Attendance Management Policy

At Whitehouse Primary School we work closely with parents & carers to reach and keep high standards of attendance for our pupils. We expect all children to get at least 96% attendance.

As parents and carers[1] you have a legal duty to ensure that your child is attending school and is punctual.

Lateness Procedure

All children are expected to be in the playground at 8.50am, ready for the bell at 9.00am. The school gates will be closed at 9.05am. If you arrive later that this you need to enter the school via the reception and sign the late book giving the reason for being late.  Pupil’s arrival time will be logged and checked to see which children are often arriving late. If a child arrives at school more than 30 minutes late without a good reason such as a dental appointment this will be treated as an unauthorised absence.


You must tell the school before 9.30am if a child is going to be absent. You must contact the school each day the child is absent.

  • If a child is absent and we have not received a message we will telephone the first name on our contact list to find out why the child is not in school. If the first contact doesn’t answer we will try the second contact and so on.
  • If you know in advance that your child will be off school e.g. a hospital admission, you must bring a copy of the letter or appointment card to the school office.
  • If a child has any unexplained absences the school will send a letter home asking for a reason for the absence. If the letter is not returned within one week the absence will be marked as unauthorised.
  • If there is doubt about an absence attributed to illness, the school will treat the absence as unauthorised until medical evidence is produced.
  • If there is a pattern of absence due to un-specified illness you will be invited to school to discuss a four week action plan to improve attendance. A pupil must be in school for at least 96% of the time during these four weeks.
  • If a pupil’s attendance falls below 90% without a reason why you will be invited to attend a meeting at school to agree a plan to improve attendance. A pupil must be in school at least 96% of the time during the period agreed to in the action plan (normally four weeks).
  • Parents & carers will be contacted each term if attendance at school is below 94% and the school will monitor attendance to make sure an improvement is made in the next four weeks. If there is no improvement you will be invited to school to agree how attendance can be improved.
  • If you don’t attend two meetings and/or there has been no improvement in attendance you will be referred to the Local Authority to take action that could be a penalty notice warning letter or a penalty notice of £60 for each child for each parent/carer per week of absence.
  • If you are issued with a penalty notice and don’t pay it you will be prosecuted for failing to ensure that your child attends school. Prosecution could result in a fine of up to £2500 and a criminal record.


  • Wherever possible, routine appointments must be made outside school hours.
  • If an appointment is made in school time a copy of the appointment card or letter should be shown to the school office.
  • If you are taking your child(ren) out of school for an appointment you will be required to sign them out for the duration of the appointment.
  • Pupils are expected to return to school after the appointment unless there are good reasons not to. You must tell the school if the pupil is not going to return and give the reasons why. If you do not do this, the absence will be treated as unauthorised.

Leave of Absence during Term Time

The Governing Body does not authorise any leave of absence during term time except in exceptional circumstances which are the funeral of a close relative or a parental wedding when evidence has been provided. Absence may also be authorised for a pupil to sit a recognised music or dance examination; evidence from the Examination Board must be provided.

Applying for leave of absence

  • You must notify the school well in advance of any planned absence from school during term time and an absence request form must be completed.
  • If an absence request form is not received the absence will be treated as unauthorised and referred to the Local Authority for further action.

Holidays in Term Time

  • Family holidays should not be taken in term time. You do not have a right to take your child(ren) on holiday during term time or to expect that absences will be authorised.
  • The Governing Body will not authorise any family holiday in term time regardless of the circumstances.
  • Absence due to holiday will be sent to the Local Authority to issue a penalty notice of £60 for each parent/carer (even if they no longer reside together), per child, per week. Failure to pay the penalty notice will result in prosecution for failure to ensure that your child(ren) attend school. The maximum penalty for this is a £2500 fine and / or imprisonment and a criminal record.

Parental Condoned Absence

Parental condoned absence will be unauthorised and will be referred to the Local Authority for further action.

  • Examples of parentally condoned absences include absences when:
    • A parent is ill; you must make arrangements to get your child(ren) to school
    • A parent is using the pupil as a child minder for younger siblings
    • A pupil is supporting other members of the family
    • A parent is lonely and wants the child to stay at home for companionship
    • A parent gives in to a pupil who wants to stay at home
    • It is a pupil’s or parent’s birthday
    • A parent has taken the pupil shopping or another activity that could be undertaken out of school hours
    • A parent cannot control the pupil’s behaviour and get the child to school

Review Date

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis or earlier if necessary to reflect changes in legislation.

Date:                      October 18 (changes to LA FPN policy)

Review:                                    September 19

[1] For the purpose of this policy the term parent/carer refers to any individual that has parental responsibility for the pupil.