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Fourlanesend CP School


Attendance Policy                         


Our attendance policy aims to:

  • Support pupils and their parents / carers in the establishment of the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality.
  • Ensure that all pupils have full and equal access to the best education that we can offer in order to increase learning.
  • Enable pupil to progress smoothly, confidently and with continuity through the school.
  • Make parents / carers aware of their legal responsibilities

Being at School

School education lays the vital foundations of child’s life. It has been proved that regular non-attendance can severely impede academic and social development. Parents / carers and the school staff should work in partnership in making educational success and in ensuring that all children have full and equal access to all the school has to offer.  This is a successful school and your child plays their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to reach out for excellence. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.

School Times

  • Children are welcome to come into school from 8:35am and must be completing wake and shake at 8:45am. After this children will be marked as late in the book in the office.
  • Lunchtime registration is at 1:00pm.
  • School finishes at 3:15pm.

When a child arrives on time:

  • Registration takes place quickly and smoothly.
  • The day gets off to a good start for everyone.
  • Everyone hears the information given and is included in important explanations and discussions. This ensures that everyone knows what to do and what is expected of them.

When a Child Arrives Late:

  • It interrupts concentration.
  • It wastes valuable learning time.
  • The teacher repeats information / instructions whilst others have to wait.
  • The late child is at an immediate disadvantage because they may have missed important teaching points, missed discussions where ideas are shared and will be generally unsettled

If the child arrives after 8:45am they will have to enter school via the front entrance as playground gates are locked at 8:45am and will be signed in the late book in the office. If the child arrives before the close of registration (9am) they are coded with an L (late) in the registers. If they arrive after registration they are coded with U (Late after registers closed). This is an unauthorised absence. This is monitored by the headteacher and she then reports directly to the attendance governor and Governing Body. If a pattern arises of children regularly arriving late then parents/carers will be invited in to school to discuss this and the attendance team at Educational Welfare Office may be informed. 

All children must be picked up at 3:15pm; our staff have a variety of commitments after school and it should not be assumed that they are available to supervise children after this time.  If a child is not collected on time then they may be put into after school club and you will be charged accordingly.

Taking the Register

By law schools must take a morning register and afternoon register and record the attendance or absence of every pupil.

During school hours the school staff are legally in loco parentis and therefore must know where the pupils are during the school day. If a pupil has to leave school for any reason during the school day, the parent / carer must contact the school with an explanation. Pupils leaving the school site during the day must sign out at the school office.

Pupil’s attendance and punctuality is recorded and will be passed on to a future school as necessary.

When Your Child is absent

By law, schools must record absences and the reasons given for the absence.

Only the headteacher, Rebecca Norton, can officially authorise an absence. Parents / carers provide reasons for absence and the school must decide whether or not they justify authorisation according to government guidelines. To contact Rebecca, please call 01752 822502.

Examples of Authorised Absences:

  • Genuine illness of the pupil.
  • Hospital / dental appointment for the pupil.
  • Death of a near relative.
  • Religious observance (Faith of the parent / carer).

Examples of Unauthorised Absence:

  • Sickness of a parent or other family member.
  • Inadequate clothing for school.
  • Child being used as a carer.
  • Problems with transport.
  • Non urgent medical treatment – eg. dental check-up, doctors’ appointments for minor ailments (these should be made after 3.15pm when school finishes).
  • School refusal or truancy.
  • A birthday treat or shopping trip.
  • Family holiday.

Whenever a child is absent from school, the parent / carer should:

  • Contact the school before 9:30am on the first day of absence. Our school office number is 01752 822502 and the phone will usually be answered by Ann Parsonage or Claire Blackler. If no notification of absence is received, the school office will contact the parent / carer to ascertain the reason. If there is no reply the office will call other contacts on the child’s contact sheet. If the school still has no response then the school will contact the police – this is part of our safeguarding procedure.
  • Where possible let the school know in advance of any planned absences e.g. hospital appointments.
  • Where possible make medical / dental appointments out of school hours.

 Are you aware that . . .

Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any pupil’s absence disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.

Attendance during one school year

Equals days absent

Which is approximately weeks absent

Which is this is the number of lessons missed


9 days

2 weeks

50 lessons


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons


57 days

11.5 weeks

290 lessons


The Government has amended key legislation relating specifically to the authorisation of leave in term time which came into force on 1st September 2013. This decision has been made to encourage schools to take a firmer stance on unnecessary absence and to dispel the myth held by many parents that there is an entitlement to time off school for holidays in term time.

The legislation means that Headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied that there are “exceptional” circumstances to warrant the granting of leave. 

Encouraging Regular Attendance

Prizes are given for good attendance.

How You Can Help

You can help your child by:

  • Ensuring that you have everything they need ready for school the night before.
  • Ensuring regular bedtimes and wake up times on school days.
  • Ensuring they arrive at school punctually.
  • Talking to a member of the school staff if there is a problem.

Monitoring of attendance

Good attendance is critical to achievement and attaining good attendance is everyone’s business. Attendance is monitored termly in school by the governing body whose role it is to promote attendance and challenge absence. Our named attendance governor is Ben Rimron. Monitoring of attendance goes beyond headline data and looks at individual pupils, cohorts and groups (including punctuality). The headteacher monitors attendance throughout the term (not just termly) and looks for any patterns of attendance (e.g. always off on a Friday); persistent absence; frequency of late arrivals and any change to attendance patterns for a child that may indicate support is needed.

Attendance is recorded in sessions am/pm = 2 per day. There will be times when a child is unwell and should not be at school, or has ongoing medical needs. We monitor persistent absence; severe absence and patterns of attendance  e.g. if you child is off every Monday. Any concerns will be discussed with you during termly parent consultation and / or in the annual school report. We also send a half year attendance report at the February half term.


                                                            100% -Outstanding!

                                                             98+% - Good – this is what we expect

                                                             95% - Average

                                                             Below 95% - Cause for Concern discussed with                                                                                                 Education Welfare Officer (EWO)

                                                               Below 90% - Referral to Education Welfare Service


Once a concern has been identified a letter will be sent to the parents/carers asking for improvement. The attendance is then monitored on a monthly basis and this is recorded and a copy is sent to the parents/carers. If the concern is serious or the attendance does not improve the case is referred to the EWO. We work in partnership with parents and our attendance letters offer support such as The Early Help Hub, Danny Biscombe (school counsellor) and the school nurse.

 Fixed penalty notices are issued following 10 sessions of unauthorised holiday in 100 sessions (1 day = 2 sessions). If there are any further unauthorised absences a penalty notice may be issued. Fixed penalty notices are also issued following advice from the EWO. This is usually when it is not appropriate/not successful or not engaged with.

Linked DfE guidance: