The Importance of School Attendance
Research shows that good school attendance impacts upon children’s success in learning. Good attendance helps children to achieve good results, helps them to fulfil their potential and gives them a chance of a better future.
A consistent approach to education contributes to success in lifelong learning and in future jobs. Being in school helps to develop positive social skills in your child which in turn helps them to keep and make friends. Each day fills them with fantastic learning opportunities which will enrich and fulfil their lives.
Children who do not attend school fall behind. They miss key information and concepts as well as struggle with accessing the leaning tasks. They often feel left out, find it hard to keep and make friends, feel insecure and lack confidence. Their overall attitude to learning can be inhibited, social communication difficulties may develop and their overall health and well being affected. They can find it harder to get and secure a job can lack overall life ambition.
Responsibility of Parents & Carers
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 places a duty on parents to ensure that their child of compulsory school age receives a suitable education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
A child is of compulsory school age the first term after their 5th birthday. Therefore:
Children who turn 5 between 1st January and 31st March will be of compulsory school age at the beginning of the school term after 1st April.
Children who turn 5 between 1st April and 31st August will be of compulsory school age at the beginning of the school term after 1st September.
Children who turn 5 between 1st September and 31st December will be of compulsory school age at the beginning of the school term after 1st January.
A child remains of compulsory school age until they turn 18.
What should I do if my child cannot attend school?
The following gives you clear instructions on what to do if your child is unable to come to school on a given day. Please take time to read this information carefully.
You must contact the school, preferably before 9am on the first day of absence. Please leave a message with your child’s name, class and the reason why they cannot attend. If they are ill, please give a clear explanation of their conditions.
Important: You will be required to observe and carry out the attendance criteria which can be found below.
- Any illness that requires home rest and in general is not treated by prescribed medication will be authorised on a ‘day to day’ basis. On the third day of illness it is our expectation that parents/carers will seek medical advice. We reserve the right to request medical evidence in order to authorise any further leave especially if your child’s attendance has dipped below 95%.
- Parents/carers who have a child diagnosed with a contagious disease should alert the school as soon as possible. Any sessions missed will need supporting evidence to authorise the leave. Parents/carers will be advised on a case by case basis.
- Children with an existing medical condition previously recorded by the school still have to follow the same attendance criteria.
- Medical consent forms can be obtained from the Welfare room [open for drop in to parents 8.30-9.00am; 3.15-3.30pm] to enable to staff to administer prescribed medication during school hours.
- All appointments, where possible, should be made out of school hours. If this is unavoidable; for example an emergency appointment, your child should still attend school before/after the appointment. Any session missed that was deemed reasonable to attend will be marked as unauthorised. Any sibling should attend school as normal.
- All referred clinic/hospital appointments must be made in advance and by supported by an appointment letter in order to authorise any missed sessions.
- All routine dentist appointments should be made outside of school hours or in the holidays. Any sessions taken where this reason is given will be marked as unauthorised.
- Medical evidence will be requested. Parents/carers must present a prescription, medical paperwork or an appointment card/letter at the school office upon their return. If sufficient evidence is not received during the week of the missing session/s the leave in question may be marked as unauthorised.
- From 1 September 2013, a change to government legislation means that schools are no longer allowed to authorise requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time.
Requests for leave can only be granted by schools if there are exceptional circumstances, and holidays are not considered exceptional. Requests for leave must also be made to the school in advance, as the Department for Education has told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken.
- A penalty notice is a fine to parents or carers if they fail to ensure that their child/ren attend school regularly. Hillingdon Council is responsible for issuing penalty notices on behalf of schools in the borough.
- Penalty fines are £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. If the fine is not paid, parents will be reported for prosecution.
Please refer to our Attendance Policy
For Hillingdon Information regarding Attendance and Punctuality click on this link.
For Government Information regarding Attendance and Punctuality click on this link.