School Attendance

Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education. It is also vital that they encourage their child's regular and punctual attendance at school. If a child is registered at a school then it is vital that they attend on a regular basis

Parental Responsibility

It is important that everyone works together to help children obtain the best possible start in life with a good education.  As a school we need to work in partnership with parents so that all children have good school attendance and do not miss out on essential learning. It is a parents responsibility to notify the school of the reason for any of their child’s absences and highlighting any areas of concern they may have so they can be addressed promptly. 

Support for Parents

The Department in conjunction with EWS have produced a leaflet called - Attendance Matters - A Parent's Guide.  This leaflet has been issued to all Primary and Post-Primary Schools to be distributed to all Pupils.  Schools can print additional copies as required. 

Education Welfare Service

Every school has a link Education and Welfare Officer (EWO). Their aim is to reduce unnecessary absences from school by offering support and help to pupils, parents and schools.  As a school we must make a referral to Education Welfare Service when a pupils' attendance is a cause for concern or when attendance drops below 85%.

The EWO can suggest things that parents can do to help improve matters, can offer to go to the school with parents to talk to the staff about any problems and what needs done or can attend the school on their behalf to try and find answers to their child's problems.  The EWO can put parents in touch with other agencies that may be able to offer further advice and help. If the problem is of a practical nature, the EWO can also offer advice about free school meals, uniform grants and transport to school.


Fixed Penalty Notice School


As you may be aware, our pupil attendance percentage falls below the national average and the expected targets for Bristol City Council. 

We appreciate your support in helping to raise our attendance levels.  We have a target of 95.5% and our current attendance percentage falls well below this at 94.6%.

In order to comply with the local authority expectations the decision has now been taken by the Attendance Manager, Headteacher and Governing Body to implement Fixed Penalty Notices with effect from term 4 2019


May Park new Attendance Policy is below

Please take the time to read it 

May Park Primary School

Attendance Policy and Procedures

Ratification Table:


Approved by:

May Park IEB


Last reviewed on:


Next review due by:



Part 1 Policy: 2

  1. Introduction.. 2
  2. Aims. 2

Effects of non-attendance. 3

  1. Safeguarding and Attendance. 4
  2. Legislation and Guidance. 4

Part 2 What the Law Says and Our School Procedures: 5

  1. Contents of Attendance Register 5
  2. Present at School (and Lateness) 5

Effects of Late Arrival at School 5

  1. Authorised Absence. 6

3.1 Illness. 6

3.2 Medical/Dental Appointments. 7

3.3 Religious Observance. 8

3.4 Traveller Absence. 8

3.5 Exclusions. 8

  1. First Day of Absence Response. 9
  2. Rewarding Good and Improved Attendance. 9
  3. Leave of Absence Requests – ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ 9
  4. Unauthorised Absence. 10
  5. Approved Educational Activity (AEA) 11
  6. Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances (as set out in the law and DfE guidance) 11
  7. Support for Poor School Attendance (other than unauthorised term time leave) 12
  8. Pupils on Part-time Timetables. 13
  9. Penalty Notices and Prosecutions. 13
  10. Children Missing Education (CME) 14
  11. Following up Unexplained Absences. 14
  12. Reporting to Parents. 14
  13. Recording Information on Attendance and Reasons for Absence. 15
  14. Roles and Responsibilities. 15
  15. Policy Monitoring Arrangements. 16
  16. Links with other policies. 17


Part 1 Policy:

1. Introduction

Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence may seriously affect their learning. The Department for Education (DfE) defines a pupil as a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year, for whatever reason.

2. Aims

Our school aims to meet its obligations with regard to school attendance by promoting good attendance; ensuring every pupil has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled; and acting early to address patterns of absence through offering support to the whole family.

This policy sets out our school’s position on attendance and details the procedures that all parents[1] must follow to report their child absent from school.

It is vital that children develop regular attendance habits at an early age. Therefore the school will encourage parents of Nursery children, and Reception children who are not yet compulsory school age, to send their children to every session that is available to them. If the child is unable to attend the school for any reason, the parent should inform the school of the reason on the first day of absence. If the school is concerned about a pupil’s attendance for any reason, we will contact the parent to discuss the matter, in the first instance.

