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School Attendance - Why is attendance important?


“Pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.”

School attendance - Departmental advice (August 2013)


Regular attendance at school is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable your child to extend their potential. We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school and learning. Poor attendance can seriously affect your child’s:

  • attainment in school
  • relationships with other children and their ability to form lasting friendships
  • confidence to attempt new work and work alongside others


Schools are expected to monitor pupil attendance regularly. At our school we now expect a minimum attendance of 96% (the national average) from all children and will work with families to make this possible.


Headteachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is the responsibility of parents to contact the school in writing when requesting time off for their children so that each case can be considered on an individual basis.


Authorised Absence:

An absence is classified as authorised when your child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent/carer. For example:

  • Sickness
  • On a day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his or her parent belongs.
  • Participating in approved public performances (evidence will be required)
  • Following the death of a close member of family.
  • When out of class for medical reasons. Evidence will be required eg. appointment card/letter.
  • When on an approved visit to another school or an educational visit.


If the school is satisfied that the reason for absence is exceptional, the absence will be authorised. In all other circumstances AND when no explanation is received at all the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.


Unauthorised Absence:

An absence is classified as unauthorised when your child is away from school without the permission of the Head Teacher. Unauthorised absences are those, which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no authorisation has been given. This includes:

  • Parents keeping children off school unnecessarily
  • Absences that have never been properly explained.
  • Holidays not agreed.
  • Extended holidays taken in September or May.

Unauthorised absences will be recorded on your child’s on-going record and will be passed on to their next school.


In line with the Department for Education regulations, no holiday will be authorised in term time other than in exceptional circumstances, for example, for compassionate reasons, for supporting education in music or sport, or if there are family members in the armed forces. When Absence is causing SERIOUS CONCERN parents will informed via a letter to attend an attendance meeting, particularly if it is seriously affecting attainment and progress and is disrupting the child’s learning. The school will be supported by the Local Authority to take action against the parents/carers. Further action can include fines and court action.


Thank you for taking the time to consider this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact school with any queries you might have.