Reviewed: Summer 2020
Governors’ Committee: Teaching and Learning
Responsible Officer: PRINCIPAL
Attendance Team: Principal, PET and Class Teacher

We believe that every person has a fair and equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, ability or cultural or religious background, sexuality or disability. We embrace all aspects of global citizenship and community cohesion, promoting Indian Values throughout all aspects of school life, actively tackling prejudice or extreme views.

This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the well -being of all children and expects our staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Introduction, Ethos and Background

We believe that there is a clear link between attendance and positive outcomes for children and young people. Research findings and learning from best practice shows that:

  • Students must attend regularly to achieve their full potential
  • Students who miss out on school can feel vulnerable and left behind
  • Leave in term time is disruptive and can seriously affect your child’s education.
  • Students who consistently miss 17+ days in a school year lose one full grade
  • Unauthorised absence can lead to prosecution.
The following shows the link between % attendance at school and number of days absent:
  • 98% = Fewer than 4 days absent in one school year.
  • 95% = Fewer than 10 days absent in one school year.
  • 90% = 4 weeks (20 days) absent in one school year.
  • 85% = 5½ weeks (28 days) absent in one school year.
  • 80% = 7½ weeks (38 days) absent in one school year.

Over a period of 5 school years, students with an average attendance of 85‐90% will have missed half a school year of education while students with an average attendance of 80% over the same period will have missed a whole school year.
Our aim is to therefore is to encourage full attendance for all students at Yeadon Westfield Junior School.

We do this by:
  • Creating a warm and welcoming environment
  • Ensuring that students feel safe at all times
  • Developing a strong sense of citizenship within our students
  • Offering a curriculum that engages and inspires
  • Ensuring high quality teaching at all times
  • Encouraging, praising and celebrating achievement and success

This policy outlines the process by which parents/carers can request leave under exceptional circumstances for their children. In addition this policy provides clear procedures regarding absence through illness and the school’s response to illness and absence. This policy follows the latest Government legislation and guidelines and is the culmination of detailed consultation with both SMC and parents.

Roles and Responsibilities

At LRG Public School we are clear that attendance is everybody’s responsibility. By working in partnership with parents, carers, students and other professionals, we seek to ensure every child has an attendance that meets or exceeds the LRG Public School target of 97%. Outlined below are the roles and responsibilities of key staff within school and how they will help to ensure this target is achieved:

Governing Body

The SMC will set policy and monitor attendance and punctuality. The designated governor for attendance and punctuality will support the Principal and Attendance Team to ensure that procedures are followed and parents/carers are clear about their responsibilities.


The Principal will provide a strategic lead throughout the school by line managing key members of staff, ensuring the effective deployment of resources, ensuring compliance with the policy outlined and preparing cases that are being prepared for formal prosecution. The School Administrative Officer, will be responsible for initial data analysis, reporting to the Principal who will support any actions required and report to the Governors..

The Attendance Team

The team (Principal, PET and class teacher ) with the Principal, will have an overview of attendance and priorities within the school over the school year, including punctuality. They will be instrumental in identifying attendance trends for both individuals and cohorts of students. These will be reported to the Principal who will work with the SMC to identify barriers to attendance and develop and implement strategies to help students overcome these barriers. The Attendance Team will ensure attendance remains a priority for staff and children in all classes and will do so through regular communication, sharing of data, supporting difficult cases and rewarding excellent attendance as well as improvements.

The Attendance Team plays a critical role in the management of absence through illness, leave or other means. They are the key point of contact between home and school and will ensure contact is made in all cases on the first day of absence. First day calling is carried out by the Administration Team and followed up by the PET if necessary. School aims to make first day calls by 10 am.
They will ensure that registers are completed and that follow up systems are enacted where there are any concerns.

Class Teacher

Class Teachers have a critical role in supporting their pupils with regards to attendance, punctuality and target setting. As well as taking the register for morning and afternoon registration they should be aware of general attendance patterns, reasons for absence, who the persistent absentees are in their class and support all efforts to improve attendance. The class teacher will be central to monitoring absence notes and liaising with parents. Where appropriate, class teachers will escalate concerns and information with regards to absence.
It is the class teacher’s responsibility to ensure the register is done within the first ten minutes of the morning and afternoon session, without exception.

