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Regular school attendance is a vital part of giving your child the best possible start in life. Talking to your child and their teachers could help solve any problems you may have in getting your child to go to school.

Please contact the school office if you need any support or guidance relating to attendance.

Under the Education Act parents have a legal duty in England to make sure their child is getting an education when they reach compulsory school age. This is defined by law as the school term after they turn five to the last Friday in June in the school year in which they turn 16 by the end of the summer holidays.. 

School Times

School begins promptly at 8:45 am. If your child arrives after this time they must report to the school office, so we can mark them as present but late on the register. If your child has not arrived at school by 8.45, then a phone call will be made to establish why your child is not in school.

It may be that they have arrived late and NOT reported to the office, but we still need to establish where they are. If you do not notify the school of the absence, the mark given will be unauthorised. Please refer to the table below for school times:

School gates open


Children need to be in school by


Child marked as late after


Registers closed and child marked as absent









If you do not notify the school, and we cannot contact a parent or emergency contact, we will endeavour to visit the family home to ensure that the child is safe. Please ensure the contact details we have for you are up-to-date.

If your child has to attend a doctor’s/hospital appointment, the school needs to be notified in advance and any appointment cards/letters will need to be shown to evidence this. Please make appointments where possible during school holidays or outside schooltime.

We understand that there are sometimes circumstances in which your child cannot attend or maybe late and in these situations, we ask that you approach us to discuss this. We want to help your child to receive the very best out of their time at our school and excellent attendance and punctuality are key.

To request to take your child out of school please complete a request of absence form and submit via the school office; [email protected]

Holidays, unauthorised absences and fining

Schools cannot authorise holidays in term time except in exceptional circumstances at the headteacher's discretion.

New national government policy which was introduced in September 24 states that all schools must consider a fine when a child has missed a set number of school days for unauthorised reasons, such as a family holiday. We must consider a fine when a pupil misses 10 or more school sessions for unauthorised reasons throughout the year. A session counts as either a morning or an afternoon in school. Therefore, 10 missed sessions across the year is the equivalent to five whole days of school.

The fine for school absences across the country has risen to £80 - per parent - if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days.

The Department for Education states that children should attend school every day that it is open, unless they are ill.

Other reasons that may be authorised for a child’s absence include:

  • 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 observances.

  • 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.

How do we promote good attendance in our school?

Steyning C of E Primary School regularly promotes good attendance in school. We discuss the importance of attendance in school with the children, in collective worship and lessons. 

Every 8 weeks we do an attendance check and any parent/carer of a child whose attendance is classed as persistent absence at 91% or below will receive a letter informing them of their low attendance. If your child’s attendance continues to fall, we will discuss this with you to support you in improving it. Letters will also be sent out to parents/carers of children who have a poor level of punctuality.

If you wish to discuss anything at all concerning your child’s attendance/punctuality, please contact the school office. We are here to help.