Attendance and Punctuality

All students are expected to arrive punctually for school in the morning and to arrive punctually for each lesson. A register is taken at the start of the day and in the afternoon after Lunchtime. If the lateness is due to a legitimate reason e.g. a medical appointment, the absence can be authorised. Otherwise, the session is marked as an unauthorised absence.

Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly and punctually in order to optimise their learning, achieve the best they can and get the most out of their school experience. Failure to do so is an offence under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

Regular attendance and good punctuality are important for maximising achievement and gaining the greatest benefit from education.

The information below shows how attendance can affect your child’s future progression:




98 – 100 % Excellent 0-4 Less than 1
95 – 98 % Good 5-9 1-2
90 – 94.9 % Below National Expectations 10 – 18 2 – 4
Below 89.9 % Persistent Absence More than 19 More than 4

Why is Good Punctuality and Attendance So Important?

The benefits for children with good attendance and punctuality include:

  • Higher motivation to learn and attend school
  • More confidence in themselves and their learning
  • Greater opportunities to experience extra-curricular opportunities available to them at school
  • Positive self-esteem that comes with knowing they have achieved their best at school
  • The ability to make and maintain strong friendships


Research shows that children with poor attendance are at a disadvantage later in life. They often:

  • find it harder to make and maintain friendships
  • are less likely to achieve good grades / qualifications
  • earn lower wages
  • have a higher chance of being unemployed
  • have lower motivation and self-esteem and less confidence in school than their peer’s poor attendance and punctuality, even at the earliest age, can affect achievement later in life so establishing good habits from the start of a child’s school life helps children to settle more quickly into their new setting and routines.



My child was only a couple of minutes late. It seems harsh that he/she should get a late mark and receive a sanction.
The school has to abide by the rules and expectations laid down for all schools. Lateness for school (or work) is a failure to arrive on time and will be marked as such. We would encourage students to set off in good time so that any small delay does not cause them to be late.

Our whole family overslept and it is not my child’s fault that he/she is late.  Will they receive a late mark?
This cannot be taken as an acceptable reason for lateness so a late mark or unauthorised absence would be recorded, depending on the time of arrival.

My child has to catch the bus to school which is sometimes late.  Will they receive a late mark?
Any lateness is recorded as thus on the register.  We would advise that the child leaves earlier so that even if the bus is late, they will still arrive on time. If the bus is sometimes late, then it is not a reliable way to ensure arrival in good time or set off in good time.

Would you make any allowances for lateness if, for example, there were major traffic problems in the area perhaps because of an accident, so my car/the bus was unavoidably stuck in traffic?
The school cannot make allowances for the individual problem (however genuine it may be). However, it does make allowances when there are known reported major problems that effect a large number of people; very heavy snowfall would be one such example.

What if I phone up/email to say my child is going to be late? Would he/she still get a late mark?
Yes, they would still be marked late, but it is very helpful to know that you are aware and for us to know the expected time of arrival and reason for lateness.

If I know my child is going to be late, do I need to ring/send in a note?
It is very helpful if you do this. If your child is very late, they will be marked as unauthorised absence and your note may give an alternative acceptable reason to allow us to authorise the absence.

What do I do if I don’t agree with your policy on punctuality?
Much of our attendance policy is designed to satisfy DfE regulation but as always, if you feel an approach is unfair or unreasonable, then you can write to the Headteacher and/or Governing Body asking for a review.  However, whilst any such policy is in place, the school will operate as stated.

Attendance and Punctuality - Dec 2023