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Attendance and Absence

At Oldway Primary School, we aim to ensure that all children receive an education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their full potential. In order to achieve this, we work hard to provide a welcoming, caring learning environment where every member of the school community feels valued.


In order for our pupils to achieve their very best it is of paramount importance that their attendance is good. Every lesson really does count for your child and catching up on lost time from school can be really difficult. Good attendance is linked to achievement, better relationships with other children and overall better behaviour. Often, the reason that children are absent from school is due to illness. You can help to ensure that your child’s attendance is good by leading a healthy lifestyle: exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and maintaining a balanced diet. Missing any period of time of schooling has been proven to be detrimental, both academically and socially. We understand that sometimes absence cannot be avoided, but it is important that we share with you the following information:




Impact on learning in the year


100% attendance

0 weeks of learning missed

Best chance of success – well done!

95% attendance

1 week, 4 days of learning missed

Poor attendance – we’re worried

90% attendance

3 weeks, 4 days of learning missed

Classed by the government as persistent absentee – your child will be falling behind their peers

85% attendance

5 weeks, 3 days of learning missed – that is the equivalent of the January half-term

You may be asked to sign a parenting contract – your child will need intervention in school

80% attendance

At least 7 weeks, 3 days of learning missed

You may be referred to social care for neglect. Your child will be considerably behind their peers and it will be difficult for them to catch up without significant input from school and home



It is important that children arrive to school on time, ready and willing to learn.

Doors open at 8.35am and children are expected to be in their classrooms by 8.45am, with the gates being closed and locked at this time.

School finishes at 3.15pm.


This amounts to 32.5 hours in a typical week.


Any child who arrives after the gates are locked needs to be signed in at the main school reception.



Being late for school reduces learning time and can be highly disruptive and harmful to a child’s self esteem.


Children are often embarrassed and/or upset at entering a busy classroom after everyone else. Through missing the initial morning instructions it means that the child is playing ‘catch-up’ for the rest of the morning.


If your child is 5 minutes late every day, they will miss 3 days of learning a year.


If they are 15 minutes late a day, they will miss 2 weeks of learning each year.


What can parents do to help attendance?

  • If your child is unwell, phone and report this in to the office before 9am;
  • If you suspect that your child is a reluctant attender or is unhappy at school, do not keep them at home. Contact the school as soon as possible so that any difficulties can be resolved;
  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time and is prepared for the day ahead 
  • Take an interest in your child’s education. Ask them about their day and praise and encourage their achievements at school, (if the children can see that you value education, they will too);
  • Attend any meetings that you are invited to regarding attendance;
  • Make medical/dental appointments out of school hours or during the school holidays wherever possible


What does Oldway do to support attendance rates?

  • Availability of breakfast and late club places to allow flexibility of drop off and collection from school;
  • Monitoring of attendance and consultation with parents is ongoing;
  • Poor attendees are monitored and contacted regularly;
  • Poor attendees may be asked to an attendance meeting to identify if any support can be offered to the family to aid attendance;
  • All unexplained absences are followed up within the morning session


Holiday in term time

In order to ensure that the pupils at Oldway Primary School receive an education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their full potential, the Headteacher will not authorise term time holidays. Any exceptional circumstances should be put in writing by completion of this form:  Please read the document 'Avoidable Absence in Term-Time' below before completing the form.


Unauthorised leave can result in parents being fined £60 per parent per child (further information can be found on the Attendance Policy on the website). The Local Authority may take parents to court where parents take their children out of school without authorisation.