Gurnard Primary School

Gurnard Primary School

Respect, Success, Belonging

  1. Parents
  2. Attendance



Our school’s target for attendance is at least 96%.


We rely on close partnerships with parents and carers to make sure that this is achieved.

Attendance at our school is currently 97.5% (July 2021)

It is essential for pupils to attend school regularly and punctually to ensure continuity and progress in their learning; promote social inclusion; and enable them to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. By law, parents and carers of children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) are responsible for making sure that a child who is registered at school attends regularly and punctually.





Reporting absence

If a child is absent, the parent/carer must contact the school by making a telephone call before 9.10am on each day the child is absent. The parent/carer should give the reason for absence and the child’s expected return date. If no call has been received, the school will phone the parent/carer to ascertain the reason for the child’s absence. Parents/carers should update the school every day of the absence before 9.10am and send in a written explanation letter on the child’s return to school. All reasons for absence will be recorded and monitored by the school.


Authorised absence

The following are the occasions when an absence will be authorised:

  • When a child is ill

  • Medical or dental appointments which cannot be made during the holidays or after school

  • Close family bereavements

  • Days of religious observance

  • Offsite educational activities which occur on an occasional basis, such as school trips, sporting events, music examinations or public performances in which children are participating

  • Visits to other schools, agreed in advance, for the purpose of interviews or examinations.


Unauthorised absence

The following are examples of occasions when an absence will not be authorised:

  • When no explanation of the absence is received

  • When there is reason to doubt the explanation

  • Truancy

  • Any holiday not authorised by the Headteacher

  • Work commitments (exception given to armed forces on active service)
  • Taster days at another school (these are not authorised by the Local Authority)
  • Closure of a sibling’s school

  • Shopping trips during school hours

  • Birthdays, weddings or family celebrations

  • Early removal from school (unless agreed by the Headteacher).


Request to remove a child from school during term-time

  • There are 175 non-school days in which holidays can be taken. Under the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007 (Amended 2012), Headteachers can only grant leave under exceptional circumstances.

  • Requests to remove a child from school during term-time must be made at least two weeks before the requested absence using the Request to remove a child from school during term-time form which is available from the school office.

  • Please be aware that there are specific times during the school year when a child’s attendance at school is of paramount importance, i.e. the weeks before and during the week of Year 2 and Year 6 SATs exams.

  • It is for the Headteacher to determine whether or not a request is exceptional and to state the number of days granted. Exceptional circumstances are not considered to be cost; seasonal work; “once in a lifetime” holidays; or work commitments (exception given to armed forces on active service). This is not a definitive list. Each request will be judged on a case-by-case basis but it is usual that the Headteacher will be sparing in their use of this discretion.

  • Parents/carers have the right to appeal against the Headteacher’s decision to the Attendance Appeals Committee of the Governing Board. Requests for an appeal should be made in writing to the Chair of Governors.

  • In the case of an unauthorised holiday, the school will notify the Education Welfare Service and they will decide whether to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.


Fixed Penalty Notices

Under Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, the Local Authority has the right to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to parents whose children fail to attend school regularly. The Education Welfare Service is responsible for deciding when a Fixed Penalty Notice shall be issued. They will make this decision in consultation with schools and, when appropriate, other agencies, such as the police.


A Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued when:

  • A pupil is taken out of school during term time for a holiday which has not been authorised by the school.

  • A truancy patrol carried out by the Education Welfare Service has found a pupil absent from school and the absence has not been authorised by the school.

  • A child’s school attendance has been poor and his/her school believe that the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice may lead to an improvement in the child’s attendance (for example, when a child is persistently late for school and his/her parents fail to address the situation).

  • The Fixed Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days, which increases to £120 per parent, per child if paid within 28 days. If not paid within 28 days, parents could face prosecution and a fine of £2,500 and a possible prison sentence of up to 3 months.

  • When a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, it is issued on a per parent, per child basis. This means that if a mother and father have two children and take both children out of school without permission, they may be issued with a total of four Fixed Penalty Notices - one to each parent for each child.