Regular attendance at school promotes children’s well-being and gives them the best chance of learning and reaching their potential. Children should attend school every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Contact details for attendance matters
|General attendance questions - School Office
|01946 514545 (option 2)
|Absence line, for reporting absence:
|01946 514545 (option 1)
|Senior Leader for Attendance
Good attendance is important because children:
- get on better with learning and other children;
- cope better with school routines, work and friendships;
- find learning easier because they do not miss out;
- are more successful moving between primary school, secondary school, higher education and employment or training;
- are known to be safe and well by us.
Research shows a direct link between high attendance and doing well at school. All children have the right to an education. We encourage and expect 100% attendance for all children.
- tell children and parents the importance of being at school.
- check pupils are at school every day.
- follow up and check the absence of persistent non-attenders;
- phone home on the first day of absence to check where absent children are
- follow up an explained absence by phone call and email, and meetings for persistent absentees
- aim for an attendance rate of at least 97%. Children who are under school age, in Nursery or Reception, are treated in the same way as all other children;
- monitor school attendance data of individuals and groups and target our support towards removing barriers to attendance for individuals and groups who need it most;
- discuss poor attendance with parents to understand any barriers the pupil or family might be facing;
- facilitate support for families to help remove identified barriers to attendance. This could include support through the local authority attendance team, access to early help, such as parenting support, SEN support or Cumberland Children's Services;
- where absence persists and support offered is not being engaged with, we will communicate the consequences to parents. This may include formalising support through a parenting contract or education supervision order.
- when all avenues of support have been exhausted and support has not worked or being engaged with, the Local Authority can enforce attendance through a statutory intervention or prosecution to protect a child's right to an education;
- ensure that we adhere to the Children’s Services School Absence Enforcement Policy and DfE School Attendance Statutory guidance and departmental advice
- share and discuss attendance data with the Governing Board on a termly basis.
- ensure their child attends school every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence.
- ensure your child is not late for school.
- contact the school either by telephone, in person, text, email or via parent mail before 8.45 a.m. on the first day of absence and regularly thereafter
- provide the school with accurate and up-to-date contact details (minimum of 2 emergency contacts) and update the school if details change
- endeavour to make health appointments, doctor, dentist, hospital appointments etc. at the end of the school day, thus allowing at least half a day’s education. Do not allow your child to be absent for a whole day when their medical appointment is only a short, local one
- inform a member of school staff of any reason or problem that may hinder their child from attending school
- avoid taking your child out of school for non-urgent matters
Children should arrive and be collected from school on time:
- registration is at 8:55 a.m., for all children from Reception to Year 6. Children should be ready to line up on the playground and wait to be greeted by their class teacher
- registration closes at 9.15 a.m. arrival after this time is an 'unauthorised absence' late arrival can cause children to feel anxious or upset;
- if a child is collected late, after 4:00 p.m. they join our After School Club. We charge a fee for this childcare;
- we take the view there are no late children, only late parents;
- we contact parents of children who have patterns of lateness to talk about how to arrive and/or be collected on time.
Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children are properly educated. When your child is registered at a school, parents, carers or guardians must ensure the regular and full-time attendance of their child. The Local Authority has the power to issue Fixed-Penalty Notices in respect of unauthorised absences. Penalty notices can be issued to each parent and for each child. The Penalty is £120 payable within 28 days, reducing to £60 if paid within 21 days. (Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2004). If holiday absence is repeated, matters can increase and fines can be increased for both parents.
For term-time pupil absences, the Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, removed all references to ‘family holidays’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the ‘notional threshold of 10 school days’ authorised absence.
The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school if leave is given for ‘exceptional circumstances’.
More guidance can be found on the Department for Education website https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence
Leave of Absence during term time
- Leave of absence during term time will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.
- The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. The Department for Education allows a Head Teacher the discretion to consider authorising a leave of absence in term time only in “exceptional circumstances”.
- No Holidays taken during term time will be authorised.
- The law states that the provision for Head Teachers to authorise absence purely for the purpose of a family holiday is not an exceptional circumstance.
- We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as an event or problem which you did not expect.
- The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Head Teacher’s discretion.
Valid reasons for exceptional circumstances / authorised absence may include:
- Illness and medical/dental appointments or where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
- Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
- Religious observance – where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong. If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart.
- Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a Traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision
- Bereavement, unexpected personal or family problems or illness might be considered as an exceptional circumstance.
- To attend a wedding of a person close to the family – up to 1 day.
The school will identify pupils and families where attendance is poor and meetings, letters, closer monitoring may be considered as detailed above.
Evidence would be required in each case to support any application for leave. The school will not condone holidays taken during term time, permission for absences in term time may only be granted for exceptional circumstances. When a request is not authorised, parents have the right of representation to the School governors.
If a request meets the above exceptional circumstances but falls within the following times, the Head teacher must be convinced that absence from school is the only option:
- The first half term of any academic year (applies to all pupils)
- Year six transition days (for pupils in year six)
- Year six SAT’s week(for pupils in year six)
- Year two – SAT’s week (week to be decided by school)
- Parents and carers must complete a ‘Leave of Absence’ form outlining in writing the “exceptional circumstances”. The head teacher may invite you to attend a meeting to discuss your request. This must be done at least 2 weeks prior to the leave (except for a bereavement).
- All unauthorised absences, including holidays that have not been sanctioned by the Head Teacher, are accumulated and parents who fail to ensure regular attendance of their children at school can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The amount is £60 (per parent per child) if paid within 21 days and £120 (per parent per child) if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay a Penalty Notice will result in prosecution, except in limited circumstances.
Download or click the link below to access Public Health guidance on a range of illnesses' and the advice we follow to help prevent the spread of infections.
Leavers and Children Missing Education
The school has a responsibility to safeguard pupils from harm. This includes knowing and taking reasonable steps to check the destinations of leavers. If your child is leaving other than at the end of Year 6, parents should:
- give the school full information about their plans including
- date of move,
- name of new school,
- new home address,
- the start date at the new school if known,
- and reasons for moving (a form is available at the school office),
- confirm the school has your current mobile phone number,
- let us know when you move.
When pupils leave and parents have not given us the above information, and we cannot contact the parent, then a child is considered to be a Child Missing Education. This means that the Local Authority has a legal duty to carry out investigations to try to track and locate the child. Telling us leaving details saves unnecessary investigations.