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Attendance at Hart Plain Junior School

Regular school attendance plays a massive part in giving your child the best possible start in life. Primary education provides the building blocks and foundations for future education.  For your children to achieve their best in GCSEs and further education, they need to achieve well in primary and for this, they need to attend school regularly.

Talking to your child and their teachers could help to solve any difficulties you have in getting your child to go to school – and there are other forms of support available. If you still have problems, please see Mrs Atkins who will be more than willing to help.

The Law

By law, all children of compulsory school age (starting from the term after they are 5) must receive a suitable full-time education.  As a parent, you have a legal responsibility to make sure this happens.

Once your child is registered at a school, you are legally responsible for making sure they attend punctually and regularly. If your child fails to do so, you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted.

Percentage attendance explained


We want all of our children at Hart Plain Junior School to aim for 100% attendance. For all children that achieve 100% attendance for the entire academic year, they will be celebrated in assembly and presented with a 100% prize.


School’s minimum attendance target is 96.4%. This allows nearly two weeks each year for children’s absence in the event of genuine illness.


If your child has a percentage attendance level of 90%, this is equivalent to missing half a day a week.  Over five years they will have missed 19 weeks of school. This is the same as taking nearly 6 months off. This is a whole term AND half a term. The Government now consider any child with an attendance below 90% to be persistently absent.  We will not be authorising any further illnesses unless you can provide evidence or a doctor’s note to confirm the illness.


If your child’s percentage attendance falls to 80% they are taking a whole school year out every five years.


The Headteacher will only authorise leave during term-time in the most exceptional circumstances and will look at each request individually.


We know that you cannot stop your child from being ill. 

We do not want them to come into school if they are not well. However, please ensure that you only keep your child away from school for genuine reasons.

We still have a large number of children who are absent on a regular basis due to coughs, colds, runny noses, tummy aches and headaches. All of these minor conditions can generally be dealt with by treating your child with paracetamol and sending them to school. The school can administer medication providing that the medicine is handed in to the school office and a consent form completed.

Reporting your child’s absence

In the event that your child is ill and will be absent from school, please ensure that you notify us by telephoning the school on 02392 263200 by 9.30am. In the event that there is no answer you can leave a voice message. We have a dedicated line for absences. Please inform us of why your child is absent and when you expect them to return.

What can I do to increase my child’s attendance?

  • Contact the school to report absence; sometimes having the school number stored in your mobile can save you time
  • Only keep children off for genuine illness
  • Never book holidays during term time
  • Be ready. Ensuring that you are aware of your child’s school routine and knowing on which day your child needs a P.E or swimming kit will help you to avoid any issues
  • Keep in contact. Our Attendance Officer, Mrs Sarah Atkins, is always willing to offer support and advice on ensuring that your child maintains an attendance rate that exceeds Hart Plain Junior School’s target