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Did you know that:

         100% attendance means your child has attended every day.

         97% attendance means your child has been absent for approximately half a day a month.

         95% attendance means your child has been absent for approximately half a day every two weeks.

         90% attendance means your child has been absent for approximately half a day every week.

         85% attendance means your child has been absent for approximately one day per week.

         75% attendance means your child has been absent for a day and a half each week.



At Gascoigne Primary, we are committed to meeting our obligations with regard to school attendance through our whole-school culture and ethos that values good attendance, including:

  • Promoting good attendance and punctuality;
  • Reducing absence, including persistent (90% and below) and severe absence (50% and below);
  • Ensuring every pupil has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled;
  • Acting early to address patterns of absence;
  • Building strong relationships with families to ensure pupils have the support in place to attend school.
  • We will also promote and support punctuality in attending lessons.
Legislation and Guidance

This policy meets the requirements of the working together to improve school attendance from the Department for Education (DfE), and refers to the DfE’s statutory guidance on school attendance parental responsibility measures. These documents are drawn from the following legislation setting out the legal powers and duties that govern school attendance:

Part 6 of The Education Act 1996

Part 3 of The Education Act 2002

Part 7 of The Education and Inspections Act 2006

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (and 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 amendments)

The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

This policy also refers to the DfE’s guidance on the school census, which explains the persistent absence threshold.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Governing Board

The governing board is responsible for:

  • Promoting the importance of school attendance across the school’s policies and ethos;
  • Making sure school leaders fulfil expectations and statutory duties;
  • Regularly reviewing and challenging attendance data;
  • Monitoring attendance figures for the whole school;
  • Making sure staff receive adequate training on attendance;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the implementation of this policy.

The Governor responsible for attendance is Rahat Ismail:

The Headteacher

The headteacher is responsible for:

  • Implementation of this policy at school;
  • Monitoring school-level absence data and reporting it to governors;
  • Supporting staff by monitoring the attendance of individual pupils;
  • Monitoring the impact of any implemented attendance strategies;
  • Issuing fixed-penalty notices, where necessary.

The Designated Senior Leader Responsible for Attendance

The designated senior leader is responsible for:

Leading attendance across the school;

  • Offering a clear vision for attendance improvement;
  • Evaluating and monitoring expectations and processes;
  • Benchmarking attendance data to identify areas of focus for improvement;
  • Having oversight of data analysis;
  • Devising specific strategies to address areas of poor attendance identified through data;
  • Arranging calls and meetings with parents to discuss attendance issues;
  • Delivering targeted intervention and support to pupils and families.

The Designated Senior Leaders responsible for attendance are:

Family Liaison Practitioners:

Office Team

Office members are responsible for:

  • Take calls from parents about absence on a day-to-day basis and record it on the school system;
  • Transfer calls from parents to the Family Liaison Practitioner Team or Designated Senior Leaders for attendance in order to provide them with more detailed support in attendance.
  • Monitoring and analysing attendance data (see section 7);
  • Notify Designated Senior Leaders if unable to contact a parent of a pupil on the Vulnerable list when follow-up their absence;
  • Providing regular attendance reports to school staff and reporting concerns about attendance to the designated senior leaders responsible for attendance and the headteacher;
  • Working with education welfare officers to tackle persistent absence;
  • Advising the headteacher (authorised by the headteacher) when to issue fixed-penalty notices.

The office staff with attendance responsibility is: Ela Pashai and can be contacted via 0208 227 4291

Class Teachers

Class teachers are responsible for recording attendance on a daily basis, using the correct codes, and submitting this information to the school office.

  • Notify Office Staff responsible for attendance by LAN Message, when children on their Vulnerable list have not arrived at school when taking the register.
  • Report concerns about attendance of pupils to a Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Family Liaison Practitioners and Pastoral Team

Family Liaison Practitioners and Pastoral Team will:

  • Respond to requests from Office/DSL to make a home visit or meet with parents to discuss Early Help support;
  • Liaise with DSLs regarding concerns.


