Gallow Field Road
Market Harborough
LE16 7QZ

Telephone: 01858 545 328


(Revised September 2013)


This policy has been amended to comply with the Department for Education Advice on Attendance (August 2013). Parents, schools and the Local Authority share legal responsibilities for school attendance which can be summarised as follows:

  • Parents are responsible in law for ensuring the children of compulsory school age receive full-time, suitable education (Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act).
  • Where the child is registered at the school, the law requires regular attendance. This means attending school punctually on every day and for the whole school day during term time, unless there is a good reason (such as illness) for absence.
  • Parents are responsible for notifying schools if their child cannot attend.
  • If attendance problems do develop, the school expects parents to work actively with school staff and the education welfare service to solve them.
  • Parents do not have a right to take children on holiday in term time. Leave of absence must be granted in advance by the school.
  • Schools must record attendance at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions and report certain absences to the Local Authority.
  • Schools are responsible for alerting parents as soon as possible when their child is absent.
  • Local Authority must ensure that parents are fulfilling their statutory obligation.

Authorised Absence

Authorised absence is when the school has given approval in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be away, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as satisfactory justification for absence.

The following reasons for absence could be authorised:

  • Sickness
  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments. (If absences are considered excessive, proof may be required by way of a doctor’s note.)
  • Days of religious observance.
  • Exceptional family circumstances, (e.g. bereavement).
  • Approved sporting activity.
  • Exclusion (fixed period).

If a child is absent from school for any reason, it is important that the school is informed by 10am. School will telephone for an explanation at 10am. 

Unauthorised absence is when a pupil is away from school, or when a pupil is late after the register has closed, without permission from an authorised person.

The following reasons for absence should be unauthorised:

  • Frequent absences attributed to minor ailments but not supported by medical evidence.
  • Looking after the house.
  • Looking after siblings or sick parents.
  • Shopping during school hours.
  • Birthdays.
  • Day trips.
  • Holidays.

The parent or carer is not able to authorise absence and the school can refuse to accept their reasons for absence. The Local Authority should be consulted where schools are experiencing difficulty in determining whether the reason provided for absence is valid, and particularly where parents appear to be condoning absence that the school considers may be unjustified. If parents/carers fail to provide a reason for absence within two weeks the absence should be coded as unauthorised.


School hours are:

  • 8.55am to 12.00 noon, Morning Break: 10.40am – 10.55am.
  • 12.55pm to 3.20pm, Infants only Afternoon Break: 2.45pm – 2.55pm.

All children are expected to be at school by 8.55am for registration. We ask that children do not arrive before 8.45am. The cloakroom doors open at 8.45am for the children to get themselves ready for the school day. School begins promptly at 9.00am.


Children arriving after 9.00am are considered late and a record will be kept in the late book.

Lateness is defined as unauthorised absence when a pupil arrives after registration closes. Registration at Foxton closes at 9.00am for the morning session and 1.00pm for the afternoon session.

Holidays in Term Time

Parents are not legally entitled to take their child on holiday during term time. The law does not permit the Head Teacher to authorise term time holidays or extensions to holidays which run into term time. In exceptional circumstances the Head Teacher may grant a leave of absence. Requests need to be made in writing and state the nature of any exceptional circumstance.

Attendance Targets

The school sets attendance targets each year. These are agreed by the senior staff and governors at the annual target-setting meeting. The targets are challenging yet realistic, and based on attendance figures achieved in previous years. The school considers carefully the attendance figures for other similar schools when setting its own targets.

Monitoring and Review

Individual pupils’ authorised and unauthorised absences and lateness are reported to parents with the pupils’ annual reports.

It is the responsibility of the governors to monitor overall attendance and they will request an annual report from the head teacher. The governing body also has the responsibility for this policy and for seeing that it is carried out. The governors will therefore examine closely the information provided to them and seek to ensure that our attendance figures are as high as they should be.

The school will keep accurate attendance records on file for a minimum period of three years. The rates of attendance will be reported in the school prospectus.

This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every two years, or earlier if considered necessary.