Attendance & Times of Day
School Attendance – Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if my child is ill?
It is the parents’ responsibility to contact the school office (01474 534544) or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org after 8.30 am but before 9.00 am on the first day their child is absent. A call to the school is expected every day of absence. This is a safeguarding issue so that all parties know that your child is safe.
If your child experiences a prolonged absence, evidence will be required by the school.
Do I need to send in a letter about my child’s absence?
If you have rung or otherwise contacted the school, then we would not require a note as well.
Can my child have a day off from school?
In exceptional circumstances, the Headteacher may agree to authorise other absences.
The examples given below are not exceptional circumstances:
- To take him/her out for new shoes
- To collect relatives from the airport
- To care for other family members
- To interpret for me
- Because it is his or her birthday.
What happens if the Headteacher refuses to authorise the absence?
The absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ and this will be noted on your child’s attendance record. The school will be required to make a referral to the Kent Attendance Advisory Service.
96 – 100%
Concern if absences continues
95 – 95.9%
Risk of underachievement – Action needed
90 – 94.9%
Severe risk of underachievement, persistent absentee (PA)
85 – 90%
Extreme concern – action with Local Authority
0 – 85%
It is part of the school’s Attendance Policy to monitor and track pupils who have an attendance level below 92%. Parents/Carers will receive letters when their child’s attendance level reaches a point of concern. If their attendance does not improve, you may be invited into school to meet with the Attendance Officer and Headteacher. If there is still no improvement, you will be asked to meet with the Schools Liaison Officer (Attendance Advisory Service).
You may, as a consequence, be liable to legal action being taken by the Local Authority, which could mean a prosecution in Magistrates Court or the issue of a penalty notice, payable by each parent for each child.
What will happen if I want to take my child on holiday during term time?
There are 38 weeks in the year when schools are open and 14 weeks when families can take holidays. Taking your child out of school during term time for holidays may impact their attainment. Government guidelines prohibit the taking of holidays during term time for anything other than exceptional circumstances. It is usual for the school to unauthorise holidays.
If your child takes unauthorised holidays or is absent for longer than the time agreed by your child’s Headteacher, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised. This may result in:
- A penalty notice for each parent/carer per child
- Legal action by the authority which could result in a fine of up to £2500 per child.
- Your child may lose their school place
What will happen if my child is frequently late for school?
At Cecil Road Primary & Nursery School the register is taken at 8.55 am and 1.00 pm (YR/KS1) and 1.30 pm (KS2). Pupils arriving after these times must enter the school by the main entrance and report to reception where their name and reason for lateness will be recorded. The pupil will be marked as late before registration has closed (Code ‘L’).
The register will close at 9.00 a.m. and 1.15 p.m. (YR/KS1) and 1.45 p.m. (KS2). Pupils arriving after the register has closed will be marked as late after registration (Code ‘U’) and this will count as an unauthorised absence.
Frequent lateness after the register has closed (U) will be discussed with parents and could provide grounds for prosecution or a Penalty Notice
Getting to school punctually every day and in time for registration is an important part of the school day. Your child will miss out on important learning, which could affect their achievement. They don’t have the social time to settle into class, it can be embarrassing for them and disrupt the rest of the class.
What can you do to help?
- Find out what time school starts, and how long it takes for you to get your child to school.
- Have a regular routine for the start of each day.
- Help your child get their clothes and equipment ready before they go to bed.
- Set a reasonable bedtime to make sure they get enough sleep.
- Get your child to school on time. If they start late, they have a bad start to the day.
Key Stage 2
8.40-8.50am: School Starts
Break is in the morning for 15 minutes
Lunch runs between 12.00-1.30 pm for 1 hour
3.30 pm: End of School
Children attend school for 32.5 hours per week.
What should I do if my child is reluctant to attend school?
There may be many reasons why a child is reluctant to attend school. These could be related or not related to school. Please contact the school office who will arrange a meeting for you to discuss strategies which can be put into place to support your child and their attendance at school.
If my child refuses to attend school, can I be held responsible?
Yes. As the child’s parent, you are expected to ensure that they receive an education. If your child does not attend school, you could face court action resulting in a possible fine and/or even imprisonment.
What do I do if I don’t agree with the school’s policy on attendance?
Much of our attendance policy is designed to satisfy DfE regulation but, as always, if you feel an approach is unfair or unreasonable, then you can write to the Headteacher and/or Chair of Governors asking for a review. However, whilst any such policy is in place, the school will operate as stated.