Promoting Good Attendance & Punctuality

There is a clear link between attendance and attainment. Being in school is important to a child’s achievement, wellbeing, and wider development. Evidence shows that the students with the highest attendance throughout their time in school gain the best GCSE and A Level results.

The Law 

A school has to take a register of all pupils in the morning and in the afternoon. The Government allows schools to decide how long the registers will remain open, this is generally around 30 minutes, however schools may choose a shorter period. If a pupil arrives late to school but whilst the register is still open they are marked as late (L). If a pupil arrives at school after the register is closed, without a satisfactory reason, this may be classed as an unauthorised absence (U).

Being punctual for school means making sure your child is at school and ready to learn before the bell rings. There are many ways to ensure your child is on time for school, from making sure their school bags are packed the night before to ensuring they get up with plenty of time to eat and get ready. Lost minutes mean lost learning. Did you know that being late 15 minutes every day is the same as missing 2 whole weeks of school over a full academic year? A few minutes here and there shouldn’t matter but that lost time all adds up. If you think you are going to be late, please do not keep your child off school for the whole day. Being late is better than being absent.

Children who were regularly late to school said:

“I feel embarrassed, everyone looks at me.”
“I don’t know what to do, everyone’s started work.”
“I miss my friends and they miss me.”
“I don’t want my parents to get into trouble.

What are my responsibilities regarding my child’s school attendance?

As a parent or carer it is your responsibility to ensure that a child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and punctually. The local authority has a duty to ensure that all parents and carers fulfil this responsibility. Doncaster City Council's aim is for all children to achieve full attendance.

Why is it important for my child to attend school regularly?

Regular school attendance and good punctuality means your child can make the most of their education and will improve their choices and life chances in adult life. It will also prepare them for when they enter the world of work. School helps children and young people with their social skills, making and maintaining friendships and builds confidence and self esteem. If your child does not attend school regularly it could affect their attainment because of missed lessons.

How can I help my child attend school regularly?

Taking a positive interest in your child's education will encourage and promote regular school attendance.  Keep in touch with your child's school via planners, homework diaries or by speaking directly with their teachers by attending parent's evenings and other school events.

Can I get help if my child is not attending school regularly?

You should always contact the school first to discuss your concerns. They should be able to offer support and advice. If your school is unable to resolve the issues it may suggest you contact the Attendance and Pupil Welfare Service for further advice and guidance. Contact details can be found below.

What will happen if my child does not attend school regularly?

The school will contact you if they are concerned about your child’s attendance to offer any support that may be required. A referral could be made to the Attendance and Pupil Welfare Service if attendance continues to be a concern. Doncaster City Council will use legislation to enforce attendance at school where parents do not fulfil their duty to ensure their children attend school regularly. This could lead to legal sanctions. A parent or carer can also be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for any absence not authorised by the school, which includes taking a family holiday during term time.

Is my child not well enough to attend school?

Please see below a link to the 'Is my child too ill for school?' page on the NHS website. This outlines steps to take regarding the most common illnesses and ailments. If you have concerns about your child’s well being, please discuss with the school and contact your GP or health practitioner for medical advice where necessary.


More information

Last updated: 23 January 2024 12:26:38

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