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Blenhein Primary School


Why is it important for children not to miss school?

At Blenheim, we know that everyone in our school community wants the very best for children; we work together to offer them the opportunities they need to live happy, healthy and purposeful lives. This article has been written to help you to understand the vital role that school attendance plays in giving children the best chance possible to do exactly that. It is based on research published in 2016 by the DfE.

Children only get one chance at school and one chance at every lesson. If children do not attend school regularly, they are likely to struggle to keep up with school work. This is because every lesson missed is a missing piece of the learning experience. Children learn by building upon what they already know, so if a piece of knowledge is not there, the next piece of information ‘doesn’t fit’ and cannot be learned either. Children then sit in lessons feeling unsure, losing confidence and, ultimately, struggling to keep up.

If children do not attend school, they also 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. Setting good attendance patterns from an early age, from nursery and throughout primary school, will also help your child later on in their life. There is an established link between poor attendance and lower attainment at the end of primary school and at GCSE.

What about arriving at school on time?

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. Children often feel like everyone is looking at them if they arrive late and can then struggle to settle into the day.

If your child is late regularly, they also keep missing the same lesson and this has the same impact as poor attendance, particularly on learning in mathematics, the first lesson of the day.

What does this really mean for your child?

The following statements give you an idea of the real world implications of missing school regularly or being late…
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.
Being late for school reduces learning time. 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. Make every minute count.

What can you do to help?

Please work with us in the following way: if your child is ill or absent for any reason, contact the school on the first day of absence; if you think your child is unhappy at school, talk to your child’s teacher to ask how we can work together; make sure your child arrives at school on time; and avoid taking holidays during term time: your child could miss a large chunk of crucial learning that they will never get back. If you are worried about your child’s attendance or struggling to arrive on time, please contact the office and ask to talk a member of the Inclusion Team. We are happy to help.

Thank you

Government legislation states that Head Teachers may only grant a leave of absence in ‘exceptional circumstances.’ This does not include any family holidays, including for reasons relating to the time which parents and carers can take off work themselves. Where a leave of absence is granted, the Head Teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school.

Please click to see:

Leave of Absence - Advice to Parents

Application for Leave of Absence