School Attendance A parents guide

Updated September 2015


The Department for Education, the Local Authority and the Governors of Canon Popham take the attendance of pupils very seriously.

As a result of recently published guidance from the Attendance and Pupil Welfare Service and also changes in legislation from September 2013 the Governors have reviewed our policy to ensure that it is in line with 'best practice'.

Did you know. . .

  • Children who regularly miss school during the Primary years are more likely to have persistent absence and higher truancy rates in secondary school
  • 90% attendance is equivalent to half a day off school every week!
  • There is a clear link between attendance and achievement at school. Of children who miss between 10% and 20% of their education, only 35% achieve 5 GCSE grades A*to C. This compares with 73% achieving 5 GCSE grades A* to C where children are attending school for 95% of the time.
  • The Primary phase matters- where children fail to attend regularly when they are young, they miss the 'building blocks' for learning and the gap in achievement between themselves and their peers gets wider.

Starting the school day.

The bell goes at 8:40 each morning to signal that children should make their way to their  lines to be taken in to school.

The school doors are locked at 8:45. If you arrive after this point you should take your child to the school office, where they will be taken into class.

Our teaching day begins immediately following the register. This is taken by no later than 8:50. At our school we believe that 'Every Learning Minute Counts'.  All staff do their very best to maximise on teaching time, and pupils being late disrupt the learning of other children in the class as well as the latecomer themselves.

Taking time out of the school day.

We understand that it can be difficult to obtain appointments for doctors, dentist etc out of school hours. However, if at all possible this would be appreciated as it can be very difficult for children to either leave or return to a lesson half way through.

If you do need to take your child out of school for an essential appointment, please collect them from the office. You will be asked to sign them out of school, and back in to school on their return.

If your child has a number of medical appointments, you may also be asked to provide evidence of these in the form of appointment cards.

Holidays in term time

The Governors of Canon Popham understand the importance of family time, and the fact that holiday costs are significantly increased when taken during school holiday periods. However, due to the change in legislation with effect from September 2013

NO holidays in term time are allowed unless there are proven exceptional circumstances.


The pyramid of schools linked to Hungerhill has all looked in detail at this legislation and the guidelines for 'exceptional circumstances' are as follows:

         Where it is a company or organisational policy for an employee to take leave at a specified time in the year and there is no opportunity to take a family holiday in school holidays. This must be supported by documentary evidence from the organisation.

         Service personnel returning from/scheduled to embark on a tour of duty abroad.

         Where a holiday is recommended as part of a parent or child's rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue. Evidence must be provided, from qualified professionals such as a doctor.

       Consequences of taking an unauthorised holiday.

Parents who chose to take an unauthorised holiday in term time must accept that this will have an effect on their child's educational attainment. The school may therefore ask the Local Authority to issue a fixed penalty fine. The fixed penalty fine is collected and kept by the Local Authority  and NOT the school.

The fixed penalty fine currently stands at:

         60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days rising to 120 per parent per child after 21 days.

       Persistent Absence

        We regularly assess all children's attendance records. Good attendance is at least 95%. Where attendance drops below 90% this is classed as persistent absence and the Attendance and Pupil Welfare Service will be informed.

If persistent absence continues following a referral, then this may result in legal proceedings and fixed penalty fines.



       We like to give recognition to all the children who regularly attend school. At the end of every term, bronze, silver and gold certificates are awarded in assembly for those children who have consistently excellent attendance. For children who have 100% attendance for the whole year they are rewarded in July with a certificate and a prize.

We want to work together with parents to ensure that all children come to school regularly, and on time.

If you have any issues, which contribute to making this difficult to achieve please come and speak to Mrs Navas. We can often find ways to give additional support and help children to be at school and ready to learn.

Please remember that we offer a breakfast club, which starts at 8am every day. Children are given a choice of breakfast and are supervised by staff until the school day starts. If you would like your child to attend please see the office staff for further details. The daily cost for breakfast club is 1.50 per pupil.

If you have any queries, concerns, suggestions or complaints please come and talk to us. We want to get things right and need your support and feedback to do this.

You can contact us

v      By telephone (884465)

v      By coming in to school

v      Via the parents opinion form boxes in every school entrance

v      Through parent governors (via office)


© 2012 developed and powered by STconnect