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Our School Day and Attendance

Changes to School Attendance Regulations

The Department for Education has published amendments to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

We have been asked to bring these changes to your attention and to enforce them.

These changes take effect from 1st September 2013 and apply to all schools in England.

The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant ANY leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers will no longer be able to permit family holidays or extended leave.

The amendments also reduce the timescales for paying penalty notices. From 1st September 2013, each fined parent must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.

Please note that these changes are made by the Government’s Department of Education and we have no influence or power to overrule them.

The School Day

Please do not send your child to school too early in the morning. There is no adult supervision in the playground until ten minutes before the start of the day.

Morning Session

Children can come into school from 8:30am

Registration is at 8:45am for all classes

Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes

Key Stage 2 classes

Afternoon Session

1:00pm to 3:15pm

Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes

Key Stage 2 classes

Morning Break

10:15am to 10:30pm

Lunch 12:00 - 1:00pm  


Morning Session

8:30am to 11:30am

Afternoon Session

12:15pm to 3:15pm


The Law

Your child must receive full-time education. As parent or carer, you are responsible for making sure this happens. Irregular attendance will undermine your child’s education.

A low attendance rate will seriously slow down your child’s educational progress; affect their learning and their friendships.

Authorised Absence

Only the Headteacher can authorise absence and is not obliged to accept your explanation. Absence can be authorised for the following reasons: sickness; a one off event such as a sibling graduation; family bereavement; a public performance.

Medway Council operates a ‘Truancy Watch’ scheme. You must have a Pupil Pass for your child if they attend an appointment off-site during school time. You may collect one from the school office prior to the appointment.

Absences will not be authorised if:

  • Another member of the family is ill
  • The family have overslept or had a late night
  • There are problems with uniform/clothing
  • You have forgotten school dates
  • Your child attends a medical/dental appointment for more than half a day without written proof that this is necessary
  • There is an annual family event such as a birthday
  • You take your child shopping

Holiday in school time

You do not have automatic right to withdraw your child from school for a family holiday. The holiday will be classed as “unauthorised” and parents/carers may have penalty notices issued by the Attendance Advisory Service (AAS).

Monitoring Attendance

Riverside Primary School has a ‘five-step’ approach to monitoring absence and lateness. It will not always be appropriate to progress through all of these steps or even to carry them out in the order listed.

‘Five Steps’

  1. Telephoning home on the first day of absence
  2. Weekly checking of attendance and termly meetings with the Attendance Advisory Practioner (AAP)
  3. Referring low attendance to the AAP
  4. Inviting parents/carers to meet with the Headteacher and/or the AAP
  5. Prosecution by the Attendance Advisory Service if attendance does not significantly improve


Lateness will also be referred to the AAP and can provide grounds for prosecution. Children must be encouraged to walk directly to school as quickly as possible in order to keep themselves safe.

Unauthorised absences / holidays and Penalty Notices

As from 1 September 2013 The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 increases the current amounts of penalty notices payable by parents/carers. These will apply to any parent/carer who fails to ensure the regular attendance of their child.

The amount stated on the penalty notices has increased from £50 to £60 (for each child) for those who pay within 28 days, and from £100 to £120 for those who pay within 42 days. The Attendance Advisory Service will issue a penalty notice to EACH parent/carer of EACH child.

Helpful Hints

  • Telephone school before 9.30am on the first day of your child’s absence
  • As far as possible, medical/dental appointments should be made outside of school hours
  • Collect a Pupil Pass in advance of any appointments that have to occur during the school day
  • Respond to school enquiries about unexplained absence
  • Provide evidence, such as a letter from the hospital/dental practice, for whole day medical appointments
  • Keep us well informed of any ongoing medical conditions your child has that may affect their attendance
  • Make sure you have alternative arrangements for a friend or relative to get your child in an emergency and advise the school’s office of the arrangements you have made
  • If you are not sure whether your child is well enough to attend school, bring then anyway. They often perk up during the day but we will contact you if they do not
  • If your child has a well-known childhood illness, contact the school for advice on recovery time

This has been prepared with the help and advice of Riverside’s Attendance Advisory Practioner, Medway Council.

Illness Absence

Parents are expected to notify the school on the first day of their child’s absence, either by:

  • * telephoning the school office on 01634 338700. The office is staffed from 8:00am
  • * send an e-mail to
  • * a note with an older brother or sister

We will contact you if your child is not in school and we have not had a reason for absence, it is therefore essential that we have a current number on which to contact you.

We will require a call on each and every subsequent day of absence.

Please ensure your child is fully recovered before returning them to school. We have a child in school with a metabolic disorder who can become very unwell if they contract an upset stomach. For this reason we ask you to keep your child at home until they have eaten two meals and the symptoms have not returned.

Please provide your child’s class teacher or the school office with written confirmation of the period of absence.

If your child suffers with an upset stomach please be aware the school policy is that your child remains off school for 48 hours from the last bought of sickness or diarrhoea.

Thank you.