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Absence and Attendance

At Thomas A Becket Junior School we believe good attendance and punctuality are crucial to pupils’ learning and are vitally important in ensuring the best possible progress and achievement. Good punctuality shows respect for teachers and peers and ensures that children are ready and willing to learn. Regular attendance also improves pupils’ social skills and raises their self-esteem.


What to do if your child is absent from school


Parents are responsible for informing the school of any absence. This must be on the first day of absence, ideally before 9:30am.


Please telephone the school (01903 202268 or 206127) and speak to a member of staff, or leave a message on the school’s answering service (option 1) stating the nature of the illness and when the child is expected to return to school.


If a child is absent and the school has not received any notification then the school’s attendance administrator will contact the parent/carer. Parents and carers need to keep us informed of continued absence. The school’s attendance administrator will contact the parents after a maximum of 3 days of absence if there has been no further contact from the parent.


Why is attendance important?


School ensures that children have the best start in life and that they are equipped for succeeding both academically and socially so that they can achieve in their exams and manage relationships. The more school children miss the harder it is to catch up. Statistics show that 90% of persistent absentees (those with attendance below 90%) fail to achieve 5 or more good GCSE grades or equivalent. Poor examination results limit young people’s options. Good school outcomes are the passport into higher education and better jobs.


What can parents do to ensure good attendance at school?


Create good routines for mornings at home so that your child can arrive punctually and ensure they are properly equipped with the right uniform, PE kit, school bag, pencil case, books etc.


  • Read all school communications
  • Attend parents' evenings
  • Encourage and show interest; discuss their day with them.
  • Check your child understands their homework and that it has been completed.
  • Contact the school if your child is worried about something, causing reluctance to go to school.
  • Set realistic boundaries and sanctions
  • Know the name of your child's class teacher(s).
  • Let the school know the reason(s) for any absence and a likely return date, on the first day of the absence and update the school regularly.
  • Make medical/dental appointments out of school time, whenever possible.
  • Do not take holidays during term time.


Absences from school


Only your child's school can authorise an absence from school. If you plan to take your child out of school during term time, the absence can only be authorised if it is considered that there are exceptional circumstance. It is for the Headteacher to decide whether they consider the reasons given amount to exceptional circumstances. If your child is absent without good reason, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised on the school register.

If you do not ask for or get permission to take your child out of school and do so regardless, your child's absence will be recorded as unauthorised.


Taking holidays in term time


From 1 September 2013, a change to government legislation means that schools are no longer allowed to authorise requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. These circumstances will be determined by your child's headteacher, including the number of school days your child can be away from school if leave is granted. You must allow enough time for the headteacher to consider your request before leave is taken. It is possible that the headteacher may refuse permission. Parents can be given a penalty notice or prosecuted for periods of unauthorised holidays.


Being late for school


It is important your child arrives to school on time. If they are late and miss the register, it may be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

Attendance Figures







2019-2020 **

Whole School

96.69 96.84 96.24 96.46 96.76


95.4 95.3 95.2 95.3  
Y3 97.04 97.27 96.42 96.87 97.06
Y4 97.08 96.96 96.77 96.9 96.51
Y5 96.2 96.98 95.68 96.52 96.95
Y6 96.65 96.33 96.17 95.63 96.54
** please note all 2019-2020 figures are between 2.9.19 and 20.3.20 when the schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic



Attendance Matters - ‘Every Day Counts’


1 or 2 days a week doesn’t seem that much but…


If your child misses

That equals…

Which is…

And over 13 years of school that’s…

1 day a fortnight

20 days per year

4 weeks per year

Nearly 1.5 years

1 day a week

40 days per year

8 weeks per year

Over 2.5 years

2 days a week

80 days per year

16 weeks per year

Over 5 years

3 days a week

120 days per year

24 weeks per year

Nearly 8 years


Attendance Matters - ‘Every Minute Counts’


Making sure your child is at school and ready to learn BEFORE 8.50am (when the registers are taken).

Being 15 minutes late each day is the same as missing two weeks of school.



Every minute is equally important!