Attendance and Punctuality

Our Aims

We are committed to meeting our obligation with regards to school attendance through our whole-school culture and ethos that values good attendance, including:

  • Promoting good attendance
  • Reducing absence, including persistent and severe absence
  • 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
  • Promoting good attendance and punctuality habits from an early age

Why is regular school attendance important?

The links between regular attendance, reaching potential attainment and future life opportunities are well researched. For this reason Savile Park Primary School encourage good attendance and will be robust in monitoring attendance and take action when attendance falls. By law, all children of compulsory school age (five to sixteen) must receive a suitable full-time education.

Once your child is registered at school, you are legally responsible for making sure that they attend regularly. In certain circumstances, the Local Authority may even instigate legal proceedings in either the Magistrate’s or Family Proceedings’ Court in order that children and young people have access to appropriate educational opportunities.

You also need to think about the negative impact upon your child and the following:

  • their learning
  • their friendships
  • their self-esteem and confidence.

Savile Park Primary School continue to work closely to identify any children whose attendance is causing concern. It may be that parents/carers are contacted directly by the Schools Educational Welfare Officer about their child’s attendance. Together they work and support those children and their families who are not attending school without sufficient reason.

90% attendance sounds good, but means that your child misses:

  • one half day each week
  • nearly four weeks every school year
  • over one school year in a school career

Last year our school attendance figure was 95.6%

Our target for this year is 97%


Punctuality is a life skill. Good school attendance includes being there on time. The habit of good punctuality at school will help your child throughout their education and into adult life and the work place. Every minute of every day counts!

Why is lateness such a bad thing?

  • 5 minutes late each day = 3 days lost over a year
  • 10 minutes late each day = 6.5 days lost over a year
  • 15 minutes late each day = 10 days lost over a year
  • 20 minutes late each day = 13 days lost over a year
  • 30 minutes late each day = 19 days lost over a year

Why is punctuality such a good thing?

Being on time for school:

  • Helps your child make and keep friends
  • Helps get your child’s day off to a good start and puts your child in a positive frame of mind
  • Sets your child up for the future – whether it’s college, university or work. They could lose their place or lose their job if they think it is ok to be late.
  • Helps your child understand that school is important and education is valuable
  • Helps your child develop a sense of responsibility for him/herself and towards others
  • Is linked to good attendance – good attendees have more opportunities and therefore achieve more.
  • Leads to success and self confidence

Top Tips for Improving Punctuality

  • Make sure your child has a good bedtime routine so they get plenty of rest and don’t struggle out of bed in the morning.
  • Get to know your child’s timetable – plan together to make sure they have everything ready the night before; eg uniform, books, cooking ingredients, PE/swimming kit.
  • Get your child into the habit of doing their homework in the evening – not the morning it’s due in.
  • Invest in a good, reliable alarm clock – make setting it part of your child’s bedtime routine.
  • Ensure your child has a good breakfast to set them up for the day.
  • Have a back-up plan for getting your child to school in case something unforeseen happens – friends and family or perhaps neighbours who are taking their children to school anyway.
  • Allow lots of time for your journey to school. 

Support – If you are having problems getting your child to school on time:

  • Talk to your child
  • Contact school and ask for Ms Bradley who is our school attendance officer and will be only too pleased to help with any difficulties your child may be experiencing.

Every Friday the whole school will be notified of how many minutes of learning time has been lost due to poor punctuality.

Absence due to Illness

If a child is ill and cannot attend school, parents/carers must notify the school of the reason for the absence on the first day of an unplanned absence by 8.30am or as soon as practically possible by calling the school office or leaving a message on the answer phone. If school has had no contact from parents/carers Miss Bradley will continue to try and contact families until we speak to a parent/carer. 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 not, 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.

Please note that children who have frequent occasional days off due to illness (leading to less than 90% attendance) may be referred to the School Nurse and/or parents may be requested to provide medical evidence to explain these absences. If parents are unable to justify regular absences with medical evidence, further absences will also be recorded as unauthorised and may result in a referral to the Education Welfare Officer.

Medical Appointments

Wherever possible, we ask parents to try to make appointments for doctors and dentists before, after school or during the holidays. Where this is impossible, they should inform the School Office, of such an appointment and it will be noted in the register. We will need to see proof of dental or hospital appointments. Children will not be allowed to leave school during the school day unless there is an emergency, in which case the child should be collected personally by the parent or named carer, and the school informed.

Exceptional Leave

If a child needs to be absent for any reason other than illness, such as an interview, examination, bereavement, family illness or crisis, parents must first seek permission from Mrs Boylan. Parents do not have the legal right to take children out of school for holidays. If exceptional circumstances arise where parents decide that time away from school cannot be avoided, then permission must be sought from Mrs Boylan before booking tickets.

Forms requesting Exceptional Leave are available from the School Office at both the Heath and Moorfield sites. If exceptional leave has been granted once before, it is unlikely to be granted again.

If parents take children on a holiday during term time without the school’s permission or, if a child fails to return on the agreed date, the penalties are high:

The school can decide to take that child off roll, which means that parents will have to re-apply for a place at Savile Park. If the school is full, then parents will have to apply to a different school.
The Education Welfare Officer can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) on behalf of Calderdale Council.

Attendance Monitoring

School has created an attendance monitoring spreadsheet, which is updated weekly using data inputted into the class registers on the SIMS system. It provides a pupils current percentage attendance, allows filtering to identify pupil characteristics and groupings, thus allowing school to robustly monitor attendance.