We will also support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory[2] school age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending lessons.

We want our pupils to attend school every day, unless they are really not well enough to. We believe that children who attend school regularly are more likely to feel settled in school, maintain friendships, keep up with their learning and gain the greatest benefit from their education. We want all our pupils to enjoy school, grow up to become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential. Regular attendance and punctuality is essential in the workplace and children who are used to attending school on time, and on every occasion unless they are too unwell to attend, will be better prepared for the attendance expectations in the workplace.

In April 2017 the Supreme Court clarified the definition of regular attendance to be attendance “in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school”, therefore if an absence is not authorised by the school, the pupil’s attendance is deemed to be irregular.

We will do all we can to encourage our pupils to attend. We will also make the best provision we can for any pupil who needs additional support in school or who is prevented from attending school, due to a medical condition.

Please see DfE guidance documents ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions - December 2015’ and ‘Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs- January 2013’ – or ask the school for printed copies.

We believe that one of the most important factors in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school. To this end, we strive to make our school a happy and rewarding experience for all children, and to foster positive and mutually respectful relationships with parents.

By promoting good attendance and punctuality we aim to:

  • Make good attendance and punctuality a priority for all those involved in the school community
  • Raise our pupils’ awareness of the importance of good attendance and punctuality
  • Provide support, advice and guidelines to parents, pupils and staff
  • Work in partnership with parents
  • Celebrate and reward good attendance and punctuality



Effects of non-attendance

The table below indicates how what might seem like just a few days absence can result in children missing a significant number of lessons.

Attendance during school year

Days lost in a year

Which is approximately

Approximate number of lessons missed


9.5 Days

2 Weeks

50 Lessons


19 Days

4 Weeks

100 Lessons

3. Safeguarding and Attendance

Our school will monitor trends and patterns of absence for all pupils as a part of our standard procedures. However, we are aware that sudden or gradual changes in a pupil’s attendance may indicate additional or more extreme safeguarding issues. In line with government guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018 version, or as updated by the DfE) we will investigate and report any suspected safeguarding cases on to the relevant authorities. As part of our safeguarding duty and our standard procedures, we will inform the Local Authority and/or the Police of the details of any pupil who is absent from school when the school cannot establish their whereabouts and is concerned for the pupil’s welfare. (Please see our school’s Safeguarding Policy for more information.)

4. Legislation and Guidance

This policy meets the requirements of the 2018 school attendance guidance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s 2015 statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:

  • The Education Act 1996
  • The Education Act 2002
  • The Education and Inspections Act 2006
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016
  • The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.


Part 2 What the Law Says and Our School Procedures:

1. Contents of Attendance Register

The law makes it clear that schools must take the attendance register at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session. On each occasion the school must record whether each pupil is:

  • Present;
  • Absent;
  • Attending an approved educational activity; or,
  • Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances.

2. Present at School (and Lateness)

Pupils are marked present if they are in school when the register is taken. If a pupil leaves the school premises after registration they are still counted as present for statistical purposes.

It is the duty of parents to ensure that children attend school on time. This encourages habits of good timekeeping and lessens any possible classroom disruption. The Attendance manager will meet with parents of those children who are frequently late arriving at school to investigate reasons and suggest solutions such as breakfast club, to enable more punctual attendance.

Our pupils must arrive by 8.50 am on each school day.

Our morning register is taken at 9.00 am and will be kept open until 9.10 am

Our afternoon register is taken at 1.00 pm for years R,1 2 and 3  and 1.30 pm for years 4,  5 and 6

A pupil who arrives late but before the register has closed will be marked as late (L) – which counts as present.

A pupil who arrives late after the registers close will be marked as absent. If the pupil is late arriving due to a valid reason such as an unavoidable medical appointment, the absence will be authorised. If the pupil is late for no good reason they will be marked with the unauthorised absence code ‘Late after registers close’ (U). See DfE Attendance Codes – Appendix One.

