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How does the school encourage good attendance and punctuality?



At Oakfield Primary School we recognise that positive behaviour and good attendance are essential in order to raise standards of pupil attainment and to give every child / young person the best educational experience possible. The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent / carer to make sure their child receives that education. Parents / carers have duty to make sure that their children attend school, on time, every day. The only exceptional circumstances are that they are too ill to attend or have been given permission for an absence in advance from the school.


Our Attendance and Punctuality Policy has been written in line with guidance from the DfE and underpins our school ethos to:

  • promote children’s welfare and safeguarding;
  • ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
  • ensure that pupils succeed whilst at school;
  • ensure that pupils have access to the widest possible range of opportunities at school, and when they leave school.


To help us all to focus on this we will:

  • give parents / carers details on attendance in our newsletters;
  • celebrate excellent attendance by displaying and reporting individual and class achievements;
  • report good or improving attendance;
  • report to parents / carers regularly on their child’s attendance;
  • contact parents / carers should their child’s attendance fall below the school’ target for attendance.


Unauthorised absence includes, however is not exhaustive:

  • parents / carers keeping children off school unnecessarily, e.g. because they had a late night or for non-infectious illness or injury that would not affect their ability to learn;
  • absences which have never been properly explained;
  • children who arrive at school after the close of registration are marked using a ‘U’/ This indicates that they are in school for safeguarding purposes, however, is counted as an absence for the session;
  • shopping trips;
  • looking after other children or children accompanying siblings or parents to medical appointments;
  • their own or family birthdays;
  • holidays taken during term time without leave, not deemed ‘for exceptional purposes’ by the Headteacher may result in the school applying to the local authority to issue a penalty notice or, if you have previously been issued a Penalty Notice, the school may request a direct prosecution by the local authority.
  • day trips;
  • other leave of absence in term time which has not been agreed.


Persistent absenteeism (PA)

A child is defined by the Government as a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for any reason, this can be authorised or unauthorised absence. Absence at this level will cause considerable damage to any child’s education and we need the full support and co-operation of parents / carers to resolve this. If your child is persistently absent we will advise you that your child has been placed on our Persistent Absence register and their attendance will be monitored on a weekly basis until attendance improves.


If a child is absent from school the parent / carer must follow these procedures:

  • Contact the school, by telephone on the first day of absence before 10am. The school has an answer phone available to leave a message if nobody is available to take your call, or you may call into school personally and speak to the office staff. Please do not email.
  • Contact the school on every further day of absence, again before 10am unless advised by the office staff that this is not necessary.
  • Ensure that your child returns to school as soon as possible and you provide any medical evidence, if requested, to support the absence.


If your child is absence and we not received a reason, we will:

  • Telephone or text you on the first, and every subsequent day of absence, if we have not heard from you. However, remember that it is your responsibility to contact us.
  • If we are unable to contact parents by telephone, we will telephone emergency contact numbers and a home visit may be made in the interests of safeguarding. If we are unable to make contact during our home visit we may telephone the Police service to request a welfare check.
  • A referral will be made to the 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 be ‘missing from education’.


There is no legal entitlement for leave during the school term.  A pupil who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% which is below the 96% target we set for all Oakfield pupils.  10 days absence also means the pupil will miss 62 hours 30 mins of education in Key Stage 1 and 64 hours 10 minutes in Key Stage 2. 


As from 1st September 2013, the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 amended Regulation 7 prohibits Headteachers from granting any leave of absences to pupils, except where advance application has been made by the parent / carer and the Headteacher agrees that the absence will be an exceptional circumstance.

‘The current law does not give any entitlement to parents / carers to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must be in exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave. Parents / carers can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school’.


When deciding upon any absence requests, the Headteacher will consider:

· The reason for the request and the exceptional circumstances

· The last 12 weeks prior attendance.

· The dates your child will be absent particularly if they fall within the                  period of statutory assessments.  NB. During the month of May there are          SATs tests for Year 2 and 6 and this is also a key assessment period

  throughout the school when teachers finalise their teacher assessments.


NB. If the absence is not authorised and the absence is taken anyway, the case will be referred to the Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent / carer for each child taken out of school.


We work in partnership with parents / carers to resolve issues, which affect attendance and punctuality, as quickly as possible.