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Absence and Attendance


Why is attendance important?

  • There is a link between good school attendance and high level attainment.

  • Good attendance promotes children’s welfare and safeguarding.

  • It enables pupils to access the widest possible range of opportunities.

  • It encourages good friendships with peers.

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving your child the best possible start in life and is important to your child’s future.

What can parents / carers do to help?

  • Find out what date each term starts and make sure your child is ready.

  • Get as much prepared the evening before to save time in the morning. Check the alarm is set.

  • Build regular routines for bedtime and the morning.  Primary children need about 10 hours of sleep each night.

  • Talk about the importance of regular attendance and how your child feels about school.

  • Contact the school if your child is worried about something, causing reluctance to go to school.

  • Where possible, all medical appointments should be booked outside of school hours.  The amount of disruption to learning time should be kept to a minimum if this is not possible.

  • Do not take holidays during term time.

  • Try to arrange a back-up plan for getting to school if there are unforeseen circumstances.  Ask a family member, neighbour or another parent for help.


Children arriving late may seriously disrupt not only their continuity of learning but also that of others. When pupils arrive late after the close of registers and fail to provide an adequate explanation, they are marked as unauthorised for that session. 

If your child is late to school, they might:

  • Be embarrassed or unsettled

  • Miss important information

  • Miss the start of the learning

  • Miss out on positive interactions with their peer group

10 minutes late every day = 36 hours lost learning each year (Over a week of school missed).

Medical Appointments

Where possible, all medical appointments should be made outside of school times.  Where this is not possible, disruption to learning should be kept to a minimum. Schools may not authorise the time off if medical evidence is not provided.


Illness - Too ill to attend school?

Your child can attend school with minor ailments such as toothache, headache, stomach ache, cold and sore throats. Over-the-counter medicines can be given before school.

The school will contact you if your child becomes too ill to remain in school. If your child has diarrhoea or vomiting, they should not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode or symptom.

If you are unsure how long your child should be absent with an illness, speak to a member of the First Aid team or your doctor.

Please contact the school every day that your child is unwell.

The DFE has shared a useful link from the NHS that can be helpful in knowing if your child should attend school or not with so many different childhood illnesses:

Reporting Absence 

Parents are responsible for informing the school of any absence. This must be on the first day of absence, ideally before 9:00am and must call in every day of absence to report this.
Please telephone the school (01903 243099) and speak to a member of staff, or leave a message on the school’s answering service (option 1) stating your child's name, class, the nature of the illness and when the child is expected to return to school.

Unauthorised leave in term time

Children are not entitled to holidays during the school term. Family breaks/holidays should be taken during the holiday periods.

In West Sussex a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) will likely be issued if:

  •  Your child accrues 10 or more unauthorised absences (5 days) in a 10-week period;

  • You take your child on an unauthorised holiday during the school term and accrue 10 or more absences (5 days).

If an FPN is issued, the charge is £120 per parent, per child (reduced to £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days).  Fines are collected, and all monies kept by West Sussex Local Authority.

Absence Requests

If a request for leave is absolutely unavoidable parents should complete a113 KBAbsence Request Form – Updated June 2023 ' online form, wherever possible, two weeks in advance of any planned absence. 

Persistent Absence 

Is your child a persistent absentee?

If your child's attendance falls below 90% they are classified as a persistent absentee. This equates to missing 2 days a month, or 20 days of a school year.

If your child is persistently absent, you will need to provide evidence for any absence to be considered as authorised and failure to do so could lead to a fixed penalty notice or even court action from West Sussex Local Authority.

Statistics prove that persistent absentees are less likely to achieve their full potential, and can effect GSCE results and future employability.

Additional information:

Department of Education -

General questions around school attendance, including the use of penalties can be answered by the Pupil Entitlement: Investigation (PEI)

Telephone: 03302 228200

Absence Request Form – Updated June 2023