School attendance, absence and the law

Regular school attendance - why it's so important

Coming to school every day is important for your child's future. We expect all children at Sunnyside to achieve at least 96% attendance. Falling below this mark can seriously impact the opportunity your child has of reaching their full potential.

All schools, including Sunnyside, are required to record details of pupils’ attendance and absence. We take a register at the start of each day at 8.50am then again after lunch. If your child is absent, it is essential that you contact us to tell us the reason for your child’s absence.

Your responsibilities as a parent

By law, all children of compulsory school age (from FS2 to Year 6), must receive full-time education. Once your child is registered at a school, you are legally responsible for making sure they go regularly. If your child fails to do so, you risk getting a fine (each parent could be fined up to £1,000 for each child) or being prosecuted.

The Education Authority has a duty to become involved if they believe that a child is not getting the education required by law.

What can you do to ensure your child comes to school every day?

  • Have a good morning routine, including setting an alarm clock and getting bags and clothes ready the night before.
  • Take an interest in their day at school - ask about learning and their class text, and encourage them to get involved in school activities.
  • Make sure your child understands the importance of good attendance and punctuality.
  • Do not advocate them taking time off school for minor ailments, particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work.
  • Arrange appointments and trips after school, during the weekend or during half term breaks.

What happens if my child is absent?

We expect you to contact school before 9.10am to tell us about your child’s absence. If you tell us about this absence we can talk about whether it will be authorised, or not authorised. Depending upon the nature of the absence, we may encourage you to bring your child to school.

If you do not contact us by 9.10am, our attendance champion, and office manager, Inez Webb, will phone you to ask about the absence. If no contact is made, she will visit your home with another member of the school staff to discuss the matter in person.

The absence will be recorded formally. This data is then available to the Education Welfare Service (EWOS).

What happens at Sunnyside if my child achieves 96% attendance and is on time for school?

  • On a Monday morning, all children that achieved 96% attendance during the previous week, will earn five green dojos from their class teacher for being successful.
  • At the end of the half term, children who have achieved 96% and above receive an attendance award during assembly.
  • Golden tickets are awarded to the class with the most children over 96%.
  • Tasty treats are awarded to the class with the highest attendance.
  • Early bird tickets are awarded to the children who are on time each day. One ticket is chosen from each class and that child attends ‘Hot Chocolate Club’
  • They make more progress and have a greater change of meeting their true potential.