Attendance and Punctuality

Being at school

School education lays the vital foundations of a child’s life.  It has been proved that irregular attendance can severely impede academic and social development.  Parents/carers and the school staff should work in partnership in making education a success and ensuring that all children have full and equal access to all that the school has to offer.  It is your responsibility as parents and carers to enable your child to attend school every day.

Our School Day

The school gates open at 8.25am. Children can go in to class from 8.30am to begin learning. School doors close at 8.40am. all late arrivals must enter via the main school office.

Lunchtime starts at 11.45am for Reception and KS1 classes and 12.00pm for Key Stage 2 classes.

School finishes at 3.00pm for Reception, 3.05pm for Year 1 and Year 2, 3.10pm for Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6).

 Our Expectations

Our expectation for all children in our Buckland Primary community is that every child should attend school every day and be on time.   This would mean that every child should aim for 100% attendance. We want your child in school so that they are able to learn.  100% attendance is essential to guarantee the highest possible achievement for your child and helps them learn the importance of not being late.

Lateness and attendance below 100% will have a negative impact on your child’s learning and overall wellbeing.

The only authorised absences are the ones set out in legislation: sickness, religious holidays, exceptional circumstances as authorised at the discretion of the headteacher or the local authorities’ failure to make statutory travel arrangements.  If you allow your child to stay at home for a significant amount of time you may face legal proceedings.

When a pupil’s attendance falls below 90%, they are classified as a persistent absentee, as defined by the DfE. We are in constant contact with the Local Authority and the Surrey Inclusion team.  We monitor children’s ongoing attendance on a weekly basis and if concerns are identified, the Surrey Inclusion team may be contacted and a referral made for additional support for the family.


We know that sometimes families find it difficult to get into school.  Let us know, as we are here to help you!

As stated in a recent OFSTED report (published in February 2022) acknowledging the difficult couple of years that the whole nation has faced, schools are being encouraged to

“Listen, understand, empathise and support – but do not tolerate”

low attendance in our pupils.  We fully agree with this statement and will do all we can to support our families in ensuring that children meet the expecation of being in school every day and on time.


Punctuality is crucial for effective learning and safeguarding. We expect all children to arrive on time every day, allowing for possible traffic delays by arriving early.

Lateness and non-attendance can hinder children’s’ progress and disrupt the class. Being late can be distressing for your child and prevents them from settling into the school day with their peers.

The register will be taken at 8.40am. Arrival after this time will be marked on the register as ‘L’ for ‘late’. If your child arrives after 8.40am then you must sign them in at the school office and give a reason for their lateness. Registers close at 9.15am and any arrival after this time may result in a ‘U’ mark on the register, indicating an unauthorised absence. 

Policy and Information

Our Attendance Policy explains in more detail how we manage attendance – please click on the button below and take a few moments to read this through We have highlighted the potential impact of late arrival and missed days at the end of the policy for your information.

Should you need the Headteacher to consider a request for your child’s leave of absence for exceptional circumstances at any point during term time, please complete and submit this form. We may ask for proof to back up your request and we will notify you of the decision. Further information is also available in our our School Attendance Policy.


The Surrey Attendance Service, acting on behalf of Surrey County Council may issue a Penalty Notice as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child’s unauthorised absence from school and require the recipient to pay a fixed amount.

Circumstances when a Penalty Notices may be issued

1. Pupils identified by police and Surrey Attendance Advice Officers engaged on Truancy Patrols and who have incurred unauthorised absences.

2. The Education (Pupil Registration)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2013, state that Head teachers may  not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Head teacher is required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.

Where a child is taken out of school for 10 sessions or more and the ‘leave of absence’ is without the authority of the head teacher, each parent is liable to receive a penalty notice for each child who is absent. In these circumstances, a warning will not be given where it can be shown that parents had previously been warned that such absences would not be authorised and that they will be liable to receive a Penalty Notice if the leave of absence is taken.

3. The issue of a Penalty Notice will also be considered where a pupil has incurred 10 or more unauthorised sessions during the preceding 10 school weeks. The parents’ failure to engage with supportive measures proposed by the school will be a factor when considering the issue of a Penalty Notice.   Unauthorised absence will include late arrival after the close of registration without good reason.

4. Section 103 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 places a duty on parents to ensure that their child is not in a public place without justifiable cause during school hours when they are excluded from school. This duty applies to the first five days of each exclusion.  Failure to do so will render the parent liable to a Penalty Notice. If the Penalty Notice is not paid, the recipient will be prosecuted for the offence under Section 103. Alternative education provision will be made from the sixth day of any exclusion and failure to attend such provision without good reason will be treated as unauthorised absence.

With the exception of unauthorised leave of absence taken in term time (Paragraph 2 above) parents will be sent a ‘Notice To Improve’ their child’s attendance, warning them of their liability to receive such a notice before it is issued. 

Amount Payable Under a Penalty Notice: The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2024

1. If a parent/carer has not incurred a penalty notice relating to the relevant child/children since 19 August 2024, then the penalty notice will be charged at the rate of £160.00, per parent/carer per child, if paid within 28 days. This will be reduced to £80.00 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice. Failure to pay the Penalty Notice will result in Surrey County Council considering legal proceedings against you in the Magistrates Court.

2. If you have incurred a penalty notice relating to this child/children since 19 August 2024, the rolling 3 year period will be activated from the date of the first penalty notice and the second penalty notice will be charged at the flat rate of £160.00, per parent/carer per child, if paid within 28 days. There will be no reduction for payment within 21 days. Failure to pay the Penalty Notice will result in Surrey County Council considering legal proceedings against you in the Magistrates Court.

3. If you have incurred 2 penalty notices relating to this child/children in the rolling 3 year period since the first penalty notice was issued, then you will NOT receive a third penalty notice – Surrey County Council will have no option but to consider a prosecution, per parent/carer per child, in the Magistrates Court under s 444 Education Act 1996.

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Buckland Primary School
Berryscroft Road
TW18 1NB

01784 455022


If you would like paper copies for any of the information on our website, please contact the school office