Home Page

Absence & Holidays

School Attendance


Late Arrival, Late Collection and Absence Procedures


Harwood Meadows Primary School firmly believes that all children benefit from regular school attendance. The staff are committed, in partnership with the parents/carers, children and governors, to building a school which serves the community and of which the community is proud. Full and regular attendance at school is crucial for a child’s future life chances and establishes a positive work ethic early in life. To this end, we will do all we can to encourage parents/carers to ensure their children achieve maximum possible attendance. Pupils will be encouraged to achieve 100% attendance, but recognise that some absence is unavoidable (e.g. due to illness) and when this is the case parents/carers will be required to inform the school at the earliest opportunity.

In order to facilitate teaching and learning, good attendance is essential.


Every day counts 


Children cannot achieve their full potential if they do not regularly attend school. We want every child to achieve their full potential and we know that parents share this goal. There is a clear link between good attendance and educational achievement. If your child is not in school, on time, as often as possible they will be missing out on many important parts of their education.


Why is regular attendance at school important?


Regular school attendance will mean that your child has a better chance in life. Your child will achieve better when they go to school all day, every school day as:

  • they learn the full curriculum
  • it will ensure that there are no gaps in their learning.  This will mean that the important foundations for future learning will be strong
  • they can form strong and meaningful friends
  • they are happier
  • they have a brighter future.

The Government regard 95% as the minimum satisfactory attendance for a school pupil.

Days off school add up to lost learning. Please don’t let your children miss out on the education they deserve.

How does your child compare?


Attendance during one school year

equals this number of days absent

which is approximately this many weeks absent

which means this number of lessons missed


9 days

2 weeks

45 lessons


19 days

4 weeks

90 lessons


29 days

6 weeks

145 lessons


38 days

8 weeks

190 lessons




We monitor attendance closely and contact parents to inform them and offer support where attendance has dropped and causes concern.

Good attendance is promoted in school through assemblies and rewards. We are always happy to work with families to support and improve attendance.

Family emergencies need careful consideration. It is not always in the best interests of the pupil to miss school for family emergencies that are being dealt with by adult family members. School and school friendships and relationships can provide pupils with stability and care during difficult times. The routine of school can provide a safe and familiar background to life during times of upheaval.


Absence reporting procedures


 If your child is absent from school due to illness, please telephone school on 01204 333702 and inform the office staff or leave a message ideally before 9am. If your child’s illness lasts for more than one day, you must phone school daily and inform us why your child is still absent. If your child’s illness lasts longer than 48hrs and you have not already done so, we advise you to seek medical attention.

Parental illness is not an excuse for children not attending school. Children must attend school every day unless they are ill.


It is a parent/carer’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education. Failing to send your child to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence. If your child's level of absence is a concern, school will contact parents/carers to offer advice and support to improve attendance.


Leave in Term Time Leave of Absence from School


Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Family holidays do not qualify as an exceptional circumstance.  Unauthorised absence of this nature will be subject to a fine. The head teacher will determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. Should there be any exceptional circumstances, please make a request in writing to the Head Teacher before making any bookings.  A request for an absence is considered on its merits at the time and many variables are taken into consideration.




As you may be aware, the law treats some persistent lateness in the same way as irregular attendance and parents may be prosecuted by the local authority if late arrival is not resolved.


Minutes late

per day during

the school year

Equals days worth of

teaching lost in a year


5 mins

3.4 days

10 mins

6.9 days

15 mins

10.3 days

20 mins

13.8 days

30 mins

20.7 days


Poor punctuality can lead to your child…

  • Feeling embarrassed in front of their friends
  • Missing out on morning maths session which recap areas from across the curriculum
  • Missing the beginning of vital lessons
  • Missing important instructions for the rest of the school day
  • Learning bad habits which could affect their employability in the future


If your child arrives at school after 8.55am when the doors are closed, your child will be admitted by staff in the front office.


Parents failing to comply with school attendance regulations by taking their child(ren) out of school may be issued with a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.  The fine per parent, per child will be £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid within 28 days.  Failure to pay the Penalty Notice will result in further prosecution through the Courts.