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Attendance & Absence

Why is attendance important?

  • There is a link between good school attendance and high level attainment.
  • Good attendance promotes children’s welfare and safeguarding.
  • It enables pupils to access the widest possible range of opportunities.
  • It encourages good friendships with peers.

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving your child the best possible start in life and is important to your child’s future.

Did you know…

96% attendance is regarded as minimum satisfaction by the Government. Parents/carers are legally responsible for ensuring their child attends school on time every day.

What you can do to help?

  • Find out what date each term starts and make sure your child is ready.
  • Get as much prepared the evening before to save time in the morning. Check the alarm is set.
  • Build regular routines for bedtime and the morning.  Primary children need about 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Talk about the importance of regular attendance and how your child feels about school.
  • Where possible all medical appointments should be booked outside of school hours.  The amount of disruption to learning time should be kept to a minimum if this is not possible.
  • Try to arrange a back up plan for getting to school if there are unforeseen circumstances.  Ask a family member, neighbour or another parent for help.


Children arriving late may seriously disrupt not only their continuity of learning but also that of others. When pupils arrive late after the close of registers and fail to provide an adequate explanation they are marked as unauthorised for that session. 

If your child is late to school they might:

  • Be embarrassed or unsettled
  • Miss important information
  • Miss the start of the learning
  • Miss opportunities to socialise with their friends at the start of the school day

10 minutes late every day = 36 hours lost learning each year (Over a week of school missed).

Medical Appointments

Where possible all medical appointments should be made outside of school times.  Where this is not possible, disruption to learning should be kept to a minimum. Schools may not authorise the time off if medical evidence is not provided.

Illness - Too ill to attend school?

Your child can attend school with minor ailments such as toothache, headache, stomach ache, cold and sore throats. Over the counter medicines can be given before school.

The school will contact you if your child becomes too ill to remain in school. If your child has diarrhoea or vomiting, they should not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode or symptom.

If you are unsure how long your child should be absent with an illness speak to a member of school staff or your doctor.

Please contact the school every day that your child is unwell.

Unauthorised leave in term time

Children are not entitled to holidays during the school term. Family breaks/holidays should be taken during the holiday periods.

In West Sussex a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) may be issued if:

  •  Your child accrues 10 or more unauthorised absences (5 days) in a 10-week period;
  • You take your child on an unauthorised holiday during the school term and accrue 10 or more absences (5 days).

If  a FPN is issued, the charge is £120 per parent/child, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days.

Persistent Absence

Is your child a persistent absentee?

If your child's attendance falls below 90% they are considered to be a persistent absentee. This equates to missing 2 days a month, or 20 days of a school year.

Statistics prove that persistent absentees are less likely to achieve their full potential, and can effect GSCE results and future employability.

Additional information:

Department of Education -

General questions around school attendance, including the use of penalties can be answered by the Pupil Entitlement: Investigation (PEI)

Telephone: 03302 228200

Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens