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The Value of Good School Attendance


Here at Horbury St Peters & Clifton CE (VC) Primary School we know that regular school attendance is the key to getting a good education. If your child is frequently absent from school he or she will be putting their future in jeopardy. Chronic absenteeism is strongly associated with failure at school and limited life chances.


100% attendance









0 days missed

5 days missed

10 days missed

15 days missed

20 days missed

0 hours lost learning

25 hours lost learning

50 hours lost learning

75 hours lost learning

100 hours lost learning


79% chance of achieving 5 good GCSE passes



72% chance of achieving 5 good GCSE passes


67% chance of achieving 5 good GCSE passes


61% chance of achieving 5 good GCSE passes


55% chance of achieving 5 good GCSE passes


School attendance is one of the most important issues facing schools in Britain. Your child must be taught to understand the value of education. As a parent or carer you need to appreciate the vital role you have in ensuring and promoting regular attendance at school. Regular attendance is necessary for success in school, and as a parent or carer you are the key person who will make a difference.


All children enjoy the experience of school if they are secure and confident and feel that their parents or carers demonstrate that they too feel positive about school.


School Hours


Lower Foundation Stage - Nursery

Morning Session 8.45 a.m. to 11.45 a.m.

Afternoon Session 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.


Upper Foundation Stage & Key Stage 1

Doors open 8.50 a.m.

Registration 8.55 a.m.

End of school 3.15 p.m.


Key Stage 2

Doors open 8.50 a.m.

Registration 8.55 a.m.

End of school 3.30 p.m.


Below is our attendance policy, the latest government report and some details of the impact poor attendance can have on a child's education.


St Peter’s & Clifton CE (VC) Primary School Attendance Policy




A child’s time at school is of immense value, and to derive the greatest benefit from their education it is important that they have good attendance and arrive punctually. As learners grow and prepare for their next stages of education they need to recognise the importance of good attendance and punctuality. We will do all we can to encourage good attendance and punctuality. Where families are not sending children regularly we will try our best to put into place effective strategies for change.




The school day is from 8.50 a.m. until 3.15 p.m. for Reception and Key Stage 1 with Key Stage 2 children finishing at 3.30 p.m. The lunch break is between 12.00 and 1:15 p.m. for KS1 then 12:00 and 12:55pm for KS2.


The children are welcomed into school from 8.50 a.m. Children arriving at school after 9.00 a.m. or 1:00p.m. in the afternoons will receive a late mark. If children arrive after 9.00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. then they should access the building by the main entrance on Shepstye Road so that the office staff are aware that they are on site. Any child entering school after these times is recorded in a Late Book by one of the office staff.


Parents or guardians are asked to notify the school of their child’s absence at the earliest opportunity by telephone, note or personal visit.


A child’s absence from school is sometimes unavoidable. Valid reasons for absence include :

illnesses or hospital appointments.


Appointments at doctors or dentists should be made outside school hours if at all possible.


All staff should follow the guidelines for the completion of registers and dinner registers and submit the electronic register promptly. Weekly attendance records are calculated on a Friday in the school office and relayed to the children in assembly.


Good attendance is encouraged in assemblies and newsletters and good attenders are rewarded in the following ways:


  • on a weekly basis with Punctual Pete the monkey for the best attending class;
  • on a half-termly basis with individual certificates for children who attend every session.


Strategies to improve attendance

  • Beginning of year check of families’ addresses and phone numbers (Pupil Information Sheet);
  • Letter to parents about attendance procedures if attendance below 95% during half termly checks;
  • Daily phone calls/texts to non-attenders whose parents have failed to notify school with a reason for absence by school office;
  • Education Welfare Officer meets the Headteacher and Learning Mentor each half-term to carry out a register check and to particularly look at children with poor attendance;
  • Education Welfare Officer may then follow up poor attenders with a letter to parents or home visit depending on the circumstances.
  • Parents will be sent individual copies of the attendance policy and guidance detailing interventions by the EWO and about fixed penalty notices if they are causing concerns.


Authorised and Unauthorised Absence

St Peter’s & Clifton CE (VC) Primary School follows the advice of the Wakefield Local Authority and does not authorise any term time holiday unless there are extenuating circumstances. School recognises that it is important to visit family members in other countries but discourages this taking place in term time because of the potential it has to affect children’s progress and attainment.