Effects of Late Arrival at School

When a child arrives late to school, they miss important events like assembly, teacher instructions and introductions. Children often also feel embarrassed at having to enter the classroom late.

The table below indicates how frequent lateness can add up to a considerable amount of learning being lost. This can seriously disadvantage children and disrupt the learning of others.

Minutes late per Day

Equates to Days of Teaching Lost in one Year

Which means this number of lessons missed

5 mins

3 Days

15 Lessons

10 mins

6 Days

30 Lessons

15 mins

9 Days

45 Lessons

3. Authorised Absence

‘Authorised absence’ means that the school has either given approval in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be away from the school, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as justification for absence.

The following information outlines the main circumstances where absence may be authorised by the school:

3.1 Illness

In most cases, absences for illness which are reported by following the school’s absence reporting procedures will be authorised. That is unless the school has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness.



The school follows the DfE School Attendance Guidance which states that if the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the school may ask the parent to provide medical evidence, such as a prescription, appointment card, or other appropriate form of evidence. We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily. In some instances the school may ask the parent to obtain a letter from a GP.

If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

Where a pupil has a high level and/or frequency of absence, the school may require medical evidence of some description in order to authorise any future medical absences. If this is the case, the school will make the parent/s aware of this expectation in advance.

The reporting of absence due to illness remains the responsibility of the parent. Absences due to illness which have not been reported to the school by the parent on the first day of absence may not be authorised.

Parents must ring school on the absence line 0117 903 0075 (press option 1 to leave a message and report the reason for their child’s absence)

If a child is absent for more than one day, the parent should contact the school each day to provide an update on the child’s condition, unless otherwise agreed by the school.


Mental Health and Wellbeing

Parents who have concerns about their child’s mental wellbeing can contact our school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead for further information on the support available.

Parents should also contact their GP or the NHS Helpline by phoning telephone number 111 for advice if they are concerned. In case of emergency parents should dial 999.


Pupils taken ill during the school day

If a pupil needs to be sent home due to illness, this should be by agreement with an appropriately authorised member of school staff. In such circumstances, the pupil must be collected from the school office by a parent or another authorised adult, and signed out in the ‘signing out’ book. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school site without parental confirmation.

3.2 Medical/Dental Appointments

Parents must always try to make appointments outside of school hours wherever possible. Where appointments during school time are unavoidable, the pupil should only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment. It is not acceptable for a child to miss a whole day’s schooling for an appointment, unless absolutely necessary, in which case the school will need an explanation as to why this is.

If a pupil must attend a medical appointment during the school day, they must be collected from the school office by the parent or another authorised adult, and signed out in the ‘signing out’ book. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school site without parental confirmation.

Advance notice is required for medical or dental appointments, unless it’s an emergency appointment, and must be supported by providing the school with sight of, or a copy of, the appointment card or letter – only then will the absence be authorised.

3.3 Religious Observance

Our school acknowledges the multi-faith nature of the school community and recognises that on some occasions, religious festivals may fall outside of school holidays or weekends. In accordance with the law, the school will authorise two day’s absence for a day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parent belongs. Should any additional days be taken, these will be recorded in the register as unauthorised absence. If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body, to confirm whether the day is set apart.

3.4 Traveller Absence

The school will authorise the absence of a Traveller pupil of no fixed abode who is unable to attend school because they are travelling with their parent who is engaged in a trade or business of such a nature as to require him to travel from place to place. This is subject to certain limits, depending on the child’s age and number of sessions absent. The school will discuss cases individually with Traveller parents as necessary. Parents should let the school know of their plans as far in advance as possible. Authorised Traveller absence will be recorded appropriately in the register.

To help ensure continuity of education for Traveller children, wherever possible, the child should attend school elsewhere when their family is travelling for occupational purposes. In which case the child will be dual registered at that school and this school, which is their ‘main’ school.

Children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities whose families do not travel for occupational purposes are expected to register at school and attend as normal. They are subject to the same rules as other children in terms of the requirement to attend school regularly.

