Montacute School : School Attendance Protocol

Updated Dec 2016

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.

Parents/carers have a duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age are receiving suitable full-time education. Some parents may elect to educate their children at home and may withdraw them from school at any time to do so, unless they are subject to a School Attendance Order.

Schools must monitor pupils’ attendance through their daily register. Schools should agree with their local authority the intervals at which they will inform local authorities of the details of pupils who fail to attend regularly or have missed ten school days or more without permission. Schools should monitor attendance closely and address poor or irregular attendance. It is important that pupils’ poor attendance is referred to the local authority.

If pupils are to reach their full potential they need to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Regular, uninterrupted school attendance is a key factor in helping pupils reach their potential. Every effort should always be made to avoid disruption to a pupil’s education.

School Attendance Monitoring

At school we monitor pupil attendance on a termly basis. Any recorded attendance of less than 90% will prompt further investigation. 90% equates to half a day absence per week. This in turn equates to 4 weeks absence in an academic year. If a pupil persistently had 90% attendance over the course of their education they would have been absent for a whole year of their education.

We understand, particularly in a school such as ours, that illnesses and hospital appointments are sometimes unavoidable and can have a huge impact on a pupil’s attendance capabilities. It is important, when these circumstances arise, that parents/carers maintain good communication with the school in order that we can support and advise them in the best way possible.

We also understand that some pupils who have complex medical needs may need a shorter day or a shorter week. School will only agree such modifications to their timetable if they are supported with a doctor’s letter. The school reserves the right to request a new letter every 2 years, or if a child’s medical status improves.

Some pupils who have severe sensory needs which affect their ability to participate effectively in a whole school day – for example those who struggle with ‘transitions’ or change may benefit from a modified start or finish time. However, this must be by mutual agreement between home and school, and it must be something that is reviewed on a regular basis. In this way school hopes to optimise learning through recognizing individual needs. The school will ensure that the Schools Attendance Worker is aware of ‘bespoke’ arrangements.

Where there are concerns over attendance – whether the absences are consecutive or there are ‘broken weeks’- school will request a meeting with parents/carers.

When agreed attendance levels fall below 80%, School may make a referral to the Borough of Poole School Attendance Worker. The Education Welfare Service work with parents/carers to address their child/s attendance difficulties. If, after planned work, unauthorised absences are still a concern, the Local Authority has a duty to consider legal action which may result in prosecution or the issuing of fines. 

Lateness after the Register has Closed

Our daily school registration closes at 9.30am. Any arrivals after this time will be recorded as ‘Unauthorised Lates’. More than 5 late arrivals within 6 weeks (these do not need to be consecutive) may result in a request to attend an attendance meeting.

Absence from School

If a pupil is unwell, parents/carers should ring the school before 9.00am. Absences for medical/ dental appointments should also be advised either in the Home School Diary or through the school office with as much advance notice as possible.

If you do not contact us we will ring or text you during the morning to find out why your child is not in school. We may need to record the absence as unauthorised if the reason is not considered acceptable.

Request for leave of absence in term time due to exceptional circumstances

Following amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, which came into effect on the 1st September 2013, schools are only allowed to grant leave of absence from school in exceptional circumstances.

In making a request for leave of absence from school in term time parents need to explain why the circumstances are exceptional, and therefore why the activity cannot be undertaken either at a weekend or within the normal 13 weeks holiday their child has from school.

The legislation states that Head Teachers can only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. What amounts to exceptional Circumstances is to be decided by the Head Teacher.

Parents/carers will be notified of the Head Teacher’s decision at the earliest opportunity.

If the circumstances are not considered to be exceptional then parents/carers will be informed of this. If a parent/carer takes their child out of school without permission the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised leave of absence, which may result in a request being made to the Local Education Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if attendance for the previous 12 month period (to include the leave of absence) is not considered to be regular.

Parents/carers are advised not to make any arrangements until their request has been considered.

Supporting Documents

Children Missing Education : Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities September 2016


Montacute School : School Attendance Process

Updated Dec 2016




End of Term

Gemma Bugler - Office

Print off all Pupil Attendance Records

Beginning of Next Term

Jill Owen – Head Teacher


Tracey Smith – Parent Partner/ Safeguarding Lead

Review figures


Agreed attendance less than 90%

Jill Owen – Head Teacher


Tracey Smith – Parent Partner/ Safeguarding Lead

Look at supporting evidence and consider:

~ authorised v unauthorised

~ lateness

~ known illnesses

~ known medical  


~ holidays


Assess pupil progress information


If appropriate telephone and discuss with parents/carers


Mark for ongoing monitoring

Agreed attendance less than 80%

Jill Owen – Head Teacher


Tracey Smith – Parent Partner/ Safeguarding Lead

Look at supporting evidence, consider:

~ authorised v unauthorised

~ lateness

~ known  illnesses

~ known medical  


~ holidays


Assess pupil progress information


If appropriate telephone and discuss with parents/carers and/or invite to attendance meeting


Mark for ongoing monitoring


Consider referral to SAW

Pupil absence for 10 days or more with no explanation or contact


Pupil fails to return to school at the start of term or after a planned holiday with no explanation or contact

Gemma Bugler – Office


Tracey Smith - Tracey Smith – Parent Partner/ Safeguarding Lead

Follow Child Missing Education (CME) process


Attempt to contact Family


Follow Local Authority reporting procedure