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As a school, we have a legal duty and obligation to promote good attendance at school. We do this because we know that attending school regularly has a positive impact on future achievements.

Our Attendance Policy can be found in the ‘policies’ section of this website.

If your child is unwell and not able to attend school, please call the school office (01273 833229) or email absence@stlawrencehurst.co.uk 

Absence during term-time will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. Parents/carers are requested to make routine medical appointments, including routine dental appointments, out of school time wherever possible. Holidays during term-time cannot be authorised and, where these unauthorised absences meet the criteria, parents/carers will be referred for a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Absence request forms can be collected from the school office, or downloaded here.

Why is school attendance important? (taken from The Education Hub Blog – Department for Education)

How does attendance affect outcomes for pupils?  

Being in school is important to your child’s achievement, wellbeing, and wider development. Evidence shows that the students with the highest attendance throughout their time in school gain the best GCSE and A Level results. 

Our research found that pupils who performed better both at the end of primary and secondary school missed fewer days than those who didn’t perform as well.  

The data also shows that in 2019, primary school children in Key Stage 2 who didn’t achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths missed on average four more days per school year than those whose performance exceeded the expected standard.  

Similarly, in the same year, secondary school pupils who didn’t achieve grade 9 to 4 in English and maths missed on 10 more days on average over the key stage than those who achieved grade 9 to 5 in both English and maths.  

What are the risks of missing a day of school?  

Every moment in school counts, and days missed add up quickly. For example, a child in Year 10 who is absent for three days over a half term could miss 15 lessons in total.  

The higher a pupil’s attendance, the more they are likely to learn, and the better they are likely to perform in exams and formal assessments.  

Data from 2019 shows that 84% of Key Stage 2 pupils who had 100% attendance achieved the expected standard, compared to 40% of pupils who were persistently absent across the key stage. 

What if my child needs to miss school? 

Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure your child gets a full time-education. Usually, that means going into school from the age of 5 to 16. 

There are only a small number of circumstances where missing a school day is permitted. Your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless: 

  • Your child is too ill to attend. 
  • You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on a specific day due to exceptional circumstances. 
  • Your child cannot go to school on a specific day because they are observing a religious event. 
  • Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it’s not available or has not been provided yet. 
  • Your child does not have a permanent address and you are required to travel for work. This exception only applies if your child attends their usual school or another school where you are staying as often as possible. This must be 200 half days or more a year if they are aged 6 or older.  

These are the only circumstances where schools can permit your child to be absent. 

What counts as an exceptional circumstance? 

School leaders are responsible for deciding what counts as an exceptional circumstance when it comes to a child missing school.   

They should look at each application individually, considering the specific facts and background context. If a leave of absence is granted, the school will decide how long the pupil can be away from school. 

Holidays are very rarely an acceptable reason for a school absence and are unlikely to be treated as an exceptional circumstance.  

Where can I get support to help my child attend school? 

If your child is struggling to go to school, both their school and your local authority have a responsibility to help you to support your child’s attendance. 

In most cases, if your child’s attendance level is falling, their school will contact you to explore the reasons and discuss what help can be put in place. You can expect the school to meet with you and your child if they are old enough.   

If the barriers to your child’s attendance are in school, the school is responsible for working with you to help overcome the issues. Information on who in school you can contact for help, including the school’s senior leader responsible for attendance, can be found in the school’s policy on its website or available in hard copy from the school itself. 

If the barriers to attendance you or your child are facing go beyond the remit of the school, both the school and local authority have a responsibility to help you. This includes helping you to access the wider support you might need, for example from the school nurse or from local housing or transport teams.