Chapel Allerton Primary School

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Attendance and Punctuality

Why is attendance important?


The right of children and young people to an education is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in UK law.

All parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children receive a suitable education for their age and aptitude, either by regular attendance at school or through education otherwise (elective home education where parents take full responsibility to educate their child).

Where parents and carers are not fulfilling this responsibility, Chapel Allerton Primary School and the local authority have a statutory responsibility to uphold the rights of children and young people to full time education. Where necessary, this includes taking legal action against parents. School attendance is mandatory during term times with the expectation is that attendance will be 100% unless the child is unwell - attendance lower than 90% is of concern and schools are encouraged to have clear processes to communicate with parents/carers where there is irregular attendance to seek return to school.

Evidence shows that excellent attendance is key for ensuring positive outcomes for children and young people. Missing school leaves children vulnerable to falling behind, achieving poorer outcomes at both primary and secondary level as well as post 16 choices and outcomes. The association between poor attendance and poor outcomes is the reason why school attendance is one of the ‘obsessions’ of children’s services - we know that improving attendance can be a gateway to improving the overall life chances of children and young people.


What do Chapel Allerton Primary School do to support improved attendance? 


Chapel Allerton Primary School believe that good attendance is a learned behaviour, and we recognise the importance of developing good patterns of attendance from the outset. 

Our Senior Leader with responsibility for the strategic approach to attendance in school is:

Head Teacher, Mr Sykes.

Other staff in school with responsibility for attendance are:

Miss Lister (Safeguarding and Welfare Officer), Mrs Pinder (Deputy Head Teacher) and the office team. 


Our school attendance target is 96%.


Good attendance is important because:

  • Statistics show a direct link between underachievement and absence below 95%
  • Regular attenders make better progress both socially and academically.
  • Regular attenders find school routines, schoolwork and friendships easier to cope with
  • Regular attenders find learning more satisfying.
  • Regular attenders are more successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school and higher education, employment, or training.


It is an expectation that parents/carers contact school to report any pupil absence, each day that they are absent. 

Authorised absence is defined as:

  • Genuine illness
  • Medical or dental appointment (routine appointments should be arranged out of school time)
  • Bereavement – at Head teachers’ discretion
  • Religious observance – no more than two days per academic year
  • Approved leave in term time where there are exceptional circumstances, as agreed by the Head teacher.

Unauthorised absence is defined by:

  • Holidays in term time where permission has NOT been given by the school
  • Late, after registers have closed (a U code will be used)
  • Unexplained absence.  Any child whose absence is on-going and remains unexplained for 10 days will be referred to the local authority as a child missing education.
  • Taking the rest of the day off, before or after a medical appointment
  • Staying at home to care for sick relatives.
  • Birthdays, weddings or anniversaries
  • Transport issues i.e. car broken down
  • Going shopping or having a hair cut

Exceptional circumstances

Parents do not have the right to remove their children from school during term time.  Absence in term time will only be considered if parents/carers make a request to the school on the appropriate form giving exceptional reasons why the application for absence has been requested and provide information to support their application.



The safety, welfare and wellbeing of all our pupils is paramount. Therefore, if your child is absent and there is no contact between school and home, or there are safeguarding or child protection concerns for a child, this will be referred to a member of our safeguarding team and further action will be taken as necessary.


Continuing concerns around school attendance

The Department for Education guidelines class any child with attendance of 90% or below as persistently absent.

Our attendance team regularly monitor pupil attendance and take action to address any concerns with parents/carers. We may:

  • Ask for medical evidence before authorising any further absences if your child's attendance falls below 96%.
  • Make phone calls 
  • Send letters
  • Request a meeting
  • Place pupils on Fast Track 
  • Make a referral to our Cluster Attendance Lead
  • Request support from Leeds School Attendance Service 

We recognise that poor attendance may be an indication of difficulties in a child’s life. This may be related to problems at home and/or in school. Parents should make school aware of any difficulties or changes in circumstances that may affect their child’s attendance and/or behaviour in school, for example, bereavement, separation and incidents of domestic abuse. This will help school identify any additional support that may be required.


What do Children and Families Services in Leeds do to support improved attendance?


Children and Families Services recognise that poor school attendance can be both a cause and a symptom of more complex problems in the lives of children and young people. Where this is believed to be the case, schools should initially work with the family to understand the barriers to accessing education and offer support to overcome them. However, in some cases the child and family may need support from a number of different agencies to meet their needs and this support drawn through referral to the school’s Cluster Support, offer of an Early Help plan, School Attendance Service and social care.

Leeds School Attendance Service (SAS) offers schools advice and training as well as providing family and individual case work. The SAS team also support families apply for school places and undertake the legal processes for schools where non-attendance needs to be escalated. Information on the service is available through Leeds for Learning.

Queries from schools, parents and other professionals are responded to through the duty box at


‘Nurturing a lifelong love of learning’