“Good attendance, including punctuality, is essential to raising the educational attainment of all pupils and affording them the best possible life chances following statutory education. In order to achieve this, children and young people need to attend school regularly and be equipped to learn. Children cannot learn if they are absent from school.”

Our pupils are expected to attain a minimum of  96% attendance


It is the responsibility of the parents/carers of all pupils at Heathfield, from 3 – 11 years, to inform the school on the first day of their child’s absence.

A letter will be sent if no contact has been made, however failure to inform the school of reasons of absence will result in an unauthorised absence being recorded.

Any child, who is absent for more than 3 days, may need to bring in medical evidence as proof of illness. Failure to inform the school of a child’s reason of absence or being absent for 3 or more days, may result in a home visit from our a member of our Attendance Team.

Parent/carers whose child has below 90% attendance will be informed by letter each half term.

All pupils with an attendance rate of 90% and below are considered as persistent absentees and will be closely monitored. The following actions are highly probable for such cases:

  • Parents/carers will be invited to attend a formal review in school
  • Further absences will be unauthorised unless one of the following is shown to school: a medical certificate, a letter from a medical practitioner or a dated prescribed medication
  • Referral to the Education Welfare Service
  • Legal action if a child incurs 10% unauthorised absences, 6 sessions (3 days) in a 6-week period or 8 sessions (4 days) in an 8-week period


Parents choosing to have their children attend in the Early Years Foundation Stage are under no legal obligation to do so and therefore the child is not of compulsory school age. However, the provision of a place at our Early Years Foundation Unit for F1 (nursery) pupils may be at risk if a child does not access it regularly and/or falls below 90% attendance.


The Local Authority has agreed with Religious Leaders and SACRE that one day for each religious festival (no more than three days in any one academic year) should be counted as authorised absence.



The Department for Education have declared some amendments to

school attendance regulations, these changes mean that schools can no

longer authorise holidays in term time.


If families choose to take their child out of school during term time they will be referred to Education Welfare to be issued with a penalty notice.


A Penalty Notice incurs a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days increased to £120 if paid within the 28th day. This will be issued to each parent for each child who is not at school on the dates when the holiday is taken.


  • A Penalty Notice request will be issued if the school is informed, or suspect that a family has been on holiday whilst suggesting to the school another reason of absence. It will be up to the family to prove that they have not taken a family vacation


  • Children/young people taken out of school for a holiday will have the non-attendance recorded as an unauthorised absence
  • A child or young person who does not return to school at the end of the recorded unauthorised holiday date will initially be subject to enquiries being made by the school followed by a referral being made to the Education Welfare Service
  • Following the above information, if a parent/carer still intends to take their child on holiday during term time, they have a duty to inform the school of this action and give at least 6 weeks’ notice of the event

NB- Notified holiday absence will be still be classed as an unauthorised absence and families will be issued with a penalty notice


Schools have a discretionary power to grant a pupil time off school during the term for exceptional circumstances. This does not include holidays in term time.

Requests are treated on a case by case basis. If the request is refused then any absences taken on the dates requested will be recorded as unauthorised absences


 Such requests receive a response in writing that addresses the following points:

  • The expected date of return
  • That the parents are expected to contact the school if anything delays the pupil returning to school when expected
  • What action will be taken if the pupil fails to return when expected


 Similarly, a letter will be sent out should a request be refused stating what action will be taken if the parents/carers ignore the refusal and keep their child away.


Pupils are expected to be within the school gates before 9.00am

  • Pupils arriving after this time up until 9.10am will be recorded as late ‘L’ before register closes
  • Pupils arriving after 9.10 am will be recorded as ‘U’ late after register closes and will therefore denote an unauthorised absence
  • Punctuality issues will initially be addressed with the parents/carers by correspondence; however this may lead to more formal meetings in school

The Local Authority will be asked to issue a Penalty Notice on the school’s behalf for any pupil registered late (recorded as U) five times in a four-week period.

A Penalty Notice incurs a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days increased to £120 if paid within the 28th day.

Celebrating Good Attendance & Punctuality

At Heathfield we use a range of incentives to encourage and support the drive to achieve good attendance and punctuality. This includes:

 Weekly attendance and punctuality leagues with certificates awarded to the winning classes

  • Weekly incentives and class rewards for achieving 100% attendance
  • Class celebrations for the overall winning classes each half term
  • Certificates for achieving 100% and above 96% half termly attendance
  • Medals for achieving 100% termly attendance
  • Certificates for pupils who achieve 100% attendance for the previous half term.
  • A prize of a gift voucher for pupils who achieve 100% attendance for the whole year

If you would like to read the Attendance Policy in full then you may access it by:

  • Requesting to see a copy of the policy at the school office
  • Visiting the school web-site
  • For a small cost, purchase your own copy of the policy


Download: Attendance parent leaflet