Clifton Primary School

Aspire to Achieve

Attendance and Punctuality

Why is good attendance and punctuality important?


Good attendance and punctuality is vital if children are to do their best and make good progress. Research shows that children are much more likely to meet age-related expectations if they have high levels of attendance at school, and we aim to promote this from the very start of their school career. This encourages children to form positive attitudes from a young age, which will influence their approach to work and life in later years. If children understand how important good attendance and punctuality is, they will achieve more in school and will develop good habits for the future.


What if my child is ill and unable to attend school?


Absence from school will be authorised if it is due to illness or medical needs, however we do still encourage children to attend school unless they are very unwell. When children are not attending school because they are ill, parents/carers must inform us on the first day of absence, preferably by calling before school starts.  If an absence is not reported by a parent then we are duty bound to investigate, and if no reason is given then it becomes an unauthorised absence. It is important to remember that:

  • Being unwell may prevent your child from coming to school, but if they can get out of bed and play or watch television, then they should be in school. 
  • Children can come to school with coughs and sneezes.
  • Feeling tired is not an illness, please ensure your child goes to bed at a suitable time. 
  • If your child has an infectious disease please let us know as soon as possible. If your child is sick or has diarrhoea, they must not come to school for at least 48 hours after the last attack.


What if a parent is ill and unable to drop their child to school?

If you are unwell and unable to bring your child to school you must make alternative arrangements for them to be dropped off. If you have nobody that can drop them, and you are very ill, please let the office know and we will will try and offer support by sending a member of staff. Please be aware this is only as a measure for  parents/carers in an emergency.


What if I want to take my child out of school during term time?


  • Taking children on holiday or out of school during term time is against the law.
  • We understand that holidays during term time may cost less money, but it is still against the law. 
  • The school is not allowed to authorise absence during term time, unless there are exceptional reasons. 
  • If you do not let us know why your child is not in school their absence will be marked as unauthorised.
  • Taking unauthorised holidays could result in a penalty notice from the Local Authority. 


Why does my school check if my child is not in school?


  • We have a duty of care and safeguarding responsibility towards your child. 
  • If your child is not in school and we are unable to contact you, we have a responsibility to conduct a home visit and inform the Local Authority. 


How do we manage attendance and punctuality?


We work closely with the Local Authority’s Education Welfare Officer assigned to our school.  The EWO makes visits to school to monitor attendance and meet with parents. If there are a significant number of absences, parents are required to meet school staff to discuss how this can be improved. Where attendance falls below 95%, children are tracked by the school for the remainder of the academic year.

An official referral to the Education Welfare Officer is made if attendance is below 90% at any given time.  In cases of serious persistent absences then Courts Orders are issued. Where children are late, if parents/carers are having difficulty bringing the child/ren to school on time, we will do whatever we can to support them in improving this.


Rewards for good attendance


Children who have 100% attendance will be rewarded with a certificate in assembly. The class with the highest attendance each week in KS1 and KS2 will receive a trophy in assembly and be rewarded with extra playtime.



Attendance Matters