Attendance update  – make every day count 

Dear parents and carers,

We want every child at our school to have the best education possible. Attending school every day is crucial to the education of your child. Having a good education will help to give your child the BEST possible start in life. Poor school attendance damages educational achievement and the future progress of your child. Promoting and supporting good attendance at school is essential to learning and attainment.

What can parents do to help?

Make sure that your child comes to school every day and arrives on time. It’s a good idea to start these positive habits at an early age, when your child first starts school.

If you need any help or advice about your child’s attendance, please contact our Headteacher, Mrs Hutton, or our Attendance Officer, Mrs Hawthorn via the School Office.  You can telephone on 01784 455022 or send a message via Parentmail or email

What happens if your child does not attend school?

By law, all children of compulsory school age must be provided with a full-time education. As a parent, you are responsible for making sure this happens, either by registering your child at a school or by making other arrangements which provide an effective education.

If your child’s attendance drops below 93%, our Attendance Officer, Mrs Hawthorn and myself, will request a meeting with you. It is important that you co-operate to make sure that any attendance issues are resolved. As a school we also work closely with Surrey’s Inclusion Team. Families are referred to the team when attendance does not improve.

Failure to co-operate with the Attendance Officer and our school may result in legal action. This could lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued and/or the possibility of imprisonment. These consequences are set by the Government.

Key attendance facts:

Persistent cases where poor attendance and punctuality do not improve can be considered to be neglect.

  • The Government track school attendance figures. It is considered that attendance of 90% or below is persistent absence which will be closely monitored by school staff. 
  • Failing to improve on this 90% can lead to prosecution, which school want to help families avoid

There are things you can do to improve your child’s attendance and avoid falling into the persistent absence category:

  • Avoid taking any holidays during term times
  • Keep up to date with what % attendance your child has so that you know if they are at risk of persistent absence. Mrs Hawthorn can provide this for you.
  • Speak to school staff about any concerns.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of them being in school and let them know how important you feel it is.

The table below provides an example of the impact of lost learning through pupil absence:

Attendance % over a school yearEqual to number of days absentConverted to Approx. weeks of absenceApprox. number of lessons missedSchool Concern level
95%9.5247.5Pupil can catch up and still succeed
90%19495Poor attendance – we are concerned
80%388190Very poor attendance – we are very concerned
70%5712285Serious concerns

Punctuality is also highly important. Pupils who arrive late to school are not only losing learning but also disrupting the learning of others as they arrive late for lessons.  Pupils do not like being late into school and we witness how upsetting it can be for them.  We want to prevent this.

The table below provides an example of the impact of lost learning through pupil lateness.

Number of minutes late per day over a school yearApprox. Equivalent number of days lost learning

At Buckland Primary we send out punctuality letters to parents each half term informing them of the number of minutes of lost learning for their child due to poor punctuality. We want to help families get their child to school on time.  Here are some things you can try:

  • Have everything you/your child needs for school prepared the night before
  • Ensure that your child goes to bed reasonably so they are not too tired to get up in the morning
  • Ensure your child has a good night’s sleep by minimising their use of devices at bed time / in the evening
  • Have a consistent bedtime routine for your child
  • Set an alarm to allow plenty of time for your morning routine in getting to school on time
  • Bring your child to breakfast club (7.30am – 8.30am)

Thank you for your support.  Together we can make improvements to attendance and punctuality.

Kind regards,

Rebecca Hutton                                Emma Hawthorn

Headteacher                                      Attendance Officer