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South Grove Primary School



A Parents’ Guide to Attendance at South Grove

At South Grove Primary School, we work hard to build effective home school links and believe that working in partnership is vital. Sometimes absence from school is unavoidable: everyone gets ill. By working together, we can ensure that absence is kept to a minimum and your child is happy and learning in school.

This information is designed to help parents understand aspects of school attendance, including the systems for reporting absence and the expectations for school attendance, including the consequences and implications of persistent absence and the rewards of good attendance.

The table below describes how we categorise attendance:

School Attendance Matters!

As a parent or carer it is your lawful duty to ensure that your child regularly attends school. Failing to ensure that your child attends regularly has a number of serious consequences, most importantly:

  • Your child may not learn enough to succeed in life
  • Your child may struggle to build and maintain friendships
  • You could face legal proceedings and criminal prosecution

Every school day consists of 2 sessions. If a child misses the morning they will still get an attendance mark for the afternoon session if they are in school.

Come in – Make sure that you bring your child to school every day.

Stay in – Children can often be helped to last the school day, even if they are a little unwell.

If not - Children who are really unwell, need to stay at home, in which case you must always inform us what is wrong with your child and how long their absence is expected to be. This can be easily done in a number of ways for your convenience:

Pop in – Come to the school office and let us know why your child is absent.

Phone in – There is a dedicated messaging service on the school number for you:

0208 521 6000 Option 1

Email in – parents@southgrove.waltham.sch.uk

Good attendance means achieving 96% attendance each term of the academic year.

Attendance and the Law: Penalties and Prosecution


If you fail to send your child to school regularly, this will lead to pursuing criminal prosecution.

The results of which could be:

  • Fixed Penalty Notice of between £60 and £120 per parent per child
  • Education Welfare Service Referral
  • Legal Measures to Enforce Attendance: Criminal Record/Fine of £2500 per parent per child/Community Service
  • Parenting Order
  • Education Supervision Order
  • Prosecution Under the Education Act

Unauthorised Absence

10 sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absence can lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice:

  • If your child’s absence is unnecessary it will not be authorised.
  • If you do not inform us why your child is absent it will be unauthorised.

Your child should not be absent due to:

  • Routine dental or medical appointments: schedule appointments for after school or school holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays: book holidays during the holidays: a cheaper holiday costs your child’s learning
  • Head lice: treat and get them in!
  • Brother or sister is ill: arrange with a friend or relative to bring them in

Research shows that children’s learning is negatively affected if their attendance drops below 96%, which means missing 7 days in an academic year. Therefore we use 96% as the benchmark for good attendance and set this as a target for all our families.

Application for Leave During Term Time

 Holiday or Term Time Leave

Project BIS (Be In School)

Holiday or term time leave should not be taken under any circumstances. Routine appointments should be booked out of school hours whenever possible. In school we have created a booklet to explain more about Project BIS and how long term absence can affect your children.

For more information on Project BIS, pop into the school office for a booklet or contact Ms Montgomery.

 In the rare situation of your child needing to be absent from school during term time, you must make an application to the Head Teacher.

Forms are available on line from the school website or collect one from the school


Authorisation will rarely be given as there are few reasons that would validate your child’s absence from school.

Holidays in school time maybe less expensive….

But your child’s education is priceless!

In summary:

  • No term time holiday/ long weekend/ day trips will be authorised (unless for exceptional circumstances)
  • A form must be completed to indicate dates of absence (which will be recorded as unauthorised unless indicated by Headteacher)



NB - Throughout this leaflet reference to parent(s) should be understood to include carer(s).