3.5 Exclusions

If the school decides to send a pupil home due to their behaviour, this will be recorded as an Exclusion. The school will follow the current DfE’s statutory guidance on exclusions.

Any exclusion must be agreed by the headteacher.

The school will notify the parent of the exclusion. If the pupil is a Child in Care, the school will notify the pupil’s carer, social worker and the HOPE Virtual School. In other instances, where a pupil is open to Children’s Social Care for any reason, the school will also inform their allocated social worker.

The pupil must be collected from the school office by the parent or another authorised adult, and signed out in the ‘signing out’ book. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school site without parental confirmation.



4. First Day of Absence Response

If a child is absent and there has not been contact made by a parent/carer, a first day text is sent which is followed later that morning by a phone call. The main parent/carer will be called first however, all other contact numbers will be called if the main parent/carer cannot be reached. If the school is unsuccessful at making contact with the parent/carer or any other listed contact, a home visit will be triggered, taking into account historical attendance and any safeguarding concerns.

At admission to the school a minimum of three emergency telephone numbers are collected per child. Subsequently this is updated biannually.

If the school is unable to contact any of the emergency numbers provided, and is concerned for the welfare of the pupil, we may request a Welfare Check from the police.

On any given day, the Attendance manager in conjunction with the Operational Safeguarding Lead and members of SLT will prioritise the home visits as required.


5. Rewarding Good and Improved Attendance


  • Extra ten minutes playtime for any class with 100% attendance. Text to parents. Certificate and stickers.
  • Top three classes in each key stage to be mentioned in the Monday assembly
  • Raffle ticket given weekly by teacher to each child in their class who has 100% attendance and no lates
  • Email with all classes attendance, overall school attendance and running total of year group attendance sent to the whole school staff team to feedback to classes.


  • Year group with the best attendance to receive half an hour in the woods with PS and KP supporting. Teachers receive half an hour extra PPA time.
  • Individuals with 100% attendance – names displayed on boards, receive a certificate and parents a text
  • Best class attendance to receive a reward cup
  • One child drawn from raffle in each class. Each winner to have squash and biscuits with SLT


  • Whole school and every class overall attendance displayed in the foyer
  • Standing item on the newsletter


6. Leave of Absence Requests – ‘Exceptional Circumstances’

The law does not grant parents the automatic right to take their child out of school during term time.

Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence. The school will consider each application individually, taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request. The request must be made by the parent with whom the child normally lives, and permission must be sought in advance. The school will not grant leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. The school must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances, based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case; following consultation with other staff as required, including the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Where a leave of absence is granted, the school will determine the number of days the pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the school’s discretion.

Circumstances which could be authorised include significant family emergencies or funerals. However, parents will also be aware that, wherever possible, it can be better for children to continue to attend school normally during difficult family times.

Parents should complete a Leave of Absence Request form which is available from the school). The request should be submitted as soon as it is anticipated; and wherever possible, at least four weeks before the absence. Although such absence may be unauthorised, it is better that we know your child is safe, rather than missing. Please be aware that you may be required to provide us with additional evidence in order to support your request. If we have any concerns about possible safeguarding risks such as risk of FGM or Forced Marriage we will follow the necessary protocols. (Please see our school’s Safeguarding Policy for more information.)

7. Unauthorised Absence

Unauthorised absence is where a school is not satisfied with the reasons given for the absence.

Absence will be unauthorised if a pupil is absent from school without the permission of the school. Whilst parents can provide explanations for absences, it is the school’s decision whether to authorise the absence or not.

Unauthorised absence includes:

  • Absences which have never been properly explained
  • Pupils who arrive at school too late to get a mark
  • Shopping
  • Birthdays
  • Waiting at home for a washing machine to be mended, or a parcel to be delivered
  • Day trips
  • Long weekends and holidays in term time (unless very exceptional circumstances are agreed in writing, in advance by the school)
  • In the case of term time leave - if a pupil is kept away from school longer than was agreed, the additional absence is unauthorised

Unauthorised absences may result in Legal Sanctions, usually Penalty Notices or Prosecutions.

