Attendance & Punctuality

Attendance and Punctuality



Shilbottle Primary actively encourages regular attendance.  Children need to attend regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.  Irregular attendance undermines the educational process and may lead to educational disadvantage.  Parents are primarily responsible for ensuring that children attend school. It is the schools responsibility to support attendance and to take seriously problems which may lead to non-attendance.  Parental responsibility extends beyond securing regular school attendance, so it is also important that parents ensure that their children arrive at school on time.


Our Aims

  •          To maintain and improve the overall attendance of children at school.
  •          To improve children's attainment through good attendance.
  •          To encourage parents to ensure that children arrive at school on time.
  •        To make attendance a priority for all those associated with the school including parents, pupils, teachers and governors.


What is Compulsory School Age?

DFE (2014) 'Compulsory school age is set out in section 8 of the Education Act 1996 and The Education (Start of Compulsory School Age) Order 1998.  A child reaches compulsory school age on the prescribed day following his fifth birthday (or on his fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day).  The prescribed days are 31 December, 31 March and 31 August.  The term ‘summer born’ is used to refer to children born from 1 April to 31 August.  These children are not required to start school until a full school year after the point at which they could first have been admitted. 


For further information, please follow the links below:

Advice on Summer Born Birthdays (2014)

School Attendance (2020)

Children Missing in Education (2016)


Attendance Initiatives

At Shilbottle Primary school, pupils with 100% attendance for a whole term will receive a certificate from the head teacher.  Pupils who receive 100% attendance for the full year will receive a reward which may change from year to year.  


Monitoring Attendance

Attendance is monitored initially by Mrs Lowes (Office Manager) and it is overseen by the Head Teacher. Any issues identified concerning absence, illness or lateness will be addressed by the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) by letter, telephone or a meeting.  If a pupil has been absent from school for more than a month, school will seek advice from the LEA reintegration officer.


Why is Punctuality Important? (School gates open at 8:30, close at 8.40, and the school day starts at 8:45 prompt)

Being on time is very important because:

  • it gets your day off to a good start and puts you in a positive frame of mind, so that you can make the most of your learning opportunities
  • it leads to a good attendance record and means you don’t miss any important learning
  • it leads to better achievement
  • it leads to an understanding that school is important and education is valuable
  • it enables pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and develops their independence

Research shows that attendance and punctuality are the single most important factors in school success and it is an important life skill.  


Our School Day

Staff will be available at the entrance from 8.30 a.m. to enable parents/carers to drop of their children. Doors will be closed promptly at 8:40 a.m. as registration starts at 8.45 a.m.  All children must be in their classes for registration otherwise they will be recorded as late in the school register. Our school day finishes at 3:05 p.m. [Reception], 3:10 p.m. [Y1/Y2], 3:15 p.m. [Y3/4] and 3.20 p.m. [Y5/6] and we ask all parents to pick their children up promptly please.  If you know you are going to be late; please contact the school office.  Children who have not been collected within 5 minutes of collection times will be sent to our After School Club unless we have written permission for them to walk home unaccompanied.



If your child has an appointment during the school day which is unavoidable and they will be late coming into school, please inform us in writing the day before the appointment. We are required, by Northumberland County Council to monitor reasons for absences.



Please see below the guidance issued from Northumberland County Council on ' Leave of absence in term time'. This guidance reflects the changes to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 which came into force on the 1 September 2013. All children of statutory school age who are registered at a school must, by law attend that school regularly.  Any absence from school can seriously disrupt a pupil's continuity of learning and have a detrimental effect on their future progress.  This guidance has been prepared in accordance with the Northumberland County Council Penalty Notice code of conduct also attached below.

This policy also makes it clear that headteachers 'shall not’ grant any leave of absence during term time unless 'exceptional circumstances' exist.  Therefore headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted for 'exceptional circumstances'.  Taking this into account, headteachers will have to assess each case individually.


Fixed Penalty Notices

It is at the Headteacher's discretion as to whether a case should be referred to the Local Authority for an FPN to be issued.  The current threshold is '...a minimum absence of ten sessions (five school days) which are unauthorised must be recorded against a pupils named within a 6 to 12 school week period.' A Headteacher must however consider the wider context before making the referral. If the Headteacher decides to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) then parents/carers must be informed in writing that a request has been made to the Local Authority to issue a FPN. Parents must pay £60.00 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.  If the FPN remains unpaid after 28 days this may result in prosecution.