At Manland, we are supporting and promoting the Government’s campaign to improve school attendance. Nationally, attendance has dropped since the Covid pandemic and Manland is no exception.

The DfE, have said that for most pupils, the best place to be during term-time in is school, surrounded by the support of their friends and teachers. This is important not just for your child’s learning, but also for
their overall wellbeing, wider development and their mental health.

As a parent, it can be difficult to know when to send your child into school if they are feeling
unwell or a mildly anxious, but finding solutions is a team effort between schools, parents and
children, and there is support and information available to help you make the best decision for
your child.

There are plenty of important moments in each school day which make a positive difference to
your child, and the Chief Medical Officer has written a letter to schools explaining why regular
attendance is vital to the life chances of children and young people.

At Manland, we expect children to achieve attendance of 96% or higher. Pre-pandemic, Manland
would rarely miss this target, however our attendance levels have dropped since Covid and
children are missing out on important learning opportunities.

When can my child be absent from school?

When you register your child at school, you have a legal duty to ensure your child attends that
school regularly. This means that your child must attend every day that the school is open,
•Your child is too ill to attend that day.
•You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be
absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances (using Manland’s Leave of Absence
•Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in
religious observance.
These are the only circumstances where schools can permit your child to be absent. Parents
who take their child out of school without permission may face paying a fine.  

Why it is important to attend school regularly?

– To give your child the best possible start in life.

– They will be able to keep up with their work.

– They will achieve better results.

– They will develop friendships and social skills.

School attendance is central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential. The government has set a target of 95% attendance for all pupils. This rate allows for periods of illness or particular circumstances when absence from school is unavoidable. We want your child to attend school regularly as this supports their learning. If your child is not well or if you have a planned reason why your child cannot attend school, please inform us either via telephone or email at the earliest opportunity.

Children of compulsory school age must, by law, receive a full time education.

Each person with day to day parental responsibility could be taken to court and fined for each child who is not attending school regularly or who is persistently late.

The Education Act 1996 states that all pupils should attend school regularly and punctually. ‘If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.’

Attendance Facts

  • Attending 90% of the time or less will have a serious effect on learning.
  • One day’s absence every two weeks will give 90% attendance.
  • Up to the age of 16, 90% attendance will mean losing over a year of school.

Arrival at School

The school gates will open at 8.40 am for a ‘soft start’. Your child should be in the classroom by 8:50 am for the start of the school day.

The school gates will close at 8:50 am and if you arrive after this time, you must enter the school via the school office where you will be asked to sign the late book.

If your child arrives between 8:50 am – 9.00 am they will be marked late.

If your child arrives after 9.00am they will receive an unauthorised absence mark.

When children arrive after 9.00am, parents are expected to send a note to explain the reasons for lateness. Until such a note has been received and the explanation for lateness is accepted by the school your child’s mark will remain on their record as unauthorised.

Remember that persistent lateness can be legally counted as unauthorised absence.

What should I do if my child needs to be absent from school?

You should contact school as early as possible, by 9.10am at the latest, to explain why your
child needs to be absent, for instance if they are too ill to attend school. If not, your child’s school will contact you on the morning of their absence to find out why.

All parents can request a ‘leave of absence’ for their child which gives them permission to be absent from
school. These must be agreed with the school in advance and will only be granted in
exceptional circumstances. Your child’s Headteacher has the final say over whether to
approve the request and how long your child can be absent.


Another reason for lower attendance at Manland is illness. 

It’s usually safe for parents and carers to send their children to school with mild illnesses, like a
minor cough, runny nose or sore throat. However, children should stay at home if they have a
high temperature of 38C or above.

The NHS has published guidance to help parents and carers
decide whether their child is well enough to attend school, including information on a range of
common childhood illnesses and conditions, such as coughs, colds, chickenpox and headlice.

Long Term Medical Conditions

It’s important to acknowledge that children with long-term medical or more serious mental
health conditions, and those with special educational needs and disabilities may face additional

For children who face complex barriers to attendance, schools should have sensitive
conversations with children and families and work with them to put support in place for their
individual needs. Support may include reasonable adjustments for pupils with disabilities or
help for pupils for whom mental health issues are affecting their attendance.

Reasons that relate to issues outside of school

If the barriers to attendance you or your child are facing go beyond the remit of the school – such as
a transport or a mental health issue – both the school and local authority have a responsibility to
help you. This includes helping you to access the wider support you might need, for example from
the school nurse or from local housing or transport teams.

