Long Melford Church of England Primary School

Include, Achieve, Care


As a school we aim to:

  • Maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 95%
  • Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance.


Good attendance is important because:

  • Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
  • Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Regular attenders find school routines and school work easier to cope with
  • Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
  • Regular attenders have an easier transfer to secondary school


       As a parent you can help us by:

  • Ringing on the first morning of all absences with the reason and saying when the child will return. The telephone number is 01787 379929.
  • Arranging dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school breaks
  • Sending in a note explaining the reason for absence on your child’s return to school after an illness
  • Keeping us updated by telephone or letter if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness


We shall:

  • Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as soon as possible
  • Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in newsletters, the school prospectus and the Home-School agreement
  • Publish our attendance rate on the school website
  • Acknowledge and reward good attendance
  • Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report
  • Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance
  • If we continue to have concerns make a referral to the Education Welfare Officer


Authorised Absence

Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”. For example: if a child is ill, family bereavement, religious observance.

We realise that there are rare occasions when there might be a particular problem that causes your child to be absent. Please let us know and we shall try to deal with it sympathetically.


Unauthorised Absence

There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not          

permitted by law. These are known as “unauthorised absences”.

Examples of unauthorised absence are:

  • Waiting on a delivery
  • Going shopping or for a hair cut
  • Going for a family day out
  • Because it is your child’s birthday
  • Sleeping in after a late night
  • Unapproved holidays
  • Where there is no explanation for the absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory.


Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Local Authority. The EWO (Education Welfare Officer) may contact you and consider taking legal action against you if your child has unauthorised absences.



  •  The school doors open at 8.40 am. Morning registration is at 8.55 am. This is the time your child must be in the classroom, so you need to ensure your child is coming through the school gate by 8.50 am.
  • It is important to be on time as the first few minutes of the school day are often used to give out instructions or organise schoolwork for the rest of the day.
  • If your child misses this short but vital session, their work for the whole day may be affected. Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and often embarrassing for your child. We take the view there are no late children, only late parents!
  • Arrival after the close of registration (9.30 am) will be                 

marked as unauthorised absence in line with the

Department for Education guidance.

  • We will let you know if we have concerns about your

child’s punctuality.

  • Children who remain uncollected at the end of school time will be referred to a place of safety if not collected or the school contacted by school closing time.


Term Time Leave of Absence


As from 1st September, 2013 the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 have been amended.

All references to family holidays and extended leave have been removed, together with the right for parents to apply for up to 10 days leave of absence.  Therefore, the school will no longer be permitted to grant leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress. A pupil who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. 10 days absence also means the pupil will miss 50 hours of education.


Registers are completed by 9.15am and 3.00pm.  Any child who is not in school during registration will be marked as absent.


If the absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken the case will be referred to the Education Welfare Service which could result in a penalty fine.


Please remember that the more time your child misses from school, the more difficult it is for them to catch up with their work. Valuable learning time is lost. A good understanding of the work can only take place when the pupil is in the classroom


Any child whose attendance falls below 90% is considered to be a ‘persistent absentee’.