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Newtown Primary School Attendance

Your child’s attendance at school is extremely important. The Local Authority Education Welfare Officer regularly monitors children’s attendance. If your child’s attendance falls below 96% we will make contact with you to discuss how we can work together to ensure your child comes to school regularly.

 Absence during term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances, such as:

  • Genuine illness

  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments (parents are requested to arrange these out of school time if possible)

  • Bereavement (close family members)

  • Days of religious observance

  • Seeing a parent who is on leave from the armed forces

  • External examinations (e.g. music exams)

  • Absence request forms must be completed and returned to the school office , for approval by the headteacher, before any planned absence from school.

Why Attendance Matters

Regular attendance helps students to make good progress and enjoy learning.  We consider pupil attendance to be the joint responsibility of parents/carers and the school.  Being at school is a very important part of any young person's life.  It enables them to learn, to make friends and to gain the knowledge and skills that will prepare them for a successful adult life.  School and parents/carers are partners in making this happen.  As parents/carers it is your responsibility to make sure that your child makes the most of this opportunity by ensuring a high level of attendance is maintained.  The school is required by law to record and publish rates of absence to include unauthorised absence.  It is therefore imperative that registers are accurately marked and unexplained absences are investigated.  



If children are absent from school, parents /carers must contact the school office, by calling 01392 255540,  before 9am on the first day of absence and each day until the child returns to school. Our school administrators closely monitor all absence daily. If no communication is received  from parents we will phone and/or text parents to check why the pupil is not in school. If your child has been sick or had an upset stomach they must remain off school for 48 hours after the last incident. This helps us to stop the sickness spreading to other pupils.


Unauthorised Absence

It is Devon County Council policy to issue penalty notices (fines) for unauthorised holidays within term time and unauthorised absence from school when the circumstances are avoidable (e.g. child too tired after a late night, a birthday treat, visiting friends/relatives).

Penalty notices require that parents of a child of compulsory school age, whose attendance has been unsatisfactory, to pay a fine. This fine is currently £60.00 per child per adult (if paid within 28 days) or £120 per child per adult (if paid within 42 days). Failure to pay could result in court action. Therefore, an unauthorised holiday for a family with 3 children and 2 parents could receive a penalty notice for £360 (if paid within 28 days) or £720 (if paid within 42 days).

Persistent Absence

If attendance is persistent or suspicious, contact will be made with parents/carers outlining the importance of good attendance and offering support.  Attendance is monitored and if attendance dips below the following thresholds the necessary protocols will be followed: 

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Some Facts About School Attendance

  • Keeping children away from school for no good reason is a criminal offence.

  • 80% attendance is the same as having a day off every week.

  • Young children find it very difficult to get back into their friendship groups after a period of absence.

  • The government set 96% as the minimum satisfactory attendance for all pupils—this is still 8 days absence.

  • There are 175 non-school days per year to spend time together; go on family visits; go shopping or     attend routine appointments like dental check-ups.

  • Shopping for new clothes or taking time off school for a birthday are not good enough reasons to keep   your child off school.  Absence without good reason cannot be authorised.

  • Children who have poor attendance may find it difficult to catch up on the work they have missed.

  • There is a strong link between good school attendance and achieving good results.  Children who   frequently miss school may  fall behind in their work which can affect their future prospects.

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