How is attendance measured?

Attendance marks are given for for every half-day session that a child is in school. There are 2 sessions in each school day; i.e. morning and afternoon.

Registers of attendance are taken at 9:00am in the morning and 1:15pm in the afternoon. If a child arrives after 9:10am they are recorded as “Late after the register has closed” and this will also count as one session of absence.

There are 190 school days (380 sessions) in the academic year for children in Year 1 and Year 2. There are fewer days for children in Reception as there is a phased start to help children settle into their new classes and new routines during the first few weeks at school.

A child’s attendance is usually given as a percentage. This is calculated from the total number of sessions attended against the total number of sessions they could possibly attend. If a child attends school 4 days out of 5 in one week, their attendance rate for the week would be 80% (8 out of 10 sessions).

What is Good Attendance?

Attendance above 95% for the academic year is considered good. This would mean being absent for less than 10 days across the whole school year (in Y1 and Y2). Attendance above 96% is considered very good.

The average pupil attendance in Bath & North East Somerset is 96%. If a child has attendance of 90% or below, that is classified as ‘persistently absent’. If a child misses 10% of school this equates to around 12 months of lesson time lost over their statutory schools years.

How does the school monitor and work to improve attendance?

Every three weeks, a review of children’s attendance in school takes place. At the meeting, the Headteacher works with a Children Missing Education Officer (CMEO) from BANES. A close review of the attendance records of children whose attendance rate is below 94% takes place.

At the meeting, the following actions are then agreed:

Stage 1) The Headteacher writes to the parents of children, whose attendance is below 94%, to advise them of their child’s current attendance rate and to explain that that any future absence due to illness will only be authorised if medical evidence can be provided. This is a requirement of the Children Missing Education Service (CMES) at BANES Council.

Stage 2) At the next review (3 weeks later), the Headteacher will again write to inform parents of their child’s attendance. Where there has been an improvement, this will be recognised and encouragement will be given to sustain the progress. This is known as Stage 2a.

However, if a child’s attendance has dropped further, at the time of next review point, the Headteacher will write to parents to arrange a time for a meeting to take place in order to understand more about the reasons for absence and to plan together how the attendance can be improved. A date and time for the meeting will be given. This is known as Stage 2b.

Stage 3) A letter will be sent following the meeting to summarise what is discussed and to confirm any agreed actions to work together to improve a child’s attendance.

Our school’s attendance compared to other schools in BANES

When the attendance marks of all children are added together, this provides an overall attendance rate for the school. Our school typically has an attendance rate between 93.5% and 94%, which is around 2.5% points below the average for all schools in BANES, which is typically above 96%.

This means, on average, that a child at our school is absent for one more week (5 days) than children at other schools in Bath.

Accountability for Attendance

We understand that children are susceptible to a range of illnesses during their infancy and that this can lead to periods of absence that are unavoidable. This is quite common and does help to develop children’s immunity.

At the same time, we are committed to working with parents to encourage the best level of attendance possible. We do this because we believe it is important and it is also something that, quite rightly, is expected of the school’s senior leadership team.

Due to the significant number of children whose attendance is monitored on an ongoing basis, letters are used as the primary way of communicating with parents about attendance.

The school is held to account for its rate of attendance to a number of organisations including the school’s Board of Governors, BANES Local Education Authority, the Department for Education and Ofsted.

Why is 95% school attendance so important?

Research demonstrates that there is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement. The table below shows some startling findings about the link between attendance and grades that children achieve in their GCSEs.

School Attendance Rate %  of pupils achieving

5 or More A*- C grades

(including English & Maths)

Above 95% 73%
90% – 80% 35%
below 50% 3%

Wanting the very best for all children

We are privileged to work with young children during their early years and infancy. So much learning and development takes place over a small number of years.

We want the very best educational experience for all our children and we are committed to doing what we can to achieve this in the school and nursery.

It is vital that children regularly attend school in order to make the most of the teaching and learning activities provided.

School Attendance Policy – July 2022