Regular attendance at school is very important. Below is some guidance which should help improve attendance and communication with your child’s school. This will ensure your child’s attendance is recorded accurately.

The Education Act 1996 states: “If any child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school, fails to attend regularly, the parents of the child shall be guilty of an offence.”

  • Your child should attend school every day and on time.
  • You should contact the school on each and every day of an absence.
  • You should make every effort to get your child to school even if they are feeling unwell. The school will always contact you if the child’s health deteriorates.
  • Make sure the school have the correct contact details especially if there is an emergency.
  • Don’t be offended if the school contact you. It is for the safety and welfare of your child.
  • If you do have issues that prevent your child from attending, discuss these issues as soon as possible with the school. Do not leave it. Contact the school and ask for an appointment to talk about the problems.
  • If your child has any health issues please make sure the school are aware and if appropriate make arrangements to supply the school with for example, asthma pumps and Epipen’s etc.
  • You should not take your child out of school for a holiday during term time. If you feel you need to take leave during term time you must put your request to the Head teacher in writing. It is the Governing Body who has the discretion to authorise the absence, if they feel there are exceptional circumstances to justify this. Each request is considered on an individual basis. If the leave you requested is refused and you go ahead with the holiday the school may request a fine is issued by way of a Penalty Notice.
  • There is no doubt that attendance and achievement go hand in hand. Your child’s attendance is their future.
  • Should your child’s unauthorised absence remain high, after all possible intervention, legal proceedings will be considered.

Days off school add up to lost learning

Days off school add up to lost learning

  • If you are 5 minutes late every day that adds up to over 3 days lost each year.
  • 15 minutes late is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year.

Information on attendance and punctuality

You may recall that the Department for Education (DfE) have introduced changes to the law regarding parents taking their children out of school during term time. It is illegal for headteachers to grant any leave of absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances.

Penalty notices ranging from £60 to £120 can be issued to parents by the LEA.

There have been some very recent changes in the Local Authorities’ Code of Conduct:

Penalty Notice for leave of absence (holiday) in term time

From 1st January 2018 any period of unauthorised leave may result in you as a parent receiving a penalty notice fine. The Principal will continue to be the only person able to authorise leave in term time, but this will apply only in exceptional circumstances (evidence may be requested at the time of application). Any unauthorised absence will be referred by the Principal to the local authority.

Penalty Notice for Persistent Lateness

Previously a pupil had to achieve 20 unauthorised late marks before a penalty notice warning could be issued.
This has now changed to 10 marks, and late marks do not have to be one after the other in order for the penalty notice to be issued. You are therefore encouraged where possible to ensure your child attends school on time. However, if your child is late you must inform the school of the reason(s) why, as they may be able to offer you some form of advice or support.

Period of time used to measure persistent absence or lateness

If your child has had 10 days unauthorised absence or is late 10 times over a twelve week period, you may receive a penalty warning notice and also potentially a fine.

These changes have been implemented to help promote and support good attendance to school. Further details and a copy of the revised Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices can be obtained from the council’s website.

West Melton is obliged to follow these new procedures. It is extremely important that your child’s education programme is not disrupted by unauthorised absence. Only in exceptional circumstances can the Principal grant any leave of absence.

Medical appointments during the school day

We encourage parents/carers to make any routine checks (e.g. dentist checks/general health checks) during the school holidays, however we are also aware that some appointments (i.e. consultants/hospital appointments) may be out of your control. If your child needs to attend an appointment during the school day, we will ask you to inform the school office in advance of the appointment and to provide a copy of the medical appointment letter/attendance card (which can be gained from the medical receptionist at the time of attending the clinic/doctors) for our records; we also ask that if the appointment results in a change to your child’s medical records, that you inform us in writing so that we can accurately update your child’s records to ensure all needs are met.

If your feel that your child’s medical needs could affect their attendance, you may wish to have support from the school nurse and meet with your child’s class teacher to create a care plan to facilitate their needs.

More information on attendance can be found in the Policies section of this website.

Thank you for your support.

Attendance Flowchart


Below 96% – Wave 1

Letter 1 – initial concern
3 week monitor, 6 week review – follow up letter or text to celebrate improvement

Below 93% – Wave 2

Letter 2 – meeting with HT/LM/AO
Action plan put in place to improve attendance
Possible referral to Early Help
Review 6 weeks

Below 90% – Wave 3

Letter 3 – meeting with WPT/HT/LM and Chair of Govs (WPT headed paper)
Action Plan written/Referral to Early Help
6 weeks to improve
PA leaflet

Below 85% – Wave 4

Letter 4 – Enforcement
Possible prosecution