Attendance at Acre Heads

At Acre Heads, good attendance and punctuality is paramount. We have excellent attendance rates and this is because our parents and carers value their children’s education.

We monitor our children’s attendance on a daily basis and report it to both the Local Authority and parents if it becomes a problem. This is not a school which accepts poor attendance and we will always follow non attendance up with rigour and candour.  We make no apologies for this as it is an important part of our job.

School has a responsibility to:

  • endeavour to maintain an attendance rate of an absolute minimum of 96%
  • continue to raise and maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of good attendance
  • challenge all absences that do not meet the criteria for being authorised.

Attendance Information

Rewards for good attendance and punctuality

Good attendance is important because:

  • statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
  • good attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
  • good attenders find school routines and school work easier to cope with
  • good attenders find learning more satisfying
  • good attenders have an easier transfer to secondary school.

We reward the children with good attendance and punctuality by giving them Smilers for their class which count towards the race for Golden Time.

Many children achieve the 100% attendance award at the end of each year – we are especially proud of them.

Poor attendance

Every minute lost is a learning opportunity wasted.  We know that children who are not in school cannot benefit from the expertise of their highly trained and professional teachers.

We know which children have been away from school, we monitor their progress and because of this we know that children with less than 96% attendance suffer significant barriers to their progress.

Authorised absence

Sometimes children fall ill and cannot help being absent. We do ask that medical appointments be requested for after school and holiday times if at all possible.

The following reasons are acceptable for a child to be absent and they will be marked as authorised:

  • sickness/illness, (medical certificate, surgery card, medication evidence etc is required)
  • medical appointments that have to be made during school hours as no other appointments are available (evidence required)
  • approved religious observance (evidence may be required)
  • short term family crisis (evidence may be required)
Unauthorised Absence

Any other reasons, such as those listed below, are unacceptable reasons for absence from school and they will be marked as unauthorised:

  • term time holidays
  • getting up late
  • looking after brothers or sisters or relatives
  • shopping
  • birthdays
  • visiting friends and family
  • accompanying parents / siblings on medical appointments
  • emotional support for family members
  • accompanying parents to work
  • casual home schooling decisions
  • extended home visits

Can we take a holiday during term time?

Exceptional Circumstances

There may be some other exceptional circumstances when an absence might be authorised.  In a rare, specific emergency, or an exceptional situation, the Head Teacher has the power to authorise a short, limited period of absence only if it fits the very strict criteria as set out below:

1) A true family emergency (e.g. sudden hospital admittance death or accident)
2) To attend a funeral of a relative (not friend of the family)
3) A family holiday having to be fit in between tours of duty for parents who are serving members of the forces
4) A trip to receive medical treatment that has been recommended by the family doctor / consultant and can only be accessed abroad

Unauthorised holiday absence

The Government makes it clear to parents and carers that holidays during term time are not an acceptable reason for absence from school.   All requests for holidays – however much they are deserved or have been booked for a special occasion or as a surprise – will be unauthorised and the Local Authority has the power to prosecute.

At Acre Heads Primary School we are required by law to adopt the approach that states:

  • holidays should be taken during the 13 weeks allocated each year as school holidays
  • statutory government documentation states that schools should not agree to parents taking their children on holiday during term-time
  • schools are advised to inform parents that they are unable to agree to term-time holiday leave of absence. Any absence for this reason will be unauthorised. Those taking holidays persistently in term time will be issued a penalty of £60 per child per adult if the total holiday absence equals or exceeds 5 days (10 sessions) per term. Each case will always be individually considered.

Responsibilities towards absence

Parent/Carer Responsibilities

We encourage all parents and carers to work in partnership with the school by making sure that their child arrives punctually and in undertaking the following if their child is not to attend:

  • ringing the school on the first morning of all absences with the reason and saying when the child will return
  • arranging dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school breaks
  • provide evidence for the absence (medical note, surgery card etc)
  • keeping the school updated by telephone or letter if the child has an extended period of absence due to illness
  • informing the school at the earliest opportunity of any intention to transfer a child to another setting, providing full details as soon as is practicable
School Responsibilities
  • acknowledging and reward good attendance and punctuality
  • following up unexplained absences of any pupil by a phone call to the parents/carers on the first morning of a child’s absence
  • informing the EWO of absentee children whose parents/carers cannot be contacted by phone and who have not indicated why their child is absent
  • informing parents/carers of any concerns regarding the attendance and punctuality of their child at school,
  • where concerns go unheeded, making a referral to the EWO, who monitors the school to review and support attendance matters
  • reminding parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in letters and newsletters
  • publishing our attendance and punctuality rate on the school website and in the Head Teacher’s report to Governors
  • publishing children’s attendance rates on their annual reports


Start of the School Day

School operates a rolling drop off from 8:30am to 08:50am. Children arriving after this time but before 9:25 will be given a late mark. Continual late marks will trigger concerns which will be discussed with parents/carers, and if no improvement is made, may be referred to EWO and / or Children’s Services.  Any child arriving after 9:25 is marked as an unauthorised absence.

FS Afternoon school begins at 12:45pm, KS1 begins at 1:00pm and KS2 Starts at 1:15pm. Children are expected to be in school for this time.

End of the day

Any children who are usually collected from school at the end of the day and who are not collected will remain under the supervision of Tea Time club staff. Every attempt to make contact with named relatives will be made in order that the child can be collected as soon as possible. If the child remains uncollected by the close of school then Children’s Services will be informed and arrangements made for the child to be collected.

Pupils Running Off Site

This is exceptionally rare but if a child leaves school of their own accord during school hours, an immediate search of the school and grounds will be instigated. Parents/carers will be contacted by telephone. If contact cannot be established any other named relatives will be tried. In the event of the child not being found after a search of the premises, or, if it is not possible to speak to the parent/carer or the second contact name, the Police will be informed. Once the child is found, the parent/carer is expected to accompany their child into school to talk through the problem that caused the child to abscond and for appropriate sanctions to be actioned.

Missing in Education

The Local Authority, Education Welfare Service and if necessary the Police will be called when all possible enquiries have been made to establish the whereabouts of pupils who have not turned up to school where no instructions have been made by parents or the LA.