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At Overseal Primary School we place great importance on good attendance and punctuality.

Research shows that attendance and punctuality are the single most important factors in school success and, as teachers at Overseal, we see the impact of this on our students. Those children who are regularly absent from school and regularly late do not achieve their potential and do fall behind in class. Please support the school in this by ensuring that your child attends school regularly and arrives ready to learn and on time at 8.40am.

Attendance matters! It is important that your child gets to school on time and aims for 100% attendance!


Lost Learning due to Poor Attendance

The chart below identifies the possible amount of lost learning due to poor attendance. How does your child compare?

Attendance during the school yearEquals this number of days absentWhich is approx this many weeks absentWhich means this number of lessons missed
90%19 days4 weeks100 lessons
80%38 days8 weeks200 lessons
70%57 days11.5 weeks290 lessons

Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in adult life.

Nationally primary pupil attendance is around 96%. This means that a child needs to attend school for at least 177 out of 190 days (no more than 7 days absence across the whole year) to meet national expectations.


Key facts:

  • Research shows that children with higher attendance at school achieve better both in their exams and in later life.
  • A two-week holiday in term time will automatically drop attendance to 95%, and can have a severe impact on children who might not find learning easy.
  • 90% attendance is the equivalent to one month off every school year. Over the seven years of primary school, this is the same as missing almost one whole school year!
  • Children who have persistently poor attendance can suffer more commonly from friendship issues and find it harder to build lasting relationships.
  • You can be fined and prosecuted if your child’s attendance becomes a serious issue. 

Types of Absence

Every half-day absence from school, by law, has to be classified as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of absence is always asked for.


Authorised Absences

These are mornings or afternoons away from school for a valid reason such as illness, emergency medical or dental appointments (routine appointments should always be made out of school hours) and emergencies.


Unauthorised Absences

An absence is classified as Unauthorised if the reason was not recognised as acceptable. The Department for Education (DfE) and Local Education Authorities provide information for schools as to what is acceptable and what is not.

Examples of reasons that would not be accepted:

  • A birthday
  • A shopping trip
  • Day trips
  • Holidays – unless have been agreed as exceptional circumstances

What to do if your child is absent from school

Contact the school office by 8:40 am and leave a message providing a reason for the absence. The message must include the full name and class of the pupil, the reason for absence (if the reason is illness, parents should include details of the illness) and the expected date of return. If the pupil is to be off school for more than one day then the parent/carer must call and leave a message on each subsequent day.

​​If your child is absent and we do not hear from you we will:

  • Call the numbers we have on file for you
  • Call the emergency contacts you have given, if we cannot get through to you
  • Visit your home if we cannot get in touch with anyone for more than a day.
  • We may refer to the Police if we cannot make contact. This is an important safeguarding duty.


Promoting Attendance and Support 


We believe that working together with parents is the best way to result in positive attendance outcomes for our children.

We have lots of high-profile rewards and systems in school to promote good attendance and punctuality with the children.

Certificates are given termly in recognition of good or better attendance with additional rewards to those children who also achieve this over the whole year.

We also have a weekly class attendance competition with classes with attendance over 96% having a chance to play our Attendance Monopoly game and win a treat for the class. The class with the highest attendance across the whole school also receives our attendance trophy. If a class manages 100% for a week, they will get a special treat.

Our leadership team are happy to work with both children and families to improve attendance and punctuality. Come and talk to us if you are having problems.


Attendance Monitoring


As attendance and punctuality is so important to us, we cannot be complacent where there are instances of unacceptable, low pupil attendance, or if pupils are regularly late to school.

The DfE is keen that we adopt measures and involve external agencies if the level of attendance requires us to do so. Attendance is monitored half-termly and letters are sent to all parents where attendance is below 90%: where attendance is below 96%, parents are also informed.

If there is not an improvement in attendance then you may be asked to come into school for a formal meeting to discuss the matter further as part of the FastTrack to Attendance process. Continued unauthorised absences could then result in a penalty notice being issued by DCC and in some cases legal action being taken.

Leave in Term Time


As a school, we are no longer allowed to authorise any requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time.

Requests for leave can only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and a holiday would not be considered exceptional. Requests for leave must also be made to the school in advance. To do this please come into the school office to collect the necessary Leave in Term Time application.

Parents may receive a penalty notice if their child is absent from school without permission.

We appreciate the challenges that some parents face when booking holidays, particularly during the school holidays. However, regular attendance at school is vital in helping children and young people to achieve their full potential and get the best possible start in life.



It is very important that all children arrive on time. School doors open at 8.40am every morning. If your child arrives after 8:45 (8.50am juniors)  then they are late and they will not be able to come into school via the usual morning entrance doors but should instead come through the main school entrance. Your child will then need to sign in as late using our electronic signing in system. We will then be able amend the registers and ensure your child is marked for a school dinner.

Please note that if your children arrive at school later than 9.15 am, we are required to mark them as absent for that half day session.

 Lateness to school can be a very upsetting 

  • Before the beginning of the school day, it is important for the child to have contact with their peers as they arrive and settle down. This is one of the times during the school day where they can share quality time with their peers and are able to forge friendships. Children who are late to school miss this opportunity and can quickly become anxious and lacking in self esteem, feeling left out. 

  • Children who are late to school readily become identified amongst their peer group as a person who is unprepared for school and who disrupts the learning of others. This can leave the child feeling confused and unsettled, having to play catch up with their work without having had the appropriate instruction from the teacher. In turn, this may lead to the child becoming unhappy and disaffected with their learning and not wanting to come to school. 

  • All the business of the school day is generally given to the pupils at registration. When a child is late, they miss out on vital information.  

  • Lateness is a safeguarding factor.  

Attendance Leaflet - Autumn 2023