Attendance and Absence from School

Please telephone the school on the first day of absence between 8.30am and 9.30am so we know your child is safe.   

Attendance – in accordance with Chichester locality school’s attendance policy

Attendance registers are taken at the beginning of the morning and afternoon sessions and sent to the office for checking by 9.05am. The office staff contact the parents/carer of any child who has an unexplained absence before the end of the morning session.

If we are unable to contact you, we will the contact the person / people you give as emergency contact numbers.

It is very important that you always keep us informed of any changes in either your telephone number or those of your emergency contacts.  Please let the office know if any of your child’s information needs updating.

All absences are treated as unauthorised unless or until the school agrees on a satisfactory explanation.

Lateness / Punctuality 

It is important to be on time at the start of the morning and afternoon school sessions. If your child is late they can miss learning time with their class teacher getting vital information, cause disruption to the lesson for others, and it can be embarrassing leading to possible further absence.

  • The school day begins at 9am, doors open at 8.45am and all children are expected to be in school at this time. Morning registration is at 9 am and it closes at 9.30am.
  • All lateness is recorded daily between 9.05am and 9.30am. This information will be required by the courts, should a prosecution for non-attendance or lateness be necessary.
  • Arrival after the close of registration will be marked as unauthorised absence and coded U in line with West Sussex County Council and Department of Education guidance. This mark shows them to be on site, but is legally recorded as an absence.
  • If a child is late due to a medical appointment, they will receive an authorised absence, coded M. Please be advised that, where possible, doctors and dentist’s appointments are to be made outside of school hours or during school holidays.

Children who are consistently late are disrupting not only their own education but also that of the other children. Ongoing and repeated lateness is considered as unauthorised absence and will be subject to legal action.

Parents, guardians or carers of children who have patterns of lateness will be contacted to discuss the importance of good time keeping and how this might be achieved. If lateness persists parents, guardians or carers will be invited to attend the school and discuss the problem and support offered. If support is not appropriate or is declined and a child has 10 or more sessions of unauthorised absence due to lateness recorded in any 10-week period, the school or West Sussex County Council will be required to issue parents with a Penalty Notice in accordance with West Sussex County Council’s Code of conduct: issuing Penalty Notices for unauthorised absence from schools.

Please collect your child promptly at the end of the school day. Where late collection is persistent and / or significantly late, the school is obliged to share concerns with other agencies

What can you do to help your child?

  • Ensure 96% attendance and above (there are, of course, exceptional circumstances occasionally when this will not be possible).
  • Ensure time taken off is only when your child is too ill to attend.
  • Do not allow or encourage time off for special trips such as birthdays, concerts, shopping (these are not legal reasons for absence).
  • There are 175 non-school days in a year to enjoy special occasions. – missing one day a fortnight means missing over a year’s school by the time the child finishes their education.
  • Please make non-urgent dentist and doctor appointments outside the school day.
  • Ensure your child arrives at school on time. Children do not like arriving late and can become anxious having missed the start of the day’s activities.
  • Please note while you can offer an explanation, only the school can authorise an absence.

The Government has been very precise about these issues and we must comply with the legislation.  If you have any questions, please do get in touch with the Headteacher.

School registers are legal documents. We will ensure compliance with attendance regulations by keeping attendance records for at least three years. Computer registers will be preserved as electronic back-ups.