Parents/Carers are expected to:

  • Make sure their child attends every day on time throughout each term;
  • Call the school to report their child’s absence before 9am on the day of the absence and each subsequent day of absence), and advise when they are expected to return;
  • Provide evidence where a child is required to remain off school for any length of time;
  • Provide the school with at least three emergency contact numbers for their child;
  • Ensure that non-emergency appointments for their child are made outside the school day.


Pupils are expected to:

  • Attend school every day on time.
Recording Attendance

Attendance Register

We will keep an attendance register and place all pupils onto this register.

We will take our attendance register at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session.

 It will mark whether every pupil is:

  • Present;
  • Attending an approved off-site educational activity;
  • Absent;
  • Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances;

Any amendment to the attendance register will include:

  • The original entry:
  • The amended entry:
  • The reason for the amendment:
  • The date on which the amendment was made;
  • The name and position of the person who made the amendment.

See Appendix 1 for the DfE attendance codes.

We will also record:

  • Whether the absence is authorised or not;
  • The nature of the activity if a pupil is attending an approved educational activity;
  • The nature of circumstances where a pupil is unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances;
  • We will keep every entry on the attendance register for 3 years after the date on which the entry was made.
Start of the Day Arrangements

Shaftesburys site:

Pupils must arrive at school by 8:40am, ready for lessons to start at 8:50am

The register for the first session will be taken at 8:50am and will be kept open until 9:05am

Gascoigne Road site:

Pupils must arrive at school by 8:50am, ready for lessons to start at 9:00am

The register for the first session will be taken at 8:50am and will be kept open until 9:15am

Unplanned Absence

The pupil’s parent/carer must notify the school of the reason for the absence on the first day of an unplanned absence by 9:00am or as soon as practically possible by calling the school (0208 270 4291) or contacting the school via email

We will mark absence due to illness as authorised unless the school has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness.

If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the school may ask the pupil’s parent/carer to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence. We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily.

If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents/carers will be notified of this in advance.

Planned Absence

Attending a medical or dental appointment will be counted as authorised as long as the pupil’s parent/carer notifies the school in advance of the appointment.

However, we encourage parents/carers to make medical and dental appointments out of school hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary.

The pupil’s parent/carer must also apply for other types of term-time absence as far in advance as possible of the requested absence. Go to section 5 to find out which term-time absences the school can authorise.

Lateness and Punctuality

A pupil who arrives late:

  • Before the register has closed, it will be marked as late, using the appropriate code.
  • After the register has closed, it will be marked as absent, using the appropriate code.
  • If regularly late, a member of staff will speak with the parent to find out reasons and offer support and advice to improve punctuality.
  • If this persists, then a meeting will be arranged with a senior member of staff and the parent to discuss and identify next steps.
Following-Up Unexplained Absence

Where any pupil we expect to attend school does not attend, or stops attending, without reason, the school will:

  • Identify whether the absence is approved or not
  • Call the pupil’s parents/carer on the morning of the first day of unexplained absence to ascertain the reason. If the school cannot reach any of the pupil’s emergency contacts, the school may conduct a home visit. If no contact is made with the parents and where there are significant concerns for the well-being or safety of the pupil due to their absence, the school may then contact Children’s Services or the Police for further advice.
  • Identify the correct attendance code to use and input it as soon as the reason for absence is ascertained – this will be no later than 5 working days after the session
  • Call the parent/carer each day if the absence continues without explanation to ensure proper safeguarding action is taken where necessary. If the absence continues, the school will consider involving an education welfare officer.
Reporting to Parents/Carers

Pupils’ attendance reports are shared with parents during Parent Consultation meetings (x2 a year) and is included as part of a pupil’s end of year report.

The school will regularly inform parents about their child’s attendance and absence levels, if there are concerns, as part of an action plan/Parent Contract.

A weekly newsletter will inform parents and staff of those classes with good attendance.

Authorised and Unauthorised Absence

Approval for term-time absence

The headteacher will only grant a leave of absence to a pupil during term time if they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'. A leave of absence is granted at the headteacher’s discretion, including the length of time the pupil is authorised to be absent for.

We would consider ‘exceptional circumstances’ on a case by case basis. Exceptional circumstances are one off events, which are unavoidable.

The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request.

