Glebe Primary School


Promoting Good Attendance and Punctuality

UNCRC Article 3: (best interests of the child) The best interests of the child must be top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.

UNCRC Article 28 (right to education) Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.


  1. At Glebe School we are committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all its pupils as a good education gives a child the best possible start in life. We recognise that this can be achieved by supporting and promoting excellent school attendance.
  2. This policy has been written to adhere to the relevant Children Acts, Equalities Act 2010, and the Human Rights Act (1998).
  3. This policy also adheres to the Section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996 which states that if a child of compulsory school age ‘fails to attend regularly’ at the school where he or she is a registered pupil, his parent is guilty of an offence. The Supreme Court1 has determined that the word ‘regularly’ in the context of section 444(1) Education Act 1996 means ‘in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school’. In practice this means that a pupil should attend school on each day that the school is open unless their absences has been authorised by the Head teacher. In addition to this, Glebe School follows the guidance issued from the Local Authority (Harrow’s Code of Conduct) to identify the actions needed when pupils are absent from school, and the Harrow SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) guidance when considering leave of absence for religious observance.
  4. Glebe Primary School promotes good school attendance and punctuality for every child. Regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential for pupils to maximise their educational opportunities. School attendance is also a component of safeguarding children.
  5. At Glebe School we expect regular attendance from all pupils. There is a strong link between good attendance and high attainment.
  6. Children must attend school regularly in order to keep up with school work and achieve their full potential. Therefore we have in place a set of procedures to encourage pupils to achieve the maximum possible attendance.
  7. We aim to identify early any problems that impede full attendance and act to resolve them.
  8. Parents/carers take responsibility in ensuring that their children arrive at school and return home safely.
  9. At Glebe School we believe that an early response to dealing with developing patterns of absence is best.

Signing Out Procedures

If a child needs to leave school for any reason during the day then the child must be signed out by the parent in the ‘Signing Out Book’. This book is an essential record.

Collecting Children on Time at the End of the School Day

Children must be collected on time at the end of the day. If children are not collected on time at the end of afternoon lessons or clubs on a regular basis a referral may be made to Harrow Children’s Services.

The school has an After School Club if parents require after school childcare. The After School Club childcare provision fee is £6:00 per day.



 The term parent is used to refer to an individual who falls within the definition of section 576 of the Education Act 1996. This includes all natural parents, whether they are married or not; any person or body who has parental responsibility for a child (as defined by the Children Act 1989); and any person who although not a natural parent who has care of that child. Having care of a child means a person with whom a child lives and looks after, irrespective of what their relationship is with that child.

Authorised Absence

An absence is classified as authorised when a child has granted leave by the school in advance or the reason for absence is already known and accepted by the school as legitimate. Where a reason for absence is given and accepted by the school at a later stage, the register will be amended using the prescribed codes (Appendix 1). The decision about whether the absence should be authorised or unauthorised is made by the Designated Attendance Officer, however, the overall decision rests with the Headteacher. All absences are considered carefully on individual basis to ensure they meet the guidance issued by Harrow Council on exceptional circumstances (Appendix 3) prior to being approved. Consequently not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised.

Unauthorised Absence

An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school. The absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the supporting information provided by the parent. 2.3 If no explanation about an absence is received by the school within 3 weeks, the absence will remain unauthorised.

Persistent Absence

Persistent absence is absence at or above 10%, at any point in the academic year. The Department of Education view this as a measure of performance not a target. It is data that is publicly available and used by Ofsted. The thresholds usually equates to missing 39 sessions or more in the first five half terms of the year.


Late Procedures

Good punctuality is important. Children who arrive to school after the whistle is blown at 8.50 am must be brought to the School Office by an adult. The parent must sign the ‘Late Book’. A referral may be made to the Local Authority to issue an Education Penalty Notice if a child is persistently late.

Signing Out Procedures

If a child needs to leave school for any reason during the day then the child must be signed out by the parent in the ‘Signing Out Book’. This book is an essential record.

Collecting Children on Time at the End of the School Day

Children must be collected on time at the end of the day. If children are not collected on time at the end of afternoon lessons or clubs on a regular basis a referral may be made to Harrow Children’s Services.

The school has an After School Club if parents require after school childcare. The After School Club childcare provision fee is £6:00 per day.

Notification of Absence for Illness

Parents need to do the following if their child is going to be absent from school due to illness:

  • Contact the school before 9:00am on the morning of the child’s absence providing the reason for, and the likely duration of the absence. The number to call is 0208 204 6564. Parents can leave a message on the school answer phone or speak to a member of staff.
  • Parents need to call the school each day that their child is not at school.
  • A doctor’s note is required for absences of more than 3 days.
  • If parents do not provide a written explanation or speak to a member of staff in the School Office each time their child is absent then the child will be marked in the register as having an unauthorised absence. This may result in parents receiving an Education Penalty Notice.

Parents are strongly encouraged to arrange their children’s appointments out of school hours for other appointments e.g. Opticians and Dentist.

Pupil Leaving During the School Day

 During the school hours the school staff are legally in loco parentis and therefore must know where the pupils are during the school day. Pupils are not allowed to leave the school premises without prior permission from the school. Wherever possible, parents should arrange medical and other appointments outside of school time.  Parents are requested to conform in writing, by letter or email, the reason for any planned absence, the time of leaving, and the expected return time. Where a pupil is collected from the school, parents report to the school office and sign the pupil out of the school. If a pupil leaves the school site without permission their parents will be contacted. Should the school be unable to make contact with the family it may be appropriate, in certain circumstances, to contact the Police and register the pupils as a missing person. It is the parent’s responsibility to make suitable arrangements for dropping their children to school and for collection. Parents must ensure the school has been provided with the correct emergency contact details of all adults that have been nominated by them to collect their children.

