It is very important that all children come to school, on time, every day

At Lea Valley Primary School we recognise that there is a very clear relationship between the regularity with which children attend school and their academic achievement. Regular attendance at school is essential for children’s achievement and progress. Absence whether it is long term, frequent or occasional leads to missed experiences and may cause fractured social relationships which encourage an increased pattern of non-attendance.

Pupils with good attendance records benefit from:

  • Continuity of learning in their lessons
  • Improved attainment and progress and stronger performance in assessments and examinations.
  • Support and guidance with all their learning, and in particular their reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Maintaining and developing positive friendships and relationships with other children and adults
  • Developing good habits for adult life

We monitor our children’s attendance very closely so please ring and tell us if your child is ill and unable to come to school. Every time a child is absent or late for school, they miss important learning and find it very difficult to catch up later. We therefore ask for your support to keep absenteeism to a minimum, so that we can prepare your son/daughter effectively for their future.  Wherever possible, please ensure that all medical appointments are made after school or in the school holidays.

The school target for attendance is above 96% attendance and above 98% punctuality. This is what we expect from all our families and children as a minimum.  Sickness comes usually in a block of time over a continuous period; what we look for are unbroken weeks (i.e. those where the pupil is marked present on all ten sessions during the week); students should usually not have more than one or two broken weeks in the course of an academic year. Regular broken weeks are a course for concern and will be followed up by the school.

Our Attendance Team will ring home and meet with parents and carers if there are any concerns about a child’s attendance. Please understand this is because we want the best for your child. Working together we can achieve your child’s full potential!

Average attendance over 1 year Adds up to total days absence Equals number of lessons missed Absences tallied over 5 years
95% 9 days 45 lessons ¼ Year missed
90% 19 days 95 lessons ½ Year missed
80% 38 days 190 lessons 1 Year missed
70% 57 days 285 lessons 1 ¼ Year missed
60% 80 days 400 lessons 2 Years missed

As you can see, even a few absences over the year quickly add up to a lot of missed learning and become a real challenge for children to catch up and maintain the pace of school work.

Authorised Absences

The Department for Education (DFE) has issued guidelines to all schools detailing valid reasons for authorised or justified absences:

  • When a child is ill or receiving medical treatment
  • Days of religious observance requested in advance and approved by the Head teacher
  • Absence due to exceptional circumstances

There are other absences, such as “Approved Sporting Activity” that can be authorised and there will be events affecting families, some unforeseen, which will necessitate absence from school and professional discretion will need to be used in these cases about whether the absence can be authorised

Unauthorised Absences

  • Where no letter, notification or acceptable explanation is provided by parent(s)/carer
  • The reason for the absence does not fall into one of the categories of authorised absence above.
  • Attendance has dropped below and acceptable level and parents have been notified that absences cannot be authorised without medical verification

The Department for Education (DfE) Policy states that the following activities would be classified as unauthorised:

  • Awaiting repair people
  • Shopping
  • A birthday or family celebration
  • Going on holiday/visiting relatives during term time