Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all children can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

Department for Education, Nov 2016


Avonwood Primary wants your child to succeed. One very important way to support this is to encourage them to attend school regularly and arrive on time.

If you are worried or want to know more about your child’s attendance, please contact our reception who will be happy to help.

Avonbourne Trust has an Education Social Worker who can also support you and your child with attendance difficulties.



Why is it important?

Missing two weeks of school for a holiday might not seem like very much, but it can have a big effect on your child’s education.

For example, if your child misses two weeks of school every year, this adds up to more than two terms over the child’s whole time in school. Research shows that children with high levels of attendance are more likely to achieve better exam results that will enable them to have more successful careers.

Making sure your child attends school as much as possible means:

  • Your child will have the same education and opportunities as everyone else in the class
  • You won’t need to worry about catching up on work, or that your child might fall behind because of missing an important lesson
  • Your child won’t miss out on school life and activities

How to report an absence due to illness?

If your child is unable to attend school through illness you should inform Avonwood by telephone on the first day of absence before 8.30am. Pease call 01202 727910.

If we have not heard from parents by 9.30am we will start calling all the contact numbers that you have provided to gain an explanation for the absence, if we still have not been able to ascertain where your child is then we will make a home visit after 3 days unexplained absence. However, if we have still not received an explanation of the absence we are obligated to report this to the Local Authority and request a safe and well visit by the police, as your child will be classed a ‘missing child’.

It is also very important that Avonwood Primary has two emergency contacts to ensure we can make contact promptly and avoid any confusion. Please let us know if contact details change.

Medical appointments

Where possible please avoid making medical appointments during school time. If this is unavoidable please bring a letter or evidence of an appointment to the front office in advance of the appointment.

If same day medical appointments occur, please bring proof of appointment to the front office on the next day your child returns to school.

What does the law say?

By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent, you are responsible for making sure this happens, either by registering your child at a school or making other arrangements which provide an appropriate full-time education.

Once your child is registered at a school you are responsible for making sure he or she attends regularly. 

Under these guidelines you can only allow your child to miss school if:

  • He or she is too ill to go in
  • You’ve got advance permission from the school
How do I request permission for an absence?

You must submit a request to the school before you arrange for your child to have time away.

If you wish to take your child out of school during term time, you must submit a formal request to the Headteacher via the front office. You should provide evidence to support your request e.g. medical information.

Requests should be made in at least 20 school days before the requested period of absence. Copies of our absent request form can be collected from our reception.

When will absence requests be granted?

Permission for absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and if your child has more than 95% attendance.

The Headteacher will consider each absence request individually based on current attendance, the exceptional circumstances, and the impact on your child’s academic progress. Absence requests should not be made in the first few weeks in September, or during exam periods.

The Headteacher will also decide how many days your child can be away from school if the absence is granted.

What happens if your child does not attend school regularly?

Avonwood is responsible by law for reporting poor attendance to the Local Authority. As a parent, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure your child attends school regularly, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.

If you take your child out of school without advance permission (except where he or she is unwell) or they do not attend school regularly, you can be fined or even prosecuted.

This could involve:

  • A fixed penalty notice of £60 within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days.
  • A parenting order, education supervision order or school attendance order where your child repeatedly misses school without a good reason.
Key things to remember
  • You can only allow your child to miss school if he or she is ill, or if you have advance permission from the school.
  • Absence requests will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
  • You can be fined for taking your child out of school without advance permission from the school.

You should refer to the school absence policy when considering whether to submit an absence request.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions.


You can find out more about the rules around term-time absence in the following sources:

School attendance and absence: overview, GOV.UK 

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013: regulation 2,