At St Ebbe’s, we want all children to have an equal opportunity to flourish and succeed. Our principle aim will be to provide an engaging model of education, where children feel a sense of belonging that gives all children a rich and purposeful reason to attend school. Attendance and punctuality, and therefore participation in learning, will always be a more attractive option than non-attendance, both for parents and for children.

One of the single biggest factors affecting children’s success at school is their attendance and punctuality rate. In the most recent DfE study, the percentage of children reaching the expected standard at the end of primary school declined by an average of nearly 2% for each week children were absent from school[1]. Regular patterns of absence and/or lateness do not just impact the children concerned, but also classmates, teachers and the broader school community, as they disrupt the planning, routines and collaboration on which the school depends.

Based on historical trends, our expectation is that children should not be absent for more than 4 days per year which equates to 97% attendance.

We are committed to working with children and parents within a culture of trust to establish and understand the underlying causes of non-attendance and to work together as a team to address them.  In order to help us do this, we will attend LA best practice sharing and training events.

In the UK, parents have a legal responsibility to ensure regular attendance; permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law. Absence from school may also be considered a safeguarding risk.

The policy outlined below stems from feedback from monitoring and evaluation of attendance patterns in school as well as DfE Guidance on Improving School Attendance.



School will: Parents / carers are requested to:
Actively promote regular attendance and punctuality through the newsletter and Arbor email

Teachers will actively promote good attendance in class and promote enthusiasm for curriculum projects

Read school communications via Arbor

Check the school newsletter


Be a welcoming presence on the school gate each morning. HT/HSLW/School Therapy Dog and Owner Greet school staff on the gate warmly, demonstrating trust and confidence to children
Use Pupil Premium funding to provide a Home School Link Worker who can support for families who are finding life challenging or children who are finding school challenging Let us know if you are finding life challenging or your child is experiencing school-related anxiety, by contacting our Home School Link Worker, Anna Bristow ( or your child’s class teacher
Open the gates promptly at 8:40am

Close the gates promptly at 8:55am

Arrive as close to 8:40am to enable a smooth start

Wait with children to sign in at the office if arriving after 8:55am

Office staff will call parents by 10:30am if a specific reason hasn’t been provided and record this on the child’s record in Arbor Leave us a message as soon as you know your child is poorly, giving a specific reason – e.g. stomach bug (please do not leave ‘under the weather as a reason’
Keep up to date records of parent / carer contacts

Keep records of concern about attendance on our electronic monitoring systems

Provide us with 2/3 up to date contacts. Let us know ASAP if you change your number
Teachers will make contact with parents if they notice a decline in attendance or a reluctance to come to school and discuss ways to provide support (e.g. buddy system, responsibility, special arrangements, support in lessons)

Warmly welcome children back to school who have been absent for any reason

Engage with teachers’ initial contact to communicate trust and safety for children
Monitor attendance on a weekly basis.

Let parents know if attendance falls below 95% or is on a downward trend

Check attendance on your child’s Arbor account
Through monitoring, identify children at risk of becoming/who are persistent absentees (attendance 90% or below)

Engage families in a Parent Contract if attendance does not improve or is declining which may involve support from external agencies

Take ‘persistent absenteeism’ seriously and engage with school to agree actions to support good attendance
Contact the LA Attendance Team or escalate to LCSS if attendance families do not engage Engage with school as soon as attendance appears to be an issue
Authorise absence when it relates to events such as illness, medical appointments that cannot be taken outside of school hours, emergencies, and similar unavoidable causes. Provide the school with information about ongoing medical conditions so that we can keep good records
Record as unauthorised other events such as family holidays, gatherings, social events, or similar unless there are exceptional circumstances. Ask to meet the HT if you need to take your child out of school during term time

Book holidays during school holiday time

[1] See for example The link between absence and attainment at KS2 and KS4, DfE Research Report, March 2016, DfE Research Report, March 2016.

Escalation of Responses  

  1. As soon as poor attendance or lateness becomes apparent, class teachers should arrange a meeting with parents and the child to discuss underlying causes and agree actions 2
  2. .Families of children identified as persistent absentees from the previous year whose attendance continues to be poor, will additionally be contacted by the HSLW as soon as attendance appears to be an issue 
  3. Week 8 – Initial letters will be sent to families for children with attendance below 95% 
  4. Week 8 – Parents of new persistent absentees will be contacted
  5. Week 11 – Follow-up letters will be sent to families of children whose attendance has not improved or is in decline notifying that Parent Contracts may need to be put in place 
  6. Week 13 – Begin issuing Parent Contracts 
  7. Monitor attendance for those with a Parent Contract for 20 days 
  8. Escalate to the LA Attendance Team if attendance does not improve and there are no mitigating circumstances 
  9. Engage LCSS (Local Community Support Services) if attendance is deemed a safeguarding issue 

Term-time Absence

We respectfully ask families to book breaks during the 13 weeks of school holiday available each year to ensure continuity of education and the greatest opportunity for children to thrive. Children follow sequences of learning that build knowledge over time. Missing chunks of this can lead to gaps developing and affect their academic progress.

Absences during term-time will only be granted for unavoidable circumstances. Should you need to remove your child from school during term-time, please speak to the Headteacher.
The table below provides a useful summary of the impact of non-attendance on children’s education.