Attendance & punctuality

It is a rule of this school that pupils must attend every day, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

We’re grateful to parents and carers for sharing our goal for all pupils to be in school and on time every day. If you would like support to get your child to school on time, please speak to Lucy Simpkin in the school office on 01245 354517. Furthermore you can call Mrs Gilbert on 01245 354517 and selecting option 2 if you would like more support with issues affecting your child(ren) attending school regularly. (View our full attendance policy)

Our school attendance target is 95%. To help us achieve this, we will: 

  • share details about attendance in our newsletters with parents / carers,
  • celebrate excellent attendance by displaying class achievements, 
  • reward good or improving attendance, 
  • meet with parents / carers should their child’s attendance fall below the school’s target for attendance.

In order to maintain attendance above 95%, children must accumulate less than 9.5 days’ absence in the academic year.

  1. Contact Lucy Simpkin in the school office by emailing or calling 01245 354 517 Option 4 before 9am. 
  1. Provide a reason for the absence. 
  1. Indicate when the child will return to school. 

The headteacher may authorise an absence for a morning or afternoon away from school for a reason such as genuine illness, medical or dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time or emergencies. We may request medical evidence from you to support the absence if appropriate. 

  • holidays,  
  • a late night,  
  • non-infectious illness or injury that would not affect a child’s ability to learn, 
  • their own or family birthdays,  
  • being late (after registration closes at 9:15am),  
  • day trips,  
  • looking after other children,  
  • accompanying siblings or parents to medical appointments. 

If you’re concerned your child might be feeling too unwell for school, we encourage you to bring them in and we will monitor their wellness during the day. The school office will ring you if they need to come home.  

  1. If the gates are closed, press the buzzer at the car park gates to be given access into school and make your way to the school office with your child/ren.  
  1. Press the buzzer outside the front door to be given access and sign your child in using the touchscreen.  
  1. For children who walk alone, the office may contact a parent/carer to confirm information. 

Speak to any member of staff at the school gates if you have trouble arriving to school on time. Remember: 

  • School gates open: 8:30am  
  • Class doors open: 8:40am 
  • Class doors close: 8:45am 
  • Telephone or text you. 
  • If you don’t answer your phone, we will phone your emergency contact numbers. 
  • If we still can’t reach you, we will come to your home address for safeguarding reasons. 
  • Write to you if your child’s attendance is below 95%, or when punctuality is a concern. 
  • Invite you into school to discuss the situation with our Pastoral Support Worker, or Senior Leader if absences persist. Family attendance will be considered and the school may put in place a Family Plan to support in this instance.  
  • Create a personalised action/support plan to address any barriers to attendance. 
  • Offer signposting support to other agencies or services if appropriate. 
  • A referral will be made to Local Authority if no contact has been made with parents by the 10th day of absence (or sooner if deemed appropriate), at which point your child will be “missing from education.”  

By law all children of compulsory school age must receive an appropriate full-time education (Education Act 1996).  Parents have a legal duty to ensure their child attends school regularly at the school at which they are registered.  

The school will refer to the Local Authority for sanctions and/or legal proceedings for any 10 consecutive unauthorised sessions (1 school day = 2 sessions) or for any 10 unauthorised sessions within 10 weeks. This may include issuing each parent with a Penalty Notice for £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days or referring the matter to the Magistrates Court whereby each parent may receive a fine up to £2500 and/or up to 3 months in prison. If a parent is found guilty in court, they will receive a criminal conviction. Due to the importance of pupils settling into school at the commencement of the school year, Penalty Notices may also be issued if there have been at least 6 consecutive sessions of unauthorised absence during the first two calendar weeks of September due to a term-time holiday. 

Families are permitted to request a ‘Leave of Absence’ due to exceptional circumstances. 

Only the headteacher or his/her designate (not the local authority) may authorise such a request and all applications for a leave of absence must be made in writing using the prescribed form. The Leave of Absence form can be obtained from the school office. If a parent removes a child when the application for leave was refused, or when no application was made to the school, a penalty notice may be requested by the school in accordance with the Essex Code of Conduct. 

Exceptional circumstances carry unique and significant emotional, educational, or spiritual value to the child, which outweigh the loss of teaching time (as determined by the headteacher). The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are events that are “rare, significant, unavoidable and short”. By ‘unavoidable’, we mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time, outside of school term time. 

We will not consider applications for leave: 

  • at any time in September. This is very important as your child needs to settle into their new class at the start of the academic year as quickly as possible. 
  • During assessment and test periods in the school’s calendar affecting your child,   
  • when a pupil’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence or they have already been granted authorised leave within that academic year.  

If leave of absence is authorised, the school will not provide work for children to do during their absence.  Parents are encouraged to continue reading with their children daily and encourage them to write a diary while they are away. 

Nationally, the higher the percentage of sessions missed in KS2, the lower the level of attainment is at the end of KS2. (Source: The link between absence and attainment at KS2 and KS4, May 2022)

Among pupils with no missed sessions over KS2, 83.9% achieved the expected standard compared to 40.2% of pupils who were persistently absent. 

Graph showing overall attainment in reading, writing and maths at the end of KS2 by percentage of sessions missed over KS2 in 2019

If you’re concerned your child might be feeling too unwell for school, we encourage you to bring them in and we will monitor their wellness during the day. The school office will ring you if they need to come home.  

The NHS offers advice on childhood illnesses and whether they can come to school. Visit:

Parents/carers can find detailed information and guidance about medicines on school premises in our Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions policy. The school will only administer medicines when absolutely necessary decided on an individual basis.

If a parent/carer feels it is necessary for a child to receive medication (such as Calpol) during the school day, the parent/carer is always welcome to come into school to administer the dosage.