Attendance / Absence

Courtney Primary School always tries to work in partnership with parents to ensure very high levels of school attendance and we would like to thank the many parents who ensure their children attend school regularly and on time. We aim for all learners to be above 96% attendance which is higher than the national average.

Attendance at Courtney Primary School is a priority and therefore remains a core area of school focus and development.


Why is learner attendance important?

All schools have a ‘duty of care’ to follow up on all absences in accordance with the regulations. Monitoring and improving attendance is not just about pupil safety, although this is paramount. Good attendance also enables pupils to achieve well – attendance is the single most influential factor on achievement.

Absence disrupts the education of the individual learners and the whole class. Children who do not attend regularly are more likely to fall behind with their learning and find it difficult to maintain friendships. Research shows that children and young people who attend school at least 96% of the time are more likely to achieve good results. Patterns of attendance tend to be set in the Early Years. Good attendance develops the essential life skills necessary for young people to be responsible and successful citizens and it is important for personal, social and emotional development and self-esteem.


Important Legislation

It is important that all parents and carers are aware that the law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. The Education Act 1996 Para 444 Subsection 1 states:

‘If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.’


Requesting Absence

Parents and carers who take their child out of school during term time or when there are frequent instances of a child arriving late after the class register has been closed, are at risk of being issued with a Penalty Notice. Penalty Notices are issued per parent, per child. For example, if a two parent family were to take three children on holiday in term time, which is not authorised by the school, six Penalty Notices would be issued in total. Penalty Notices are £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days.


How does lateness impact on attendance?

Learning at Courtney Primary School starts for all learners (Reception – Year 6). When learners arrive late, they miss key opportunities which impacts on the sequence of learning as well as their personal, social and emotional development and self-esteem.

5 minutes late every day


3 days of school lost a year

10 minutes late every day

6.5 days of school lost a year

15 minutes late every day

10 days of school lost a year

20 minutes late every day

13 days of school lost a year

30 minutes late every day

19 days of school lost a year


What do the percentages and/or days mean?

The table below shows how a low percentage attendance correlates to the number of days missed in school.

Attendance during 1 school year

equals this many number of days absent

which is approximately this many weeks absent

which means this number of lessons missed


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons


57 days

11.5 weeks

290 lessons

At Courtney Primary School we want to work together with families to ensure learners attend school every day. If you wish to talk to a member of the Attendance Team please call 01454 866670.