Punctuality at School

There is a clear link between attendance and attainment. The more time a pupil spends in school the more likely they are to improve their opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

The Law

A school has to take a register of all pupils first thing in the morning and sometime during the afternoon. The Government allows schools to decide how long the registers will remain open, this is generally around 30 minutes, however this may be for a shorter period. 

If a pupil arrives late to school but whilst the register is still open they are marked as late (L on the attendance register). If a pupil arrives at school after the register is closed, without a satisfactory reason, this may be classed as an unauthorised absence (U on the attendance register) and may lead to prosecution for not ensuring your child has regular school attendance. 

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 making sure 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 every minute counts and that lost time all adds up.

Being late doesn’t only affect your child, it disrupts other children in the class as well as the teachers trying to teach a lesson. However, if you do think you are going to be late, please do not keep your child off school for the rest of the day. Being late and in school is better than being absent and missing out.

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.”


More information

Last updated: 02 March 2022 13:42:27