Thorney Close Primary School

"Where Learning Blossoms..."

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance Policy

Regular and punctual school attendance is important. Pupils need to attend school regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by law. Thorney Close Primary School fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours.

Our attendance policy applies to all children registered at this school.  It has been written to adhere to the relevant Children Acts, Education Acts, Regulations and Guidance from the Department for Education in addition to guidance from the Local Authority. 

Although parents/carers have the legal responsibility for ensuring their child’s good attendance, the Headteacher and Governors at our school work together with other professionals and agencies to ensure that all pupils are encouraged and supported to develop good attendance habits.

Children who are persistently late or absent soon fall behind with their learning .Children who are absent from school frequently develop large gaps in their learning which will impact on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations.

Half day absent = 3 hours of lessons missed.

1 day absent = 5 hours of lessons missed.

3 days absent = 15 hours of lessons missed.

1 week absent = 25 hours of lessons missed.

2 weeks absent = 50 hours of lessons missed. 


Children are expected to attend school every day, unless they are sick.   It is the parents’ responsibility to inform the school of their child's unexpected absence as soon as possible.  Parents are required to contact the school office on the first day of absence, either in person or with a telephone call.  If your child is ill, the school should be notified of the nature of the illness and when your child is expected to be able to return to school.  If we do not receive information on the reason for absence, then the absence will be classed as unauthorised in the register and on your child’s report.

If your child is sick, please contact the school and leave a message on our dedicated attendance line

 0191 5250808 – selecting option 1 – which is available 24/7.


Email -

Please note that if we have not been contacted by you, it is part of our school policy for a member of the school office to contact parents or carers on the first day of absence to enquire about your child’s absence, which also ensures that your child is safe and has not set out to school and failed to arrive.

 Authorised absence

  • An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or  carer.  For example, if a child has been unwell and the parent telephones the school to explain the absence.
  • Only the school can make an absence authorised.  Parents do not have this authority. Consequently not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised.  

Unauthorised absence

  • An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school.  Therefore, the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.

Absences will not be authorised if: 

  • Another member of the family is ill.
  • The family have overslept or had a late night - Come into school as soon as you can
  • There are problems with uniform/clothing - Contact school as we can help you with this
  • You have forgotten school dates
  • There is an annual family event such as a birthday
  • You take your child shopping

Holiday in school time

Under new legislation we are no longer able to authorise holidays during term time. Where children require time off during the school term we are only able to authorise this under exceptional circumstances, in some instances proof of circumstances may be required. Where parents request leave for their child, each case will be considered on an individual basis, taking all available information into consideration before a decision is made.


It is the legal responsibility of parents to ensure that children arrive at school on time.  Any child arriving after the school's official starting time (8.55am) will be classified on the register as late. 

At the start of the school day children arriving after 8.55am must enter the building through the main school entrance/office as all other doors will be locked.  If a child is late for school thy must be accompanied into school with their parent/carer. 

Missing just 10 minutes of school a day is the same as missing two weeks over the year.

 Pupils who arrive late and/or leave early also disrupt lessons, which can be embarrassing for the child and can in turn, encourage absence.
It is also extremely disruptive for the rest of their class. 

Attendance Guidance and Information

Attendance Policy

Working together to improve school attendance

Summary table of responsibilities for school attendance