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Pupil Absence

Attendance & Punctuality at Priory Primary

At Priory, we have the highest aspirations for your child: attendance and punctuality is highly important to your child’s education, every lesson counts towards your child’s achievement. Children only get one chance at school, and your child’s chances of a successful future may be affected by not attending school every day on time. When children do not attend or are late, it can have a negative impact on their progress and learning.

Is there a proven link between attendance and children’s achievement in school?

Yes, there is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement. In primary schools, less than 65% of children get good results in Maths and English in schools when they have an average of 15 days absence, compared to around 90% in schools where the average is less than 8 days. Many parents are surprised how quickly their children accumulate 15 days absence.

We will send you letters when a child hits a trigger for attendance as we want to work with parents to ensure that pupils are attending every day and on time, we understand that pupils can fall ill on occasions but we ask for you as a parent to send in medical evidence if a child is off.

Of the children who miss more than 50 per cent of school, only 3% manage to achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C. 73% of children who have over 95% attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C. While GCSEs may seem some time away, setting good attendance and punctuality patterns from an early age, from nursery and Reception through to Year 6, will really help.

What does the law say?

By law, all children of compulsory school age must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent/carer, you are responsible for making sure this happens. Once your child is registered at Priory, you are responsible for making sure he or she attends regularly. If your child fails to attend regularly - even if they miss school without you knowing - the Local Authority (LA) may take legal action against you.  The LA is responsible for making sure that parents/carers fulfil their responsibilities, and the school must tell the LA if your child is regularly absent from school. As a parent/carer, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly. You run the risk of being prosecuted by the LA if your child’s attendance is poor; parents/carers can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly.

What about absences?

There may be times when your child has to miss school because she or he is ill. Please notify us of this on the first day (and every subsequent day) of absence. If there are patterns of sickness, we work with your child, you and your health professionals to try and resolve these issues. Children may be offered medical or dental appointments in school time. Please try to make routine appointments such as dental check-ups during the school holidays or after school hours.

Holidays in term time

The school does not authorise holidays in term-time in guidelines with the MAT attendance policy, you still need to complete a leave of absence form for any holiday taken, this will be unauthorised and passed onto the Education Investigation Service and fines will be applied.

What can you do to help?

Make sure your child arrives at school on time every day.

Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of them missing school and be on the alert for any particular reasons for non-attendance, such as friendship issues or problems with school work, please discuss these with us as early as possible.

If you think you might need to take your child out of school, discuss the reasons with the school as early as possible. Reasons such as family bereavement would be acceptable for short absences which can also apply to family holidays if evidence is provided as to the nature of leave of absence. Unacceptable reasons for missing school include shopping and birthdays.

If your child is ill or absent for any other reason, contact the school on the first day of absence – you can either phone the school on 01384 816 845 inform us via ParentMail Login or email