8. Approved Educational Activity (AEA)

When pupils are attending educational activities off the school site that have been approved by the school, the register will be marked to show this is the case. (See DfE 2016 School Attendance guidance document (link in the Legislation and Guidance section, or at the end of this policy, or ask the school for a printed copy.) If a pupil is attending an alternative education provider such as another school, or Pupil Referral Unit, for part or all of their education, our school will make arrangements for the pupil to be dual registered at the other setting and mark our registers accordingly.

If a pupil is attending an alternative education provider, which is not a school or Pupil Referral Unit, for part or all of their education, we will mark the sessions which the pupil attends the alternative setting as code B (off-site educational activity). The school expects the alternative provider (AP) to notify us of any absences by individual pupils, to ensure we become aware of any attendance concerns as soon as possible and take follow up action as necessary. Attendance updates will be provided on a daily basis.

Any attendance concerns will be followed up by us, in conjunction with the AP.

9. Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances (as set out in the law and DfE guidance)

In accordance with DfE school attendance guidance, our school will record pupils as ‘Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances’ in the following circumstances (such circumstances are not recorded as absences):

  • Our school site, or part of it, is closed due to an unavoidable cause
  • The transport provided by our school or the Local Authority is not available and the pupil’s home is not within statutory walking distance. (See the DfE’s ‘Home to school travel and transport’ guidance document, or ask the school for a printed copy.)
  • A local or national emergency has resulted in widespread disruption to travel which has prevented the pupil from attending school.
  • The pupil is in custody, but still on the school roll. (If the school has evidence that the pupil is attending educational activities we can record those sessions as ‘present at approved educational activity’.)

10. Support for Poor School Attendance (other than unauthorised term time leave)

Sometimes pupils can be reluctant to attend school. We encourage parents and pupils to be open and honest with us about the reason for the pupil’s absence. If a child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or for a parent to give in to pressure to let the child stay at home. This can give the impression to the child that attendance does not matter and can make things worse. As a school, we need to understand the reasons why a pupil is reluctant to attend in order to be able to support pupils and parents in the best way.

When we have concerns about the attendance of a pupil, we will do our best to make the parent/s aware of the concerns about their child’s attendance and give them the opportunity to address this. However, if parents do not make use of the support offered and improve their child’s attendance to an acceptable level, this may result in legal sanctions. Where there are no genuine reasons for the absences, parents may be asked to meet with the Attendance manager to discuss the matter. In some cases, this may result in a formal action plan being produced in the form of an Attendance Contract.

If our school refers a case of poor school attendance to the Local Authority for legal sanctions, we will show that we have warned the parent/s that they are at risk of receiving a Penalty Notice or other legal sanction. This will at least be evidenced via the sending of a warning letter.

We will not usually request legal sanctions from the Local Authority in cases where poor attendance is symptomatic of complex family circumstances. In such circumstances our school will take a holistic approach to the issue, and involve other agencies as necessary. The exception to this will be where parents fail to accept or engage with support offered by the school and/or other agencies, or fail to implement the suggested changes. Again, when referring for legal sanctions, we will show that we have warned the parent/s that they are at risk of receiving a Penalty Notice or other legal sanction.

If our school has safeguarding concerns about a pupil who is absent we will share information with other agencies as we deem necessary.

11. Pupils on Part-time Timetables

Pupils are entitled to a full-time education, suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and any special educational needs or disabilities that they may have.

If, for any reason, our school is unable to provide a pupil with a full-time education due to the pupil’s needs, we will work with the pupil, parent and other agencies where appropriate, to come to a mutually convenient arrangement. Any part-time timetables will be for the shortest amount of time possible, whilst arrangements are made to support the pupils’ return to a full-time timetable.

12. Penalty Notices and Prosecutions

Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child attends school on a regular basis. It is a criminal offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 to fail to secure regular attendance of a registered pupil at the school. This applies to both resident and non-resident parents who may both be subject to legal sanctions if their child fails to attend school regularly. It also applies to others who may not be the parent, but may have day to day care of the child.

