Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance Policy




At Woodhill Primary School we aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to strive for excellence. For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential. We will consistently work towards a goal of 100% attendance for all children. Every opportunity will be used to convey to pupils and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.

Why Regular Attendance is so important:

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 and Punctuality in the Early Years:

Establishing good habits from the start will help your child to settle more quickly and build good habits for later life. Coming to school on time, every day helps to develop confidence.

Research has shown that, even at the earliest age, children with poor attendance and punctuality are at a disadvantage later in life. They generally find it harder to make and maintain friendships, they achieve less and they often suffer from poor self-esteem. Even if your child only has a part time Nursery place, regular attendance is vitally important.

The School keeps a register of attendance for every child. This is a legal document and record and classifies every half-day attendance and/or absence. Absences are classified as either authorised or unauthorised. For this reason, the school will ask parents/carers for the reason for each absence.

Authorised Absence

Under the provisions of the Education Act 1993 only the school and not the parents can authorise absence.

A pupil is deemed to have an authorised absence when he/she is unable to attend school. Some examples may be: -


     •     he/she is ill and medical evidence has been provided to the school

      •    a religious observance

      •    he/she is receiving treatment at a medical, dental or similar appointment and medical evidence has been provided to the school

      •   a bereavement

      •    some exceptional circumstances negotiated with the Executive Leadership team i.e. Headteacher, Deputy and Assistant Headteacher (ELT)


Please note all non urgent medical/dental appointments should be made outside of

the school hours.

Unauthorised Absence

Unauthorised absences are absences that do not fit the description of authorised absence given above whether or not explained and all absences which are not explained. They would include: -

      •    Illness without medical evidence

      •    medical appointment without medical evidence

      •    Parent unwell and unable to bring child to school

      •    holidays in term time

      •    extended trips

·         birthdays

·         Shopping trips




A child is deemed to be late if he/she is not present at the time the registers are closed. The following times are when the registers are closed.


Nursery – 8:40am

Whole School – 9.00 am    


Nursery Class – 12:40pm

Reception – 12:50pm

Key Stage One – 1:15pm

Lower Key Stage Two - 1.25 pm

Upper Key Stage Two – 1.30 pm


End of School Day


It is also important that all children are collected on time at the end of the school day. School finishes at 3.30 for the nursery and 3.15 for the main school.  If you are regularly late in collecting your child, you will be expected to attend a meeting with ELT in the first instance to discuss the reason why you are late.  If you are late more than twice in one week you may be issued with a fine. 

Persistent failure to arrange for their child to be collected at a reasonable time may result in the child being taken to a place of safekeeping by the police or into temporary care by social services.






Promoting Regular attendance

Effective partnership between the school and home is essential to ensuring good attendance and punctuality. It is vital that any difficulties are discussed with ELT so that these can be resolved through working together.

To help us all to focus on this, we will:

  • Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as necessary
  • Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in our letters, open evenings and, Home-School Agreement and publish your child’s attendance on annual reports
  • Acknowledge and reward good attendance and punctuality
  • Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance and punctuality
  • If we continue to have concerns make a referral to the Local Authority School Attendance Officer, who visits the school regularly to review and support attendance and punctuality issues
  • Celebrate good attendance with certificates, gifts and extra playtimes

As a parent you can help us by:

  • Ensuring your child attends school regularly. Absence should only happen when your child is significantly ill and therefore unfit to attend school, or if there is an unavoidable/unforeseen reason or circumstance.
  • Telephoning on the first morning of any absence to give us the reason and tell us when your child is likely to return to school
  •  If your child is absent for more than one day, to contact the school on every day of absence to keep us updated on your child’s health.
  • Arranging all non-emergency medical appointments out of school hours or during school holidays 
  • Absences due to illness or medical appointments must be supported by medical evidence for the absence to be authorised
  • Keeping us updated by telephone or letter if your child has any extended period of absence
  • Informing the school if your child is changing schools or moving away
  • Making sure we always have your current contact numbers this includes all telephone numbers, child minders and emergency contact details

Holidays in Term time


As of 1st September 2013 there has been a change to The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations Act 2006.  Headteacher’s may no longer grant a ‘Leave of Absence’ in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Therefore, any such absences not deemed as exceptional circumstances will be unauthorised.

Should a child be absent for a continuous period of 20 school days, without notifying the school, that child’s name will be removed from the school roll and the child will be referred to the local authority in accordance with children missing from education guidance.


Attendance Advisory Service (AAS)

The main function of the AAS is to help parents and the Local Authority meet their statutory obligations with regard to school attendance. The AAO will write letters to parents and undertake home visits.  In very serious cases, a School Attendance Panel (SAP) will be held and the parent could be prosecuted.

 School Monitoring to Prosecution

Woodhill is committed to the fast track to Prosecution’. Children are targeted when their attendance becomes a cause for concern. Regular meetings are held with ELT, Attendance Advisory Officer and parents to monitor the attendance of those children.  When a child is absent through illness, the parent must provide documentary evidence from the GP, either by letter, a copy of the prescription or bringing the named medication to the school office as evidence of their child’s absence. Failure to follow this action will result in the absence being recorded unauthorised.

If there is no improvement in attendance over a period of time, the Attendance Advisory Officer will take steps to bring about penalty fines or court action.

Children Missing Education


If families move away from the area, or wish to transfer their child to another school, the school must be informed in writing. Children cannot be removed from the school roll until we have been notified by another school that a place has been offered and accepted. Children who stop attending and who cannot be traced cannot be removed from the school roll.  They are reported to the local authority Child Missing Education Service.



The school has a legal duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to promote attendance. Equally, parents have a duty to make sure that their children attend school regularly and on time.

All school staff and governors are committed to working with parents and pupils to achieve the best way to ensure a high level of attendance as possible.


Policy to be reviewed again on:

Summer 2018

Committee responsible for review:

Learning and Achievement