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Attendance and Punctuality


At Sulhamstead & Ufton Nervet Primary School, we believe that attendance and punctuality are important disciplines that help to structure our daily lives and must be modelled and taught to the children. Schools have a duty to prepare pupils for life in the 21st century as responsible members of our community and part of this journey is to teach them about the importance of attendance and punctuality.

The Government guidance on attendance states that:

“Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.”

Every pupil must have an attendance of 96% in order for them to comply with the government regulation. When a child’s absence falls below this figure it has a dramatic impact on their learning:

In these testing times during the pandemic, our children have been negatively impacted through the disruption to their learning over the past 2 years, and as we now begin to return to a normality that we can recognise, it is so important that children are learning in school.  As a school, we monitor attendance closely, so please do inform school if there are significant issues impacting your child that mean that your child may not meet 96% attendance, speaking to your child’s teacher or Mrs Whitaker, as we will always try to support you and your child.


Our school day starts when the doors open at 8.40 giving plenty of time for children to come into school and be ready for learning at 8.50. We have Morning Challenges in class that are designed to prime the children’s brains ready for learning, and they start these as soon as they enter the classroom. If a child consistently misses, even these first ten minutes of the school day, that’s 1 whole 50 minute lesson a week that is missed – over a year that equates to 15 hours of learning time lost!

Over time this can have a significant impact on your child’s learning:

At Sulhamstead & Ufton Nervet Primary School, we treasure all learning time in class, and want to support you and your children to get the most out of the school day. If you are encountering any problems around ensuring your child can arrive on time, please do come and speak to your class teacher or Mrs Whitaker; by informing the school, we can give you as much support as possible. One way we help families in the mornings is for them to attend Funtastic Kids Breakfast Club. Do consider this as an option if you feel it will help.

Thank you for your continued support to ensure all of our children are making the most of their school day.

Sickness and Absence

Parents should inform the School Office if their child is sick and absent from school. For certain types of illness, the School Office will give advice, based on Public Health England guidance, in relation to when your child should return to school (see below).

Diarrhoea and Vomiting

Leave of Absence Requests

Education is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the DCSF has recommended that holidays should not be taken in term time.

This school follows Government guidance when deciding whether to authorise holidays during term time.

Amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 removed references to time away from school being allowed for family holidays and extended leave.  Previously, schools could grant up to ten school days' leave on a discretionary basis, but with effect from the 1 September 2013 this is no longer allowed.

Headteachers will now only be able to grant a leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances - taking your child out of school during term time without specific permission can lead to legal action, including fines.

Holiday in term time have a serious detrimental impact on a student’s education and can be damaging to an individual’s development in school and educational chances.

Holidays in term time are not a right and should not automatically be granted.

  • Approval will not be given for holidays during SATs week or examination weeks.  Parents should check for information on such dates.
  • Long weekends and ‘odd’ days off should not normally be authorised as term time holiday.
  • Approval will not be given for holidays which are taken due to availability of cheap holidays or desired accommodation
  • Poor weather experienced in school holiday periods
  • Overlap with the beginning  or end of term

Any absence taken where a request has been refused by the Headteacher, the absence will be recorded as “Unauthorised Absence”.  Such unauthorised holiday absence may result in a fixed penalty fine and legal action through a Magistrate’s court.  Fixed Penalty Fines are issued per parent per child.

You are advised not to make any booking before ascertaining if the proposed holiday can be authorised.

If you feel your application for a holiday falls within the exceptional circumstances criteria please complete the attached form.

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