Attendance at Richard Lee

At Richard Lee Primary School, we believe that: 

  • Pupils need to attend school every day so that they can take full advantage of the educational opportunities available. 
  • Poor attendance rates and persistent lateness undermines the educational process and leads to educational disadvantage. 
  • Children who attend school every day make better progress and have better life chances. 

The school will strive to provide a welcoming, caring environment, whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and secure.

All school staff will work with and support students and their families to ensure each student attend school regularly and punctually.

The school has an effective system of incentives and rewards acknowledging the efforts of students to improve their attendance and timekeeping and will challenge the behaviour of those students and parents who give low priority to attendance and punctuality. From our weekly attendance assembly to our end of term raffle prizes for children with the highest attendance, we promote and encourage high attendance at every given opportunity.

To meet these objectives, Richard Lee School has an efficient system of communication with students, parents and appropriate agencies to provide mutual information, advice and support.

Illness/medical absences

As the parent / carer(s) of a child in school, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your child attends school regularly, and on time, and to provide a reason to the school for any absences. Absences can only be authorised by the school following contact with parents or carers. Parents / carers must telephone the school on the first day of absence. If leaving a message, please include:

-child’s full name + class

-description of reason for absence

-name of person confirming the absence + your relationship to the child

If the school does do not have prior notification of absence we will contact parents by phone and/or email to confirm the child’s whereabouts. An email can be sent to the Attendance email address ( for subsequent, linked absences e.g. a second day with an upset stomach. Please include the same information as would be given in a voicemail message.

If we are uncertain about the whereabouts of a child, a home visit may be conducted.

Wherever possible, appointments should be arranged for outside of school time. If a child needs to be taken out of school during the day for an appointment, parents should contact the school prior to coming to collect their child and provide confirmation of the appointment (an appointment card, letter or text message is sufficient) when collecting their child. This should not be a regular occurrence.

If a valid reason for an absence is not provided, the absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. If sufficient unauthorised absence accumulates the school will take steps, such as inviting parents to a meeting to improve attendance. Children with an attendance below 90% are classed as “persistently absent”. Parents could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice if there is no valid reason for these absences.


Being late into school can be distressing for children and disrupts the normal morning process for the whole class.

Our school day starts at 8.50am. Pupils who are not present for registration will be marked as Late. Arrival after 9.20am is classed as an Unauthorised Absence and an explanation will be required.

Children arriving at school between 8.50am and 9.20am must be brought into school through the gates to the right of the main school office entrance and signed in by their parent / carer. Children arriving after 9.20am should be brought in through the main school office entrance.

Planned Absence requests

The school must be informed of any planned absences that will cover 2 or more consecutive days at least 4 weeks in advance. Any request for absences should be made to the school in writing (paper copies available from Attendance Office, electronic copies available from the website should be emailed to Consideration will be given to the circumstances of the requested absence and the proximity to any assessment periods.

Should leave of absence be required at short notice (less than 6 weeks prior to departure), please request a meeting with the Headteacher and/or Attendance Lead so the reason for the absence can be discussed face-to-face.

Where parents are separated, only the parent with residence may make an application for holiday leave, and must do so on behalf of the other parent if that parent wishes to take the child out of school.

Fixed Penalty Notices maybe issued for unauthorised planned absences. If no notice is given prior to the absence, the absence will automatically be unauthorised and a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued.