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Facts about Attendance

Some facts about school attendance…

  • 90% attendance is like having a day off every two weeks.
  • Most children should routinely have attendance rates of 97% or more. This is the equivalent of 6 days absence a year. BUT 100% is achieved by many pupils every year in both primary and secondary schools.
  • A 2 week holiday each year in primary school means a total of 14 weeks teaching time missed— this could have a real impact on their basic literacy and numeracy skills.
  • It is the school and not parents who decide whether or not to authorise absences. The parent’s note is necessary because the reasons given need to be considered by the school.
  • Keeping children away from school for no good reason is a criminal offence.
  • Prolonged absence from school can lead to loneliness. It can make it harder for your child to get along with other children and make friends.
  • Looking after other children, birthday treats or shopping for new clothes are not good enough reasons to keep your child off school. The schools will not authorise absences without a good reason for your child being off.
  • Keep an eye out for early signs of your child not wanting to go to school, such as moodiness, headaches, or stomach aches, especially at important times like the transition into a new year group or after the school holidays. Act upon these signs early, please don’t be frightened to speak to someone in school or ring the Education Welfare Officer allocated to the school.
  • If your child does not go to school regularly and you fail to work with the school and the Education Welfare Service then you may be fined up to £2500 or be given a Parenting Order.
  • Remember the only legally accepted reasons for not being in school are illness, holiday approved by school or a day of religious observance.
  • 80% attendance is the same as having a day off every week.
  • Some parents have been given a prison sentence for continually failing to send their child/children to school.
  • The Government regard 96% as the minimum satisfactory attendance for a primary school pupil.
  • Children with poor attendance often become the victims of bullying.