Good attendance and punctuality are vital for success at school, and to establish positive life habits that are necessary for future success.
Through regular attendance pupils can.
- Build friendships and develop social groups
- Develop life skills
- Engage in essential learning and other school social events
- Achieve to their full potential
- Minimise the risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour
You must make sure your child gets a full-time education that meets their needs (for example if they have special educational needs). You can send your child to school or educate them yourself.
Children must get an education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.
You’ll be contacted by either:
- the school – if your child is enrolled in school and does not turn up (even if they’re only absent for a day)
- the council’s education welfare officer – if they think your child is not getting a suitable education at home
When your child can be absent from school
When you register your child at school, you have a legal duty to ensure your child attends that school regularly. This means that your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless:
- Your child is too ill to attend that day.
- You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances.
- Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in religious observance
- Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet; or
- You are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode, and you are required to travel for work that day meaning your child cannot attend their usual school. In most circumstances, however, your child is required to attend another school temporarily during such absences.
These are the only circumstances where schools can permit your child to be absent.
Can I take my child on holiday during term time?
Parents should plan their holidays around school breaks and avoid requesting leaves of absence for holidays during term time.
Leave of absence is only granted in exceptional circumstances.
What are exceptional circumstances?
The school will not authorise term time holidays, unless the reason for leave of absence is exceptional.
Exceptional circumstances are one off events which are unavoidable, examples may include the death of a close relative, attendance at a funeral, a housing crisis which prevents attendance. The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request.
Term times are for education. This is our priority at St Mary’s Primary School. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays
Is my child too ill for school?
It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school when they’re unwell.
There are government guidelines for schools and nurseries about managing specific infectious diseases at GOV.UK. These say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn’t.
If you do keep your child at home, it’s important to phone the school on the first day and let us know that your child won’t be in and give us the reason.
If your child is well enough to go to school but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let their teacher know.
Follow this advice for other illnesses:
Coughs and colds
Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has a high temperature, keep them off school until it goes away.
If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all the spots have crusted over.
This is usually about 5 days after the spots first appeared.
There’s no need to keep your child off school if they have a cold sore.
Encourage them not to touch the blister or kiss anyone while they have the cold sore, or to share things like cups and towels.
You don’t need to keep your child away from school if they have conjunctivitis.
Do get advice from your pharmacist. Encourage your child not to rub their eyes and to wash their hands regularly.
If your child has mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, and feels well enough, they can go to school.
Your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either:
- have a high temperature
- do not feel well enough to go to school or do their normal activities
If your child has an ear infection and a high temperature or severe earache, keep them off school until they’re feeling better or their high temperature goes away.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease but seems well enough to go to school, there is no need to keep them off.
Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues straight away and to wash their hands regularly.
Head lice and nits
There’s no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.
You can treat head lice and nits without seeing a GP.
If your child has impetigo, they will need treatment from a GP, often with antibiotics.
Keep them off school until all the sores have crusted over and healed, or for 48 hours after they start antibiotic treatment.
Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and not to share things like towels and cups with other children at school.
If your child has ringworm, see your pharmacist unless it is on their scalp, in which case you should see a GP.
It’s fine for your child to go to school once they have started treatment.
If your child has scarlet fever, they will need treatment with antibiotics from a GP. Otherwise they’ll be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks.
Your child can go back to school 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
Slapped cheek syndrome (fifth disease)
You don’t need to keep your child off school if they have slapped cheek syndrome because, once the rash appears, they’re no longer infectious.
But let the school or teacher know if you think your child has slapped cheek syndrome.
You can still send your child to school if they have a sore throat. But if they also have a high temperature, they should stay at home until it goes away. A sore throat and a high temperature can be symptoms of tonsillitis.
You don’t need to keep your child off school if they have threadworms. Speak to your pharmacist, who can recommend a treatment.
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school until they have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days (48 hours).
If a pupil takes too much time off school they will be categorised as Persistently Absent (PA)
Attendance of 90% or less = Persistent Absence
School Leaders, alongside the Attendance Officer, regularly monitor the attendance of all pupils in our school. When a pupil falls below 90%, our formal monitoring process for persistent absence will be followed. Please see flow chart below that shows this process.