Unauthorised absence from school can result in a number of different outcomes for parents and children. Each case is considered individually.

Under section 444 of the Education Act 1996, if a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school, fails to attend regularly at the school his/her parent(s) are guilty of an offence. Parents with more than one school aged child need to be aware that each child’s irregular attendance is dealt with as a separate matter.

The school will refer cases of unauthorised absence that meet the threshold for a Penalty Notice to the Local Authority for legal action, unless there are reasonable grounds for not doing so. The outcome of a referral to the Local Authority may be a Penalty Notice or Prosecution.

Penalty Notices are intended as a sanction for low level offences and a tool to support improved school attendance. They are an alternative to prosecution, and may not be issued if prosecution is considered to be a more appropriate response to a pupil’s irregular attendance.

A pupil's irregular attendance (which includes unauthorised absence from school) could result in one of the following:

  1. A Penalty Notice. The penalty is £60 payable within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. (Failure to pay will result in prosecution.)

Prosecution could lead to fines up to £2500 and /or 3 months imprisonment. (See link to the DfE’s statutory guidance on ‘School attendance parental responsibility measuresand Bristol City Council’s Penalty Notice Code of Conduct, available here: or ask the school for printed copies.)

Penalty Notices and prosecution proceedings are issued to each parent with responsibility for the child and are issued for each child with irregular attendance. For example, in the case of Penalty Notices, if two siblings had irregular school attendance, and there were two parents with responsibility for the children, four Penalty Notices would be issued. Penalty Notices cannot be paid in instalments.

13. Children Missing Education (CME)

Our school will add and delete pupils from roll in line with the law. The school will follow Bristol City Council’s Children Missing Education guidance, and make CME and Pupil Tracking referrals as appropriate. The school will seek advice from the Children Missing Education Officer if unsure about any individual cases:

14. Following up Unexplained Absences

On the first day of absence the family will be contacted by text followed by a phone call and a possible home visit. In the majority of cases the child will have been located and a conversation occurred with a significant adult. On day two the actions above would be repeated followed by further investigations for example, talking to neighbours or class mates. On the third day of unexplained absence school follows the EWO guidance for CME.

15. Reporting to Parents


A weekly text message to all parents with the whole school attendance and top 3 classes

A weekly text message is sent home for classes that reach 100%

Display in reception for all parents



At the end of each term the year group with the highest attendance get an extra play. A text message is sent to those parents.

At the end of every term children with attendance lower than 95% have a letter sent home asking parents/carers to come into school to discuss.

Positive letters for children with Attendance over 95%

Where a child’s attendance is persistently low, parents are invited into school so we can find ways to resolve and improve before EWO intervention

A text message to all parents with the overall attendance for the school and top 3 classes.

100 club – names listed in reception for all parents to see.

16. Recording Information on Attendance and Reasons for Absence

All attendance is recorded on the SIMS system. This is monitored regularly throughout the day by the Attendance Manager who adjusts the codes as required to reflect the correct reason for absence. Individual comments and notes are recorded as necessary on the attendance register.

17. Roles and Responsibilities

Attendance is everybody’s responsibility but an in-depth overview is completed daily by the Attendance Manager and any concerns raised with the Assistant Head teacher for Behaviour/Pastoral.

The Attendance Manager in collaboration with the Operational safeguarding lead and Assistant Head teacher for Behaviour/Pastoral meet regularly to discuss support needed for vulnerable groups. These are identified using historical data and communicating effectively with the Operational Safeguarding Lead and Assistant Head teacher Behaviour/Pastoral.

The Attendance manager will monitor trends and patterns of continued poor attendance. Any attendance concerns will be supported by

  • Meeting with Parents
  • Termly letters of attendance below 95%
  • Daily calls/Text
  • Persistent poor attendance ref to EWO


The Governing Board

The governing board is responsible for monitoring attendance figures for the whole school on at least a termly basis. It also holds the head teacher to account for the implementation of this policy.

Link Governor for Attendance is ………….

