Knowleswood Primary
School and Nursery

Part of the Cavendish and Knowleswood Federation

01274 778177 |


100% attendance at school is extremely important to ensure all pupils achieve their full academic potential. We recognise that good attendance and punctuality is crucial to raising standards and pupil attainment. Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning.

We expect all children to attend school every day. Ensuring a child’s attendance at school is a parental responsibility and permitting absence from school without good reason is an offence of the law and may result in prosecution.

The safeguarding of our pupils is paramount when they are in our care. For this reason, the Governing Body’s policy on attendance aims to ensure every pupil is accounted for on each of the days school is open and a comprehensive system of attendance is maintained for every pupil on roll.

As attendance is crucial to effective learning and the continuity of learning experiences, school places great emphasis on this in its communication with parents. We will do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and put in place appropriate procedures to support this.

Knowleswood Primary School is a happy school. Children learn best when they are happy and relaxed. All staff show concern and care about each child’s welfare.

  • Reporting an absence

    If a child is going to be absent from school, it is important that the child’s parents/carers inform us of the absence. We ask that we are contacted each day a child is absent by either:

    • telephoning the school office on 01274 778177
    • sending a text message to the school
    • emailing
  • Punctuality and attendance

    The law requires the register to be taken twice a day. We do this at 08:50 at the start of the morning session and 13:00 at the start of the afternoon session.

    We close registers at 09:00 in the morning, and after 09:15 children will be marked as unauthorised absence if we have not been informed of an explanation for their absence.

    The register is marked using the DfE Attendance and Absence Codes. Guidance on applying the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 can be found in ‘Advice on School Attendance’ published 2012 by the DfE.

  • If a child has an appointment

    We ask that a child’s routine medical and other appointments are made out of school time, where possible.

    We understand that this is not always possible though and we ask that we are notified in advance. This can be done by telephone, email or a note provided from home or appointment letter/ card to confirm the appointment.

    Where possible, the child should attend School before the appointment and return to lessons afterwards.

  • Leave of absence (including term time holiday requests)

    Amendments came into force in September 2013 and the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 now state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days’ holiday per year. This is not true and the government strongly urges parents or carers to avoid taking a child out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education.

    Please note that absence will not be authorised for reasons such as shopping for uniform, birthdays, day trips, weekends away etc.

    Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence.

    Requests should be made well in advance and in writing by parents or carers. Please pick up a request form from the school when convenient.

    Requests for absence for reasons such as compassionate leave, special family events, sporting or musical competitions, etc. should be made in the same way.

    All requests are considered individually, taking into account the circumstances of the request. Other factors will be taken into account, such as:

    • the time of year the child will be absent
    • the attendance record of the child
    • the number of previous requests for leave of absence

    We will notify parents of our decision either by telephone or in writing.

    Where a parental request has been refused, and parents continue to take their child out of school, this absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

    We reserve the right to apply to the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.

  • Calls and home visits to parents/carers

    We take our safeguarding responsibility extremely seriously and calls and home visits are made daily to the contact numbers of a child’s parents or carers if the child is absent, and we have received no reason for absence.

    We make calls and home visits daily, even where a child has been absent due to illness on previous days. We cannot assume that a child is still ill if we have not been notified and we would not wish to put a child at risk by failing to contact their parents or carers.

  • Persistent absence

    The parents or carers of a child have a legal duty to make sure that child attends school regularly. We can make a referral to the local authority where parents or carers are failing this legal duty.

    Persistent Absence is a serious problem for children, as much of the work children miss when they are off school is never made up, leaving them at a considerable disadvantage.

    A child will be defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ if they miss 10% or more of school.

    The local authority has the power to enforce school attendance where this becomes problematic, including the power to prosecute parents/carers who fail to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school.

    It is important for parents and carers to note that the government has also strengthened schools’ ability to respond by increasing Fixed Penalty Notices to £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days. These are an alternative to prosecution of parents or carers for failing to ensure a child attends school regularly. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.

  • Attendance challenge meetings

    Where a child’s attendance continues to be a concern we may make a referral to the Local Authorities Education Safeguarding Team. This is a positive measure to support a child’s parents or carers to fulfil their legal responsibility to ensure the regular attendance of their child. A meeting will be held and the parents or carers will be invited to attend.

    An action plan will be drawn up at this meeting and the parents or carers will be sent a letter explaining the outcome of the meeting and possible consequences.

    Following a monitoring period, a review will be held and if insufficient improvement is made, we as a school will make a decision on the next steps. This could include the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice, referral to the Magistrates Court for prosecution or, in some cases, the monitoring period may be extended for a further period of time.