Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Updated: 05/03/2024 292 KB

The law on school attendance and right to a full-time education

  • The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education either by attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school.
  • Where parents decide to have their child registered at school, they have an additional legal duty to ensure their child attends that school regularly. This means their child must attend every day that the school is open, except in a small number of allowable circumstances such as being too ill to attend or being given permission for an absence in advance from the school

The importance of regular attendance

  • This is essential for pupils to get the most out of their school experience, including their attainment, wellbeing, and wider life chances. The pupils with the highest attainment at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 4 have higher rates of attendance over the key stage compared to those with the lowest attainment
  • For the most vulnerable pupils, regular attendance is also an important protective factor and the best opportunity for needs to be identified and support provided. Research has shown associations between regular absence from school and a number of extra-familial harms. This includes crime (90% of young offenders had been persistently absent) and serious violence (83% of knife possession offenders had been persistently absent in at least 1 of the 5 years of study)

Oswaldtwistle School attendance action process flow

  • Attendance 100% in a week – Acknowledge in Rewards assembly
  • Attendance 100% in a half term – Rewards trip
  • Improvement in attendance Rewarded


  • Attendance drops below 96% - Key worker and form tutor monitor and discuss with pupil and parent/carer. Alert Attendance officer of downward trends for early intervention.



Attendance drops below 90% - Persistent Absence

  • Inform Local Authority Attendance Support Team.
  • Arrange a meeting with parent/carers to discuss barriers to attendance. Strategies will be explored to overcome these barriers. We will take the individual needs of pupils into account, including Special Educational Needs and disabilities, as well as mental health needs and medical issues. Where the student has an EHCP, SENDCO will be part of the attendance meeting. This will help to ensure that the individual needs of the pupil are being considered.
  • If the needs of the family and child are wider than just school attendance, an Early Support Assessment will be opened, to explore what further support can be put into place for the child/family. This can include engaging the support of wider support networks.
  • Where necessary, reasonable adjustments can be made to provision, to make attendance more achievable. This is considered on a needs basis.
  • In certain cases, attendance may form part of a Keyworker Support Plan, Child in Need plan or Child Protection Plan from Social Care. The school will attend these meetings and work collaboratively with the wider professionals and family to support them.
  • In some instances, the school may request medical evidence to support absence from school due to illness. In this situation, absence due to illness will be unauthorised without such evidence.
  • Action plan drawn up by Attendance Officer and communicated to relevant parties. Attendance officer to monitor implementation and effectiveness of plan. Report in weekly attendance meeting with Deputy Head.


Attendance drops below 80%

  • If no improvement Attendance Officer to facilitate attendance meeting to review and amend Action Plan as necessary.
  • Formal Support Referral made to the Education Welfare Officer. Local Authority Attendance Meeting to be held. Formal support and targets set. Could include a formal Parenting Order or Education Supervision Order.


Attendance drops below 50% - Severe Absence


  • Follow steps as above.


  • Last resort is prosecution in magistrates court where all other voluntary and formal support or legal intervention has failed or where support has been deemed inappropriate in the circumstances of the individual case.