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Attendance & Punctuality

Our school target remains at 97.2% during the 2023/24 academic year.

Woodthorpe JI School are working in partnership with parents/carers to continue to improve school attendance. We would like to congratulate the many parents/carers who make sure their children attend school regularly.

It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education. Failing to send your child to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence.

Absence disrupts the education of the individual pupil and the whole class. Are you aware that children who do not attend regularly:

· do not achieve well in exams

· find it difficult to maintain friendships

· are more likely to become involved in crime

· miss out on opportunities in further education and the world of work

termly attendance letter summer term 2023.pdf

attendance policy.pdf

working together to improve school attendance.pdf

 Absence can only be authorised by the Head Teacher, within the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registrations) (England) Regulations 2006.

Please remember that parental illness, going shopping, visiting family, truancy, not wanting to go to school, alleged bullying (speak to school immediately to resolve the issue) are not acceptable reasons to be absent. All of these will be recorded as unauthorised absence, including if your child arrives at school after the close of registration. Leave in term time will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

Legal action that may be taken include:

Issuing penalty notices: Each parent receives a penalty notice for each child who has unauthorised absence. The penalty is £60 or £120 depending on how soon payment is made. So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £480. Failure to pay may result in prosecution.

Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) - court can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, order payment of prosecution costs and/or impose a Parenting Order.


Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) - court can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs, impose a Parenting Order and/or sentence you to a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months.


Being taken to court could result in you having a criminal record.

Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in adult life.

If your child’s level of absence is of serious concern, 90% or below, you will receive another letter advising you about improving attendance. After this, any further unauthorised absence may result in the School and the Local Authority taking legal action.

We will improve attendance by making it clear within the school and local community that unauthorised absence is not acceptable. You will be informed of the number of penalty notices issued, prosecutions and the level of fines.

Again, we would like to thank those parents who make sure their child is attending school regularly and are therefore benefiting fully from their educational opportunity.

 Fast-track to Attendance

Leave in Term Time

If a pupil takes unauthorised leave in term time without the Head Teacher’s permission, and does not return to school within 20 school days, the pupil may be deleted from the school register on the 21st day i.e. they will no longer have a place at this school.

Family emergencies need careful consideration. It is not always appropriate or in the best interests of the child to miss school for emergencies which are being dealt with by adult family members. Being at school, friendship with peers and support from staff can provide children with stability. The routine of school offers a safe and familiar background during times of uncertainty.

If you believe there is an exceptional and urgent reason for your child to take leave during term time, please complete the required form which you can obtain from the School. It is the Head Teacher who will then make a decision on whether or not the leave can be authorised. For example:

  • death of parent/carer or sibling of the pupil

  • life threatening or critical illness of parent or sibling of the pupil

  • parent/carer recuperation and convalescence from critical illness or surgery (leave request to be made within 6 months of recovery and medical evidence required)

We are grateful for the support we receive from parents and good attendance will ensure that your child can reach his/her full potential. To achieve this, your child needs to attend school every day.