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East Peckham Primary School


My child can't come into school today, what do I do?

Please contact the school office as soon as possible and let us know why your child cannot come to school. If you need support with attendance, please ask to speak to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher.


If your child has sickness and/or diarrhoea they must be symptom clear for 48 hours before returning to school.

How does the school encourage good attendance?

We have an attendance recap every week for the class in our Celebration Assembly where the children celebrate as a group if they have achieved their target. We have also introduced, new for Summer 2023, an incentive for 5 consecutive days for attendance. 


We do not use 100% attendance certificates nor praise that promotes individuals as we do not feel that this is inclusive nor good for our children's wellbeing.  

Why is attendance so important?

All parents want the best for their children and for them to get on well in life. Having a good education is important to ensure that they have the best opportunities in their adult life. They only get one chance at school, and your child’s future may be affected by not attending school or alternative provision regularly. If children do not attend school regularly they may:


  • Struggle to keep up with school work. In a busy school day it is difficult for schools to find the extra time to help a child catch up.
  • Miss out on the social side of school life. Poor attendance can affect children’s ability to make and keep friendships; a vital part of growing up.


If your child is not in school we cannot teach them. Our curriculum is carefully constructed so each day of learning carefully builds on the one before. If a child misses a day of school, they could miss a vital piece of learning that could be vital for the next. 


Being on time is also vital. Arriving late at school can be very disruptive for your child, their teacher and the other children in the class.


Missing school can have a huge impact on children's learning and wellbeing. 


  • Attending school every day = 100% attendance
  • Attending 4½ days a week = 90% attendance = 4 weeks missed per year
  • Attending 4 days a week = 80% attendance = more than half a term missed per year
  • Attending 3½ days each week = 70% attendance = more than a quarter of the school year missed
  • An average attendance of 80% or less across a child’s school career adds up to missing a whole 2 years from school
  • If your child is 5 minutes late every day they will miss three days of learning each year
  • If your child is 15 minutes late every day they will miss 2 weeks of learning each year


What can parents do to help?

  • If you suspect that your child may be missing school or is unhappy at school you should contact the school as soon as possible. We want to work with you to resolve any conflict and ensure your child is happy to come to school 
  • If your child is ill or absent for any other reasons, contact the school on the first day of absence.
  • Contact the school office if your child is absent and always let the school know of any days that your child is unable to attend. If you do not contact us and we cannot get hold of you, this is a safeguarding concern and we may need to take further action. 
  • Make sure your child arrives at school on time.


What if my child needs to miss school?

There may be times when your child has to miss school because she or he is ill. This is to be expected and you should follow the school’s procedures for notifying illness. Children may also have to attend a medical or dental appointment in school time. However, you should try to make routine appointments such as dental check-ups during the school holiday or after school hours, Friday afternoons are perfect for this. Any absence must be requested as far in advance as possible and we will require evidence eg an appointment letter.

Holidays or breaks from school will not be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances.


What happens if my child doesn't attend school?

Parents can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice by the Local Authority for their child’s non-attendance. The penalty is £60 and this rises to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. It can be criminal offence if your child doesn't attend school.


There are 2 offences:

1. If the child is absent without authorisation then the parent is guilty of an offence. This is a strict liability offence i.e. all that needs to be shown is a lack of regular attendance. Sanctions can include a fine of up to £1,000.

2. If the child is absent without authorisation and the parent knew about the child’s absence and failed to act then the parent is guilty of an offence. Sanctions can include a fine of up to £2,500 and a prison sentence of up to 3 months.