless agreed otherwise), prior to the start of the day that they are to return, where the Personal Tutor will go through the reasons that they were suspended and ensure that the student is clear of the possible consequences of non-improvement in behaviour

8) Failure to improve performance at this stage will result in progressing to to level 3.

Level 3

1) Sanctions for level 3 incidents will involve a formal meeting with the student, parent and Personal Tutor.

2) During this meeting the same procedure will take place as discussed in a Level 2 meeting.

3) At the end of the meeting, the student will be told to go home and the Personal Tutor will consult with the Director of Studies, Head of Year (where applicable) and Principal to review all of the details from the case, including the students side of events.

Personal Tutors may prescribe and authorise the use of such other sanctions as comply with good education practice and tend to promote observance of the Code of Conduct.

Other Sanctions

Personal Tutors may prescribe and authorise the use of such other sanctions as comply with good education practice and tend to promote observance of the Code of Conduct. For example, Personal Tutors may remove a student from class for a day to sit in the OCP Library due to behavioural issues. A removal from class for a day is not a suspension. In such instances, students will sit in the OCP Library and continue working during their timetabled lessons. Parents will be notified of a removal from class when necessary.

Removal from class is a sanction often utilised for Middle School students, as they are required to be at College from 9am-4pm throughout the week. Middle School students may be removed from class due to disruption, inability to complete assigned homework or other behaviours issues. This sanction may be referred to as an “internal suspension” when dealing with students so they understand the importance of the action. However, removal from class is not a suspension as defined within the Suspension And Expulsion Policy.

Use of Restraint

Any use of restraint by staff must be reasonable, proportionate and lawful. Restraint will be used only when immediately necessary and for the minimum time necessary to prevent a student from doing or continuing to do any of the following:

  1. Committing a criminal offence
  2. Injuring themselves or others
  3. Causing damage to property, including their own
  4. Where restraint is used by staff, this is recorded in writing.


Administration of major sanctions are recorded in the Student Database, with the name of the student concerned, the reason for the sanction, and the name of the person administering the sanction. The Head of Academic Administration is responsible for the recording this information in the Expulsion and Suspension Database.


Ashbourne expects students to attend lessons regularly and punctually. Attendance contributes largely to a student’s academic achievement and so we have high expectations at Ashbourne in regards to student attendance. Where this expectation is not met, students will undergo intervention with the Attendance team, their Personal Tutor and with their parents/guardians involved so that measures can be taken to improve their attendance.

Parents and guardians can view a student’s attendance record on the parent portal.

Contact Details

All students are required to have a guardian in the UK who is contactable over the phone or email. All students are also required to have a UK mobile number. Students are expected to check their Ashbourne email accounts regularly for all information dealing with Ashbourne. The College will only communicate to students through Ashbourne email accounts.

What happens if a student is unable to attend a class or is late?

If a student is unable to attend a lesson or is late for a class then the following should happen:

1) The student should phone (020 7937 3858) or email ( the College to confirm they are going to be absent.

2 Students must contact the College each day they are absent before their first lesson

2) Late slips – All classes at Ashbourne start on the hour. Please keep in mind that even if students are 1 minute late, they are still late and the teachers will log them as late on the Ashbourne database system. Ashbourne introduced the late slip system from an administrational point of view to ensure classes were not continuously interrupted. Therefore, if a tutor has completed the register before students arrive, then they will be asked to go to reception to collect a late slip. If students arrive over 5 minutes late they should automatically go to reception to collect a late slip.

The late slip system does not allow a “5 minute grace period,” if students are 1 minute late they are still late.

Ashbourne encourages students to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of class to ensure they are on time for their lessons on the hour.

4) Middle School students, parents/guardians must inform Ashbourne if the student is likely to be late or unable to attend class.

Monitoring Attendance

Attendance at the College is compulsory for all timetabled lessons.

Staff members monitor attendance and punctuality using the following definitions:

POT – This is used to indicate the student is present and on time for a lesson.

PLA – This is used to indicate the student was present but late for a lesson.

Please note: Contact will be made with parents/guardians of students who are frequently late. If the issue is persistent, they should also expect intervention from their Personal Tutor or a member of the Attendance Team.

AA – This is used to indicate an authorised absence, where the student/parents/behaviour contact has informed the College of the reason for their absence. The following (non-academic) reasons are acceptable in this case:

  1. Ill health
  2. Family/Personal problem
  3. Religious Observance

Please note: A doctor’s note is required for any illness that causes a student to miss more than 3 consecutive days of classes. This is to ensure that students are receiving the proper medical care for any illness. We understand that some medical appointments may require having to take time out of class. However, whenever possible students should arrange appointments outside of class time. Proof of unavoidable medical appointments must be provided prior to the appointment taking place to authorise the absence.

