Spotlight on Attendance - A very important message for all parents

16th October 2017

Dear Parent,

Prince Albert Community Trust are working in partnership with parents to improve school attendance.   We would like to congratulate the many parents who make sure their children attend school regularly. 

It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education.  Failing to send your child to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence.  

Absence disrupts the education of the individual pupil and the whole class. Are you aware that children who do not attend regularly:

  • do not achieve well in exams
  • find it difficult to maintain friendships
  • are more likely to become involved in crime
  • miss out on opportunities in further education and the world of work?

Absence can only be authorised by the Head Teacher, within the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registrations) (England) Regulations 2006.  

You may be aware that Head Teachers may not authorise leave during term time except where the circumstances are exceptional.  If your child takes leave that has not been authorised by the Head Teacher, it will result in the absence being recorded as unauthorised and legal action may be taken.

Please remember that parental illness, going shopping, visiting family, truancy, not wanting to go to school, alleged bullying (speak to school immediately to resolve the issue) are not acceptable reasons to be absent. All of these will be recorded as unauthorised absence, including if your child arrives at school after the close of registration.

Family emergencies need careful consideration. It is not always appropriate or in the best interests of the child to miss school for emergencies which are being dealt with by adult family members. Being at school, friendship with peers and support from staff can provide children with stability. The routine of school offers a safe and familiar background during times of uncertainty.


Legal action that may be taken include:

  • Issuing penalty notices: Each parent receives a penalty notice for each child who has unauthorised absence. The penalty is £60 or £120 depending on how soon payment is made.  So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £480. Failure to pay may result in prosecution.
  • Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) - court can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs, impose a Parenting Order and/or sentence you to a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months.
  • Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) - court can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, order payment of prosecution costs and/or impose a Parenting Order. 

Being taken to court could result in you having a criminal record.

Attendance during one school year

equals this number of days absent

which is approximately this many weeks absent

which means this number of lessons missed


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons


57 days

11.5 weeks

290 lessons


Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in adult life. 


If your child’s level of absence is of serious concern you will receive another letter advising you about improving attendance.   After this, any further unauthorised absence may result in the School and the Local Authority taking legal action. 

Again, we would like to thank those parents who make sure their child is attending school regularly and are therefore benefiting fully from their educational opportunity. 


Yours sincerely,

Mr S. Gulzar (CEO)                                                
Executive Head Teacher


Dear Parents / Carers

Reducing absence from school is a key priority nationally and locally. Missing school damages academic progress; disrupts the learning of your child and the learning of others.

Most parents ensure their children are in school on time every day and do not take holidays during term time.  This ensures these children are getting the educational experience they are entitled to and are in a good positon to reach their full potential.

Extended leave during term time seriously affects a child’s long term life opportunities.

Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 states that:

“If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school, fails to attend regularly at the school his/her parent(s) are guilty of an offence”. New extended leave guidance brought out in February 2017 requires parents to take extended leave out of term time.

If you decide to take your child on extended leave, you should contact Miss Evans or Miss Mitchell at the school and fill in a Leave in Term request which is available from the office.

Should your request be denied and you still choose to take the leave then the absence will be marked as unauthorised. The Local Authority could issue a Penalty Notice, under section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. This could result in a £60 fine per parent, per child.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the majority of our families who work really hard to ensure that their child attends school regularly and remind you all of the fabulous incentives we have in place to reward good school attendance and punctuality.  If you need a refresher of what these are, then please head to our website where a copy of our latest newsletter will be available to read.

Yours Sincerely

Miss L Evans
Pastoral Manager

Late Children

Dear Parents,

The attendance department felt the need to write to all parents regarding children coming to school late and being picked up late. We have many children coming to school late in the morning and it seems to be increasing all the time which is not acceptable. Most of the reasons given are ‘we have overslept’ or ‘had transport issues’. The gates are closed at 8.55am so if you are late for school, you will have to exit via the main office (The Ponderosa).

When a child is late for school regularly this is how much time they miss over the year:

5 minutes late each day = 3 days lost
10 minutes late each day = 6.5 days lost
15 minutes late each day = 10 days lost Quite shocking isn’t it?
20 minutes late each day = 13 days lost
30 minutes late each day = 19 days lost

Things you can do to ensure you and your children are prepared for school so they are not late:

  • Ensure your child gets to bed early and you set an alarm to ensure they are up on time in the morning.
  • Get their uniforms and lunch box ready the night before.
  • Make sure you leave the house in plenty of time in case of transport issues and put your car keys where you can find them the night before.

Please also ensure you pick your children up promptly at 3.15pm. It can be very distressing for children when they are waiting in school to be collected.