School Attendance

Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential, pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education.  Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind.

Average attendance should be around 95% for the year, with outstanding attendance above 96%. Anything below 94% is weak, under 90% is poor and if attendance dips below 85% we will have serious concerns and below 85% is regarded as persistent absence by the DFE.

Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. The government expects:

Schools and local authorities to - Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence.  Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled; and, act early to address patterns of absence.

Parents to - Perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.

Authorised Absence from School - Authorised absence’ means that the school has either given approval in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be away, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as justification for absence.

Unauthorised Absence from School - If a school does not authorise a leave of absence for the purpose of a holiday but the parents still take the child out of school, the child is kept away for longer than was agreed, where a school is not satisfied with the reasons given for the absence or no contact is made with parents or carers the absence is unauthorised. The regulations do not allow schools to give retrospective approval. If the parents did not apply for leave of absence in advance, the absence must be recorded as unauthorised.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Absence - A number of different groups are covered by the generic term Traveller – Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers. When Traveller families are known to be travelling for occupational purposes and have agreed this with the school, to help ensure continuity of education for Traveller children it is expected that the child should attend school elsewhere when their family is travelling and be dual registered at that school and the main school. Children from these groups whose families do not travel are expected to register at a school and attend as normal.

Religious observance - Schools must treat absence as authorised when it is due to religious observance. The day must be exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parents belong. Where necessary, schools should seek advice from the parents’ religious body about whether it has set the day apart for religious observance.

Please see below our Trust Attendance Policy for full details of our expectations and information on how we improve attendance within our schools.