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Attendance and Punctuality

Our expectation: 95% minimum for all children

Why is attendance important?

At Cantrell Primary and Nursery School we want the best for all our children in our care. Children only achieve their full potential if they arrive at school regularly and on time. The effect of poor attendance and late arrival is apparent in the achievement of children as early as Foundation Stage.

Attendance and Punctuality are a vital part of safeguarding, and we have a duty of care to ensure that all children are safe.

You can help by ensuring that your child attends school on time every day. This means being in the classroom and ready to learn at 8:50am. 

Please do not allow your child to have any unnecessary absent days, such as:

  • Days off for Birthdays
  • Parent's appointments
  • Visitors to the home
  • Day trips out

Lateness and Absence Procedures.

School gates open at 8:30am. Parents/Carers are responsible for getting their children to school on time. 

Children are to be in class by 8:45am, ready for class registration. 

If your child arrives after 8:50am, they will need to sign in at the main office where details of the child and reason for being late will be taken. The child's dinner choice will also be recorded. 

All absences should be reported to the attendance officer or to the school office by 9:30am. A parent/carer should notify the school on the first day of absence by calling 0115 9155770 or emailing 

When reporting an absence, please state the class your child is in and give the reason(s) why they are absent. It is the parents/carers' responsibility to make sure a satisfactory reason is given and provide any evidence they may have to explain the absence, e.g. 

  • Medicine bottle
  • Hospital Letter
  • Emergency dental appointment text

All absences should be reported every day the child is off school, unless it is a serious injury or a long-term illness that we have received proof of. Any absence that does not have a satisfactory reason/evidence provided will be marked as unauthorised.

If a telephone call or email has not been received, school will make contact with the parents/carers.

If we have any questions/queries regarding an absence, or we have not received a reason, we reserve the right to send our Attendance Improvement Lead to conduct a home visit. 

Day to Day

Please ensure, where possible, you make medical appointments outside of school time. If this is not possible, we would expect your child to come to school either before or after their appointment to ensure they receive at least one present mark for the day.

We will ask parents/carers to provide evidence of any appointments. This can be either a letter, text message or an appointment card. 

If a child's attendance is below 90% during the school year and 10% or more is unauthorised, the Education Welfare Officer could prosecute. A letter will be sent to parents whose children's attendance is less than 90% to advise that their attendance will be monitored for improvement, or you will be invited to a meeting with the attendance team to discuss the issues.


We would like to remind you that Cantrell Primary and Nursery School does not give permission for any family holidays during term time. Any time taken for a family holiday will be recorded as unauthorised. 

A 'Leave of Absence Form' needs to be completed 6 weeks prior to the leave. The request will then be reviewed.  After the review, a letter will be issued with the outcome of the decision. Holidays will only be accepted if there are exceptional circumstances. 

You can get a copy of a 'Leave of Absence Form' from the school office. 

You can be fined for taking your child out of school during term time. Penalty notices are issued at £120 (per child, per parent) and must be paid within the statutory 28-day deadline. Penalty notices are only reduced to £60 if they are paid in full, within 21 days of issue. All fines must be paid within 28 days of issue otherwise you may be prosecuted in court. 

Our attendance policy is available to view on our policies page.