Skip to content ↓


Please ensure that your child is punctual as late arrivals often disrupt learning.

Please make sure your child is collected from school on time.

Young children can become very distressed and feel insecure if they are left at school when all the other children have gone home.

If your child is absent from school please let us know on the first day of absence by telephoning or emailing the school office. 

Why is good attendance important?

Good attendance at school is vital for pupils to achieve their full education potential.

Pupils with good attendance records benefit in the following ways:

  • Continuity of learning which makes progress and retention easier
  • Enhanced performance in examinations
  • Continuity of relationships and friendships
  • Good habits are formed for later life

What constitutes good attendance?

Attendance percentages are not like examination results.

An attendance percentage needs to be in the high nineties before it can be considered good.

Consider the following examples:

  • An attendance record of 90% might seem good but is equal to one day missed per fortnight! If this continues from Year 2 to 6 a total of six month’s education will be lost.
  • An attendance record of 80% might seem acceptable but is equal to one day missed per week!! If this continues from Years 2 to 6 a total of one year’s education will be lost.

The Law

Your child is a registered pupil at St. Leonard's Primary School, therefore must attend regularly and punctually.

The Government expects students of Primary school level to have above 95% attendance. The school has a legal duty to report poor attendance to the Local Education Authority. If your child is not attending school regularly, the school will make a referral to the Education Welfare Officer who may visit or write to you.

The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 amended section 444 of the Education Act 1996 to allow parents to be issued with a penalty where they failed to ensure their child of compulsory school age (5-16) and school registered regular attendance.

A penalty notice is initially for £60. If this £60 is not paid within 21 days from the date of issue it rises to £120. If, after 28 days of the date of issue the £120 is not paid we will prosecute the parents under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. This will lead to a hearing in the Magistrates Court and may result in a fine of up to £1,000

As a parent, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly, even if they are missing school without your knowledge. Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996 you as the parent are responsible for ensuring that your child receives full time education.

Being at school

Being at school is a very important part of any young person’s life.

It enables them to learn, to make friends, to gain important knowledge and to develop a variety of skills which will prepare them for adult life. School and parents are partners in making this a success. As parents or carers it is your responsibility to make sure that your child makes the most of this opportunity by attending regularly.

Taking the register

Schools have a legal duty to record the attendance of every pupil or record them absent or late.

The register is called at the beginning of both the morning and afternoon sessions. If a pupil has to leave school for any reason during the school day, school should be informed of this prior to the day. An appointment letter, text, email or slip should be shown to the office on collecting your child.

When the whole class arrives on time and registration can take place smoothly then the day starts off so much better. Although it is better for pupils to be late than not to be in school at all, when they do arrive late they miss out on an important part of the school day. Any pupil arriving late must follow the school’s late procedures signing in at the School Office. Explanation for this lateness should be provided by their parent or carer.

  • 5 minutes late each day equals 3 days lost each year
  • 10 minutes late each day equals 6.5 days lost each year
  • 15 minutes late each day equals 10 days lost each year
  • 20 minutes late each day equals 13 days lost each year
  • 30 minutes late each day equals 19 days lost each

Your child will only be excused from school if a valid medical reason is given or proof of an appointment with doctor or dentist is provided and presented to the school office prior to their appointment.

Absence from School

By law, schools must record absences and the reason given.

You are therefore requested to contact school on every day of your child’s absence by reporting their absence via email or telephone before 9 am.


Family holidays should never be taken during school terms.

Where there are extenuating circumstances, an application should be made to the Headteacher a term in advance. The Headteacher can only authorise absence in exceptional circumstances. Further information is available from the school office.

According to guidelines to schools from the Department of Education, an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:

  • Pupil illness
  • The pupil being unable to attend due to unavoidable causes
  • Religious observance where applicable

 Absences which the school is not able to authorise include:

  • Looking after a relative, pet etc.
  • A shopping trip, even if this is for buying a school uniform
  • Lateness after the register has closed, i.e. after 9:05 am
  • Being unable to participate in a school activity, e.g. school trip
  • Remaining at home to wait for deliveries, repair men etc.
  • Meeting relatives from/taking relatives to the airport
  • A birthday or birthday party

Medical Appointments

  • Parents are expected to make arrangements for medical and dental appointments outside of school hours, unless this is an emergency or a hospital appointment that would be difficult to change.
  • Proof of all medical appointments are required. Please ensure an appointment card, text confirmation/reminder or hospital letter is shown to a member of the office team.

Holiday or other requested leave of absence

  • If you need to take your child out of school for any other reason a Request for Leave of Absence is required to be completed in advance. Holidays will not be authorised. 
  • The Headteacher will give consideration to the circumstances and your child’s current attendance record into consideration before making a decision on whether the reason for absence can be considered as ‘Exceptional Circumstances’.
  • If you need to request an absence please complete our Absence Request Form and hand it to the school office for the Head Teacher’s consideration.