Notification of Absence for Medical Appointments

As part of our school absence monitoring procedures, parents are required to provide proof of their children’s medical appointments. Usually this will be an appointment card or a letter from the health practitioner. If an appointment card or a letter has not been provided, then it will be necessary to download the form below and get it filled out by the health practitioner and return it to the School Office.

Proof of Medical Appointment

Term Time Absence Request

School attendance regulations changed on the 1st September 2013 under Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 which was an amendment to the 2006 regulations.

The Amendments to the 2006 regulations removed references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Absence from school is disruptive to children’s education. It may also affect their social development. When requesting term time absence parents must adhere to the following procedure:

  • Collect a ‘Request for Absence in Term Time’ form from the School Office.
  • Complete the form including the date of return to school and the reason for the request.
  • Return it to the School Office at least 10 school days before the start of the absence.

Following a request for term time absence, a member of the Senior Leadership Team may wish to interview parents. After consideration by the school, parents will receive notification of the school’s decision.  The leave will only be approved in legitimate circumstances and only for the minimum amount of time.

Glebe School will NOT authorise a holiday during periods of national tests. If the Leave of Absence is not approved the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, the school may take action to issue a fixed rate Education Penalty Notice. The Education Penalty Notice is a fixed fine of £60.00 if payment is made within 21 days. £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Failure to pay the fine may result in a criminal conviction and a fine in the Magistrate Court for up to £2,500.

A prolonged unauthorised absence may result in your child being removed from the school roll and / or a referral may be made to the Local Authority’s Early Intervention Team. If a child is taken off the school roll, parents would need to re-apply for a school place through the School Admissions Service at Harrow Civic Centre.

School Attendance and Educational Penalty Notices

In Law an offence occurs if a parent/carer fails to send their child to a school at which they are a registered pupil and the child’s absence is not authorised by the school. Penalty Notices supplement the existing sanctions currently available under Section 444 Education Act 1996 or Section 36 Children Act 1989 to enforce attendance at school.

Penalty Notices involves the recipient paying a fine, currently set at £60.00 if paid within 21 days or £120.00 if paid within 28 days.  Where an unauthorised absence has been dealt with by way of a Penalty Notice and it has been paid, it is not possible for a parent to be prosecuted for the same period of unauthorised absence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 or for the same instance of an excluded child being present in a public place under Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

Absence Application Form

School Attendance & Educational Penalty Leaflet - Tamil

School Attendance & Educational Penalty Leaflet - Romanian

School Attendance & Educational Penalty Leaflet - Gujarati

School Attendance & Educational Penalty Leaflet - English 

Circumstances for Issuing of Education Penalty Notice

 A Penalty Notice can only be issued in cases of unauthorised absence and in respect of a child who is a registered pupil at a school. Up to three penalty notices may be issued per child during each academic school year if appropriate. Penalty Notices must be issued in respect of separate periods of unauthorised absences. In cases where one penalty notice has been issued to a child in that academic year, consideration should be given to instigating the formal prosecution process before determining to issue a second or third penalty notice. In cases where there is more than one poorly-attending pupil in a family, a penalty notice may be issued to each parent in respect of each child. Furthermore the Local Authority may carry out checks with other schools in the borough where there are siblings attending different schools, and if appropriate may issue a Penalty Notice in respect of each child.

Issuing of Educational Penalty Notice (EPN)

 A Penalty Notice may be issued by authorised LA staff in Harrow Council. The authorised LA in Harrow Council are: Education Service (ES) Court Attendance Officer, the School Admissions Team Manager and the Divisional Director Education Services.The Designated Attendance Officer will request for issuing of the Education Penalty Notice on behalf of the Head Teacher who has the statutory powers to issue the EPNs in accordance with Harrow’s Code of Conduct and guidance. The Local Authority will undertake the administration and issuing of EPNs once the school has made the request.

The issuing of EPNs will be considered in the following circumstances:

  • Absence from school
  • o At least 20 sessions (10 school days) lost to unauthorised absence within a period of no more than 12 weeks (term time).
  • o A leave of absence of at least 10 consecutive sessions (5 school days) not approved by head teacher as exceptional.
  • Lateness
  • o In cases where a child persistently arrives at school after the register has closed and has received at least eight (8) unauthorised late marks within a period of ten (10) weeks (term time).
  • Where the Harrow Council’s Education Services believes that a Penalty Notice is the most appropriate way to deal with irregular school attendance as the child has attendance below 90% and at least 5% absences are unauthorised.
  • Excluded Children
  • o Where a child has been excluded from school and is found in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification within the first five days of the exclusion period. Reasonable justification will be assessed on the individual circumstances of each case but may include the medical emergency of the parent or child or a pre-arranged medical appointment.

Changing Schools

 It is important that if families decide to send their child to a different school that they inform the school as soon as possible. A pupil will not be removed from the school roll until the following information has been received and investigated:

  • The date the pupil will be leaving the school and starting the next
  • The address of the new school
  • The new home address and name of country if moving abroad
  • Who the child will be living with

 The pupil's school records will then be sent to the new school. In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the local authority Child Missing Education - Education Welfare Officer.