How does attendance at school build our children’s health, success and happiness?

Click on the video below to learn more.

We expect good attendance from our pupils to make the most of our school’s opportunities. We rely on our partnership with parents to ensure that this is achieved. It is the responsibility of the parents to see that children attend school regularly and are punctual on all occasions.

The school day

Our doors open at 8.40am with ‘Four from Before’, where children recap, review and practise key learning. Teachers may also work with children to pick up on misunderstandings; we ask that you arrive by this time if at all possible. Free bagels are available to you and your family between 8:30am and 8:40am.

The official start of the school day is 9am, when registers are called and sent to the school office. Pupils who are not present for registration will be marked absent. Any arrivals to school past 9am need to go via the office. If they arrive within the following 15 minutes, the mark will be changed to late. If your child comes any later, a note/explanation is required.  

We monitor absence to help us identify and address any issues – ideally together.

There are several reasons why good attendance at school is crucial for good progress:  

  • It creates good habits for life.  
  • Each lesson, each day, builds upon the last and leads into the next —this is how the teacher structures learning. If children a day in the middle of a section of learning, they struggle to build their understanding of the whole topic. 
  • It impacts their achievement, sense of security, and feeling part of the class. 
  • Children value school and their learning – and do better. 
  • Children have already missed out because of the pandemic – we don’t want this to worsen.
  • Good learning is linked to health, success and happiness – in life for the individual and our entire community’s wellbeing.

There are several reasons why being on time is crucial for good progress: 

  • It creates good habits for life 
  • School opens at 8.40 am for children to settle down and prepare for the day. The day officially begins at 9am. 
  • The first part of each lesson is the most important. If missed, children struggle to understand what they are supposed to be learning or how to complete the task
  • Arriving late into class disrupts the learning of others, as the lesson has already started when a teacher needs to stop and welcome another child into school. This is not fair

When to keep your child home

Keep your child home if they have: 

  • A fever of 38C or more – then keep them home 24 hours after the fever is gone 
  • More than one bout of vomiting or diarrhoea – and then keep them home for at least 48 hours following their last episode 
  • A severe sore throat – especially if you can see white or red spots at the back of the throat 
  • A deep hacking cough, along with a runny nose and headache
  • Untreated infections of the eye, ear or skin – watch for symptoms such as redness, swelling, or discharge 
  • Coronavirus symptoms
  • Advised to do so by a doctor

Usually, medication helps minor ailments. We can give your child Calpol if they need some help getting through the day. However, a form will need to be signed in the school office before we can administer ANY medication. 

Worry or anxiety can make a child feel poorly. If this is the case, please come and speak to us, as keeping them home from school often makes the problem worse. We will do everything we can to support you and your child. Still, please be aware that complicated issues are rarely resolved straight away. Things only improve when home and school continue to work together, and we are committed to doing so.

Teachers add learning to your child’s Google Classroom each day for your child to access at home.  This can help them to keep up if they are isolating or well enough to do some learning.  Teachers will also aim to bring your child up to speed with lost learning when they return to school, but they need your help – they may not always be able to do so.  Please speak to your child’s teacher and they will support you and your child to catch up so that our children don’t become lost, worried or anxious about not understanding the learning.

Notifying us of absence.

We ask that parents notify us of all absences on the first day. Any absence known in advance, such as medical appointments, should be given in writing or by visiting the office. 

If you fail to let us know your child will be absent, we will contact you. If we cannot make contact, we may visit you at home and, if worried, call the police.


Authorised and unauthorised absence

The law requires that all schools must now show the difference between authorised and unauthorised absence.

Authorised absence can be:

  • Sickness
  • Medical or dental appointments which cannot be arranged outside school hours
  • Days of religious observance
  • An exceptional circumstance which was unavoidable and a one-off incidence – ie. compassionate leave

Unauthorised absence is:

  • Truancy
  • Staying at home to look after younger children or sick relatives
  • Going shopping or having a haircut
  • Any absence which the school has not been informed about, either by letter or telephone
  • Any family holiday in term time

Absences during Term Time

School is only able to grant holiday requests in term time in exceptional circumstances. We appreciate that some parents who work for the armed services have to take holidays at the instruction of their employers and therefore cannot avoid school time. Other exceptional circumstances could include unforeseen or unavoidable family situations.   

Holiday prices, last-minute deals and the fact that the parents have booked a holiday before checking with the school are not exceptional circumstances.

The headteacher must authorise any requests in exceptional circumstances in advance. A form is available from the office.

Monitoring attendance

When a child’s attendance is a cause for concern (this has currently been set at 90% and below), a referral is made to the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) and a referral may be made to Social Services.  However, our aim is to work with parents to increase their child’s attendance at school so please communicate with us at all times regarding any absence from school.  Remember, our Family Liaison Officer, Mrs Rosy Soady is on hand every day for support and advice and is always there to help.

We encourage good attendance by praising children and give certificates at the end of the term for children whose attendance has been excellent.

Click below to read our School Attendance Policy in full

Attendance Policy