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.

Fixed Penalty  Notices – Information direct from Surrey County Council

Penalty Notices are issued:

  1. To address pupil’s poor attendance by demonstrating that parental failure to ensure children attend school regularly will not be tolerated and;
  2. To deter parents from taking children out of school during term time without the authorisation of the school

The Education (Pupil Registration)(England) (Amendment)  Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013 state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances”. The Headteacher should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.

Penalty notices may also be used by the Local Authority in the following circumstances:-

  1. Unauthorised absences or late arrival after the closure of registration, on 7 occasions in any six week period (not including school closures).
  2. Pupils identified by Police and Education Welfare Officers engaged on Truancy Patrols, who have incurred unauthorised absences.
  3. When an excluded pupil is found in a public place during school hours within the first 5 days of an exclusion without justifiable reason.
  4. The issuing of a penalty notice for unauthorised leave of absence may be considered appropriate in the following circumstances: Unauthorised leave of absence in term time without the authorisation of the school.  (5 days/10 sessions or more within a 3 month period – this DOES NOT need to be consecutive).

The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of the notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28-day period the Local Authority must prosecute the recipient for failing to ensure regular school attendance under section 444 Education Act 1996.

Please be aware that each parent is liable to receive a Penalty Notice for each child who incurs unauthorised absences, for example, if there are two parents and one child, each parent will receive one Penalty Notice.  If there are two parents and two children incurring unauthorized absences, each parent will receive two Penalty Notices, which in this case would amount to £120 each if paid within 21 days.

Please click here for more information

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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