Attendance & Absence

Regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential for pupils to maximise their educational opportunities. In recognition of this, the law makes it an offence for a parent or carer to fail to secure the regular attendance of their child at a school at which the child is a registered pupil, without good reason or the agreement of the school.

Penalty notices are one of the sanctions available for this offence and offer a means of swift intervention, which can be used to combat attendance problems before they become entrenched.

If a student of compulsory school age is absent, every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school, as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. Only school can authorise the absence, not parents. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness or another unavoidable cause.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no permission for “leave” has been given. This includes:

  • Parents keeping children off school unnecessarily.
  • Truancy during the school day.
  • Absences which have never been properly explained.
  • Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark.
  • Parents taking children out of school for unauthorised holidays.

Leave of Absence During Term Time


Your child should be at school on time, ready for the register to be called. If your child has a doctor's or dentist's appointment, inform the school beforehand so they know what time to expect them. Your child can still be given a present mark as long as they attend as much of the session as possible.

If your child is late for no valid reason, that counts as unauthorised absence.

Children will be marked as "Late" in the register if they arrive later than 8.45am.  Morning registration closes at 09:10. Students arriving after 09.30 will have a ’U’ (unauthorised absence) recorded on the register, unless there is an acceptable reason verified by a parent/carer.

Persistent lateness will be monitored. Should a student be late on three occasions within a half term then this will trigger a letter home. If persistent lateness continues, the Headteacher will become involved and actions will be taken to overcome any barriers to improve punctuality. Ultimately, continued unauthorised lateness could result in records being provided to the Local Authority which may result in Statutory Action being taken.


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