Supporting Attendance

In order to support great attendance, we will record two attendance sessions a day (AM and PM) and report on student attendance at fixed periods throughout the year. During lessons, we will ensure registers are complete and that all children are accounted for as this is a key part of our safeguarding protocols. Great attendance will be acknowledged and celebrated. Pupils who we feel need to improve their attendance will be set targets and supported in identifying barriers to attendance and, wherever possible, removing or overcoming these barriers.
Attendance data will be used to plan for effective strategies, analyse the impact of the school’s work and identify priorities and areas for improvement. Data will be used to:

  • Monitor individual absence and lateness to school
  • Identify patterns and trends in attendance and punctuality

Identify students who should be celebrated for great attendance or significant improvement

Absence Procedures

If a child is absent the parent/teacher must follow the following procedures:

  • Contact school as soon as possible on the first day of absence (by 9.30am)
  • The school has an answer phone available to leave a message if nobody is available to take the call
  • Or parents/teachers can call into school and report to reception.

If a child is absent school will:

  • Telephone parents/carers on the first day of absence if we have not heard from them;
  • Invite parents/carers in to discuss the situation with the Class Teacher
  • Refer the matter to thePrincipal, where there are ongoing and continued concerns about the impact of absence on your child.


Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, it can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence. Good time keeping is a vital life skill which will help our children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.

How we manage lateness

Preparation for the school day starts at 8.50am when the whistle is blown on the playground and we expect our children to be here ready to come in. The doors are opened and children are expected to be in school with doors closed at 8.55am which is the official time for register at the start of the school day. Registers are marked by 9.05am and a child will receive a late mark in the school diary if they are not in by that time. Any late arrivals must enter school via the front office and children must be signed in by a parent/carer with the reason for lateness recorded.

At 9.30am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if a child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence for that session unless evidence can be shown for example, that there has been an emergency such as a visit to the Doctors.
If a child has a persistent late record parents/carers will be asked to meet with the Principal to resolve the problem, but parents/teachers can approach school at any time if they are having problems getting their child to school on time.

Term Time Absence and Requests for Leave

Parents/Carers do not have the right to remove their children from school during term time without prior permission and agreement by the Principal or those granted that level of authorisation by the Principal. In the event of exceptional circumstances parents may request leave during term time in writing and using an Exceptional Circumstances request form available from the school office. Each application will be considered by the Principal who will decide whether or not the absence is to be authorised and the number of days. Please note leave will not be considered retrospectively.
In the event that unauthorised leave is taken, then the school may consider a fixed penalty fine.

School Responses to Absence

At LRG Public School we value great attendance and work in close partnership with parents and teachers to ensure every child is accessing their education. As with every school, we make a distinction between ‘authorised absence’ and ‘unauthorised absence’. Below are some examples of both, but please be aware this list is not exhaustive:

Authorised Absence Unauthorised absence
  • Medical appointment (with letter)
  • Family bereavement
  • Religious observance (2 days max)
  • Unexplained absences
  • Family holiday in term time
  • Truancy
  • Birthdays

Our responses to non-attendance are evidence based and intended to be implemented at the point of most impact. Below are the key stages for parents and carers to be aware of:

95% +

93% – 95%

90 – 93%


75% – 90%

Attendance is positive and a cause of celebration. Our school target for good attendance is aspirational at 97%.

Attendance is reasonable but could be improved. School will monitor.

Attendance is becoming a concern. A letter outlining the risk of persistent absence will be issued other than in exceptional circumstances.

Attendance will no longer be authorised without a medical note.

In the event that attendance is between 75% and 89.9% or if there are ten missed sessions over a twelve week period, the school will undertake a risk assessment and, unless there is absolute satisfaction that the absences were unavoidable, school will undertake the ‘FastTrack’ initiative in line with DFE guidance. This will then lead to a period of monitoring for twenty days and if there is no immediate improvement, a School Attendance Panel will be convened and a fixed penalty notice warning letter may be issued. Once a fixed penalty notice is issued, any further unauthorised absence could lead to a fixed penalty fine.

Where attendance is below 75% there will be ongoing risk assessment of whether to recommend a ‘FastTrack’ process or pursue further levels of prosecution. Only cases that have unavoidable circumstances or those that have shown significant improvement over a six week period will avoid recommendations for prosecution.

Although we are aware that there are times absence may be inevitable or unavoidable, we commit to undertaking a thorough risk assessment process for cases under 90% to ensure that our decision making is fair and consistent.

Appendix 1: Guidance on authorising absence / leave requests

Leave categorisation Authorised? Number of days Other information
Death of close family member Yes 5+1 5 days + one day for funeral/burial with additional consideration where required
Death of extended family member Yes 1+1 One day + one day for funeral/burial
Religious Observance Yes 2 2 days i.e. Eid = one day for each observance. If in doubt, consult with local place of worship
Hospital Appointment Yes 1 Only authorised with letter from hospital / professional
Medical / Dental Appointment Yes 0.5 Unauthorised without letter
Sports Representation Yes* Principal’s Discretion Representation at Mandal, District, Zonal , regional and above
Weddings Yes 1 One day for family
Graduation Yes 1 One day for immediate family