Any request should be submitted as soon as it is anticipated and, where possible, at least two weeks before the absence, and in accordance with any leave of absence request form, accessible via the school office. The headteacher may require evidence to support any request for leave of absence.

Valid reasons for authorised absence include:

Illness and emergency medical/dental appointments (see sections 4.2 and 4.3 for more detail)

Religious observance – where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong.  If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart.

Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh gypsies, Irish and Scottish travellers, showmen (fairground people) and circus people, bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and new travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school, but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision.

Legal Sanctions

The school or local authority can fine parents for the unauthorised absence of their child from school, where the child is of compulsory school age.

If issued with a fine, or penalty notice, each parent must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. The payment must be made directly to the local authority.

Penalty notices can be issued by a headteacher, local authority officer or the police.

The decision on whether to issue a penalty notice may take into account:

The number of unauthorised absences occurring within a rolling academic year

One-off instances of irregular attendance, such as holidays taken in term time without permission

Where an excluded pupil is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason

If the payment has not been made after 28 days, the local authority can decide whether to prosecute or withdraw the notice.

Strategies for Promoting Attendance

Monthly attendance badges (99%/100% attendance during the month) – awarded in assembly.

All staff regularly talk to parents and children about the importance of good attendance.

Shared weekly newsletter informing parents of classes with good attendance.

An Attendance Cup is awarded to the class with the highest attendance each week.

Attendance Monitoring

Stage 1 Monitoring

Daily monitoring is carried out by the class teacher and office staff; parents are contacted routinely if children do not arrive at school and there has been no prior reason for absence received.

Class teachers will speak with parents to find out the reason for absence and provide support if needed, but work together to ensure absences do not continue.

A Vulnerable List is shared with teachers; if these children do not arrive at school, they are made a priority and their absence is looked into immediately.

Class teachers will log attendance concerns on CPOMS.

Stage 2 Monitoring

Fortnightly, a year group report will be emailed to the senior leader responsible for each year group; they will go through the list and follow-up concerns by speaking with parents about the reasons for absence and identifying next steps to reduce the level of absence.

Stage 3 Monitoring

Fortnightly, Designated Safeguarding Leads will arrange meetings with parents and any other professional deemed necessary to improve the child’s attendance.

Reducing Persistent and Severe Absence

Persistent absence is where a pupil misses 10% or more of school, and severe absence is where a pupil misses 50% or more of school.

The school will:

Use attendance data to find patterns and trends of persistent and severe absence.

Hold regular meetings with the parents of pupils who the school (and/or local authority) considers to be vulnerable, or are persistently or severely absent, to discuss attendance and engagement at school.

Provide access to wider support services to remove the barriers to attendance.

Monitoring Attendance

The school will:

Monitor attendance and absence data half-termly, termly and yearly across the school and at an individual pupil level

Identify whether there are particular groups of children whose absences may be a cause for concern

Pupil-level absence data will be collected each term and published at national and local authority level through the DfE's school absence national statistics releases. The underlying school-level absence data is published alongside the national statistics. The school will compare attendance data to the national average, and share this with the governing body.

Analysing Attendance

The school will:

Analyse attendance and absence data regularly to identify pupils or cohorts that need additional support with their attendance, and use this analysis to provide targeted support to these pupils and their families.

Look at historical and emerging patterns of attendance and absence, and then develop strategies to address these patterns. 

Using Data to Improve Attendance

The school will:

Provide regular attendance reports for class teachers and other school leaders, to facilitate discussions with pupils and families.

Use data to monitor and evaluate the impact of any interventions put in place in order to modify them and inform future strategies.

Monitoring Arrangements

This policy will be reviewed as guidance from the local authority or DfE is updated, and at a minimum once a year by the Headteacher. At every review, the policy will be approved by the full governing board.

Links with Other Policies

This policy links to the following policies:

  • Child Protection and Safeguarding
  • Behaviour and Self-regulation
  • Educational Visits
  • Arrival and Collection of Children



Get in touch

Gascoigne Primary School Gascoigne Road, Barking, Essex, IG11 7DR

Gascoigne Shaftesburys, Shaftesburys, Barking, Essex, IG11 7JA

020 8270 4291