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Attendance and Absence Procedure

South Benfleet Primary School recognises that positive behaviour and good attendance are essential in order to raise standards of pupil attainment and to give every child the best educational experience possible. (Please see Appendix C - click here)


Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is the responsibility of parents, pupils and all members of school staff.


To help us all to focus on this we:

  • Give parents/carers details on attendance in our newsletters
  • Report to parents/carers annually on their child’s attendance with the annual school report.
  • Contact parents/carers should their child’s attendance give cause for concern.
  • Celebrate excellent attendance by displaying and reporting individual and class achievements
  • Celebrate excellent attendance by awarding monthly attendance cups and stickers to the Infant and Junior classes with the best attendance
  • Reward good or improving attendance through verbal praise and certificates


For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. It is a rule of this school that pupils must attend every day, unless there are exceptional circumstances and it is the Headteacher, not the parent, who can authorise the absence.


The Government defines persistent absence as pupils who have 90% or less attendance.  We analyse attendance regularly and send warning letters to parents when attendance is falling towards the 90% mark.  This is to inform parents so that they can take appropriate action.


Please remember:

  • There is no entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time
  • Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning.
  • Any pupil’s absence or late arrival disrupts teaching routines and so may affect the learning of others in the same class.
  • Ensuring a child’s regular attendance at school is a parental responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
  • Every request for exceptional leave of absence will be considered on its merits and must be for the minimum period possible
  • In some circumstances the Headteacher may request further information or arrange a meeting to discuss the application


The Governing Body take the view that all leave during term time should be discouraged and especially at the following times:

  • at any time in September. This is very important as your child needs to settle into their new class as quickly as possible.
  • during assessment and test periods in the school’s calendar* affecting your child (SATs, phonics screening etc).
  • when a pupil’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence or they have already been granted authorised leave within that academic year.

* Assessments: Year 1 phonics screening (June), Year 2 - KS1 SATs (Spring 2 and Summer 1) , Year 6 – KS2 SATS (preparation all year, tests in May)


Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. Unauthorised absence includes:

  • parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily e.g. because they had a late night or for non-infectious illness or injury that would not affect their ability to learn.
  • absences which have never been properly explained
  • children who arrive at school too late to get a mark on the attendance register
  • shopping trips
  • looking after other children or children accompanying siblings or parents to medical appointments
  • their own or family birthdays
  • holidays taken during term time without leave- 5 days unauthorised absence may/will lead to a penalty notice being triggered by the Local Authority
  • day trips
  • other leave of absence in term time which has not been agreed


Please read our Pupil Attendance Policy for further information about pupil attendance.

Exceptional Leave of Absence Request Form

Attendance Policy

Appendix C - How we categorise attendance and lost learning hours