Every day counts

Coming to school every day and on time is the key to your child accessing learning and being able to achieve their best. As a school, we are aiming to be above 96% across the academic year. It is vital that school and families work together to achieve this outcome.

Punctuality – ‘Quarter to 9 is learning time’

At Southwold Primary School we expect every child to be ready for a prompt start to learning. Doors open and learning begins at 8.45am.

Any child arriving after 8:55am should sign in at the school office. Children arriving between 8.55am and 9.10am will be marked as L, late. If a child arrives after 9.10am they will be marked as U, absent for the session – even if they arrive at 9.12am.

Even 5 minutes late each day makes a difference:

5 mins = 3 days 10 mins = 6.5 days 15 mins = 10 days 20 mins = 12 days 30 mins = 19 days

We ask that children are collected promptly from school and on time from clubs that run after school. We will of course ensure that children are held safely at the reception area in case of emergencies – please notify us if you are unavoidably detained, as staff often have after school meetings to attend.


We can only authorise absence from school on the basis of genuine illness, a religious holiday or exceptional family circumstances (agreed with the Head Teacher beforehand). See appendix in policy

You must contact us before 10am on the first morning of absence with the reason why your child is absent. If we do not receive a call, the school will contact you via a text, phone call, email or a home visit.

Holidays/ extended time off school

Regular family holidays are not considered ‘exceptional circumstances’ and should be taken during school holiday time. This also includes travelling overseas for medical purposes. If still taken, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and a referral made which may result in a penalty notice being issued by the Education Welfare Service.

If, regardless of the potential fine, you still go ahead and take your child out of school for any reason e.g. holiday, attending wedding/ funeral you must let us know in writing.

Persistent Absence

If your child’s absence is a concern we will contact you with letters detailing the concern and you may be invited into school for a meeting to discuss any barriers to your child’s attendance. If your child’s attendance continues to be a concern then this may result in a referral to our school Education Welfare Officer, and if still no improvement is seen, could result in a fine and legal proceedings from the Local Authority.

It is our duty as a school to follow Safeguarding procedures and understand why children are absent from school. All children have the right to receive an education.


We ask that appointments are made outside of school hours where possible. The school will request evidence for any appointments that take place during the school day.


Pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education.

    • If your attendance is 95% by the end of the year you are missing 2 WEEKS of school!
    • If your attendance is 90% by the end of the year you have missed 4 WEEKS of school!

What can you do to aim high with your attendance?

Don’t make a “cold” , a “headache” or “tiredness” an excuse for not coming to school.

If something is bothering you in school and making you not want to come – talk to someone about it.

Understand why coming to school is important and aim to be in school every day.

If you do miss a day; talk to other children in your class about what learning you missed.

Recognition for good attendance

Each week the class with the highest attendance are allowed to come to school for one day wearing non-uniform as a reward.

At the end of each term children with 100% attendance will be awarded with a certificate and a and medal; 100% for 1 term = Bronze, 100% for 2 terms = Silver, 100% for 3 terms = GOLD! They are also invited to a special attendance celebration.

Attendance And Absence Policy 2022 2025

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