Chelsfield Primary


School attendance is subject to various education laws and this school Attendance Policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance provided by the Department for Education and Employment.  Each year the school will examine its attendance figures and set attendance targets that reflect both national and local attendance targets.

In order for a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential.  We will consistently work towards full attendance for all children and continuously convey the importance of regular and punctual attendance to parents and carers.

Aims of Policy

  • To provide a full and efficient education to all pupils and ensure equal opportunities for all.
  • To provide an environment where all pupils feel valued and welcome.
  • To ensure that attendance of all pupils is monitored and that the importance of regular and punctual attendance is communicated to parents and carers.
  • To promote high levels of attendance so that each pupil can achieve maximum benefits from the educational, personal and social opportunities available at Chelsfield Primary School.
  • To ensure robust safeguarding of all pupils

School Procedures

Any child who is absent from school must have their absence recorded as being authorised or unauthorised.  Only the Headteacher or a member of staff acting on her behalf can authorise absence.


  • The Headteacher or member of the Senior Leadership team will open the gates at 8.40. The classrooms will be open so that children can go straight to class to prepare for the start of the day. The start of school is at 8.55 and the gates will be shut at this time
  • The register is open from 8:55am until 9:15am
  • Register is taken 8:55am to 9:05am
  • Any child arriving late – after 8:55am but before 9:25am will be marked late (L on the register)
  • If a child arrives after 9:15am they will be marked as ‘U’ – Late –Registration closed. This is regarded as an unauthorised absence unless an explanation is given and accepted as grounds for authorising the late arrival, in which case the appropriate code will then be used.
  • All children must be entered in the late register if they arrive after 8.55.  
  • Parents will receive a text from the school if children are absent at the close of registration time without an explanation. 
  • Part time pupils in reception who do not attend afternoon sessions are marked with a X.
  • Afternoon registration will take place at 1pm and the registers will close at 1.10pm.

First day Absence

Parents and carers are asked to notify the school office by telephone, (or other means) before 9:15am on the first day of absence.  If the length of absence is known then the parent/carer doesn’t need to ring daily. If the length of absence is unknown, then the parent/carer needs to ring on each day of absence.

The School Secretary passes messages to the child’s class teacher and enters the absence in the register if contact is made via the school office. Teachers should inform the office if the message has been passed directly to them from the parent/carer.

Class teachers should ensure that parents/carers receive any letters or information that has been given out during the child’s period of absence.

 Completing registers

Chelsfield Primary School log all attendance using the SIMs computer system.

The school register must be kept in a central area i.e. the school office to comply with Fire Safety regulations for evacuation.

Students on teaching practice should only complete registers under the direct supervision of their class teacher.  Teachers are responsible for checking the register to ensure that it has been completed accurately. When a supply teacher or HLTA is covering a class they are responsible for the register and must report any messages or concerns to the class teacher.

Ten Days Absence

Any pupil who is absent without explanation for ten consecutive days will be referred to the Pupil Attendance Service (This is a legal requirement).  The school will include details of any action that they have taken.

Child Missing in Education

When a child leaves the school at any stage of the school year (except for transfer at the end of Key Stage 2) the admissions team must be notified as well as the EWO.

Poor Attendance and Frequent Absence

Class teachers should bring any concerns they have over attendance directly to the Headteacher.

Children’s attendance is monitored daily and analysed half termly.

Any child whose rate of attendance is below 90% will receive a letter from the headteacher and the EWO to notify them, and the child’s attendance will be closely monitored. If no improvement in attendance then the Headteacher and EWO will invite the parents to school to discuss the reasons for failing to attend school.

Leave of Absence / Holidays during term time

Amendments to the 2006 Regulations in Education -Changes came into force on 1st September 2013; Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. No holidays will be authorised.

The Local Authority has introduced a system where any pupil who has an attendance of 85% or less with at least 15% unauthorised absence over a 6 week period or 10 consecutive sessions unauthorised absence will meet the criteria for legal intervention which could be in the form of a Fixed Penalty Notice.  NB, 10 consecutive sessions = 5 days.

Any pupil in Chelsfield Primary School who meets either criteria, will be referred to the Educational Welfare Service or Local Authority for action to be considered.

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued it is a fine of £60 per parent per child which must be paid in one payment in 21 days, if unpaid a further invoice for £60 per parent per child is issued, both individual invoices would then have to be paid making a total payment of £120 per parent per child in 28 days

Failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken.

Attendance Awards

  • Attendance Awards will be presented at the end of each half term
  • Children who have 100% attendance for the half term will receive:
  • A special 100% Certificate
  • A special 100% Attendance Badge
  • Children who have 97.5% to 99.9% attendance for the half term will receive:
  • A special Good Attendance Certificate
  • The Spike trophy will be given out weekly to the class with the best attendance.

 Monitoring and review of the policy

The Headteacher is responsible for this policy.

The policy will be updated annually and reviewed every three years or sooner as required due to any changes in the law.