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 At Flyford Flavell Primary  School, we aim for the best possible attendance and  support  parents by giving out term dates as early as possible. We ask parents to support us and only withdraw children from school when they are genuinely unwell. 


Parents may not be aware of the impact school absence has on our community.  When children return from an absence, we need to get them up to speed with their learning.  Our English work is always based on a text, so a support is drawn away from children who need it most whilst the class text is revisited.  Learning is hierarchical, for example, if introducing a mathematical concept then we can not introduce lesson 5 on fractions without going over the previous learning.  We have to repeat this across our curriculum.   This takes our support staff away from their usual duties including supporting children that they would usually work with in class.  Other children in the class do not then get the best possible deal due to someone taking an unauthorised absence. 


Unauthorised or unusual patterns of attendance may also preclude children from being considered for important roles in school.  For example, when choosing our Head Boy/Girl, Prefects, Sports Captains etc, we need children who have been excellent role models in many areas, with attendance being one of these areas. 


Parents who are considering withdrawing their child during term time are asked to come into school to speak to the Headteacher in the first instance.   Our Governors will also invite parents to an attendance meeting should they have ongoing concerns in regard to attendance.   


Every moment in school counts and days missed add up quickly. Evidence shows that pupils who have good attendance enjoy better wellbeing and school performance than those who don't.

There are only a few circumstances where a child is allowed to miss school, such as illness or where the school has given permission because of an exceptional circumstance. However, if your child misses school without a good reason, local councils and schools can intervene and you may be issued a fine.

It’s important to acknowledge that children with long-term medical or more serious mental health conditions, and those with special educational needs and disabilities may face additional barriers.

For children who face complex barriers to attendance, schools should have sensitive conversations with children and families and work with them to put support in place for their individual needs.


How much could I be fined if my child misses school?  

From August 2024, the fine for school absences across the country will be £80 if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days.

This rate is in line with inflation and is the first increase since 2012.

In the case of repeated fines, if a parent receives a second fine for the same child within any three-year period, this will be charged at the higher rate of £160.

Fines per parent will be capped to two fines within any three-year period. Once this limit has been reached, other action like a parenting order or prosecution will be considered.

If you’re prosecuted and attend court because your child hasn’t been attending school, you could get a fine of up to £2,500.

Money raised via fines is only used by the local authority to cover the costs of administering the system, and to fund attendance support. Any extra money is returned to the government.


How can you be sure parent fines are fair?

Fines are a last resort, and parents will be offered support to help improve their child’s attendance first. The vast majority of fines for unauthorised absence (89%) are issued for term time holidays.

If your child is facing barriers to school attendance due to special education needs or disabilities (SEND), schools, local authorities and wider services are required to work together to provide the right support in the first place.


What if my child needs to miss school? 

Your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless:

  • Your child is too ill to attend that day.
  • You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances.
  • Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in religious observance.
  • Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet.
  • You are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode, and you are required to travel for work that day meaning your child cannot attend their usual school.

What happens if my child misses school without a good reason? 

If your child is absent and you haven’t received advance permission from the headteacher to take your child out of school, the school and local council may take action.

Before that, your child’s school and your local council are expected to support you to improve the child’s attendance before any measures are put in place.

These measures can include:

  • Issue a fixed penalty notice, otherwise known as a ‘fine’ – your local council can give each parent a fine. If you do not pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.
  • Seek an Education Supervision Order from the family court – if the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order. A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of, or as well as, prosecuting you.
  • Prosecute you – this means you have to go to court. You could get a fine, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months. The court could also give you a Parenting Order.


Student attendance over one school year

98% attendance = approximately 4 days absent from school

95% attendance = approximately 10 days absent from school

90% attendance = approximately 4 weeks absent from school

85% attendance = approximately 5 ½ weeks absent from school

80% attendance = approximately 7 ½ weeks absent from school


Student attendance over 5 years

90-95 % attendance = similar to having 3 months off school

85- 90% attendance = similar to having half a year off school

80% attendance = similar to having a whole year off school

Attendance Letter