What if my child is too anxious to attend school?

Children can sometimes feel a little bit worried about going to school. Mostly, this is a very
normal emotion. It’s important to recognise that going into school can help children to feel
less worried than letting them stay at home. If your child is anxious over several weeks, talk
to their school about how they can support you. The DfE have put together some useful links
on the Education Hub of mental health support which you may find helpful.

Making a plan

As part of the conversation you have with your child’s school you will agree a set of joint actions you
will all take to help overcome any barriers to attendance. This agreement will often include a
commitment to refer or help you to access support services in exchange for an agreement from you
to engage and take part in the support offered.

School will also arrange mutual convenient times for you to come together to review these commitments and your child’s progress. It may take the form of an informal action plan, an early help plan, or a parenting contract – depending on the complexity of the reasons for your child’s absence.

Unplanned absences:

Please inform the school before 9.30 am on the morning of the first day of absence.

Phone the absence line in school office as soon as possible on 01582 713 452  or email

Please keep the school informed if the absence is to continue.

A written explanation of your child’s absence may be required on return to school. If we do not receive a satisfactory explanation, we will not authorise the absence. This will show up on your child’s end of year report.

Authorised and Unauthorised Absence

The school can only authorise any absences in the following circumstances:

  •  Genuine illness
  •  Dental/medical appointments (these should be made out of school hours where possible)
  •  Close family bereavement
  •  Recognised religious observance
  •  Examination


What is NOT acceptable:

  •  Caring for a parent or sibling
  •  Going shopping
  •  Day trips
  •  Birthdays
  •  Bad weather
  • Family holidays will not be authorised

This is not a conclusive list.

Exceptional Circumstances

If you wish your child to be absent from school for any exceptional circumstances please complete a Special Leave of Absence Request form (available from the office) which will be reviewed by the Head Teacher.

This should be done at the earliest possible opportunity and with at least 2 weeks’ notice. Please note that the Head Teacher will take into consideration your child’s age, the time of year and the overall attendance pattern of your child and has the right to refuse your request for a leave of absence.

Planned absences:

Where possible, organise authorised absences well in advance.

Please try to arrange medical appointments during holiday times or out of school hours.

If you cannot make doctor or dentist appointments outside of school hours, wherever possible the child should come to school before the appointment and return to school afterwards.

Please provide an appointment letter or a written explanation beforehand.

Religious Observance

If you wish to take your child out of school for a religious observance please inform the school.

Family Holidays

A large amount of absence at Manland is due to term time holidays. Not only does this impact on
the child’s education, but it also causes disruption to the rest of class as staff try to ‘catch up’
children on their lost learning. For this reason, the school has introduced fines for term time
holidays from January 2024 onwards.

Family holidays must not be taken during the school term. 

If you take your child on holiday without authorisation, the Local Education Authority has the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £60 per parent per child, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days. Failure to pay can result in a criminal record and a fine of up to £1000.


Persistent lateness can:

  • Cause embarrassment to the child.
  • Make it harder for the child to settle.
  • Cause disruption to the rest of the class.


The school operates a ‘First Day’ response and will telephone families where children have failed to attend school in time for morning registration. As part of our commitment to safeguarding, If we do not hear from you by 12pm, we may contact the police to carry out a ‘welfare check’ at your home, to ensure that your child is safe. 

What does it mean if a child is persistently or severely absent?

Children who are registered at a school but regularly fail to turn up are officially referred to
as being ‘persistently’ or ‘severely’ absent. Pupils who have missed more than 10 percent of
school sessions are considered persistently absent, while children who have missed more
than 50 percent of school sessions are referred to as severely absent. At Manland, we expect
children to achieve attendance of 96% or above.

Where can parents get support and advice?

Children may struggle to attend school for a wide range of reasons. If your child is struggling
to attend school, both their school and your local authority also have responsibilities to help
you to support your child’s attendance.

In most cases, if your child’s attendance level is falling, school will contact you to explore the reasons and discuss what help can be put in place to help you overcome the barriers they are facing. If your child is struggling to attend school, you can expect the school to meet with you, and your child if they are old enough. The school will want to understand the reasons for their absence and what support you or they
need to overcome the barriers to attendance they are experiencing.

If the barriers to your child’s attendance are in school – such as they are having friendship
problems – the school will work with you to help overcome the issues. Please make contact
with your child’s class teacher to discuss this.

Please pick up an attendance brochure from the office. For further information on procedures, please also read the school’s Attendance Policy:

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