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School Attendance

A Guide for Parents & Carers


Did you know?


All children have a right to education in this country. This is a basic human right under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Equality and Human Rights Commission (2012) UNICEF states that 'Every child has the right to an education which develops their personality, talents and abilities to the full'.


Parents are responsible by law to ensure their children arrive on time and attend school regularly.


Parents of compulsory school age (five to sixteen) children have a legal duty to ensure their children receive suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise than at a school (this includes home education). If a child is registered at school, parents have the legal responsibility for ensuring that their child attends regularly. (Department for Education 2012.)


Every school day counts towards your child's future. Days off school add up to lost learning.


In total there are 175 non-school days a year. This gives families the opportunity to:

  • Spend time together
  • Go on family visits
  • Go on holiday
  • Go shopping
  • Go on days out
  • Attend routine appointments


Holidays in term time


Term time holiday's are not a right.


Many parents and carers think its okay to go on holiday during term time, but this has a negative affect on your children's learning and ability to achieve. If your child goes on holiday during term time, they are absent.


  • 10 days absence means your child will have 95% attendance in the year
  • 19 days absence means your child will have 90% attendance in the year
  • 29 days absence means your child will have 85% attendance in the year
  • 38 days absence means your child will have 80% attendance in the year
  • 47 days absence means your child will have 75% attendance in the year


Children with over 90% attendance at school are more likely to gain 5 or more A-C GSCEs or equivalent qualifications.


Children with less then 85% attendance at school are unlikely to gain 5 A-C GCSEs or any qualifications.


Authorized holidays are at the discretion of the Headteacher and can only be authorized if the circumstances are exceptional.


If more than 10 sessions (5 days) of unauthorized holiday is taken in a 12 week period, you may receive a penalty notice and be fined.


Poor punctuality


If your child is frequently late for school it adds up to lost learning:

  • Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year
  • Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year
  • Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year

19 days lost a year through being late = 90% attendance.

  • If your child attends school they are more likely to get on in life.
  • If your child regularly misses school, they are more likely to become involved in anti social behaviour.
  • If a child misses just one day a week, over the course of their school career they will miss two years of schooling.


Your child's education is your child's future.


What can parents and carers do to encourage school


  • Encourage your child to come to school. School is fun and exciting!
  • Don't keep them off from school unless they are REALLY poorly.
  • Give yourself and your child plenty of time in the morning. Stick to the same routine.
  • Make sure your child goes to bed at a reasonable time.
  • Contact the school first thing in the morning if they are unwell and keep them informed.
  • Bring your child to school on time and pick them up on time.
  • Let the school know if you change your address and/or telephone number.
  • If you are experiencing problems with getting your child to school; speak to the teaching staff early.
  • Don't take holiday's in term time