However, the school acknowledges that there may be instances in which children may be absent from school that are neither holidays nor ordinary family visits in which the Headteacher has the authority to authorise a child’s absence. Examples of this include a child being absent from school because of the funeral of a close family member or an illness to a relative which may necessitate the parent taking a child to another area or country. In such a situation it will be at the discretion of the Headteacher and dependent on the individual circumstances as to whether or not the absence is authorised.


Other Situations which may affect Attendance


Our school respects a family’s request for absence to fulfil an obligatory religious observance; but when a religious observation is not obligatory, families should avoid term time absence.


Supporting Children’s Education during Long Absences


It is the responsibility of the parents or carers to ensure that their children continue to have access to education whilst taking extended leave from their main school.


Removing Children from the School Roll


In line with local guidance referring to ‘Children removed from Roll having failed to return from Family Holiday’, (Section 5 of Children Missing Education ‘If a Child Goes Missing or If a Child is Located’ Guidance for Schools, Wakefield Family Services, created in May 2012)


St Peter’s & Clifton CE (VC) Primary School policy is not to authorise any term time holiday unless the Headteacher is given extenuating circumstances and the school may consider the removal of a child from the school’s roll if they have been on a holiday or family visit for a lengthy period of time depending on circumstances.


Other Attendance Issues


For children to give their best they should be fit, healthy and rested. If they are unwell they should not attend school. We believe that pupils should go outside at playtimes unless there is a valid reason for them to stay indoors and this has been discussed with the Headteacher.


Children who become ill during the school day will be sent home when possible or cared for in school.


N.B. Only in very exceptional circumstances will medicine be administered in school. The exceptions to this are inhalers, medication listed on Health Care Plans or exceptional cases that the Headteacher has consented to after meeting parents.


We aim to be sensitive to difficulties which may be causing attendance problems, and hope that all parents and guardians feel comfortable enough with us to be able to come and discuss any worries.


Advice taken from


How can I help my child attend school regularly?

  • Talk to your child about school
  • Take a positive interest in your child's work, including homework
  • Make use of school planner
  • Keep in touch with school staff
  • Contact school on the first day if absence if your child is unable to attend for whatever reason
  • Attend Parents' Evening and other school events


Persistent Absenteeism


As of September 2015 the Department for Education (DfE) in England announced that any pupil whose attendance falls below 90% will be classed as a Persistently Absent pupil. Therefore that means that if a pupil misses 19 or more days over an academic year they will be classed as persistently absent.


The DfE say..

" If over 5 academic years a pupil has attendance of 90% the child will miss half of a school year, that's a lot of lost education... As parents play an essential role in supporting attendance, the changes to persistent absence need to be shared with them"


The school is required to take action should a pupil's attendance become a cause for concern. Such action may include a Penalty Notice and possible prosecution by the Local Authority.

In order to ensure that parents/carers are fully informed, we will issue regular updates through letters should attendance (this includes both authorised and unauthorised absences) fall below 90% at key points in the school year.


What are my responsibilities regarding my child's school attendance?
As a parent/carer it is your responsibility to ensure that any child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and on time. The local Authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil this responsibility.


What will happen if my child does not attend school regularly? The school should contact you in the first instance to raise concerns about your child’s attendance. If they see no improvement or there are complex difficulties, a referral will be made to the Education Welfare Service.


What if my child's school attendance does not improve? If you continue to fail in your responsibility you may:

  • Be included in the Fast Track System which means you will be given 12 weeks to improve your child's attendance
  • Receive a Fixed Penalty Notice. This is a fine of £60 per parent for truancy, holidays in term time or poor attendance/punctuality
  • Be prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court. This means you could receive a Community Order a fine of up to £2500 per parent or a custodial sentence
  • See your child issued with an Education Supervision Order. This is an order where the child attends court and certain measures are put in place regarding attendance at school.
  • How will regular school attendance help my child? School gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences in the form of academic lessons, educational trips and and school clubs allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential. Regular school attendance means that your child can make the most of their education.