UA – This is used to indicate an unauthorised absence, where the student/parents/behaviour contact has not informed the College of the reason for their absence OR the student’s reason for absence was not accepted.

SR – This is used to indicate a school (academic) reason for an absence. In these cases the student must still inform the College of the academic reason for their absence. The following reasons will be accepted in this situation:

  1. School subject trip
  2. Examination (at the time of the lesson)
  3. Interview at a university
  4. Agreed open day visit
  5. Other school trip
  6. Student unable to start their course on time due to late registration
  7. Student on the register, but teacher believes that the student should no longer be attending the class. For example, the teacher may have taught Unit 1 before half term and Unit 2 after half term and the student only needed to re-sit Unit 1

Attendance for international students

Ashbourne expects regular attendance from all of its students. For students on a Tier 4 visa, if 10 consecutive expected contact points are missed without authorisation, Ashbourne is obligated to report them to UKVI.  At Ashbourne, we state that a contact point is one full day of absence.

All international students are made aware of the fact that their attendance is vital to the retention of their visa and to their academic success. Students must be made to understand that their visa status is not final and may be jeopardised by any absenteeism. In the worst-case scenario, their visa may be revoked.

Holiday During Term Time

Holiday during term time is not permitted at Ashbourne. All absences due to late arrival from holiday after term breaks and holiday taken during term time will be marked as UA in the register. Ashbourne term dates are available online over a year in advance (

If a parent or guardian believes that there are extenuating circumstances to support a request for leave during term time, a letter of request should be put in writing to the Head of Year and Director of Studies.

Study Leave

Ashbourne respects that students revise in different ways and endeavours to organise its academic year to benefit all types of students.

Ashbourne allows three weeks of holiday during Easter, where students have the opportunity to revise at home alone or participate in “active revision” by attending Ashbourne’s Easter Revision programme. Each student is given one free course and has the opportunity to sign up for additional paid courses if they feel they require extra support during this period.

During HT4 Mock Week, less lessons are scheduled for Year 12 and 13 students, and students can use this time to revise at home, or are welcome to use Ashbourne’s facilities to study. Middle School students will have supervised study or trip activities during this week, in addition to their mock exams.

Ashbourne’s last day of teaching is usually the last Friday in May. In the month of June Ashbourne organizes 3-hour revision courses, primarily for Year 13 students, prior to each examination, which students may wish to attend if they want to prepare more thoroughly for the examinations.

We feel that the above provision allows enough time for students to effectively plan their time to prepare thoroughly for their examinations.

Note that Students are not permitted to miss lessons during term-time because they wish to revise for an examination. This is true even when they have an examination in the same week as they have lessons.

Year 12 Students must attend UCAS week, which will take place, usually in the first week of June. This week is compulsory for all Year 12 Students and is a critical part of their UCAS preparation that involves drafting their first copy of their UCAS statement.

Ashbourne’s Role in Attendance


  • The Attendance Officer logs all messages regarding attendance in the register and ensures that all registers are updated accordingly.
  • Tutors take attendance at the beginning of each lesson.
  • Late slips are issued by the reception team to update the register.
  • The Attendance Officer checks the registers for Unauthorised Absences and calls students who are not in attendance to their lesson. Parents/Guardians will be contacted when necessary.


  • The Attendance Team holds a weekly review meeting.
  • The Attendance Officer meets with the Personal Tutors as a weekly review to decide on appropriate interventions and students of concern.
  • The Attendance Officer checks that all absences are logged with the correct code.

Every Half Term

  • Meetings are set up with students, parents and the Director of Studies if a student’s attendance reaches an unacceptable level.
  • Personal Tutors meet with students regarding their performance and attendance.
  • Emails to parents of students with persistent absence (<80% attendance due to authorised or unauthorised absence).
  • Emails to parents of students with a high number of late arrivals.
  • Emails to parents of students with a high number of late minutes.
  • The Attendance Officer analyses attendance data,

A Level Students Under 16

For A level, Ashbourne’s students that are 16 or over on the first day of term. In certain cases, Ashbourne will accept a student who is not yet 16, usually either because they are extremely able and can cope with the rigours of an A level programme, or they have completed GCSE’s (or equivalent) a year early. In some of these cases, students will undertake a 2.5 or 3-year A level programme.

In such cases, students will join the Middle School but attend A level classes. The Head of Middle School will be the Personal Tutor for these students. This will continue until they turn 16, when they will no longer need to adhere to the rules of Middle School.

Note that these students will not have a Year 12 Personal Tutor until they turn 16 years old. Nevertheless, the Head of Year 12 will work with the Head of Middle School to ensure a smooth transition

Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2019
Effective date of the policy September 2019
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2020