The Importance of Regular School Attendance

Attendance is a key factor in supporting children to achieve and get the best possible start in life.

Children who frequently miss school often fall behind. There is a strong link between good school attendance and achieving good results. For example, only 12% of pupils with below 80% school attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and Maths, compared to 68% for pupils with attendance greater than 95%.  

Good attendance at school shows potential employers that a young person is reliable. Young people who are frequently absent from school are more likely to become involved in, or be a victim of crime and anti-social behaviour. 

The Impact of Missing School – Lateness

The table below shows the impact of arriving just a few minutes late can have on the amount of learning your child is missing. Every time a child arrives late to school it disrupts the whole class learning and they miss vital input for the first lesson of the day.

Time Missed Due To Lateness

Minutes late each dayTime missed over a school year
5 minutes =950 minutes / 15.83 hours / 2.88 days
10 minutes =1950 minutes / 32.5 hours / 5.9 days
15 minutes = 2850 minutes / 47.5 hours / 8.64 days
20 minutes = 3800 minutes / 63.3 hours / 11.5 days
25 minutes = 4750 minutes / 79.17 hours / 14.4 days
30 minutes = 5700 minutes / 95 hours / 17.27 days

What Does An Attendance Percentage Really Mean?

Attendance %Absence per week/fortnightAbsence per yearAbsence over 5 years
95%1/2 day fortnightly2 weeks1/4 year
90%1/2 day weekly4 weeks1/2 year
85%1 1/2 days fortnightly6 weeks3/4 year
80%1 day weekly8 weeks1 year
75%2 1/2 days fortnightly10 weeks1 1/4 years
70%1 1/2 days weekly12 weeks1 1/2 years
65%3 1/2 days fortnightly14 weeks1 3/4 years
60%2 days weekly16 weeks2 years
55%4 1/2 days fortnightly18 weeks2 1/4 years
50%2 1/2 days weekly20 weeks2 1/2 years

Persistent Absence

Our pupil attendance target is a minimum of 96%. Anything below this could have a detrimental effect on your child’s academic progress and personal development.

Attendance below 90% at any point during the school year is categorised as be Persistently Absent (PA) regardless of reasons. Schools are required to monitor and act to improve the attendance of such pupils.

Parents and carers are ultimately responsible for their child’s poor attendance. Please be aware that routinely poor attendance could lead to a fixed penalty notice if there are no legitimate medical reasons known to school to excuse regular absences.

The table below illustrates the number of days would need to be absent in order to be classed as a PA. These figures are based on the 2021/22 academic term dates and therefore there may be a small amount of variation from year to year.

Time Of YearDays absent in order to be categorised as a PA pupil
By October half term3.5 days or more
By the the Christmas holidays7 days or more
By February half term10 days or more
By the Easter holidays12.5 days or more
By Spring half term15.5 days or more
By the end of the school year19 days or more

Term Time Absence

In September 2013, the DfE removed the right of Headteacher’s to grant leave for pupils during term time except for exceptional circumstances.

Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. Please be aware that a penalty notice (fine) can be issued to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school.

Exceptional circumstances can include:

  • If a parent is service personnel and is 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.
  • 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.
  • The death or terminal illness of a close relative, only if the Headteacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional.
  • Out of school programmes such as music, arts or sport operating at a high standard of achievement.  Documentary evidence of this event will be required.
  • To attend a wedding or funeral of a close relative if the headteacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional.
  • 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.
  • Where a leave of absence during term times may be restricted owing to working commitments, such as not being allowed time off during school holidays.
  • Religious observance

The above list is not exclusive and where exceptional and unforeseen circumstances fall outside of the above, the Headteacher reserves the right to authorise if they feel the circumstances justify it.

Applications for a leave of absence during term time can be made by completing the form at the bottom of this page. We do ask that you refer to our Attendance Policy for full details regarding term time absence before making this application. Applications must also be made a minimum of 21 days before the leave of absence.