Foreland Fields School

Attendance Policy


Related School Policies

This Attendance Policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies:



Foreland Fields School is a Rights Respecting School thereby this policy ensures that the following rights are acknowledged:


Statement of Intent

Foreland Fields School is committed to the continuous raising of achievement of all our pupils.  Regular attendance is critical if our pupils are to be successful and benefit from the opportunities presented to them.

One of our basic principles is to celebrate success. Good attendance is fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience. We actively promote 100% attendance for all our pupils and actively promote good attendance and punctuality.

As a school we appreciate that many of our pupils have medical conditions which can impact on their school attendance. We encourage parents to discuss issues related to attendance with pupils’ class teachers, the Headteacher and/or the Family Liaison Officer in order to ensure we are aware of any issues and can plan accordingly.

The Governors, Headteacher and Staff in partnership with parents have a duty to promote full attendance at Foreland Fields School.


Parental Responsibility

Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly and arrive on time.  Regular attendance is essential to the all-round development of the child and they should be allowed to take full advantage of educational opportunities available to them in order to make good progress in their learning.  Poor attendance undermines their educational attainment and progress and, sometimes, puts pupils at risk by encouraging anti-social behaviour.

It is the parents’ responsibility to contact the school on the first day their child is absent. This is a safeguarding issue requirement so that all parties know that your child is safe and their whereabouts is known.  Parents should regularly update the school and inform the school when their child is returning.

Pupils are expected to arrive by 8.45am.  All pupils that arrive late must report, with their parent (when possible) to the school office where the reason for lateness is recorded. 


The Role of the School Staff

At Foreland Fields School there is a whole school responsibility and approach for improving school attendance, with specific staff taking individual responsibility.

Marilyn Smalley (Receptionist) has overall responsibility for monitoring attendance issues along with Sharon Bremner (Family Liaison Officer).

Class teachers or form tutors complete a register at the beginning of each morning and once during the afternoon session.  Marking the attendance registers twice daily is a legal requirement. (The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006).  Teachers mark pupils present, absent or late.  The class teacher notifies Marilyn/Sharon or the Headteacher of children whose attendance is causing concern.

It is the responsibility of Marilyn Smalley or Sue Finnerty (Receptionists) to ensure:


Timeline of the Staged Approach for Managing Poor Attendance


Children Missing Education

No child should be removed from the school roll without consultation between the Headteacher and the Inclusion and Attendance Service when appropriate. Please see the circumstances below:-

Where a child is missing from education, Local Authority guidance will be followed, by completing a Child Missing Education referral for the following circumstances:-



At Foreland Fields School the register is taken at 8.45am and 1pm (lower school) 1.30pm (upper school).  Pupils arriving after these times must enter school by the main entrance and report to Reception where their name and the reason for lateness will be recorded.  The pupil will be marked as late before registration has closed (Code ‘L’). 

The register will close at 9.00am and 1.15pm (lower school) or 1.45pm (upper school).   Pupils arriving after the register has closed will be marked as late after registration (Code ‘U’) and this will count as an unauthorised absence.

Frequent lateness after the register has closed (U) will be discussed with parents/carers and could provide grounds for prosecution or a Penalty Notice.


Penalty Notice Proceedings for Lateness  

Penalty Notices are issued in accordance with Kent County Council’s Education Penalty Notices Code of Conduct effective from January 2016, as revised in April 2017, when:


Authorising Absence

Only the Headteacher can authorise absence using a consistent approach. The Headteacher is not obliged to accept a parent’s explanation. A letter or telephone message from a parent does not in itself authorise an absence. If absences are not authorised, parents will be notified.

If no explanation is received, absences will not be authorised.

Absence (for example leave for holidays) during term time can only be approved in “exceptional circumstances”. The following reasons are examples of absence that will not be authorised:

Persistent unauthorised absence (10% or more of the school year) may result in an AS1 referral to the Local Authority School Liaison Officer for consideration of prosecution.  The school will follow procedures prior to referral and parents will be notified in writing.

When a referral is made, the child’s Registration Certificate, copies of all letters sent to parents and minutes of any meetings need to be attached to the completed AS1 referral form with any other relevant information.

Local Authority Action may include:-


Penalty Notices Proceedings for Poor Attendance

Penalty Notices are issued in accordance with Kent County Council’s Education Penalty Notices Code of Conduct effective from January 2016 and revised in April 2017.


Exceptional circumstances could include:

Any examples provided are illustrative rather than exhaustive. It is acceptable to take a pupil’s previous record of attendance into account when the school is making decisions. The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare, significant, unavoidable and short. And by 'unavoidable' it implies that an event could not reasonably be scheduled at another time. It is important to note that Headteachers can agree the absence of a child in exceptional circumstances and this discretion can be used also to determine the length of the authorised absence.

Where Penalty Notices are imposed, the regulations state that the penalty will be £120 to be paid within 28 days, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days.  Penalty Notices are issued to each parent of each child.  Failure to pay the penalty in full by the end of the 28 day period will result in prosecution by the Local Authority.

Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 says that parents are guilty of an offence of failing to secure regular attendance at school unless they can prove that the child was absent:

In law, these are the only acceptable reasons for a child being absent from school. 

The Headteacher may authorise absence in “exceptional circumstances” but this must be requested in advance and agreement to each request is at the discretion of the Headteacher, acting on behalf of the Governing Body (Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006).  Each case will be judged on its merits and the Headteacher’s decision is final. Once the decision not to authorise leave is taken, it cannot be authorised retrospectively.

If the absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken anyway, the case may be referred to the Inclusion and Attendance Service who may issue a Penalty Notice to each parent for each child taken out of school.

Failure to pay the penalty in full by the end of the 28 day period will result in prosecution by the Local Authority.


May 2017





Governing Body Approval



Scrutinised by the Resources Team on 8th May 2017


Ratified by the Full Governing Body on 17th May 2017


To be scrutinised by the Learning and Development Team annually or as changes in legislation/policy dictates.


To be ratified by The Strategy Team thereafter.


To be displayed on main School Web Site? Yes         



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