Sandford Primary School


Good Attendance Matters

Attendance is an important factor in a child’s school life, and at Sandford we are working hard to reinforce this message to both your children and to you as parents.

Children are expected to attend school for the full 190 days of the academic year, unless there is a good reason for absence. Full attendance is vital for your child’s educational progress. The school regards absences as a very serious concern and there is an overwhelming connection between those pupils who are frequently absent and those who go on to underachieve in their future.

We obviously understand that children have minor illnesses e.g. viruses and infections. When your child is absent, please ring the school office on the first day of absence by 10am and inform our administrator. If a message is not received by the school office or a letter is not received when your child returns to school, the absence will be recorded as “unauthorised”. In the event that your child has had symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhoea, they should not be sent to school until at least 48 hours has passed since the last bout. The same procedure will be expected to be followed should your child be sent home from school for vomiting and/or diarrhoea.

Parents/ carers and the school staff need to work together to make education a success and ensure that all children have full and equal access to all that the school has to offer. As a school, we will encourage parents and carers to ensure that their child achieves maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent this are identified and acted on promptly. As parents, it is their responsibility to ensure that their children arrive at school and return home safely.

All children are expected to reach at least 95% attendance

to be able to do well at school.

It is important for children to establish good attendance habits early on in their primary school career. It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and the governors to support good attendance and to identify and address attendance concerns promptly. In primary school we rely upon parents to ensure their child attends school regularly and punctually and therefore where there are concerns regarding attendance, parents are always informed. Initially, concerns about attendance are raised with parents verbally or via letters which are sent home. There will be opportunities for the parent/ carer to discuss reasons for absence and support to be given by the school with the aim to improve attendance. Where a child’s attendance record does not improve over a period of time then the school has a responsibility to make a referral to the Educational Welfare Service.

Pupils attend school for 190 days per school year. Each term we will send out a coloured letter indicating your child’s attendance, using the ‘traffic light system’ below, so you are able to keep a check on their percentage. Below is what the coloured letters mean:-

  • 95% and upwards : Excellent Attendance – Green letter. Well done!
  • 90% – 95%: Be Aware – some cause for concern Yellow letter.
  • 80% – 90%: Worrying – Red Letter.
  • Less than 80%: There are serious concerns – we may have to refer to the Education Welfare Service.

Any absence for an unacceptable or unexplained reason will not be authorised and will appear on your child’s attendance record as un–authorised absence. This affects the attendance percentage.

Did You Know?

If your child has a 90% attendance record this means that they are absent from lessons for the equivalent of one ½ day every week. This means that over the course of a year they have missed the equivalent of almost 4 weeks of lessons in the school year. Over 5 years, if they continue at a rate of 90% attendance they will miss the equivalent of about ½ of a school year.

If your child has an attendance rate of 80%, this is equal to almost 8 weeks of school in one year and 1 year over a 5 year period.

Is your child’s Attendance Rate affecting their performance at school? Together, we can make a difference to your child’s education.

Every day counts!