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Attendance and Absence

Attendance Matters

During the pandemic, primary school children lost an average of 140 school days.

Schools are legally required to work along side the Local Authority to promote the importance of regular school  attendance. It is expected schools will monitor and share absence details with Local Authorities should legal proceedings be considered. Pupils’ attendance is monitored and parents of those who fail to attend the required time may face prosecution. 

The Government expects all students to have 97% attendance or above.

If your child is absent from school:

  • Contact the school before 9:30am .
  • Please give the reason for absence and the day you expect your child will return to school .


In each class the teacher takes a register.  The register is taken twice a day.   If your child is late for school after the register has been closed your child is marked as late after registration.  The  Local Authority recognise this as an absent mark.  Sustained lateness can  result in prosecution so we ask parents who are having difficulty with morning routines to speak to one of our Safeguarding Leads.

How do schools work out attendance?

Schools count each day as 2 sessions (AM & PM) Your child has to attend 10 full session (5 days, morning and afternoon) each week to achieve 100% attendance.  If your child has a half day absence they would have 90% for that week. One day absence would be 80%. 

What is unauthorised absence?

Unauthorised absence is used when no reason has been given for the absence or the reason given is not acceptable.  For example keeping a child off school to go shopping. Only Head Teachers can authorise absences.

Who can I talk to for help?

 It is important to seek help at the earliest stage, firstly talk to the class teacher and then one of the Safeguarding Leads.

Tel:  0191 2655940 and ask to speak to one of our Safeguarding Leads- 

Benjamin Wassall

Erika Allen

Lisa McFadden

 Why have I received a red traffic light letter?

 Your child has been identified as being in the Amber or Red Zone.  We will check your child’s attendance level in 4 weeks time.  If your child has been absent 2 days or more we will ask you to attend a meeting to discuss how we can help.

 But my child has a health condition

 We are here to support ALL families even those with medical conditions.  We also work closely with medical staff to help parents access the right support to help their child. 

 What are parenting contracts

 A parenting contract is a formal written   agreement between a home, school and the Local Authority.  Parenting contracts are intended to give you support to get the most out of school for your child. 

 Traffic Light sytem explained

 The traffic light system was introduced as a way to reduce prosecutions.  The system is designed to give parents, school and the Local Authority the opportunity to improve attendance WITHOUT seeking legal action. 

 Each half-term register checks are carried out within the school. Those pupils who have fallen below 97% are automatically targeted by school for support.

 The pupils identified are closely monitored over a four-week period. Parents of those that fail to improve are invited for a meeting in school.  Working together we look at how we can address the issues preventing full attendance. 


 Term time holidays

Families are requested not to take their child on holiday during term time as this has a proven, measurable impact upon their performance.  Due to new Government guidance we are unable to authorise holiday leave unless  there are exceptional circumstances.

 We may seek legal action against those taking holidays during term time if;

  • There is no exceptional circumstances .
  • There is history of poor attendance.
  • The family are unwilling to accept responsibility and collaborate with school.


How families can help...

  • Make sure you arrive to school on time. Good punctuality is essential for your child and allows the staff team to deliver teaching and learning without interruptions. No child enjoys arriving late at school.
  • Avoid taking holidays during term time. Holidays count as absence.
  • Arrange non-urgent medical and dental appointments after school. If the appointment has to be in school hours then the pupil must attend part of that day. They should not have a full day off to attend an appointment.
  • If your child is refusing to come to school encourage your child to explain the reasons for this to you.




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