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Attendance and Absence

Please see our Attendance Policy for full details of our expectations and processes.

Why is attendance important?

  • Promotes children’s welfare and safeguarding
  • Enables pupils to access the widest possible range of opportunities
  • 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?

There is a link between good attendance, attainment and progress.  96% attendance is regarded as minimum expectation by the Government.  Parents/carers are legally responsible for ensuring their child attends school on time every day.

What can you 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 sleep each night.
  • Talk about the importance of regular attendance and how your child feels about school.
  • 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 their learning
  • miss opportunities to socialise with their friends at the start of the school day

10 minutes late every day = over 30 hours lost learning each year

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. 


Your child can attend school with minor ailments such as toothache, headache, stomach ache, cold, sore throat.  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.  If you don’t, someone from school will contact you.  This is a safeguarding mechanism.

Unauthorised Leave in Term Time 

Requests for absence, including medical appointments, must be made via the school office.

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

Is your child a persistent absentee?

If your child’s attendance falls below 90% they are considered to be a persistent absentee.

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

If persistent absenteeism does occur it may result in a referral to the Pupil Investigation Team at West Sussex Children Services.