The Head Teacher

The Head Teacher is responsible for ensuring this policy is implemented consistently across the school, and for monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to governors.

The Head Teacher also supports other staff in monitoring the attendance of individual pupils and issues fixed-penalty notices, where necessary.

Assistant Head Teacher for Behaviour/Pastoral and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Both work in conjunction with the Attendance manger to ensure that persistent absenteeism is closely monitored, safeguarding procedures are followed and all vulnerable groups effectively supported.

Attendance Manager

Monitors attendance data at whole school, year group, KS and individual pupil level and reports on this data.

Reports concerns about attendance to the Assistant Head Teacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) as appropriate.

Arranges calls and meetings with parents to discuss attendance issues.

Co-ordinates requests for Term-time Leave of Absence (this includes liaison with the DSL and Safeguarding Team) and advises the Head Teacher as requested.


Class Teachers/Form Tutors

Class teachers are responsible for recording attendance on a daily basis, using the correct codes, and submitting this information to the Attendance Manager. The class teachers are responsible for motivating their children and raising the profile and importance of attendance. They may do this by for example challenging parents on absences and informing the children their attendance percentage, reminding the class and individuals of the reward system in place.

Office Staff

School office staff are able to support the Attendance manager by taking calls and messages from parents about absence.

18. Policy Monitoring Arrangements

This policy will be reviewed yearly by the Attendance Manager and Assistant Head Teacher, or more frequently if there are changes to legislation and guidance. At every review, the policy will be shared with the governing body.

19. Links with other policies

This policy is linked to our safeguarding policy.




Guidance Documents:

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (DfE December 2015)

Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school (DfE January 2013)

Keeping children safe in education (DfE September 2018)

School Attendance (DfE September 2018)

School attendance parental responsibility measures (DfE January 2015)

School census 2017 to 2018 (DfE May 2018)

School Exclusion (DfE September 2017)

Home to school travel and transport guidance (DfE July 2014)

Children Missing Education Guidance (Bristol City Council January 2018)

Education Penalty Notice Code of Conduct (Bristol City Council September 2018)

Appendix 1 – Department for Education (DfE) Attendance Codes





Present (AM)



Present (PM)



Educated off site (NOT Dual registration)

Approved Education Activity


Other Authorised Circumstances (not covered by another appropriate code/description)

Authorised absence


Dual registration (i.e. present at another school or PRU)

Not counted in possible attendances


Excluded (no alternative provision made)

Authorised absence


Family holiday (NOT agreed or days in excess of agreement)

Unauthorised absence


Family holiday (agreed)

Authorised absence


Illness (NOT medical or dental etc. appointments)

Authorised absence



Approved Education Activity


Late (before registers closed)



Medical/Dental appointments

Authorised absence


No reason yet provided for absence

Unauthorised absence


Other unauthorised absence (not covered by other codes or descriptions)

Unauthorised absence


Approved sporting activity

Approved Education Activity


Day set aside exclusively for religious observance

Authorised absence


Study leave

Authorised absence


Traveller absence

Authorised absence


Late and arrived after the registers closed

Unauthorised absence


Educational visit or trip

Approved Education Activity


Work experience (not work based training)

Approved Education Activity


Un-timetabled sessions for non-compulsory school age pupils

Not counted in possible attendances


Where the school site, or part of it, is closed due to unavoidable cause; or the transport provided by the school or local authority for pupils (who do not live with walking distance) is not available; or where a local or national emergency has resulted in widespread disruption to travel which has prevented the pupil from attending school; or a pupil is detained in custody for less than four months.

Not counted in possible attendances


Pupil not yet on roll

Not counted in possible attendances


School closed to all pupils

Not counted in possible attendances



[1] Education law defines parents as: all natural parents, whether they are married or not; any person who has parental responsibility for a child or young person; and any person who has care of a child or young person i.e. lives with and looks after the child. In this policy the term ‘parent’ includes parents and carers.


[2] A child becomes of ‘compulsory school age’ on the 1st January, 1st April or 1st September following their 5th birthday and ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June of Year 11.